Now, tomorrow President Obama delivers his State of the Union address, and may well discuss energy, as he did four years ago. But energy analyst Sarah Ladislaw says a daunting goal is getting trickier.
SARAH LADISLAW: This administration did not come in with small plans for energy markets or for energy policy. Their big plan was to try and de-carbonize the energy sector.
INSKEEP: Reduce carbon emissions by relying less on coal, oil and gas.
LADISLAW: Primarily done for the purpose of battling climate change.
Plosky Tolbachnik volcano erupts in Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula on Jan. 6, 2013. It's not a so-called "super volcano," but every million years or so scientists say the Earth burps up volcanoes that can erupt for thousands of years.
Credit Alexander Petrov / AP
A hot spring at Yellowstone National Park. The super volcano that lurks below Yellowstone has blown its top three times in the past 2 million years.
Every few million years or so, the Earth burps up a gargantuan volcano.
These aren't like volcanoes in our lifetimes; these "super volcanoes" can erupt continuously for thousands of years. While they might be rare, you'd best look out when one hits.
The ash and volcanic gases from these volcanoes can wipe out most living things over large parts of the planet. Michael Thorne, a seismologist at the University of Utah, has some clues about what causes these big eruptions.
It sounds like a horror story: Every few years, usually in the winter months, residents of the town of Leesburg, Va., come home from work to find their backyards overrun with turkey vultures. Not just a few birds, but hundreds of them. Everywhere.
Lt. Jeff Dube is with the town's police department. For a whole week, he spent every evening driving around town, looking for the latest vulture hotspots.
"They like Leesburg. There's really no rhyme or reason. Every three to five years they come back en mass, like this year, 2- to 300," Dube says.