News about energy and the environment

A California enters its sixth year of drought, journalist Charles Fishman says that residents aren't doing nearly enough to adapt to the "new normal" in a state that is becoming increasingly dry. Fishman, who is the author of the book "The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water" is speaking in Bakersfield on Thursday October 27th at the CSUB Icardo Center at 7:00 PM as part of the culminating event of the One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern community read. 

Kerry Klein/KVPR

A few weeks ago we told you about concerns within the dairy industry following the state’s most recent climate legislation. The new laws require livestock producers to cut methane emissions from manure by almost half before the year 2030. It seems a tall task, but a kind of facility that’s popular in Europe could help the California dairy industry meet those goals—if only it were easier to build here. FM89’s Kerry Klein brings us to Tulare County with more.

Tim Olson / Flickr

In our last episode we took you to this mountain oasis called Mineral King in Sequoia National Park. This time, we go 100 miles north of there  to a place called Mono Hot Springs.

Mono (pronounced “MOE-no”) Hot Springs is tucked away in the Sierra Nevada south of Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes, and it’s about halfway from the Valley to the East Side. The hot springs sit in a mountain valley next to a fork in the San Joaquin River.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This year Yosemite National Park is on pace to have four and a half million visitors. That would be an all-time record. All those people mean a lot of traffic in a place known for its serenity.  And as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports the Park Service is in the process of making changes so visitors won’t have to often wait in what feels like rush hour traffic in the middle of the forest.

Tom Clifton / Flickr

In an effort to bump up the number of endangered yellow-legged frogs in the Sequoia and Kings Canyon area the National Park Service has approved a plan to remove nonnative fish from lakes and streams. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.


Nonnative trout were introduced into the Sierra Nevada in the late 1800’s. Danny Boiano is an aquatic biologist in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.


Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

While the City of Fresno tries to figure out what to do about discolored water at some homes in Northeast Fresno, some residents there are already taking drastic steps, including repiping their homes.

On a normal day, the first thing you notice when you enter the home of Faith and Buzz Nitschke is the dozens of antique clocks quietly ticking away.

But that is not the case on this day.

Ezra David Romero

Late this summer endangered frogs and threatened toads that call the Sierra Nevada home were given 1.8 million acres of protected habitat. That’s a good thing for the amphibians, but as FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports private landowners and ranchers aren’t so sure it will help them.  

Yosemite National Park Biologist Rob Grasso and his crew of volunteers are in a hurry. They’re counting tadpoles from a pond and plopping them into five gallon orange coolers. These tadpoles will end up in a lake high up in the backcountry.

Edward stojakovic/Flickr

California is on the move to keep farmers from using pesticides near schools. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.

A proposed ruling announced this week would limit the time growers across the state will be able to spray pesticides within a quarter mile of schools and day care centers from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is all part of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s plan to keep kids safe.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Governor Jerry Brown has made fighting climate change a major priority for California. One of the most recent laws he signed was Senate Bill 32, which requires the state to dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Called “critical” and “far-reaching,” it’s been heralded by some as one of the most ambitious climate regulations in the world--but not everyone thinks the law will be good for California.

Joey Airoso has two kids and close to 3,000 mouths to feed. He’s a dairy farmer in rural Tulare County.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

The State of California is promising to spend an unprecedented amount of new money investing in Fresno. The state is planning tens of millions of dollars from its cap and trade funds.

Governor Jerry Brown is recommending spending $70 million of cap and trade money in Fresno.

The funds come from pollution credits and are set aside to aid the most heavily polluted and poor areas.

The City of Fresno expects to get half of all the climate change money that the state has designated for those communities.