Generations ago, when people lived closer to the natural world, more outdoors than in, mild October days were called "bluebird weather. "The eastern bluebirds' gentle, quizzical notes were familiar and their distinctive habits recognized. A bluebird family remains together this time of year when most other bird species disperse. They favor field or open habitat, and typically perch on branches at field edge when they feed. Family members take turns dropping down to the ground then return to perch, one after another, most likely in pursuit of grasshopper or cricket.
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.
Credit Evan Gregg / Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
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?
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.
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.
Most of us assume that all we need do to prevent sunburns and skin cancer from exposure to the sun is to slather on sunscreen. But consumers should be careful about which sunscreens they trust for themselves and, even more important, for their kids.
Biofuels (or agrofuels) can be a carbon-neutral energy source, but the overall process of producing them is far from carbon neutral, given the substantial amount of fossil fuels expended in growing, harvesting, processing and distributing them.
The Bicknell’s thrush is a migratory songbird that winters in the Caribbean but comes to northern New England to breed.
It's long been hard to find in the region – and conservationists say that’s becoming a big problem. In fact, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week it’s considering the Bicknell’s thrush for endangered species status.
We talk with Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward Humes about his new book, Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash. Americans are at the top of the heap for producing waste: over 100 tons per person in a lifetime.
Humes explores why we make so much garbage, the environmental and economic impact of trash…and why he believes this is a problem ordinary people can fix.
Dear EarthTalk: Do environmentalists think the Endangered Species Act has been a success or failure with regard to protecting biodiversity in the U.S.?-- Ron McKnight, Trenton, NJ
While that very question has been a subject of debate already for decades, most environmental advocates are thankful such legislation is in place and proud of their government for upholding such high standards when it comes to preserving rare species of plants and animals.
With a link between extreme weather and rising greenhouse gases, two thoughts are emerging. Many environmentalists say we should work toward mitigating greenhouse gases but others suggest the problems are irreversible and so we have to adapt to inevitable change. But for some this idea is uncomfortable. They worry that adaptation means giving up. Today we look at these two different thoughts around climate change and see where we go from here.