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EarthTalk
11:48 am
Wed September 12, 2012

How Safe Is Cat Litter

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.
BananaStock/Thinkstock

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

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EarthTalk
11:47 am
Wed September 12, 2012

American Consumption Habits

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.
Comstock/Thinkstock

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine


Dear EarthTalk: I read that a single child born in the U.S. has a greater effect on the environment than a dozen children born in a developing country? Can you explain why?   

-- Josh C., via e-mail

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Something Wild
12:00 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Hawks Aloft

Ned Harris via Flickr/Creative Commons" href="/post/hawks-aloft" class="noexit lightbox">
Courtesy Ned Harris via Flickr/Creative Commons

Once again, it's broad-winged hawk migration time. Whirpools of hawks soon will fill the sky, riding high on thermal lift as sun warms earth. When lift plays out they stream south in an orderly, and countable, procession.

New Hampshire Audubon does just that - count the hawks - at Carter Hill Orchard in Concord and atop Pack Monadnock at Miller State Park in Peterborough.

Here's what Henry Walters, the official counter at Pack Monadnock, wrote two years ago on September 18:

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EarthTalk
3:53 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Safer Sunscreens

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.
Fuse Thinkstock

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

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Blogs
3:51 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Baggage-laden Biofuels

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.
Hemera collection

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

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Something Wild
5:22 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Hover Flies

Hope Abrams, via Flickr Creative Commons

While hiking on Mount Monadnock this summer, I witnessed an odd phenomenon: nearly-motionless hovering insects with orange-yellow stripes over a dark body suggesting wasps or bees. The tight aerial formation of insects hovered at eye level in a shaft of sunlight over the trail.

The “Hover Flies” - sometimes called “Flower Flies” - belong to a LARGE group in the Order “Diptera” (the true flies). Those in the Family “Syrphidae” have only one pair of wings. All wasps and bees have two pairs of wings.

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All Things Considered
5:41 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

A Rare New England Bird May Actually Be Endangered

The Bicknell's thrush nests in mountain areas which are often tough for humans to cross, so they're not often seen by birders.
dickmfield via Flickr/Creative Commons - http://www.flickr.com/photos/dickmfield/5797669735/in/photostream/

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.

The Exchange
8:51 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash (REBROADCAST)

Anders V/ Flickrs Creative Commons

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.

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Something Wild
12:00 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Shorebird Migration

Flickr Creative Commons

The autumn shorebird migration starts early. The first signs of autumn are now found moving southward along beaches and in salt marshes or high above New Hampshire's 13 miles of Atlantic coast. 

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EarthTalk
10:58 am
Mon August 13, 2012

What Can We Do to Reduce Our Light Footprint?

The federally funded National Optical Astronomy Observatory reports that poorly-aimed, unshielded outdoor lights waste 17.4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in the U.S. each year.
Brand X Pictures

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Has anyone calculated the energy wasted at night by unnecessary lighting in and around buildings? What can we do to reduce our light footprint?       -- Bill Rehkamp, via e-mail

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Something Wild
12:00 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Not So Common Nighthawks

Photo Courtesy Lillian Stokes

In mid-August, one of the most elegant and least known migration flights begins. Common nighthawks, a long-distance migrant, are one of the earliest to depart their northern breeding grounds. Despite their species name, they aren't hawks and they aren't nocturnal. And, alas, they no longer are common. Nighthawks are crepuscular, a great word for the handful of species that are most active at dawn and dusk.

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EarthTalk
12:00 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Will Mt. St. Helens Become a National Park?

iStock Photo

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What ever happened to the idea of turning Mt. St. Helens into a national park? -- Esther Monaghan, Boston, MA

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EarthTalk
12:00 am
Sun August 5, 2012

The Endangered Species Act -- Success or Failure?

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

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.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Mitigation or Adaption?

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.

Guests

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Inspired Lives
7:00 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Inspired Lives: David Carroll

Turtle Nesting in Moonlight
David Carroll, courtesy of the artist

Naturalist-artist David M. Carroll is the author of three acclaimed natural histories.  Swampwalker's Journal, for which he received the John Burroughs medal for distinguished nature writing, The Year of the Turtle, and Trout Reflections. David graduated from the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University, and received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of New Hampshire and an Honorary Masters in Environmental Science from New England College. In 2006 he was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.

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