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This category contains 44 posts

EarthTalk: Our Environment – Big game hunting

Question: How is it that big game hunting can actually be good for wildlife? ANSWER: When Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil, a much-loved wild 13-year-old black-maned lion, with his bow and arrow in July 2015 outside a protected section of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, animal advocates were outraged. The University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation […]


EarthTalk: Our Environment – Rooftop solar panels

Is it true that home rooftop solar only makes sense in certain parts of the U.S. with proper incentives as opposed to where the sun shines the most? Answer: The short answer is yes: In the United States, whether or not it is easy and economical to go solar depends more on state politics than […]

A Chinese protestor shows what he thinks of Apple's treatment of workers assembling iPhones. Credit: SACOM Hong Kong, FlickrCC.

EarthTalk: Our Environment – Labor Standards

Is it true that Apple gets around U.S. labor standards and laws by outsourcing production to China? Apple isn’t the only tech giant outsourcing much of its production to Chinese manufacturers nowadays, but the sheer popularity of the California-based company’s products makes it an especially easy target for activists concerned about worker health and safety. […]


EarthTalk: Our Environment – Environmental causes of Autism

Dear EarthTalk: What is the latest thinking on the environmental causes (if any) of autism? I hear so much conflicting information I don’t know what to believe.  Answer: In the 1980s, about one in 2,000 American kids was diagnosed with autism. Today the number is around one in 68, according to estimates from the U.S. […]

LED lights use 1/50th the electricity of conventional holiday lights and can last for three decades. Credit: Paul Barrows, FlickrCC.

EarthTalk: Our Environment – Holiday lights

Dear Earthtalk: The holidays can be so wasteful. What are some ways we can green our celebrations this year? ANSWER: Sipping eggnog, listening to carols by the fire and enjoying the beauty of colorfully decorated homes are all warm memories the holiday season conjures. Yet with the rising popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, […]


EarthTalk: Our Environment

Dear EarthTalk: Are green groups using the campaign finance system like other “special interests” through Political Action Committees (PACs) or otherwise? ANSWER: As a matter of fact, green Political Action Committees (PACs) emerged as major funders last fall in the run-up to the 2014 Congressional elections, and look to play an even larger role in […]


EarthTalk: Our Environment – Is recycling worthwhile?

Dear Earthtalk: Is recycling still worthwhile given the expense and emissions associated with it? Answer: Americans generate about 254 million tons of trash and recycle and compost about 87 million tons of this material, which adds up to a 34.3 percent national recycling rate. Recycling and composting prevented the release of approximately 186 million metric […]


EarthTalk: Our Environment – Republican Candidates on Climate Change

Dear Earthtalk: Where do the leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination stand on environmental issues? Answer: In recent decades, Republicans have certainly been far less sympathetic to environmental causes than the Democrats, and this year’s batch of candidates for the party’s Presidential nomination is no exception. Donald Trump has remained skeptical of environmentalists and […]


EarthTalk: Our Environment – Monsanto’s Roundup

Dear Earthtalk: My neighbor uses Roundup in her yard routinely and tells me it’s harmless to people and pets, but I’ve heard that it is carcinogenic. Can you set the record straight? Answer: Monsanto’s Roundup herbicides contain three key components: the active ingredient glyphosate, water, and a soap-like surfactant blend. The agricultural application of glyphosate […]


EarthTalk: Our Environment – Greenhouse gas emissions

Dear EarthTalk: What’s the difference between a carbon tax and “cap-and-trade” system for reducing greenhouse gas emissions? Answer: Most of us can agree that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a must given the rapid warming of the planet; just how to do it best is another question entirely. The two leading market strategies are a […]