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KUOW's environment beat brings you stories on the ongoing cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, alternative energy, the health of the Puget Sound, coal transportation and more. We're also partnered with several stations across the Northwest to bring you environmental news via EarthFix.

A Conversation With Al Gore

Al Gore
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Al Gore has been delving into the future. The former vice president and media mogul (he just sold his Current TV network to Al-Jazeera English) says we are at the dawn of a new era.

In his new book, “The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change,” he takes an in-depth look at major shifts occurring in the world: globalization linked to automation and digital connections that are shaping a world where fewer workers are needed; population growth coinciding with a widening gulf between the haves and have-nots; new biological breakthroughs that are bringing humans into control of evolution.

Gore says our short-term focus on growth is running into a disruption of the relationship people have with the Earth’s natural systems, and he doesn’t offer easy solutions.

Also this hour: Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet is in New York City this week to perform works by choreographer George Balanchine, staged by former PNB Artistic Director Francia Russell. Marcie Sillman brings us a look at what it means to stage a ballet and how Russell became one of the world’s experts.