Dear EarthTalk: I have heard that fracking is becoming a major environmental issue in the U.S. Which parts of the country are already hosting fracking operations? Are there efforts underway to stop the practice in specific states or across the country?
According to the Center for Biological Diversity, lead is an extremely toxic element that is entering the food chain through widespread use of lead hunting ammunition and fishing tackle, poisoning wildlife and even threatening human health.
Credit Evan Gregg / Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
In May 2012 the Obama administration designated the Connecticut River and its 7.2 million-acre watershed as the first segment of a new National Blueways System. Pictured: The Connecticut River in Franklin County, Massachusetts.
Dear EarthTalk: The federal government recently designated the Connecticut River watershed as the nation’s first “National Blueway.” What is a National Blueway and does such a designation come with any funding for conservation or other purposes?
Dear EarthTalk: The world added its seven-billionth person in 2011, but the news came and went quickly while Charlie Sheen news kept on and on. But isn’t population growth the “elephant in the room” that needs serious attention? Can you outline the major impacts of unchecked population growth and what if anything is being done to try to arrest it? -- Aaron Rodriguez, Tucson, AZ
Dear EarthTalk: In recent years the hotel industry began to green up operations, but has it yet gone beyond leaving out little cards to encourage you to re-use your towels and linens?-- Mason Singer, St. Louis, MO
Green Scissors was launched to call attention to programs that both harm the environment and waste tax dollars, including environmentally damaging public lands, water projects, agricultural and fossil fuel subsidies.
The Natural Resources Defense Council launched its BioGems Initiative in an effort to safeguard special places that face an imminent threat of destruction, such as pristine coastlines, old forests, unspoiled habitats and the wildlife that thrive in them.
Many cat litters contain significant amounts of silica dust, chemical fragrances and, in "clumping" cat litters, sodium bentonite clay, derived from destructive strip mining and can cause gastrointestinal distress in cats that can lead to death.
With less than 5 percent of world population, the U.S. uses a third of the world’s paper, a quarter of the oil, coal and aluminum, and 19 percent of the copper. The U.S. ranks highest by a considerable margin in most consumer categories as well.