Issues of the Environment

Wednesdays during Morning Edition
Ticks
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Did you know the summer of 2016 was the first in which Lyme disease is thought to have originated in Washtenaw County?  It was.  Now, 2017 is predicted to be a particularly bad year for ticks.  In this week’s edition of WEMU’s "Issues of the Environment," David Fair explores why that is and what you can do about it with a medical entomologist from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.


Mute Swan
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Anytime a governmental unit authorizes lethal measures as a way to control animal population, there are those in the human population that get upset.  Such is the case of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources management plan for Mute Swans in Michigan.  On last week’s “Issues of the Environment,” David Fair discussed the state action plan with Holly Vaughn of the Michigan DNR.  This week, he talks with John Griffin, Director of Urban Wildlife at The Humane Society of the United States, for an alternative viewpoint.  


Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Swans on a lake are typically a beautiful sight, but one breed of swan has been disrupting Michigan's ecosystem.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Holly Vaughn, Wildlife Communications Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, about the management of invasive mute swans.


Gerald Anderson
DTE Energy Co. / dteenergy.com

Coal remains an important component of Michigan’s energy mix.  That is changing and, in the foreseeable future, the use of coal is likely to become obsolete.  In this week’s "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair explores the energy future in a two-part conversation with DTE Energy chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson.


Washtenaw County Public Health / www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/public_health/

Recent events in our community, like the Ann Arbor area’s 1,4-dioxane plume, have increased residents’ awareness of – and concern about – the chemicals companies use.  While many state and federal regulations may exist that govern chemical storage and manufacturing, these regulations generally do not involve an onsite inspection component.  As a result, the programs are enforced on a complaint basis or incident, after the fact.  In this week’s "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair talks with Kristen Schweighoefer,  Environmental Health Director for Washtenaw County Public Health, about 25 years of effort to manage these issues in Washtenaw County.


Washing Hands
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Melissa Cooper-Sargent, Green Living Resources Director for the Ecology Center, about the environmental and health risks of using antibacterial soap.


There are roughly 48,000 on-site septic systems in Washtenaw County, according to the Washtenaw County Environmental Health Division.  State statistics show that at any given time 10% of those systems are leaking and in need of repair.  In this week’s "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair talks with Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s David Cotton about the growing number of these systems and how to protect our land and waterways.


Adam Zemke
Courtesy Photo / housedems.com

Since the Flint Water Crisis we have all, at some point, questioned the safety of our water.  That crisis is still being addressed and serves as a cautionary tale for what can happen around the rest of the state.  In this week’s "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair talks with 55th District State Representative Adam Zemke about the health of our water and what needs to be done.


Citizens Climate Lobby, Ann Arbor Chapter

Concerns about federal leadership and proposed rollbacks in environmental protections have led to increased levels of activism.  In this week’s edition of "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair talks with Ginny Rogers, leader of the Ann Arbor chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby, about the challenges ahead. 


Average rainfall in the area is expected to increase in the years to come.  There will also be more frequent periods of drought and more severe weather events.  It is climate change, and measures of adaptation are being adopted to protect the Huron River Watershed.  In this week’s "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair talks with Watershed planner Rebecca Esselman about the present and future of the Huron River. 


Corn
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The value of biofuels has long been a subject of debate. Corn-based ethanol is in our gasoline and, along with biodiesel, is a part of the nation’s long-term energy plan. Last week, WEMU spoke with a University of Michigan researcher whose team has declared that biofuels are causing more environmental damage than gasoline.  On this week’s ‘Issues of the Environment,’ you’ll get an entirely different perspective.

 


Ethanol
Drew from Zhrodague / flickr.com

In August of 2016,  University of Michigan Energy Institute scientists, led by John DeCicco, released an 8-year study.  It estimated powering an American vehicle with ethanol made from corn increased carbon pollution more than using gasoline.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment,” David Fair talks with Professor DeCicco about the findings and what it means to future policy.


Solar Array
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The Ann Arbor Solar Club is a cooperative effort aimed at adding 500 new solar installations throughout Washtenaw County this year and in each ensuing year.  In this week's “Issues of the Environment,” WEMU's David Fair talks with Nate Geisler, an Energy Programs Analyst with the city of Ann Arbor, about the initiative. 


Google
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Sam Arons. Arons is Lead, Energy and Infrastructure  for Datacenter Energy at Google. they discuss the tech giant's plans to operate completely on renewable energy sources by the end of 2017.


Bicyclists
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

When drivers and bicyclists don't share the road, there can be terrible consequences.  So, the City of Ann Arbor took action.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Bradley Parsons, a board member for the Washtenaw County Biking and Walking Coalition, about a new measure designed to reduce accidents involving bike riders.


Ecology Center
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

2017 has begun, so it's time to make some resolutions, especially for your personal and environmental habits.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Melissa Cooper Sargent, Green Living Resources Director for the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, about tips for being and healthier and more environmentally responsible for the New Year.


Recycle Ann Arbor
Courtesy Photo / recycleannarbor.org

The holidays are all but wrapped up, but now you have deal with a lot of trash and unwanted decorations.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Christine Chessler-Stull, Outreach & Zero Waste Coordinator for Recycle Ann Arbor, about the best ways to reduce your holiday waste.


Christopher Taylor
City of Ann Arbor / a2gov.org

In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor about environmental accomplishments in 2016 and the goals and objectives for 2017.


Snow
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Weather variability and climate both contribute to winters in southeast Michigan.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair explores what kind of winter we may see and what factors play into the forecasts with University of Michigan professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, Dr. Richard Rood.


Female Scientists
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Innovations in enviromental science happen all the time.  However, it has mostly been a male-dominated field.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Liesl Clark, who is president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, co-founder of 5-Lakes Energy, LLC, and a board member of Advancing Women in Energy, about the need for a diversity of voices in the clean energy sector, especially with a new president about to take office.


Deer
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Another planned deer cull in Ann Arbor continues to generate controversy.  Last winter, 63 animals were killed in an effort to thin the herd in the city. This year, city council has authorized the killing of up to 100 more animals and the sterilization of up to 60 female deer.  That plan was approved on a 9-2 vote.  David Fair’s guest on this week’s edition of WEMU’s "Issues of the Environment" is Mayor Christopher Taylor, who voted against the cull. 


Thanksgiving
Ard Hesselink / flickr.com

While many families will be feasting on Thanksgiving Day, there are hungry people going without. It is also a holiday in which a lot of food waste is generated. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Noelle Bowman, solid waste specialist for Washtenaw County, about the best ways to help others and responsibly deal with those Thanksgiving leftovers.


White Nose Syndrome
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Bats have a positive impact on Michigan's ecosystem, but a terrible affliction known as "white-nose syndrome" is threatening their population.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with  Dr. Allen Kurta, professor of biology at Eastern Michigan University, about the ecological impacts posed by a decimation in certain bat species. 


Jeff Irwin
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States.  Republicans also control the U-S House and Senate. Michigan Republicans remain in control of both chambers of the legislature andhave a Republican governor in place. What does that mean for the environment? In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair gets the opinions of  outgoing Ann Arbor State Representative Jeff Irwin.  

*Note:  This interview was recorded live in-studio  at 6:50am.  At the time of recording, some election results were still pending.


Leaves
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

It's that time of year where leaves fall to the ground. What is the best way to dispose of such yard waste?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Master Compost Class instructor Nancy Stone about the ecologically best ways to clean up your lawn debris. 


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