Environment

HarperCollins

The economy says we must always consume more: even the slightest drop in spending leads to widespread unemployment, bankruptcy and home foreclosure.

The planet says we consume too much: in America, we burn the earth’s resources at a rate five times faster than it can regenerate. And despite efforts to “green” our consumption—by recycling, increasing energy efficiency or using solar power—we have yet to see a decline in global carbon emissions.

aftercredits.com


Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. We’ve lost 50% of the world’s coral in the last 30 years. Scientists say that climate change is now their greatest threat and it is estimated that only 10% can survive past 2050. In a new documentary film, “Chasing Coral,” a team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why coral are vanishing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.

Wild About Utah: Bird-Friendly Coffee Conserves Habitat

Aug 9, 2021

Since 1956, the Bridgerland Audubon Society has been documenting about one hundred bird species braving our northern Utah winters, but there’s an equally wonderful array of birds that spend their summers in Cache Valley.

The Salt Lake Tribune


Many wildfires continue to burn across Utah, with the threat of more fire with the persisting hot and dry conditions. We’ll talk about wildfires in Utah today. Our guests will include Staci Olson, who has fought wildfires in the western U.S. for 10 years; Kait Webb with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands; and Moab Mayor Emily Niehaus.

Pixabay

In January, the Biden administration paused oil and gas leases on public lands. This month, Biden announced an additional leasing pause in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, re-sparking the debate over the administration’s handling of oil and gas leases, including those in Utah.

Martha Ham

Conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against the Interior Department to prevent a highway from being built through Red Cliffs National Conservation Area in Southwest Utah. The groups claim that paving over the protected land would be a violation of environmental laws which require agencies to analyze potential environmental harms before making decisions. Red Cliffs was established as a conservation area in 2009 to help recover a threatened species - the Mojave desert tortoise. 

sciencemag.org

In a commentary published recently at Mongabay.com, Paul Rogers, a forest ecologist and Director of the Western Aspen Alliance at Utah State University, argues that forest managers’ “goal should not be to stop wildfire but to reduce conflicts with it.”

Know How to “Go” When Nature Calls in Utah’s Outdoors

Aug 27, 2020
commons.wikimedia.org

Summer is the perfect time to head outdoors, but more people camping, hiking and biking on public lands means more people who have to “go” in places without bathroom facilities.

This Place Will Burn: Map Shows More Large Fires For U.S.

Aug 26, 2020
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff_head/20799665403

 A new project is showing the West how much it will heat up as temperatures continue to rise.

Asian Giant Hornet: What You Should Know

Jun 1, 2020
Gilles San Martin/ flickr

Today's topic is the Asian Giant Hornet or what some people are calling the Murder Hornet. You may have heard of this insect; it is a large hornet or wasp. It is one and a half to two inches long- so about the size of a matchbox.  

Douglas Tallamy’s first book, “Bringing Nature Home,” awakened thousands of readers to an urgent situation: wildlife populations are in decline because the native plants they depend on are fast disappearing. His solution? Plant more natives. In this new book, Tallamy takes the next step and outlines his vision for a grassroots approach to conservation. “Nature’s Best Hope” shows how homeowners everywhere can turn their yards into conservation corridors that provide wildlife habitats.

Flickr

Every year for Earth Day, we check in with writer and photographer Stephen Trimble, author of “Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America,” and many other books. This time, Stephen Trimble suggested we also reach out to his friend, ecologist, ethnobotanist and writer, Gary Paul Nabhan.

Social Distancing Outdoors? Beware Of Avalanches

Mar 24, 2020
Plastic Mind

As efforts to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic limit public gatherings and lead to closures, many Utahns have headed to the mountains for a break. But, as spring arrives and temperatures increase, so does avalanche danger.  

Recyling, Plastic Waste, Cache County and Logan City; Emily Malik, with Logan City's Environmental Department, an average of 75% of residents put out their recycling bins, and the bins are 75% full, on average.
peakpx

House Representative Val Potter said recycling in the state of Utah is down because there is “no market for recycling”. But according to Emily Malik, the conservation coordinator for Logan City’s Environmental Department, Cache County’s numbers are up despite the market’s fluctuations.

Americans Who Tell The Truth

Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and Teaching of Plants, and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. She lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.

