Aug. 25 marked the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Dick spoke with Professor Michael Tarrant, who believes the parks are significant because they add to our Gross National Happiness. Tarrant studies natural resources and suggests that there are other important indicators of social progress besides the traditional economic measures.
Tim McDonnell's latest book, "The Contemplative Paddler's Fireside Companion," is a 'why-do' manual for paddling-
Tim McDonnell grew up on the edge of the Boundary Waters and has been writing about wilderness for years. He joined Dick to talk about his latest book, "The Contemplative Paddler's Fireside Companion," which he calls a 'why-do' guide exploring the spiritual side of the paddling experience. You can learn more about this book of essays here; it's available at many stores in Cook County as well.
The basic idea of the circular economy is that in production, nothing should be wasted, and everything at the end of its life should be made into something else. Dave talked with Nathaniel Springer, an economist in the U of MN Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, to learn more. Here's a great article about it from the Institute on the Environment (U of MN). Nat also recommends the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as a place to learn more.
Four young women set out from Seagull Lake May 29 to canoe to Hudson Bay. Called Journey 4 Renewal, the trip was a fundraiser for Wilderness Canoe Base. Two of the paddlers, Tessa Larson and Steph Branchaud, joined Dave to share stories about the trip and its joys and challenges. You can learn more here.
Population growth won't be the only reason for increased food demand in the years ahead--the changing diets of the world's growing middle class, from plant- to animal-based, will play a significant role. Dick talked with Dr. Jamie Gerber, co-director of the U of MN Institute on the Environment's Global Landscapes Initiative, to learn about it. You can read much more on their environment reports website. Jamie also suggests the Better Buying Lab to help make more sustainable food choices.
Pretty cool--you can count seals in Antarctica, right from your couch, via satellite images. Dr. Michelle LaRue is a research ecologist at the U of MN Department of Earth Sciences and lead researcher on the project, which is called "Satellites Over Seals." She talked with Dick about what they're studying, why the seal count is important, and why they've turned to the public for help. It's easy to get started counting seals--just go to www.tomnod.com and follow the instructions.
Perseid meteor showers peak the week of Aug. 8...and best overnight Thursday night. One of our favorite regular guests, Bob King, chatted with Dave about when and where to see them, and how to get pictures, too. Lots of great info here including where to get the best northern lights predictions, aurora apps for your phone, and a simple explanation of what a meteor shower actually is. Bob is a photographer and photo editor at the Duluth News Tribune, and writes the popular Astrobob blog.
What do those labels on 'ecofriendly' products really mean? Dave chatted with Dr. Tim Smith of the U of MN Institute on the Environment's NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise to learn what to look for and how to better read those labels. Dr. Smith suggests the Good Guide phone app as one of many tools to help make more environmentally-friendly buying decisions.