Environment

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: How are populations of African elephants faring these days? What conservation efforts are underway and are they working?-- Libby Broullette, Salem, MA

Cody York via cloudcult.com

You may know the band cloud cult from an animated commercial that aired during the Super Bowl a few years ago. In exchange for the work, e-Surance helped fund some of the band's costs for greening the recording of album. The fact that Cloud Cult chooses deals like that--writes heart-warming songs, and travels across the country to perform for good causes--may have you wondering if they are for real. But doing good and staying positive are deeply embedded in the DNA of Cloud Cult. This evening the band will perform a live acoustic set during a yoga class at the At Om Yoga studio in Concord. It’s a benefit for a local child with pediatric cancer. I talked with Craig Minowa, singer, guitarist, and leader of Cloud Cult before they headed to New Hampshire and can say that the whole kind-hearted thing is not just PR. In fact, I told him that they are just about the least cynical indie band I can think of.

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I know that some of us are genetically predisposed to get cancer, but what are some ways we can avoid known environmental triggers for it?-- B. Northrup, Westport, MA

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What is the theme of this year’s Earth Day festivities? -- J. Worden, Austin, TX

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What is the "Production Tax Credit" and why is it so important to developing alternative renewable energy?-- Sean Gallagher, Boston, MA

Environmentalists and wind energy boosters breathed a sigh of relief this past January when Congress voted to reinstate the Production Tax Credit (PTC), a federal tax incentive for companies that generate renewable energy from wind, geothermal or “closed-loop” biomass (dedicated energy crops) sources.

Win Henderson, FEMA photo library

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine


Dear EarthTalk: What does the budget sequester that recently took hold mean for the environment?-- Jane Burgos, Los Angeles, CA

Tai Viinikka, courtesy Flickr

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine


Dear EarthTalk: I’m getting my roof redone and have heard about solar shingles. Are they available—and are they practical for the Northeast?-- John Denson, Glastonbury, CT

Cheryl Senter / NHPR

At the Seacoast Science Center at Odiorne Point in Rye, visitors learn about the science and beauty of marine life and the Gulf of Maine. Myra Sallet is a 13-year-old volunteer who particularly likes working with younger kids who come to explore.

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Mar is sea Y, courtesy Flickr

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine


Dear EarthTalk: I understand that the “environmental justice” movement seeks to protect the poor and non-white communities from being unfairly targeted to host activities like sewage treatment plants, landfills and polluting factories. Have there been notable victories? -- P. Silver, Peekskill, NY

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: There’s been a lot of coverage on the topic of organic foods and how they aren’t actually any healthier than conventional foods. Is this true? -- Gina Thompson, Salem, OR

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine


Dear EarthTalk: I understand that many of the world’s fisheries are on the brink of collapse, “fished out,” to put it bluntly. How did this happen and what is being done about it? -- Mariel LaPlante, New Orleans, LA

harry_nl, courtesy Flickr

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Has the McDonald’s restaurant chain made significant improvements in recent years with regard to the environment?                           -- Max Andria, Laval University, Quebec

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EarthTalk®

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: How are droughts and wildfires caused by global warming? I thought warming mostly brought on wet and flooded conditions. -- David Mossman, Albuquerque, NM

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

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Dear EarthTalk: What is “biomass” and why is it controversial as a potential source of energy?-- Edward White, New Bedford, MA

Biomass is plant matter that is burned as a source of energy. Fallen or cut wood that is burned for heat is one primary form of biomass, but another includes plant or animal matter that is converted into biofuels.

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: My family has bad allergies and I’d like to improve our indoor air quality. What are some steps I should take?-- Marcia Lane, Scranton, PA
 

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What is the purpose of National Wildlife Week, which I understand will take place in March 2013? -- Melissa P., Burlington, NJ

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine


Dear EarthTalk: What are some tips for keeping my dogs and cats healthy?-- Kim Newfield, via e-mail

Believe it or not, our pets may be exposed to more harsh chemicals through the course of their day than we are. Researchers at the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that pet dogs and cats were contaminated with 48 of 70 industrial chemicals tested, including 43 chemicals at levels higher than those typically found in people.

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Why is it that airplane exhaust is so much worse for the environment than engine emissions on the ground?-- Winona Sharpe, New York, NY

For nearly a decade, New Hampshire has been seeking hundreds of millions of dollars from oil companies over the chemical additive MTBE, which the state says caused contamination in the state’s groundwater. The legal proceedings originally involved 26 oil companies; as trial began this week, there were just two left, ExxonMobil and Citgo, and now there may be just one.

Joe Wolf via Flickr

EarthTalk®
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Anjum Malkana, courtesy Flickr

EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk: I’ve heard of Eco-Tourism, but what on Earth is “Geo-Tourism? -- Sally Kardaman, Sumter, SC

“Geotourism” describes tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a given place, including its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of local residents. The idea is that tourism can be a positive force that benefits both travelers and local environments and economies.

A proposed wind farm in the Newfound Lake area has once again raised familiar themes in New Hampshire: A desire for the Granite state to use more clean energy, versus local concerns over property values, as well as impacts on the environment and tourism. We’ll re-examine these arguments in light of this new proposal.

Guests

In a new book, author David Owen exposes the complexities of what it means to truly be “green”.  He says supposedly earth-friendly ideas like hybrid cars or solar panels create efficiencies which allow us to consume more!   Efficiency, Owen says, once considered the Holy Grail of our environmental problems, turns out to be part of the problem! 

Guest:

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine


Dear EarthTalk: It might seem obvious, but what would be the primary benefits of public transit as an alternative to the private automobile if our country were to make a major commitment to it?-- James Millerton, Armstrong, PA

The benefits of making a major commitment to building up and efficiently managing a larger and more comprehensive public transit network are many.

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Which are the greenest American cities, and why?        -- D. Hansen, Wichita, KS

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