Embodied Energy in Housing

Embodied Energy in Housing

Wooden house by Bill Schlesinger The housing of the world contains a lot of carbon, mostly in wood, so it is interesting to ask if this carbon stock is large enough to represent a significant removal of carbon dioxide from ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
Upon Further Reflection

Upon Further Reflection

Earth's albedo map by Bill Schlesinger Just as a Full Moon reflects the Sun’s radiation to the Earth, the Earth reflects some of the Sun’s incoming radiation to space. If you were standing on the moon, the Earth would appear ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
Carbon Dioxide and Mental Health

Carbon Dioxide and Mental Health

Carbon dioxide emissions by Bill Schlesinger With a lethal concentration for humans of about 10%, the current concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere, 0.04%, would seem to pose only a minor threat to us. Carbon dioxide poisoning has only ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
Nitrogen in Runoff

Nitrogen in Runoff

by Bill Schlesinger Among the tools of the “green revolution,” that has increased crop yields worldwide and allows us to fed nearly 8 billion people, are breeding and genetic modifications of crop plants (GMOs), pesticides, and fertilizer. Each has its ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
Can we harvest our way to a better climate?

Can we harvest our way to a better climate?

by Bill Schlesinger As many policy groups—such as Maine’s Climate Council—try to grapple with effective responses to the ongoing global changes in climate, interest has focused on harvesting vegetation as a climate-smart solution. For forests, this involves the use of ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
Airborne Plastics

Airborne Plastics

by Bill Schlesinger Futile attempt to avoid airborne plastics With some 350 million tons of plastic produced each year, it is not surprising that some of it escapes to the environment. Much of the plastic is used in products with ...
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/ / Environment, Sections
Grasping at Straws

Grasping at Straws

CO 2 rising by Bill Schlessinger In the face of the inexorable rise in atmospheric CO2, widespread observations of long-term warming trends, and intransigent policy makers in the face of the economic and political influence of the fossil fuel industry, ...
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Fracking, flowback, and fish

Fracking, flowback, and fish

by Bill Schlesinger Hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) has become a standard practice for the production of oil and gas, not just from the shale-gas areas, such as the Marcellus shale in the Northeast, but from a wide variety of situations ...
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The Science and The Anti-Science

The Science and The Anti-Science

by Bill Schlesinger Science is facing a deepening crisis in America. Despite our best efforts to increase funding for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education to train a new generation of scientists, we are seeing an increasing denial of ...
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Drought and Desertification

Drought and Desertification

by Bill Schlesinger Thirty years ago, a NASA scientist, Dave Rind, published a paper showing the enhanced likelihood of droughts with global warming. His view was prescient. Rind reasoned that with global warming the land surface would warm faster than ...
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