Showing posts from 2013

Looking back: Environmental news of 2013


In the News: Another Unsettling Climate Change Map

The Orange States of America.  This is the picture in an unsettling interactive map recently released by the US Geological Survey (click here to view the map on the Washington Post website), in what has become the next round of depressing climate change projections.  Pulling data from more than a dozen climate models, the map depicts expected temperature and precipitation changes for the continental US for the years 2050-2074.  And the picture is not a pretty one... things are going to get significantly warmer.

Nationwide, annual mean temperatures are projected to increase anywhere from 2.4 to 4 degrees Celsius, which correlates to approximately 6 to7 degrees Fahrenheit. Can you imagine adding another 6 or 7 degrees to the already-sweltering summertime heat experienced in some areas of the US?  This will lead to unbearable and dangerously hot weather.  And how about increasing wintertime temps by the same 6 to 7 degrees?  At first, many of us likely wouldn't complain about milder …

Going Green: Tips for an Eco-Friendly Christmas


In the News: Renewable Energy in Washington

Environmental news outlets are buzzing today with the release of President Obama's memo ordering the federal government to increase its use of renewable energy.  By 2020, federal agencies will need to obtain 20% of their energy from renewable resources, which would triple the amount currently used.  Additionally, the President called for federal government buildings to be made more energy-efficient. 

Expanding the use of renewable energy is crucial in decreasing carbon dioxide emissions that lead to climate change, and also in protecting our environment from the damaging methods used to extract fossil fuels, which currently provide the majority of our nation's energy. Sometimes referred to as "fuels from heaven," energy sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, and tidal energy are all renewable, above-ground, readily available and do not call for the destructive mining and extraction techniques that their underground "fuels from hell" counterparts su…

Musings: Memories to be Thankful For

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual…O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.”  - Henry David Thoreau Happy Thanksgiving! There are so many things to be thankful for, not only at this time of year, but all year long: family, friends, good health, food on the table, a job... and as Thoreau so eloquently states above: for finding wealth not in things but in memories and experiences. The Nature Conservancy in Washington posed an interesting question on their Facebook page yesterday along those lines:

What memory of spending time in nature are you most thankful for? 

After getting past my immediate reaction (how do I choose just one?!?) the obvious answer came to mind as I reminisced about the numerous summers spent on road trips with my Dad and older sister.

Outfitted with sunglasses, fanny packs, clunky cameras, hiking boots and/or sandals (with socks!), we …

Going Green: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle