environment

Optimism. That's what we could all use right now.

So here at Goats and Soda, we're going to give you a whole heaping tablespoon of it. And we'll do it by answering a question from a reader named Ian Matthews that seems to bring the opposite reaction: "How can we stop the spread of antimicrobial resistance?"

As it turns out, the answer has a surprisingly positive message.

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. 


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. 


Recycling
pixabay.com / creative commons

The amount of waste generated in schools per academic year can be staggering.  Fortunately, schools in Washtenaw County seek to change that.  This week, we talk with Randy Trent, director of operations for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, about introducing recycling programs in local schools.


Oil Pipeline
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A new natural gas pipeline is in the works and would expend the web of pipelines running through Washtenaw County.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Nancy Shiffler, chair of the Sierra Club's Michigan chapter, about the potential impacts of a new pipeline.  


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

The cast of players involved with Ann Arbor’s dioxane problem has changed many times over in the thirty years since the contamination was first discovered.  Some say that’s part of the problem:  it’s hard to stay motivated to tackle problems that go on seemingly indefinitely. Luckily, there are a few people in the community who have stuck with it, keeping the issue in the public forum.  In this segment of WEMU’s “The Green Room,” we talk with one of them.


RTA
Courtesy Photo / rtamichigan.org

This November, there will a new public transit plan on the ballot, which, if passed, could impact the environment.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Elizabeth Gerber, who represents Washtenaw County on the Regional Transit Authority's Board of Directors, about the new public transit millage.


Flint Water Treatment Facility
Ben Gordon / flickr.com

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has spent $2 million so far in the criminal investigation into the Flint water crisis. 


Algae Bloom
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Algae blooms have been problematic in Michigan, especially in Lake Erie.  In this month's "First Friday Focus on the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-business Association, about ways to keep algae blooms from growing out of control.


Asphalt
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The city of Ann Arbor recently passed a ban on coal tar sealants for repairing asphalt.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Rebecca Esselman, watershed planner for the Huron River Watershed Council, about the environment impacts of the ban and why Michigan should consider expanding the ban statewide.


Recycling
Pixabay / pixabay.com

Plans are getting underway to send less trash to landfills in Michigan and find more ways to reuse it.  A state Department of Environmental Quality task force plans a hearing today in Lansing to gather ideas from the public.  

Ann Arbor Wiki / localwiki.org

Candidates for Ann Arbor’s 5th Ward debated at the city’s Community Television Network studios last night.


Blooms
NASA Earth Observatory

The toxic algal bloom forming in the western part of Lake Erie is expected to be smaller than last year's bloom.

Monarch Butterfly
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The monarch butterfly is one of the most iconic images in nature.  Yet, the species is not as strong in number as many believe.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Nicole Muench, habitat and education coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation, about efforts to save the monarch butterfly from extinction.


Oil Pipeline
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A federal appeals court says an Enbridge oil pipeline that runs through a northern Michigan national forest does not need a new permit to continue operating.


Fracking
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Fracking, to say the least, is a controversial method of energy resource extraction.  Those who implement the practice contend it's more efficient, effective, and is not an environmental hazard.  There are many who disagree, particularly when it comes to environmental impact.  In this week’s, “Issues of the Environment,” WEMU’s David Fair discusses fracking and the effort to put it to a vote of the people with LuAnne Kozma, the ‎campaign director at The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan​. 


Drinking Water
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The University of Michigan's Department of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health plans to test the drinking water on campus.  


The historic collection at the University of Michigan peony garden just inside the Nichols arboretum is about 99 percent in full bloom right now.  The hot weather last week plus heavy rain last weekend pushed blooming forward to the peak period earlier than expected.

 

 


Yousef Rabhi
Patrik Holubik / 89.1 WEMU

Washtenaw County is planning to regulate the use of single use, plastic bags.  However, the Michigan State Legislature has slowed the process of passing this measure.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's Patrick Campion speaks with Washtenaw County Commissioner Yousef Rabhi about the controversy surrounding the proposed ordinance.

  Editor's note: Wednesday evening, the Washtenaw County commissioners  voted 6-2 to approve a new carryout bag ordinance that would put a 10-cent "tax" on customers for every single use (paper or plastic) bag they receive at stores in Washtenaw county. Stay tuned for follow-up discussion on the issue.

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
Courtesy Photo / aahom.org

Two local science-based learning centers for children and their families may soon be merging.


Thompson Block
Courtesy Photo / ewashtenaw.org

A Washtenaw County Brownfield program analysis revealed positive impacts that type of project has on the community.


Plastic Bags
Day Donaldson / flickr.com

Local efforts to address the environmental concerns of plastic bag use in Washtenaw County just took a giant step backwards in Lansing.


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

For almost thirty years, a “responsible party” (Gelman Sciences, Inc.) has been legally and financially responsible for the 1, 4 dioxane contamination of  groundwater inthe Ann Arbor area.  This is in contrast to many contamination sites where cleanup falls totally on taxpayers. But the plume remains, and some question if enough resources are being devoted to its remediation.  In this installment of WEMU’s “The Green Room,” Barbara Lucas looks at money, and how it impacts Ann Arbor’s contamination problem. 


Speed Limit 75 Sign
WikiMedia Commons

Legislation to increase the speed limits on Michigan's highway has been working its way through the state Legislature.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Timothy Gates, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan State University, about how higher speed limits may impact the environment.


Dr. David Schwab, Research Scientist for the UM Graham Sustainability Institute Water Center, discusses his latest findings about the extensive spills that will happen if Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac ruptures and how that oil would spread through the Great Lakes.


Pages