The Big Cave

Bill and mansion by Bill Schlesinger America is the land of the big—Big Houses, Big Cars, Big Macs, and Big Dreams. The average new house in the U.S. has 1000…

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Recycling metals

by Bill Schlesinger Extractive industries, such as mining, are inherently unsustainable, because the crust of the Earth contains only a finite supply of metals.  In my younger days of field…

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Rethinking Biodegradable

by Bill Schlesinger As early as the 1960s, when we saw a proliferation of plastic waste in landfills and unsightly plastic cups along the roadside, we realized that some of…

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Invasive Species

Emerald ash borer by Bill Schlesinger Even a century ago, the arrival of pests and pathogens from Europe wreaked havoc on American elm and chestnut trees, leading to their near…

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The Pursuit of Happiness

by Bill Schlesinger Numerous studies link per capita energy consumption to the greater health and well-being of people in various nations worldwide.  Question is: does this correlation extend continuously from…

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Oil and water don’t mix

by Bill Schlesinger Each time an accidental spill coats thousands of seabirds with oil, worldwide opinion is galvanized against off-shore oil production.  Witness the wreck of the Exxon Valdez tanker…

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What is BECCS anyway?

by Bill Schlesinger When trees are used for biomass energy, they are first pelleted, then dried and shipped to a power plant—all energy consuming activities. When burned, all the carbon…

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Greenland Ice

by Bill Schlesinger Warming springtime temperatures bring another season of melting to the icepack on Greenland.  Containing roughly 2,850,000 km3 of ice, in some places more than 3000 m thick, Greenland…

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Forest attributes

by Bill Schlesinger When we think of tropical deforestation, we usually focus on its contributions to global climate change.  Burning is associated with deforestation, converting the carbon in the trees…

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Drugs in your drinking water

by Bill Schlesinger In the developed world, humans enjoy the benefits of a wide variety of pharmaceuticals that can regulate almost any aspect of our physiology—blood pressure, blood sugar, blood…

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