President Obama’s newly unveiled budget is making political waves…he’s pushing for publicly funded “preschool for all,” paid for with a new tax on cigarettes. Here in New Hampshire, there’s been a different kind of preschool push…toward teaching kids outside. So-called nature preschools and forest kindergartens may sound like more fun than foundational, but this approach to early learning is gaining popularity for teaching the basics, while getting kids away from screens into the wilderness.
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.
Earth Day Network has chosen “The Face of Climate Change” as the theme for 2013’s celebration on April 22. According to the group, which works with 22,000 partners in 92 countries, more than a billion people will take part in Earth Day events this year.
Available on and off since 1992, the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) has bolstered the success of many alternative energy providers. The subsidy has been extended again, but only for a year, a "here today/gone tomorrow" situation that has made it tough for companies to forge ahead with confidence.
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.
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.
Many low income or minority groups have learned to raise their voices and stand up against the discriminatory locating of hazardous waste sites, polluting factories and other sources of bad air quality and compromised waterways and soils. Pictured: an environmental justice rally in the Rogers-Eubanks community of North Carolina.
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
Some studies show organic foods to be no healthier and only marginally safer with regard to individual exposure to pesticides than non-organic foods. Nonetheless, choosing organic is a wise "better safe than sorry" strategy which also reduces pollution and conserves water and soil quality.
Many of the world’s fisheries are in crisis today due to years of overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, some of the most popular fish -- including cod (pictured here), snapper and tuna, are dangerously depleted yet continue to be overfished.
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
Governor Hassan’s is proposing the state restore funding to Environmental groups’ first priority: the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program. The $4 million dollars a year for LCHIP comes from fees tacked generated by certain real-estate transactions. It’s supposed to go into a dedicated fund used to put land and historic building into preservation.
Under RGGI, or the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, power-plants in nine Northeastern states, including New Hampshire, have had to cap carbon emissions for the past four years. Now, RGGI officials want to lower the caps, making utilities tighten up more, but there’s opposition to this in New Hampshire. We look at the arguments and what may happen next!
Grant Bosse - Lead Investigator for the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy.