The Big Cave

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 square feet (93 m2) per occupant. Other world citizens get ...
Read More
Recycling metals

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 work in the Southwest, I was appalled at the environmental ...
Read More
/ / Environment, Sections
Rethinking Biodegradable

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 these products were never going to break down. Less obvious ...
Read More
/ / Environment, Sections
Invasive Species

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 extinction in many areas of the eastern forests. In the ...
Read More
The Pursuit of Happiness

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 impoverished nations to well-developed nations, whose primary energy consumption may ...
Read More
Oil and water don’t mix

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 in Alaska and British Petroleum’s blowout at its Deepwater Horizon ...
Read More
What is BECCS anyway?

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 they contain is emitted to the atmosphere, essentially immediately. The ...
Read More
Greenland Ice

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 harbors the second largest ice mass on Earth—the largest being ...
Read More
Forest attributes

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 to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  Deforestation, largely in the ...
Read More
Drugs in your drinking water

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 cholesterol, ovulation, anxiety, and headache.  Last night, I even saw ...
Read More
Close Menu