Iowa Public Radio: “Could Electric Cars be Bad for the Environment?”


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Photo by freefotouk; Flickr

Conservationist and author of the book “Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism,” Ozzie Zehner spoke with Iowa Public Radio yesterday about the negative effects electric cars have on the environment, highlighting that they can have an even worse impact on the environment than average cars. Continue reading

Conservation Reserve Program in Iowa


Tom Vilsack announcing adding 400,000 acres to the CRP. Photo by USDAgov, Flickr.
Tom Vilsack announcing adding 400,000 acres to the CRP. Photo by USDAgov, Flickr.

Iowa Public Radio details the efforts of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in Iowa.

The CRP is a program where farmers receive money to keep portions of their land out of production. This reduces runoff, prevents erosion and creates more habitats for migrating birds.

Read about CRP and its future here.

Experts discuss radon testing in Iowa’s schools


Radon mitigation system. Photo by theglauber, Flickr.
Radon mitigation system. Photo by theglauber, Flickr.

Iowa Public Radio spoke with Senator Matt McCoy, a radon–induced lung cancer survivor and a member of the Iowa Association of School Boards about radon testing in Iowa Schools.

As detailed in our radio segment, a bill was proposed in Iowa that would require schools to test for radon ever two years. If the schools fail the test twice, they would have to install radon remediation systems.

Listen to Iowa Public Radio’s story here.

Sand mining controversy in northeast Iowa


sand mining

Iowa Public Radio has created a series of stories about the fracking controversy in northeast Iowa.

There’s no oil or gas fracking in Iowa. The controversy is over frack sand mining. This is finely-grained sand that’s used during the process of hydraulic fracking.

Many communities in northeast Iowa are worried about some of the consequences of the increased sand mining. These include destruction of local hills, increased truck traffic and pollution.

Check out the stories here.

 

Climate change alters animal reproduction


Photo by GraphicReality, Flickr.
Photo by GraphicReality, Flickr.

Climate change could affect reproduction in some animals.

Specifically, some animals – especially reptiles – have temperature dependent sex determination. In other words, the temperature leading up to some animals’ birth will determine if the offspring is male or female. Cold weather usually leads to more males, and warm weather leads to more females.

The worry is that this could lead to the extinction of some species as the planet continues to warm.

Listen to the full story, including interviews with Iowa State University researchers, here.

IPR discusses Iowa’s water


The Mississippi River. Photo by SSShupe, Flckr.
The Mississippi River. Photo by SSShupe, Flckr.

Iowa Public Radio has released a piece about the state of Iowa’s water supply.

The beginning of the segment focuses on the research of University of Iowa assistant professor, and CGRER member, Craig Just. He discusses his research using mussels to monitor water quality in the Mississippi River.

Author Charles Fishman is also part of the radio segment. He wrote “The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water.”

Check out the full story here.

Benefits of the drought in Iowa


Photo by Phil Roeder, Flickr.
Photo by Phil Roeder, Flickr.

While the drought had many negative consequences, there were also a few benefits.

Iowa Public Radio highlighted some of these benefits in a story last week.

The drought provided near ideal conditions for Iowa’s wineries, since grapes grow better in drier conditions. It also helped Iowa’s pheasant population. Pheasants struggle to survive in cold and wet temperatures after hatching. Finally, the drought meant that there was less agricultural runoff.

Read and listen to the full story here.