Covering Climate Change | New Hampshire Public Radio

Covering Climate Change

Human activity is warming the planet. This change is already reshaping how we live and interact with our environment in New Hampshire, across New England and beyond. And just as more people than ever were beginning to wake up to the climate emergency, our lives collided with the coronavirus pandemic and a generational reckoning on racial justice. 

From NHPR, By Degrees is a climate change reporting project that begins in this historic moment. Here, we tell stories of the challenges and solutions that these intersecting crises are bringing to light -- individual stories of resilience and struggle, innovation and compromise, and of big change by degrees. We’ll answer your questions, take you to new places, challenge those in power, and explore how our state and region are living through climate change -- and responding to it. 

Click here to take our quick survey and share your ideas and questions for future By Degrees stories, or email us tips and photos of the changes you're seeing: climate@nhpr.org.

Select a topic below to see more related stories and resources: 

Ways to Connect

Pastor Aaron Trigg was at home when the water arrived in Rainelle. It had been raining hard all day, filling the creeks and rivers that run through southern West Virginia. In the past, such intense downpours would only last a few hours. But this storm brought wave after wave of torrential rain.

"You could hear the water up in the mountains just crashing trees," Trigg remembers.

Rainelle is a small town in a steep valley. When the creek near downtown jumped its banks on the evening of June 23, 2016, the water immediately flooded into every home on Trigg's block.

file photo

A number of New Hampshire towns is looking at community power as a way to provide energy that could lower costs for residents, help tailor their energy mix, and provide room for innovation. We explore how community power came about, how it would work, and the challenge to it in this year’s legislative session. 

Airdate: Monday, February 22, 2021

Icy road in Hopkinton, N.H.
Rebebecca Lavoie / NHPR

New Hampshire Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas is serving on a House committee on transportation and infrastructure, and he says those are his priorities in this next term as Congressman.

NHPR's Morning Edition host Rick Ganley spoke with Pappas about the issues facing New Hampshire's infrastructure and transportation sectors.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

A new report says New Hampshire’s state government has cut back its fossil fuel and energy use in the past 15 years, but still falls well short of the goals set by a 2016 executive order.

Sargent Corporation

New Hampshire is facing a lawsuit for permitting landfill expansions without having an updated plan for reducing solid waste.

The suit, filed Thursday in Merrimack Superior Court, comes from the Conservation Law Foundation. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A bill that would require New Hampshire to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 got a first hearing in a state legislative committee Friday, earning support from state officials and the public, but meeting with skepticism from some members of the Republican majority.

Lourdes Aviles

Plymouth State University is launching a bachelor's degree program in climate studies. They say it's the only such program in New Hampshire, and one of the few nationwide.  School leaders say the program will allow students to go deeper into climate science and prepare them for a variety of careers, including in emergency management, conservation, public policy, tourism and science journalism.

Lourdes Aviles is a professor of meteorology and the climate studies program coordinator.  She spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello about PSU’s hopes for the program.

Annie Ropeik - NHPR / Aerial support by Lighthawk

Hampton Beach officials will hear from a range of climate change scientists at a symposium next week as part of their work on a coastal resilience piece of a new town master plan.

Heavier rain, more storms and higher tides are already causing more frequent low-level flooding on the streets of the oceanfront community. Roads were closed due to standing tidewater as recently as last week, in the wake of a nor’easter.

Brox Environmental Citizens / Facebook

The state Site Evaluation Committee will decide whether to hold a special approval process for a proposed solar farm in Milford, after receiving petitions from nearby residents.

The proposed array, from a local subsidiary of New York-based Olivewood Energy, would have a capacity of 16 megawatts – about half the size of the normal minimum for SEC consideration.

A community group called Brox Environmental Citizens – named for the piece of land where the solar farm would be built – wants the SEC to step in and decide whether to review the project anyway. 

Community Power New Hampshire

Lebanon’s city council voted Wednesday evening to join a coalition of towns and cities that want to provide electricity to residents from renewable energy sources, at potentially lower costs than utilities can offer.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

At the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in northern New Hampshire, the pandemic broke a decades-long streak of field research. Now, scientists there are adapting with new technology – recording the sounds of the forest, which they hope will transform their long and influential record of a changing world.  


WeirsCam / winnipesaukee.com

State officials say ice fishermen should use caution this weekend, with frozen conditions still touch-and-go on New Hampshire’s lakes and ponds despite bitter cold in the forecast.

/Kristoferb - Creative Commons

While efficiency upgrades can save money and cut back on your carbon footprint, how much should we invest, especially during a pandemic? It’s been a big debate for N.H. utility regulators. The Public Utilities Commission delayed their decision on this issue in December 2020 and is expected to make a ruling by mid-February 2021. As part of  NHPR’s By Degrees climate reporting project, we examined the pros and cons of greater efficiency, and whether businesses and residents should have to deal with up-front costs to create savings down the road. What does this debate say about the state’s energy future? 

