Environment

Tiggywinkle via Flickr Creative Commons

If you want to learn about the earth, you’re gonna have to get your hands dirty.   That’s the philosophy of environmental educator David Sobel: senior faculty member at Antioch University New England, and author of the book "Beyond Ecophobia".

USDA

EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk: I couldn’t believe my ears: “genetically engineered mosquitoes?” Why on Earth would they be created? And I understand there are plans to release them into the wild? -- Marissa Abingdon, Sumter, SC

Thjurexoell

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Dear EarthTalk:Commercial whaling was banned around the world years ago, but some nations continue to hunt whales. Why is this and what’s being done about it? -- Jackie O’Neill, Hershey, PA

The Future of Great Bay

Jul 23, 2012
Conservation Law Foundation

Often called New Hampshire’s “hidden coast, the Great Bay is considered an estuary of national significance. Yet, its future seems in question both because pollution has taken a toll on its ecosystem and because nearby communities, activists, and officials can’t agree on how best to eradicate it, even as all realize something must be done. We'll look at the Great Bay debate and see if some sort of compromise can be made?

Guests

Photos.com

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Dear EarthTalk: Has an alternative to air conditioning to keep rooms cool been invented that is significantly cheaper and/or that uses significantly less energy than traditional air conditioning?--Ashutosh Saxena, Allahabad, India

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EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk: I was appalled by the pollution haze I saw on a recent visit to Acadia National Park in Maine, and was told by a ranger that it was from smokestacks and tailpipes hundreds of miles away. Is anything being done to clear the air in Acadia and other natural areas where people go to breathe fresh air and enjoy distant unobstructed views?-- Betty Estason, via e-mail

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EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk:We’ve been hearing for years how producing red meat is bad for the environment while consuming it is bad for our health. How do other types of meat, fish, dairy and vegetable proteins stack up in terms of environmental and health impacts? -- Julia Saperstein, via e-mail

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EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk: Why were some environmental websites blacked out all day back on June 4? Was this some sort of protest, or did they get hacked? -- Ned Cooper, Detroit, MI

"Socially Responsible", its a catchword used by many businesses these days whether they want to promote their environmental friendliness, political awareness or by the way they treat their employees.  "We talk to the author of a new book who says there are many issues to consider when deeming a business socially responsible, both for the consumer and for the companies themselves. In some cases, there are uncomfortable tradeoffs, it’s nearly impossible to fulfill every ideal. And then there’s making a profit still a necessity, even if you’re eco-friendly.

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Matti Mattila via Flickr Creative Commons

 

How energy efficient is the Granite State? A new reports says not very, at least in terms of our buildings. Three years after Governor Lynch issued a Climate Action Plan, which included a call for more efficient homes and offices, UNH researchers find the state is way behind where it had hoped to be. We're examining what the problems are, as well as the prospects for future improvement.

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Wolfram Burner, courtesy Flickr

EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk: Is there any environmental risk from all that Japanese tsunami debris that is starting to wash up on the U.S. west coast? -- Bailey Thigerson, Seattle, WA

 

LA Wad, courtesy Flickr

EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk: I recently saw an article extolling the virtues of natural gas as an abundant, inexpensive and domestically produced automotive fuel. Is this going to be the automotive fuel of the future and how green is it? -- Jason Kincaide, New Bedford, MA

 

Yesterday, in a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to uphold most of President Obama's signature health care law.  The decision came with mixed reactions in New Hampshire. Some applauded the ruling while others plotted political revenge. Both Democrats and Republicans have called it a political 'leg up' for their hopes in November, but only time will tell who is right?  Today we'll look at this decision, how it will affect Granite Staters and how it may play out politically both nationally and here in New Hampshire.

Guests

Thinkstock

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Thinkstock

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Dear EarthTalk: Renewable energy production in the solar and wind markets currently receives about $7 billion in government subsidies annually, but is still not competitive against fossil fuels on a large scale. To what extent should the U.S. continue to prop up these industries as they compete against dirty energy?-- Jack Morgan, Richmond, VA

 

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EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk: The term “sustainable communities” gets bantered around quite a bit today. Could you define it for me?-- Holly Parker, Mechanicsburg, PA

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Dear EarthTalk: Iunderstand the Environmental Protection Agency recently took steps to limit pollution from power plants. What are the details?-- Maddie Samberg, via e-mail

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Dear EarthTalk: Diesel exhaust from trucks, buses, large ships and farm equipment is especially unhealthy. What progress has been made in curbing diesel pollution?-- Jackie Mitchell, Barre, MA

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EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk: I own a small business and would like to do what I can to minimize its impact on the environment. Can you help me?-- Jacob Levinson, New York, NY

 

Pesticide Action Network

EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk: How do I learn about what pesticides may be on the food I eat? -- Beatrice Olson, Cleveland, OH

Along with the rise in the popularity of organic food has come an increased awareness about the dangers lurking on so-called “conventionally produced” (that is, with chemical pesticides and fertilizers) foods.

Silent Spring

Jun 1, 2012

Fifty years ago, Rachel Carson's book, "Silent Spring", woke the world up to the perils of chemicals that promised food crops free of disease and insects, and time outdoors free of mosquitoes. The book is credited with starting the modern environmental movement. It was the birdwatchers that first alerted the scientists about robins literally falling from the sky soon after DDT was sprayed, as well as longer-term declines in birds higher on the food chain.

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Dear EarthTalk: I understand there is good news about the recovery of bird species like the Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle and others owed to the 1972 ban on DDT. Can you explain? -- Mildred Eastover, Bath, ME

U.S. Coast Guard

EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk: I’ve seen a lot of warm and fuzzy TV ads, some sponsored by BP Oil, urging me to vacation in the Gulf of Mexico. But are things really “back to normal?”    --Paul Shea, Dublin, OH

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EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk: Lead was long ago phased out of automobile gasoline, but it is still in aviation fuel and is now the largest source of lead emissions in the U.S. What’s being done?    -- L. Eber, Rye, NY

 

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Dear EarthTalk: I understand there is an effort underway to allow all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, motorbikes, motorboats and other motorized vehicles into wilderness areas, which would overturn a long-standing ban. What’s behind this?              -- Harry Schilling, Tempe, AZ

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EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk: How do green groups feel about the new 2012 Farm Bill draft recently released by the Senate? -- Roger Wheeler, Miami, FL

 

Like so much of the legislation coming out of Washington, D.C., green groups are mixed on the new Farm Bill now making its way toward a floor vote. No doubt there are some conservation bright spots in the bill, but the question is: Are there enough and do they go far enough?

 A decade ago, few people were talking about sustainability, especially in the South Bronx. It was there that Majora Carter founded programs for green-collar jobs, spearheaded policy changes, and helped transform a toxic dump into a riverside park. From a local movement to “green the ghetto,” she has inspired people across the nation to secure the environmental, educational and economic futures of their own communities.

Recently, several communities have voted to ban bottled water in their towns,  citing concerns over plastic waste and environmental impact.  But a backlash is also emerging from those who say singling out water is silly,  given the many other sources of packaging that are just as harmful and that these efforts are “all wet”.

Guests:

International Fairtrade Certification Mark

EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk: What is the “Fair Trade Your Supermarket” campaign? -- Brian Howley, Washington, DC

Tom MacKensie, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

EarthTalk®
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Dear EarthTalk: The oil industry is planning what some call a dangerous strategy of drilling for oil on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Arctic Ocean. What’s going on?   -- Vera Bailey, New Hope, PA

 

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