Economy and Policy
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/EW-03-23-12-Ecosystem-Services.mp3|titles=EW 03-23-12 Ecosystem Services]
Briefly, ecosystem services are things that nature does for us that have a real dollar value. Some, such as providing food and timber, are obvious. When queuing up at our local supermarket or bookstore, the goods we are buying are products of agriculture and forestry. [Read more…] about Ecologists are talking about ecosystem services – but what do they mean?
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/EW-03-21-12-Wild-Boars.mp3|titles=EW 03-21-12 Wild Boars]
Wild boars are a problem in more than twenty states. These invasive animals are prolific breeders with voracious appetites. They cause tremendous damage to crops and native plant communities and they spread diseases, such as pseudorabies, from feral hogs to domestic livestock. [Read more…] about Rethinking wild boars
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/EW-03-20-12-Climate-Denial.mp3|titles=EW 03-20-12 Climate Denial]
A number of Presidential candidates are trying to cast doubt on the reality of climate change. Some point to a handful of weather stations that have seen little change in temperature, despite the thousands of others that have recorded increases. [Read more…] about Denial: It’s not just a river in Egypt anymore
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/EW-03-15-12-Mtn-Top-Removal.mp3|titles=EW 03-15-12 Mtn Top Removal]
When we turn on the air conditioner this summer, few of us will think about mountain forests and the streams that drain them. We simply want to be cool. But, air conditioning comes at a cost to the central Appalachian Mountains. [Read more…] about Somewhere in West Virginia, a mountain is missing its top
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/EW-03-13-12-Nanoparticles.mp3|titles=EW 03-13-12 Nanoparticles]
Like it or not, we have entered the world of nanotechnology. Less than 1/3 of a micron in length, nano-particles are miniscule. On the surface of clothing, they can prevent stains and wrinkles; on bandages, they impart antimicrobial properties. [Read more…] about It’s a small world out there
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/EW-03-09-12-Acid-Rain.mp3|titles=EW 03-09-12 Acid Rain]
Every now and then I run into someone who believes that acid rain is a hoax. No use in pointing out that the rain in the eastern United States is more acidic than the rain in California—an area not downwind of major power plants. [Read more…] about Acidity: it’s just not good for forests
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/EW-03-08-12-Cooling-Trees.mp3|titles=EW 03-08-12 Cooling Trees]
During the summer, it’s no surprise that suburban areas with trees seem cooler than urban pavement. Many cities, including New York City, are promoting tree-planting programs to benefit from the natural cooling that trees provide. [Read more…] about Are trees nature’s air conditioner?
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/EW-03-06-12-Metal-Recycling.mp3|titles=EW 03-06-12 Metal Recycling]
Last month, the EPA issued several violations to one of the company’s California plants. The facility, located on the Port of Redwood City, converts discarded cars and appliances into scrap metal that is sold to China. [Read more…] about The dirty business of metal recycling
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/EW-03-02-12-Flame-Retardants-.mp3|titles=EW 03-02-12 Flame Retardants]
Few of us are familiar with polybrominated diphenyl ethers. They’re not in your spice or medicine cabinet, and you’re not likely to find them among the garden chemicals in your garage. But, if you have a sofa, a laptop, or a TV, they are in your house. [Read more…] about Do we need to retard the rush to flame retardants?
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/EW-02-27-12-Military.mp3|titles=EW 02-27-12 Military]
Some political candidates vehemently deny global climate change. And several conservative think-tanks have an agenda focused on discrediting the scientific evidence for human effects on climate. But deep inside the U.S. Pentagon, officials take climate change very seriously. [Read more…] about What do the generals know that we don’t?
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/EW-02-23-12-Fisheries.mp3|titles=EW 02-23-12 Fisheries]
The ocean looks like it did when we were kids, with waters that seem endless, as they must have appeared to the first explorers of North America. But with an average depth of two miles, the ocean hides its secrets. [Read more…] about The devil in the deep blue sea
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/EW-02-22-12-Photovoltaics.mp3|titles=EW 02-22-12 Photovoltaics]
Amongst the flurry of depressing news about the environment, there is a bright spot—solar power. Solar comes in two forms: thermal—where sunlight heats water, and photovoltaic—where sunlight is converted to electricity. [Read more…] about Good morning sunshine
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/EW-02-15-12-Mercury.mp3|titles=EW 02-15-12 Mercury]
In the Northeast, many ponds — and the fish that live in them — have high concentrations of mercury. Mercury has a long-history as an element toxic to humans, extending at least to the days of Shakespeare. It’s found naturally in the environment, so where do excessive concentrations of mercury come from? [Read more…] about Mercury: It’s not just in thermometers anymore
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/EW-02-09-12-Ocean-Acidification.mp3|titles=EW 02-09-12 Ocean Acidification]
Earth is called “the blue planet” because oceans cover more than 70% of its surface. Oceans affect weather and temperature and are home to a diversity of marine life.
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/EW-01-31-12-Microbial-Fuel.mp3|titles=EW 01-31-12 Microbial Fuel]
For most of us, the word “micro-organism” takes us back to high school biology lab. At the time, few of us knew that the bacteria swimming under our microscopes were powerhouses that could be harnessed to create energy. [Read more…] about The next generation of electricity might be powered by wastewater
[audio:http://wamcradio.org/EarthWise/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/EW-1-16-12-PopulationGrowth.mp3|titles=EW 1-16-12 PopulationGrowth]
The world’s population is growing, but resource supply isn’t. [Read more…] about The Other One Percent