Molly Samuel

Molly Samuel joined WABE as a reporter in November 2014. Before coming on board, she was a science producer and reporter at KQED in San Francisco, where she won awards for her reporting on hydropower and on crude oil.

Molly was a fellow with the Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism and a journalist-in-residence at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center.

She's from Atlanta, has a degree in Ancient Greek from Oberlin College and is a co-founder of the record label True Panther Sounds.

After the Civil War, much of the South needed to be rebuilt.

One of the places that helped do that was the Chattahoochee Brick Company, owned by an Atlanta mayor and captain in the Confederate Army. It produced millions of bricks that were used in Atlanta homes and roads.

The factory is gone, but there is new focus on the people who lived and worked there, unpaid, and in horrible conditions.

Wykeisha Howe is trying to be thrifty. When her kids are uncomfortable in the sweltering Atlanta heat, she gives them freeze pops. Instead of cranking up the air conditioner, she uses a fan. Lunch and dinner are cooked at the same time, so the electric stove doesn't have to be turned on twice.

"I try my best to manage and ration out things as best as possible," she says.

How far would you go to escape the coronavirus pandemic?

The MOSAiC expedition is a big, international research project to study the warming Arctic. For a year, scientists from all over the world are taking turns living on a German icebreaker that's frozen into an ice floe while the ship drifts across the Arctic Ocean.

"So, looking around me from the ship's bridge, I can see the ice stretching away to the horizon in every direction," says Chris Marsay, a research associate at the University of Georgia.

The view from the mainland in coastal Georgia is mostly miles of salt marsh and barrier islands, shore birds hunting in the mud, shrimp boats traveling the Intracoastal Waterway.

Since September, from the coastal city of Brunswick, the view has also featured the Golden Ray.

The cargo ship capsized as it was leaving the Port of Brunswick, heading for Baltimore with 4,200 new cars on board. The cause is still under investigation.

Now, crews are beginning work to eventually remove the ship, but getting rid of such a giant wreck is complicated.

Winters are warming faster than other seasons across much of the United States. While that may sound like a welcome change for those bundled in scarves and hats, it's causing a cascade of unpredictable impacts in communities across the country.

Temperatures continue to steadily rise around the globe, but that trend isn't spread evenly across the map or even the yearly calendar.

Two years ago, Atlanta was widely lauded when it committed to have all homes, businesses and city operations rely largely on renewable energy in coming decades. It was part of a wave of cities responding to more intense flooding, heat and storms, and setting ambitious goals to tackle climate change even as the Trump administration ignores the issue.

Gopher tortoises are big, dry, wrinkly reptiles that dig burrows underground in the parts of Georgia where the soil is sandy, down south and near the coast.

To the people who study them, they're "cute," "quite personable," and "just a great little critter."

To the 350-or-so other species of animals that use their burrows, they're property developers.

To businesses, they're a potential problem. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering protecting gopher tortoises under the Endangered Species Act, and that could mean red tape and additional costs.

A decade ago, utility executives and policymakers dreamed of a clean energy future powered by a new generation of cheap, safe nuclear reactors. Projects to expand existing nuclear plants in South Carolina and Georgia were supposed to be the start of the "nuclear renaissance."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This was a record-breaking year for rooftop solar power. It's booming across the country. But as more homeowners make their own power, electric utilities are making less money, and that's shaking up their business model.

Utilities in two states — California and Georgia — are handling the growth of solar in dramatically different ways.

Matt Brown recently got solar panels on his Oakland, Calif., home, but it's dark out right now — his panels aren't working. So Brown's appliances are running on electricity he's buying from his utility, Pacific Gas & Electric.

Copyright 2019 WABE 90.1. To see more, visit WABE 90.1.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: