WHAT WE’RE FOLLOWING
A Toxin Blooms
In a 2004 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Harvard-educated biologist and Institute for Ethnomedicine Director Paul Alan Cox, Ph.D. and colleagues found the neurotoxin B-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) in nine deceased Canadian…
Risks Rise for Fracking
Over the past few weeks, a cavalcade of fracking-related reports and scientific studies has provided mounting evidence that the drive to drill domestically for more oil and gas might be more complicated than initially predicted. Here’s a roundup of some of the most…
More Work and More Production Is Being Demanded of Fewer Workers, Taking a Toll on the Environment and Our Collective Happiness
Much of the history of civilization is the story of efficiency, of squeezing more out of an hour of work, largely through the application of technology. Barry Schwartz, in a recent op-ed inThe New York Times explains how Bain Capital, the company run by presidential…
IN OUR CURRENT ISSUE
By The Numbers: Penguin Populations
Five of 17 Penguin Species Face the Threat of Extinction
In 2011, National Geographic reported that vanishing krill populations may be threatening the existence of penguins. The threat of extinction is very real for at least five out of 17 penguin species, but the disappearing krill may not be entirely to blame. According to the…
The Freak Weather That Won’t Be Denied
Will the Upswing in Extreme Weather Events Finally Convince Us to Take Action on Climate Change?
These are trying times in Pendleton Harbor, Texas. During what government scientists say is the worst drought since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the water level in Toledo Bend Lake has sunk to its lowest level since it opened in 1969, leaving this subdivision, built on its…
Italy’s Eco Mafia
Mafia Are Cashing In On Toxic Dumping and Other Environmental Crimes
When you think mafia, cocaine trafficking or loan sharking may come to mind. But groups such as Italy’s ruthless ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate have expanded activities to include toxic waste handling and natural resources trafficking. Yes, the mafia has “gone green”…
Rediscovering Sierra Leone
Ecotourism Blooms in West Africa
Sierra Leone is better known for blood diamonds than beach resorts, but this is changing. Ten years on from its brutal civil war, the small West African country has started rebuilding its tourism industry.
In the 1970s and ’80s tourists flocked to high-class beach…
Marine Protected Areas
Dear EarthTalk: I heard the term “underwater wilderness” recently. What does it refer to?
—Melissa Cook, via e-mail…
Sustainable Skis and Snowboards
Dear EarthTalk: I’m in the market for a new pair of skis. Are there skis being made today that are made with materials and processes that are kinder to the environment?
—Scott Paxton, Rutland, VT…