Environmental issues

What does it mean to be “carbon neutral”? There is a lot of talk lately about going “carbon neutral” by purchasing carbon offsets. You calculate (via various formulas available online) how many tons of carbon you are responsible for, based…

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There was an excellent article in the New York Times Magazine (no registration required) on the ramifications of Wal-Mart so aggressively entering the organic food market. They plan on offering a full line of organic foods at only 10% above…

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A nice article in this morning’s New York Times, “A Weed, a Fly, a Mouse, and a Chain of Unintended Consequences,” gives another lesson of one of the hazards of using biological control — unanticipated ecological chain reactions. The most…

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Recently, we have been being warned left, right, and center that avian influenza H5N1 was likely to enter the United States via migratory birds this year (or this spring, or next week, depending on the tenor of the article). I…

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I’ll admit, the holidays are not my favorite time of year. At least here in the U.S., they are well able to represent many of the uglier aspects of American culture: consumerism, waste, over-indulgence, keeping up with the Joneses (“affluenza”),…

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Here’s a startling update to the deer overpopulation thread. A paper in the latest issue of Conservation Biology described how Black Bears (Ursus americanus) have been extirpated from an island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence by the introduction of…

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While we’re talking about swans… My mitten-state neighbor TroutGrrrl over at Science and Sarcasm posted on the Michigan DNR’s request for Trumpeter Swan sightings. She gave a little overview and history of the effort to “reintroduce” Trumpeter Swans to Michigan….

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In a previous post, I wrote about the difficulty in using lethal control of White-tailed Deer because the public finds deer charismatic and engaging. Another problem species that has many fans in the general public, confounding management, is the Mute…

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There’s a good piece in the current (Jul-Aug) issue of Audubon Magazine on the chronic White-tailed Deer overpopulation problem. Ted Williams points out what is obvious to most wildlife ecologists: that deer populations are allowed to grow until they destroy…

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My friend P. sent me this article regarding a recent, as yet unpublished, study that found traces of DDT and similar organochlorines in North American non-migratory songbirds. This is surprising on two levels. The first is pretty obvious: DDT has…

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