Airdate: Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. Original airdate: Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020

The Boston Globe

A continuación, encuentra las noticias del viernes 22 de enero.

Escucha haciendo click en el audio o léelas en esta publicación. 

Una nota: Lo escrito es nuestro guión para nuestras grabaciones. Tenlo en cuenta si ven algunas anotaciones diferentes.

Hoy comienza registro de vacunación para residentes de 65 años o más

The impacts of climate change could prompt millions of Americans to relocate in coming decades, moving inland away from rising seas, or north to escape rising temperatures.

Judith and Doug Saum have moved already, recently leaving their home outside Reno, Nev.

A mural has "climate justice" on side with blue skies and green grass. The other half has "climate chaos," filled with smoke, dark skies and brown ground.
Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Escrito por Daniela Allee y Annie Ropeik, Traducción de María Silvia Aguirre

Defensores en New Hampshire dicen que tienen un sentimiento de alivio -- y de cauto optimismo -- luego de que el presidente Joe Biden firmó algunas órdenes ejecutivas relacionadas a inmigración y cambio climático el día miércoles 20 de enero. 

A mural has "climate justice" on side with blue skies and green grass. The other half has "climate chaos," filled with smoke, dark skies and brown ground.
Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Advocates in New Hampshire say they’re feeling a sense of relief -- and cautious optimism -- after President Joe Biden signed several executive orders Wednesday related to immigration and climate change.

Jesse Costa / WBUR


Annie Ropeik / NHPR file

A judge heard impassioned testimony Thursday from 20 climate change activists who were arrested for trespassing at New Hampshire’s coal-fired power plant in Bow in 2019.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Studies show that climate change could prompt millions of Americans to relocate in the coming decades. And by some measures, New Hampshire and northern New England could be ideal places to move.

But preparing for those potential waves of climate migrants will be no easy task – and some are already arriving.


The landmark Supreme Court ruling known as Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency held that greenhouse gases were pollutants that could be regulated by the executive branch, and defined de facto federal climate policy in the United States for a decade.

Could it soon be reversed? 

BOEM

State senators are working on a bill that would have New Hampshire spur the development of major offshore wind projects and other renewable energy in the region.

The bill comes from state Sen. David Watters, a Dover Democrat. He previewed it at a late-December meeting of a bipartisan Senate wind commission, and said the aim is to create new zero-carbon energy and bring jobs to the state.

Kate Brindley for NHPR

This past year was another of the hottest years on record in New Hampshire, as the warming trends of climate change continue -- faster in this region than many others, especially in winter. 

From January to November of 2020, New Hampshire saw its fourth-hottest average temperatures since the late 1800s, according to state climatologist and UNH associate professor Mary Stampone.

Robert Geiger / Flickr Creative Commons

Portsmouth is the first community in the state to ban some single-use plastics as of Thursday, but the city’s new rules won’t be fully enforced just yet.

The city council voted last year to bar most restaurants and businesses from distributing polystyrene cups and containers, beginning at the end of 2020.

NHPUC

The state Public Utilities Commission says it needs more time to decide on the future of New Hampshire’s energy efficiency programs, meaning no immediate changes to residents’ utility bills.

Rob_ / Flickr CC

Renewable energy advocates say they expect to be playing defense on perennial policy debates in next year’s Republican state Legislature.

/Kristoferb - Creative Commons

Energy efficiency upgrades can save money and cut back on carbon footprints. but how should much should we invest, especially during a pandemic? It’s been a big debate for N.H. utility regulators in recent weeks.  As part of  NHPR’s By Degrees climate reporting project, we unpack this issues and examine the pros and cons of greater efficiency. Should businesses and residents have to deal with up-front costs to create savings down the road? And what does this debate say about the state’s energy future?

Airdate: Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

A health-focused commission on reducing New Hampshire’s greenhouse gas emissions has finished its work with one recommendation: for the state Legislature to do more formal study of the issue next year.

Marie Sapienza via NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup

NHPR’s new climate change reporting project, By Degrees, begins in the midst of a global pandemic, mass protests against systemic racism, a presidential transition and an economic crisis. 

The incoming Biden administration has promised to combat climate change, while New Hampshire lags behind its neighbors on similar legislation. In many ways, climate change has taken a backseat as governments deal with the social and economic costs of the coronavirus.

We need your help to tell new stories about how Granite Staters are experiencing climate change at this historic moment. How has climate change affected your life, and how have you responded? In what ways are you observing climate change in New Hampshire? What questions do you have?

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