Explore Big Sky

George Bird Grinnell, the son of a New York merchant, saw a different future for a nation in the thrall of the Industrial Age. With railroads scarring virgin lands and the formerly vast buffalo herds decimated, the country faced a crossroads: Could it pursue Manifest Destiny without destroying its natural bounty and beauty?

outreach.un.org

Activists battling climate change, a former child soldier and health workers pioneering new treatments around the world are among thousands of participants who will gather in Salt Lake City, Utah, from 26 to 28 August at the sixty-eighth annual United Nations Civil Society Conference for a global conversation on building inclusive and sustainable cities and communities. More information on the conference can be found here

Berkeley Wellness

Utah State University was awarded a $500,000 three-year Farmers Market Promotion Program grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grant will fund a variety of capacity-building, outre

ach, and marketing activities that will help connect more low-income and ethnically diverse populations to health local food. 

Amazon

George Bird Grinnell, the son of a New York merchant, saw a different future for a nation in the thrall of the Industrial Age. With railroads scarring virgin lands and the formerly vast buffalo herds decimated, the country faced a crossroads: Could it pursue Manifest Destiny without destroying its natural bounty and beauty? The alarm that Grinnell sounded would spark America’s conservation movement. Yet today his name has been forgotten—an omission that John Taliaferro’s commanding biography now sets right with historical care and narrative flair.

World Agriculture Network

We’ve all heard the terms ‘organic’ and ‘sustainable’ agriculture, but what do those descriptions really mean?

Utah Public Radio explores this question with soil scientist Jennifer Reeve. She presents “What is Organic and Sustainable Agriculture, Anyway?” on Monday, July 15th. 

Credit Town Hall Seattle

Gary Paul Nabhan is an Agricultural Ecologist, Ethnobotanist, Ecumenical Franciscan Brother, and author whose work has focused primarily on the interaction of biodiversity and cultural diversity of the arid binational Southwest. He is considered a pioneer in the local food movement and the heirloom seed saving movement.

 

Utah's Not Very Pet Friendly, Says Study

Jun 18, 2019
George Hodan / publicdomainpictures.net

Safewise recently surveyed which states nationwide were the best and worst for pets to live in, and Utah ranked sixth as the least pet friendly. Katie McEntire worked on the survey and told us what the study looked at.

kobo.com

Over the next several decades, as human populations grow and developing countries become more affluent, the demand for energy will soar. Parts of the energy sector are preparing to meet this demand by increasing renewable energy production, which is necessary to combat climate change. But many renewable energy sources have a large energy sprawl—the amount of land needed to produce energy—which can threaten biodiversity and conservation. Is it possible to meet this rise in energy demand, while still conserving natural places and species?

 

According to Utah's Division of Air Quality, roughly 50% of Utah's air pollution comes from vehicle emissions. The Utah Foundation and the Utah Clean Air Partnership, or UCAIR, are studying alternative fueled cars as a way to lessen the amount of pollution in the air. 

Yale Environment 360

A recent article in the online magazine Yale Environment 360 is headlined “The West’s Great River Hits Its Limits: Will the Colorado Run Dry?” And the sub-headline: “As the Southwest faces rapid growth and unrelenting drought, the Colorado River is in crisis, with too many demands on its diminishing flow. Now those who depend on the river must confront the hard reality that their supply of Colorado water may be cut off.”

Visit Salt Lake

It’s a pledge drive special edition of Access Utah today. My special guest for the hour is Ken Sanders from Ken Sanders Rare Books in Salt Lake City. We’ll reach into the archives for parts of some of our favorite recent episodes of the program.

Twitter: @BrendaEkwurzel

Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel is Director of Climate Science for the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She will be in Utah later this week for events in Salt Lake City and Ogden. She says we can adapt to and reduce risks from changing weather patterns and other consequences of releasing heat-trapping emissions to the atmosphere, and that we can switch to a lower emissions trajectory. Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel will give us specific examples for Utah on the program today.

Digital Journal

How can the stories we tell protect the places we love? Friends of Cedar Mesa and Torrey House Press are presenting a conversation on the unique ways desert communities can organize around and diversify narratives to protect Utah’s red rock landscapes. Desert Cabal Expanding the Desert Narrative is Friday, March 1 at 7 PM at the Bears Ears Education Center,

567 Main Street in Bluff Utah.

Amazon

In their new book “Breakpoint: Reckoning with America's Environmental Crises,” eminent ecologist Jeremy B. C. Jackson and award-winning journalist Steve Chapple examine the looming threats from recent hurricanes and fires, industrial agriculture, river mismanagement, extreme weather events, drought, and rising sea levels that, they say, are pushing the country toward the breaking point of ecological and economic collapse.

 

Daphne Zaras / NSSL

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about climate, but at two very different scales. 

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