Three people next to passive solar house
Environment Northwest Lifestyles

Is passive solar a good house option?

Caption: Dr. Wolfgang Feist and family pose in front of the world’s first passive solar house, constructed in 1991 in Darmstadt, Germany. Credit: International Passive House Association. Dear EarthTalk: What is a so-called “passive solar” house and can I retrofit my existing house accordingly?— Bill C., Raleigh, NC A passive solar house is typically designed […]

Texas windmills
Environment Northwest Lifestyles

Texas storm Uri is renewable energy wake-up call

Caption: Wind power provides a small fraction of electricity in Texas; frozen natural gas lines caused the state’s power grid to go down recently. Credit: Athena, pexels. Dear EarthTalk: Were frozen wind turbines the reason for Texas’ historic power outages recently? If so, how can we make renewables more reliable moving forward?— G. S., Hartford, […]

Colorful earth model
Environment

Climate models help predict climate change trends

Caption: The paint-like swirls of this visualization from Los Alamos National Laboratory depict global water-surface temperatures, with the cooler temperatures designated by blues and warmer temperatures by reds, as delineated by recent climate modeling efforts. Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory, FlickrCC. Dear EarthTalk: How does climate modeling work? What is the state-of-the-art in the field […]

Bumblebee on red flower
Environment

Climate change speeds bumblebee decline

Caption: American bumblebee numbers have fallen by 89% over the last two decades across the U.S., and conservationists want the Biden administration to add this little flying stinger to the Endangered Species List. Credit: James Johnston, FlickrCC. Dear EarthTalk: How are bee population numbers doing these days?– B. Turner, via e-mail Whether you’ve noticed it […]

Man with hands on head
Environment

Is global warming making us dumber?

Caption: Could all the greenhouse gases we’re pumping into the atmosphere be compromising our ability to think straight? Credit: Pexels.com. Dear EarthTalk: Is there scientific basis to the assertion that global warming is affecting our ability to make decisions and lowering our collective intelligence?— P.D., Sacramento, CA As we continue to pump carbon dioxide (CO2) […]

two bison grazing in field
Environment

‘Field of Dreams” ecology not so dreamy

Caption: Researchers studying Tallgrass prairie restoration at Illinois’ Nachusa Preserve found that reintroducing Bison there ended up bringing back other native wildlife much faster than merely reseeding bunchgrasses. Credit: Ralph Earlandson, FlickrCC. Dear EarthTalk: What is the “Field of Dreams” ecology restoration theory? — Mary W., Austin, TX The “Field of Dreams” hypothesis is a […]

Blue river and forest
Environment Oregon Outdoor Activities

Should rivers have legal rights?

Caption: In 2019, the Yurok Tribe granted personhood to Northern California’s Klamath River, giving the waterway the same legal rights as a human, — at least under tribal law. Credit: Bob Wick, BLM, FlickrCC. Dear EarthTalk: Should rivers be given the same legal rights as people in order to protect them? — Phyllis T., New […]

Brown Grizzly bear in river
Environment Washington

Grizzly bears face uphill battle

Caption: Grizzly bears used to be fairly common across the American West, but these days only a few thousand of the majestic creatures roam free in and around Yellowstone National Park and Washington’s North Cascades. Credit: Pixabay. Dear EarthTalk: What’s the latest on efforts to reintroduce Grizzly bears back to the Lower 48?— J. Whitaker, […]

President Joe Biden
Environment

Can Biden undo Trump’s environmental harm?

Caption: Some of the 11th hour environmental rule changes are easier to undo than others, but Joe Biden will take them one at a time. Credit: jlhervàs, FlickrCC. Dear EarthTalk: What are some of the last minute changes the Trump administration has wrought that are hurting the environment and efforts to battle global warming? And […]

Man with ying yang shirt
Economy Environment Northwest Lifestyles Washington

JUNGMAVEN makes hemp part of pollution solution

Caption: The Yin Yang Basic Tee is printed on light weight basic tee for a vintage feel. JUNGMAVEN grew out of these roots of simplicity and sustainability. In the early ’90’s JUNGMAVEN founder, Robert Jungmann, who is based in Vancouver, Washington, became passionate about putting a stop to clear-cutting practices that devastate the planet– and […]