Tag Archive for ‘EarthTalk’
Cell phones have only been in widespread use for a couple of decades, which is far too short a time for us to know conclusively whether or not using them could cause cancer. Research thus far appears to indicate that most of us have little if anything to worry about.
Water is such an important part of life that it has long been regarded as a public good worth entrusting only to public entities. But given the mixed track record of municipal, regional and national governments to properly manage water resources, outsourcing to private companies is becoming more common.
You should be concerned about contaminants in certain fish, including some kinds of tuna. The non-profit Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) recommends minimizing consumption of albacore (white) tuna, a large fish that accumulates moderate amounts of mercury in its fatty tissue.
Kenaf is a fast-growing, non-invasive annual hibiscus plant related to cotton, okra and hemp. It makes ideal paper fiber as well as great source material for burlap, clothing, canvas, particleboard and rope. Ten major U.S. newspapers have tested kenaf-based newsprint and were pleasantly surprised by how well it held up and how crisply it displayed text and pictures. Toyota is already using kenaf grown in Malaysia for insulation and interiors in some cars.
Some recent studies have found higher risks for brain and salivary gland tumors among people using cell phones for 10 years or longer, while other research has found little if any risk. Other research has looked at the reproductive, cognitive and sleep effects of RF energy at levels similar to what cell/smart phones emit. Results have been mixed.
The friendly skies aren’t much greener than they were a few decades ago. And most national governments have been reluctant to impose new environmental restrictions on the already ailing airline industry. Nonetheless, some airlines and airplane manufacturers are taking steps to improve their eco-footprints
Walmart has been working to clean up its image in recent years, and many environmentalists are pleased with the company’s commitment to reduce its massive carbon footprint. Many, however, view the company’s initiatives with skepticism, especially considering its overall impact on communities.
Wood products are essential to modern life. Without wood we wouldn’t have the buildings, furniture, paper and other essentials we make use of every day. That’s why protecting sources of wood has become a leading concern among not just environmentalists but everyone else as well.
Hopes were high that international negotiators in Copenhagen last December would be able to hammer out a strong agreement to once and for all take the climate beast by the horns and begin to reign in carbon emissions worldwide. But a new binding formal agreement was not to be, mostly because of conflicting priorities among participating countries.
Originating in the early 1970s when city planners began renovating crumbling inner cities in the face of widespread suburbanization and sprawl, smart growth is now a top buzzword in both municipal policy and environmental circles. Some form of smart growth has likely been implemented where you live or somewhere nearby.