EarthTalk

A Nuclear Power Resurgence?

A Nuclear Power Resurgence?

I thought Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown would have sealed nuclear power’s fate, but I keep hearing otherwise. Can you enlighten? — Jacob Allen, New York, NY The 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster did cause many nations to reconsider their nuclear...
Smart Thermostats

Smart Thermostats

Will I really be able to save money and energy in the long run by shelling out hundreds of dollars now for a so-called “smart” thermostat? — Bill Cone, Aptos, CA Spending $200 or more to replace that older, still functioning thermostat with a new whiz-bang...
America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

What is the Obama administration’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative and what does it hope to accomplish? — Doug St. James, New York, NY President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum in April 2010 establishing the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to...
Ocean Sprawl

Ocean Sprawl

I recently heard the term “ocean sprawl,” which was a new one on me. We all know “sprawl” as it manifests itself above sea level. But in the oceans? Can you enlighten? — Bill Chadwick, Nantucket, MA We are all familiar by now with “urban sprawl”—the uncontrolled...
Cheaper Natural Gas Lowering Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Cheaper Natural Gas Lowering Carbon Dioxide Emissions

How can it be that carbon dioxide emissions are the lowest they have been in the United States in 20 years despite the fact that we have no binding federal legislation limiting them? — Jason Johnson, Port Chester, NY Carbon dioxide emissions are indeed lower...
Greener Holidays

Greener Holidays

What are some ideas for being greener this holiday season? — Beth Livingston, Camden, NJ While the holidays are festive and fun, they can take a toll on the environment. All that shopping, decoration, food preparation and travel adds up to more carbon emissions...
Navy Sonar Testing in Oceans Impacting Marine Mammals

Navy Sonar Testing in Oceans Impacting Marine Mammals

I understand the Navy is doing sonar testing and training in the oceans and that their activities will likely kill hundreds if not thousands of whales and other marine mammals. What can be done to stop this? — Jackie Bomgardner, Wilton, CT Active sonar is a...
Protecting Private Lands

Protecting Private Lands

While working to protect public land from resource extraction and development seems to be the focus of many environmental groups, what is being done to preserve and protect private property—the majority of our land—across the country? — Jim Friedland, Bath, ME...
Pollution Inside Cars

Pollution Inside Cars

Can you discuss pollutants in car interior materials, and also pollution inside cars originating from gasoline and diesel exhausts outside the car? — Mervyn Kline, Philadelphia, PA The interior of your car may seem like a safe haven from air pollution, but it...
Reducing Waste in Retail Store Operations

Reducing Waste in Retail Store Operations

I work for the Gap and know firsthand the amount of waste that’s produced at my store. Can you suggest ways retail stores can reduce waste? And how can I get a conversation started with the people upstairs about recycling and being less wasteful? — Name...