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Tag archives for Dan Klotz

You Cannot Save the Climate Without Trees

The People’s Climate March that trumpeted its way through the streets of Manhattan yesterday was led by communities on the front lines of climate change—and Indigenous Peoples were at the forefront of this group.  The tropical forests where they live are not only getting hammered by changing weather patterns, drug traffickers, invasive pests, and massive…

Political and Weather Climates are Changing, But at What Speed?

The weather in Washington, D.C. finally turned hot in September, just in time for Congress to resume. We enjoyed an unusually moderate summer this year, with many days topping out in the high seventies or low eighties. Plenty of sun. San Diego weather, you might say. Before September, we were missing about two full weeks…

Worst Weather Ever: Has It Become a Cliché Yet?

The troubles of Poyang Lake, China’s largest freshwater lake, are getting drowned out by the clamor generated by the superstorms Typhoon Haiyan and Cyclone Phailin. A crisis is still a crisis, however, even if it is not punctuated by 150mph winds and catastrophic flooding. Poyang’s water levels ebb and flow according to the season. In…

Migration by Any Means Necessary

The airplane passenger of the month for October was an unusual breed of traveler, one who gratefully received first-class airfare even though the ticket sent him more than 2,000 km out of his way. He was trying to head south for the winter, got lost along the way, and has ended up with winter accommodations near…

Old Growth Rainforest—What Still Stands is More Valuable Than Ever

No matter where I have traveled in the world, I have found that the many of the larger stretches of primeval forests can only be reached by logging roads. Consider the old growth stands of Sitka spruce and red cedar in the Carmanah Valley, on a remote part of southeast Vancouver Island.  Canada’s tallest tree,…

Do Factory Farms Need a Pooper-Scooper Law?

In 1978, New York embraced a major public health and environmental innovation.  The idea was simple: human excrement is captured and treated (for the most part) before being released into the environment, so the excrement from dogs should be as well. The law, which became known as the “Pooper-Scooper Law,” mandated that all dog owners…

Explosive Agriculture and That Larger April Fireball

Two days after the Boston Marathon bombing, a humongous explosion rocked the Texas town of West when a fire broke out at an agriculture retail facility storing ammonium nitrate. 14 people were killed, more than 200 injured, but despite leaving a crater 93 feet wide and 10 feet deep, the incident played second fiddle in…

The Fight Against Climate Change Needs a Retrofit

The New York City apartment building where I grew up was built in the early 1960s.  The building’s heating system still has only one thermostat for more than 150 apartments, and that thermostat is usually set in the mid-70s. If it’s too hot, you must manually adjust each radiator in the apartment (and there’s one…

Climate Change Wins Big in 2012 Elections

Clint Eastwood was on the right track when he talked to an empty chair at the end of August. There was an empty seat all through the fall, as the candidates for U.S. president went back and forth on most of the critical issues that Americans face. The one crisis that neither candidate mentioned during…

Can National Happiness Survive on an Organic Diet?

  The small kingdom of Bhutan is known for establishing the “gross national happiness” tool, a “multidimensional measurement” that looks at its citizens’ quality of life and well-being. Lately, it has been making waves for its government’s ambition to become the first 100% organic country in the world. Its only competition? The Pacific Island of…

Fresh Piracy Off West Africa Highlights Link to Overfishing

  A few years ago a scientific survey was released that mapped out where fisheries were being depleted around the world.  This was about the same time that pirates from Somalia achieved a large degree of prominence by seizing a cargo ship full of tanks, with news reports bemoaning how global shipping lanes brought cargo…

Lonesome Larry: An Unsung Hero

Twenty years ago, a single sockeye salmon traveled 900 miles up the Columbia and Snake Rivers. It was an epic journey; travelling against the current the fish climbed more than 6,500 feet in elevation and up the “fish ladders” of eight dams.  Bears, eagles, bobcats and other predators tried to grab this fish along the…

Can Banning Big Gulps have an Environmental Benefit?

At the end of May, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a ban on “Big Gulps” in the Big Apple.  Food service establishments would not be able to sell “sugary drinks”—defined as non-alcoholic beverages that are not more than half made up of milk or milk substitute and are sweetened by the manufacturer with…

The Farm Bill Rollercoaster Gets Ready to Roll

This week, the Senate began debating the “Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012,”the latest name for the Farm Bill. This legislation comes up for renewal every five years, and the back-and-forth always been larger than life and somewhat crazy.  If you follow the coverage closely this year, you’ll learn about Southern peanut and rice…

Where’s the Beef?

The recent media hullabaloo around “pink slime,” begins with a premise that would be applauded in other situations.  A private enterprise, Beef Products Inc (BPI), strives to use every last bit of a resource it has at its disposal—in this case, it’s the beef in the slaughterhouse. But what has come to light about BPI and…