Archive for May, 2007

Gardener’s Guide to Global Warming

May 29th, 2007

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The USDA is currently revising its 1990 Plant Zone Hardiness map – a crucial tool for gardeners. But that map won’t be available until 2008 and so other organizations have decided not to wait and have gone ahead with updated map.

Today on Earthbeat, host Mike Tidwell speaks to Kim Kaplan of the USDA’s research agency about their upcoming map — and with the National Wildlife Federation’s Patty Glick. As the author of the Federation’s A Gardener’s Guide to Global Warming, Patty’s helped developed ways for gardeners to deal with our changing world.

Discussing how gardeners can deal with current global warming effects in their gardens is the Vice President of Horticulture and Living Collections for the New York Botanical Garden, Todd Forrest. He joins us on the telephone from his Bronx office and in the studio is the Washington Post gardening columnist Adrian Higgins.

Finally, master gardener Ed Burske and the National Wildlife Federation’s David Mizajewski join us in the Earthbeat studios to discuss how gardeners can ‘go green’ and limit their carbon footprint. Bruske is the founder and President of the DC Urban Gardeners and runs the website “The Slow Cook.” David Mizajewski is a naturalist and the host of the Animal Planet program Backyard Habitat.

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Bee Disappearance

May 23rd, 2007

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A mysterious disease is killing America’s honey bees. The workers leave their hives in search of nectar, and are never seen again.

Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham speaks to Jeff Pettis, the head of the US Department of Agriculture’s Bee Research Laboratory.

Some scientists believe that genetically modified crops are causing the bee’s demise. Joining Daphne from Cleveland, Ohio is Laurel Hopwood, the chair of the Genetic Engineering Committee for the Sierra Club.

Coming into the WPFW studios to discuss how new pesticides may be attacking the bees is Bill Freese, a science policy analyst for The Center for Food Safety, and on the telephone from her office at the University of Illinois is May Berenbaum. She’s the head of entomology there and the author of Buzzwords: A Scientist Muses on Sex, Bugs and Rock’n’Roll.

Finally, Daphne is joined by bee keeper Marc Hoffman. He operates more than 10 hives in the DC area and is the unofficial spokesman for the Montgomery County Bee Keeping Association in Maryland.

If you’d like to hear this edition of Earthbeat – please send us an e-mail

Image copyright of John Kimbler and used with his permission. Please check out John’s other photos on Flickr.

Disappearing Arctic Ice

May 16th, 2007

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Today on Earthbeat – scientists say that the ice at the North Pole is disappearing much faster than any previous estimate.

Host Mike Tidwell speaks to Mark Serreze and Julienne Strove of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder. We’re at an all-time low for arctic ice in the springtime, and this before the big summer melt.

The arctic acts like an ‘air conditioner’ for the rest of the world. Margaret Williams joins Earthbeat on the phone from Anchorage, Alaska. As the head of the World Wildlife Fund’s Bering Sea program, she’s found the melting ice is forcing thousands of walruses into fishing villages.

Joining Mike in the studio to discuss the political aspects of arctic ice is Joe Romm, the author of Hell and High Water.

If you’d like to hear this edition of Earthbeat – please send us an e-mail

Image used courtesy of Amanda Graham, Yukon White Light, copyright 2006.

20 – 20 Vision on Global Warming

May 8th, 2007

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One of the most startling aspects of global warming will be the changes to our coastlines — many coastal communities will just disappear. One of these is not only one of the most populated areas in the country, but also one of the most expensive — New York City.

According to predictions — the whole of lower Manhattan, including Wall Street, and the former site of World Trade Center will be underwater in decades.

Daphne Wysham sat down with one of the scientists whose climate models predict the rise.

Andrew Revkin is arguably one of the most important voices on global warming. As the lead reporter on climate issues for the New York Times, Revkin can, with one front page story, start a media feeding frenzy.

Revkin recently adapted his reporting on the end of the North Pole into a book. Recently he spoke before a small audience of climate scientists and environmentalists about his coverage of global warming over his 20 year career, at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, DC.

Recently the retailing giant Wall-Mart unveiled its television advertising campaign for a new line of organic foods. With Wall-Mart entering the game, agricultural schools are finding that going organic is the one growing field in the otherwise dwindling area of Agricultural Sciences. Daphne Wysham sat down with the founder of the nation’s first Bachelor of Arts program in organic farming.

And finally, in the coming weeks, comedian Will Ferrell has what could possibly be the most ‘red-state’ movie ever a flick that features a NASCAR driver. But a few years ago, Ferrell took on another target — President George W. Bush.

* watch the video *

If you’d like to hear this edition of Earthbeat – please send us an e-mail

Wild Weather, Warming and Risk

May 1st, 2007

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On this edition of Earthbeat we connect climate change to the extreme weather events occurring world-wide.

Host Mike Tidwell speaks about our bizarre weather with The Weather Channel’s only climatologist Dr. Heidi Cullen.

Adventure travel outfitter Ted Young, along with his wife Barbara, take trekkers into in the wilds of Northern Minnesota. With over 30 years in the business, this owner-operator of Boundary Country Trekking says the ice is breaking earlier and earlier each year — and a two-year drought is devastating the border lake areas.

Joining Young is Cornell plant ecologist David Wolfe. Wolfe works with the New York Botanical Garden and farmers to develop a plan of attack for dealing with extreme weather, rising tides, and an onslaught of warm-weather pests.

Finally, Tidwell discusses what climate activists should, and maybe shouldn’t do in talking about wild weather with Grist reporter David Roberts.

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Photo used courtesy of Australia’s Dick Witt.