How Climate Change Is Affecting Kentucky's Coal Country


On this West Virginia Morning, Kentucky and West Virginia are among the states with the highest emissions of carbon dioxide per person. They also helped to block the federal government’s most ambitious effort to fight climate change.

Now, an analysis from the Center for Public Integrity finds that those two states were among the ones most often hit by natural disasters during the past decade. Scientists warn that a warming climate makes extreme weather – and disasters such as flash flooding – more likely.

Reporter Sydney Boles takes us to Pike County, in Kentucky’s coal country, where vulnerable communities have suffered repeated flooding. It’s a place where coal politics, climate policy and catastrophe all connect.

Also on today’s show, it’s the time of year when people who love apples celebrate. Pennsylvania is the nation’s fourth largest apple producer, but there’s a new threat to the U.S.’s annual $4 billion apple industry – it’s called Rapid Apple Decline, or RAD, and it has researchers stumped.

West Virginia’s largest apple producers aren’t experiencing this decline, but in Pennsylvania, it’s been a big problem. The Allegheny Front’s Julie Grant reports researchers are trying to find out what’s causing it.

And this week, as we approach Halloween, we have a few tales and legends that you, our listeners, have shared with us. John Kincaid, who lives in Putnam County, West Virginia, and he shares a story he wrote about an event that happened when he was growing up in Fayette County, West Virginia.

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Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.