The Deep Carbon Cycle

The Deep Carbon Cycle

by Bill Schlesinger Within the past decade or so, the global carbon cycle has become the subject of newspaper articles, cocktail party conversation, and public policy. Most of us are aware that carbon moves between the atmosphere, land plants, and ...
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Disposal of Plastics

Disposal of Plastics

by Bill Schlesinger You don’t have to look far to see where plastic is discarded to the environment. Roadsides harbor a plethora of plastic bottles; seashores are littered with plastic fishing line and other jetsam of oceanic commerce; airborne plastics ...
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What's Out/What's In for 2023

What’s Out/What’s In for 2023

by Bill Schlesinger Motivated by a similar comparison in the Washington Post, here are my choices for what’s out and what’s in (mostly environmental) during the coming year.   Cover the right-hand column and try to guess it. Out In Plastic ...
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Arsenic and Old Lace

Arsenic and Old Lace

by Bill Schlesinger Humans extract minerals from the Earth’s crust to enhance the availability of these materials in our economy and often in the environment. For many metals, the mobilization from mining greatly exceeds the natural release of the elements ...
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Oops, here comes another consumer

Oops, here comes another consumer

by Bill Schlesinger The past week brought a mixed bag of news to my mailbox. The world’s population was estimated to have passed 8 billion folks, each with the desire to be a consumer at the level of Western economies ...
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Nicholas was risen for to pisse

Nicholas was risen for to pisse

by Bill Schlesinger (Title from Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer, circa 1385 Most of the human body that is not bone is composed of protein, each built with an array of amino acids that contain nitrogen. Reflecting the homogenization of our ...
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Fine Dining

Fine Dining

by Bill Schlesinger It is widely acknowledged that consumption of meat, particularly beef, has major negative impacts to the environment. On the other side of the grocery aisle, fruits and vegetables are thought to have much lesser impact, provided they ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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