environment

Solar Panels Ypsi
SolarYpsi

There’s heated debate over the future of renewable energy policy in Michigan – and it’s not just Democrats versus Republicans.  


flickr.com

The Hip-Hop Caucus brings its Act on Climate national bus tour to Dearborn today. In this month's edition of WEMU's 1st Friday Focus on the Environment, Hip Hop Caucus President, Reverend Lennox Yearwood, joins Lisa Wozniak to discuss the activist movement and its goals. 

  

Nicolette Hahn Niman

Maybe you're aware (or maybe you're not) that burger you're having for lunch, or that steak you had for dinner could  impact the environment. I spoke to Nicolette Hahn Niman a rancher, lawyer, author, mother and University of Michigan law school graduate about her upcoming presentation about the "sustainability of beef" at Zingerman's on September 13th.


www.wikipedia.org

Michigan intends to develop its own plan to comply with federal rules to reduce greenhouse gasses. Rick Pluta reports.


Washtenaw County / Ewashtenaw.org

Rain Gardens are often beautiful. While they may look similar to a typical residential garden, there are important difference. This week, we take a look at the Washtenaw County Rain Garden, and the coordinator, Susan Bryan to discuss those matters in this weeks Issues of the Environment.


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

Americans spend less of their household budget on food than do citizens of any other country.  Should we spend more, to reduce long-term impacts to the planet?  How do we decide what products are “greenest,” anyway?  In this installment of 89.1 WEMU’s  The Green Room, Barbara Lucas explores two perspectives regarding the sustainability of foods grown right here in Michigan.


What if there were a way to take the waste heat that spews from car tailpipes or power plant chimneys and turn it into electricity? Matt Scullin thinks there is, and he's formed a company to turn that idea into a reality.

The key to Scullin's plans is something called thermoelectrics. "A thermoelectric is a material that turns heat into electricity," he says.

Across the U.S., small farmers have been struggling for years with low commodity prices and rising production costs. Even for organic farmers, who can justify higher prices, making a profit is tough.

But throughout the Midwest, a new farm-to-table strategy is giving a boost to some farmers.

The Chipotle Cultivate Festival in Kansas City, Mo., on July 18 had it all: an indie pop band onstage, long lines at the beer booths. It was like a Grateful Dead concert, only with free burritos.

But this and the three other Chipotle Cultivate events held across the country this summer were more than just a classic summertime music festival. Billed as offering "food, ideas and music," the festival offers a chance to "learn a free burrito," by going through four exhibits.

recycleannarbor.org

 The City of Ann Arbor is always looking for ways to become more environmentally friendly and eliminate waste. In its efforts, Recycle Ann Arbor was recently awarded $51,500 in grants by the State of Michigan for two educational programs. 

The state Senate is one step closer to confirming Gov. Rick Snyder’s appointment of a former Consumers Energy lobbyist to a panel that regulates utilities.

Mackinac Pipeline
Greg Varnum/Wikimedia Commons

Enbridge Energy is sponsoring new efforts to monitor waters above its aging pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac.

LA Rolls Out Water-Saving 'Shade Balls'

Aug 11, 2015

Today, "shade balls" got their moment in the sun.

On Monday afternoon, the 20,000 black plastic balls tumbled down the slopes of Los Angeles Reservoir, joining 95,980,000 of their brethren already covering the surface of the water.

The final deployment of these shade balls was the last step in a $34.5 million water quality protection project aimed at preventing evaporation and algae growth in the reservoir.

For the past nine years, some of America's biggest producers of fresh salad greens and vegetables have been waging a quiet war on wildlife surrounding their fields, all in an effort to keep your veggies free of contamination from disease-causing bacteria.

Now, a fresh analysis of safety data suggests that the effort is mostly in vain. Clearing away wildlife habitat does not make food any safer.

flickr.com / Creative Commons

A cool wet spring  is having an impact on Michigan's Agricultural sector and in your home gardens. David Fair delves further into the impacts with MSU Extension Services Agriculture Educator ben Phillips in this week's 'Issues of the Environment.'

  

Courtesy photo

A new "medicinal garden" just opened at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor to showcase the connection between plants and medicine.  

Jake Nehere / Michigan Public Radio Network

Dozens of protesters rallied at the state Capitol on Thursday against an aging pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac.

The group delivered a letter addressed to Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette demanding that the pipeline be shut down.

“This pipeline is already one pinhole leak away from wreaking havoc upon the Great Lakes,” said Mariah Urueta, Michigan organizer for the group Food and Water Watch.

“The Straits of Mackinac is the worst possible place for an oil spill to occur.”

Mackinac Pipeline
Greg Varnum/Wikimedia Commons

The National Wildlife Federation says it’s making plans to sue the federal government. The environmental group says the US Department of Transportation is not enforcing a law that requires “worst-case” disaster plans for underwater pipelines to be on file.

Big Trucks
Wikimedia Commons

It may seem counter-intuitive, but there is an argument to be made that bigger trucks are less harmful to our roads and better for the environment.  Michigan Agri-Business Association President Jim Byrum joins David Fair for that conversation in this week's Issues of the Environment.  Jim explains how Michigan's truck weights help our state remain competitive in the marketplace and reduce wear on roads.


Daniel Mausolf / Radrick Farms Golf Course Maintenance

  Goats on a golf course!

The University of Michigan's Radrick Farms Golf Course recently turned to an environmentally safe method to clear out some problem areas near the course infested with invasive plant species such as poison ivy, buckthorn and honeysuckle. They rented ten goats from a nearby farm and let them eat away the problem.

89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke with Paul Scott, the general manager of the course, and you can hear the interview here:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Water levels in the Great Lakes are rising from record lows. Lakes Huron and Michigan are 3 feet higher than a year ago. Here's NPR's David Schaper.

West Nile Virus
The Ecology Center / Ecocenter.org

Wet weather in Michigan this year has meant more flooding and standing water. Now, we are at the height of mosquito season which brings the threat of West Nile Virus. As bad as the illness is, some of the methods of prevention are just as dangerous. Learn more in this week's 'Issues of the Environment.'

  

Tens of thousands of people are coming from across the country to visit Ann Arbor's annual Art Fairs. And while most fair-goers are interested in seeing what sort of artwork and other items people have brought with them, there's another issue at hand once it all wraps up.

Kathmandu Is Cowed By Abandoned Cattle

Jul 10, 2015

In post-earthquake Kathmandu, it is now cows and calves that are a problem.

Stray ones that is.

Hundreds have taken over the streets, casually strolling or curled up in the middle of the road, oblivious of their traffic-aggravating role amid the cacophony of buses, trucks, motorcycles and cars trying to avoid them.

The stray bovines aren't exactly a novelty. Farmers have a habit of turning loose old or sick cows and bull calves, which have no financial value (artificial insemination is increasingly in use). The owners should be fined, but they're usually not.

Ypsilanti Community Schools / Creative Exchange Educational Solutions

Staff and community leaders will help show off the work and achievements of students at Ypsilanti Community Schools Middle School . An inter-disciplinary educational program focused on sustainability culminates on Thursday, June 11 with a Sustainability Summit. Science and Humanities teacher Cheryl Plouffe guests on this week's 'Issues of the Environment.'


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