May 20, 2013
A review of 12,000 papers on climate change in the May 15 issue of "Environmental Research Letters," found that 97 percent of scientists attribute climate change to human activities. Although we're unlikely to reverse climate change, we can mitigate its effects by reducing our driving, energy use, and meat consumption. Yes, meat consumption. A 2006 U.N. report estimated that meat consumption accounts for 18 percent of man-made greenhouse gases. A 2009 article in the respected World Watch magazine suggested that it may be closer to 50 percent.
May 16, 2013
Even the most jaded observer must acknowledge there's something admirable about the desire of so many living on Smith Island to see their community survive and prosper. Residents of this marshy (and shrinking in both population and real estate) archipelago on the lower Eastern Shore have had to overcome much in recent years, particularly as their chief means of livelihood, harvesting the seafood bounty of the Chesapeake Bay, has declined. But it's one thing to admire the hard work, independence and faith of Smith Island's residents - who number a mere 276, according to the 2010 Census - and it's another to deny the reality of their circumstances.
May 14, 2013
Tim Wheeler 's report on the future of Smith Island and the state's idea to buy residents out so they may relocate tells a heartbreaking story of people whose attachment to the island goes back many years, 400 years in some cases ("Smith Islanders debating a state buyout proposal," May 13). If the buyout is taken by just some residents, it may make life untenable on the island for those who want to stay. They have organized a letter-writing campaign to fight the buyout idea. It is very important to fight climate change on the local level.
May 3, 2013
To the age-old question of how many conservatives does it take to screw in a light bulb, we now have a definitive answer: Just one, but it will take him weeks to chase down a vintage incandescent bulb because he won't touch an energy-efficient one. At least that's the obvious conclusion to draw from a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, put together by researchers from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, asked hundreds of people to pass judgment on light bulb options.
April 25, 2013
I was happy to see that National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli wrote about the important activities that we, as individuals and as a society, can do to protect the environment, without once mentioning the impossible goal of "stopping climate change" ("Take back the planet," April 22). Sadly, Earth Day Network, the organization behind Earth Day, is not so practical. Their website for 2013 Earth Day focused so intensely on climate change that one would think they were promoting "Climate Day. " This is a big problem for Earth Day's future.
April 22, 2013
Today is Earth Day , a day when environmentalists and concerned citizens around the world demonstrate their caring for the health of their communities, the natural world and the planet. Forty-three years ago, the first Earth Day drew an estimated 20 million Americans into the streets, into parks and onto campuses for teach-ins and protests over environmental degradation. Organizers today claim the observance has gone global, with more than 1 billion participants. Earth Day helped launch the modern environmental movement, which provided public pressure for passage of many of the environmental laws we have today. Like the movement, its focus has shifted from fighting obvious air and water pollution to knottier issues around how and where we live, and what we consume, most notably climate change.