EarthTalk

Ethanol’s Unrealized Promise

Ethanol’s Unrealized Promise

Photo: Michael Cote Dear EarthTalk: I thought that putting ethanol in our gas tanks was going help fight climate change, but lately I’ve heard reports to the contrary. Can you enlighten?       –– Bill B., Hershey, PA Ethanol and similar “biofuels” made...
Antarctica’s Melting and its Impact on Coastlines

Antarctica’s Melting and its Impact on Coastlines

Researchers from NASA and UC Irvine studying ice in an area of West Antarctica roughly the size of Texas called the Amundsen Sea Embayment report a “continuous and rapid retreat” of glaciers there. They worry that, perhaps as soon as two centuries from now, the area...
Safer and More Effective Sunscreens

Safer and More Effective Sunscreens

With summer officially here now, what can you tell us about which sunscreens are safe and which are not? — Clara Rosen, New York, NY Skin cancer is by far the most common form of cancer in the United States, with more new cases each year than breast, prostate,...
Keeping Polluters out of our Neighborhoods

Keeping Polluters out of our Neighborhoods

Communities need to be vigilant about plans to site incinerators, landfills, waste transfer stations, sewage treatment plants or other toxic facilities nearby where they might threaten the health of residents. Pictured: Unwitting children play at a local waste dump....
Apple Computer’s Green Initiatives

Apple Computer’s Green Initiatives

Having brought in former Obama EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to head its environmental initiatives, Apple Computer has a new corporate headquarters under construction in Cupertino, California that will use 30 percent less energy than an equivalent conventional...
Public Transportation on the Upswing

Public Transportation on the Upswing

According to data collected by the American Public Transportation Association, Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation in 2013—the highest number since the 1950s when many fewer of us owned our own cars. Photo: Missouri Dept. of Transportation...
Earth Day 2014: Greening our Cities

Earth Day 2014: Greening our Cities

Earth Day Network hopes to galvanize the support of more than a billion people across 192 countries this Earth Day for increasing the sustainability and reducing the carbon footprints of urban areas everywhere. Photo: Matthew Rutledge/Flickr What’s going on with Earth...
Global Warming and Our Health

Global Warming and Our Health

The Union of Concerned Scientists reports that, thanks to global warming, insects previously stopped by cold winters are already moving to higher latitudes, a phenomenon that could expose an extra two billion people, mostly in developing countries, to the dengue virus...
Synthetic Biology

Synthetic Biology

Proponents of synthetic biology tout its potential for bringing about great advances in medicine, energy and cheaper foods. But health advocates worry that the risks to health and the environment may be too great. Pictured: a researcher using “synbio” to...
Wind Power’s Bright Future

Wind Power’s Bright Future

Here in the U.S., energy generated by domestic wind farms has nearly tripled in just the past four years andrepresents about a third of all new power added to the U.S. grid over the past five years. Photo: Martin Abegglen, Courtesy Flickr What is the latest prognosis...
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