climate change

Ecology Center
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

Founded in 1970 after the very first Earth Day, Ann Arbor's Ecology Center has focused on making many improvements to the environment.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the Ecology Center's executive director, Michael Garfield, about the many environmental improvements that have been made during that time period and the many others they are still working to address.


Erin Zylstra
Erin Zylstra / Twitter

For many, Monarch butterflies symbolize some of nature's beauty. Yet, you may have noticed fewer of them around in recent years. Erin Zylstra is a postdoctoral researcher in Michigan State University's department of integrative biology. She joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the human impact that has put the monarch on a path toward extinction. 


Sue Shink
Sue Shink

Washtenaw County had already declared an official climate emergency, and it has set a goal of getting the entire county carbon neutral by the year 2035. The "Climate Action Planning Team" has been formed, and the next steps are being taken. Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners chair Sue Shink joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the work ahead.  


Christopher Taylor
City of Ann Arbor / a2gov.org

The City of Ann Arbor has set an ambitious goal of achieving communtiy-wide carbon neutrality by 2030. The steps are set forth in the city's A2Zero plan. It is likely, however, that, to meet the target, taxpayers will have to help. Mayor Christopher Taylor recently presented a one-mill, 20-year, property tax plan to make it possible. He joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the proposal and more. 


Kristen Schweighoefer
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Flooding, pollution, and overall water quality have dominated the news lately. While municipal water systems cover the majority of state residents, 35% operate on a septic system. Regulations and code varies from place to place, and many of the systems are aging and in deteriorating shape. WEMU's David Fair checked in with Washtenaw County environmental health director Kristen Schweighoefer to discuss whether more uniform codes and standards are needed.  


Charles Griffith
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

The buses and heavy trucks that travel our towns and highway system contribute a significant part of the emissions causing climate change. We are in the midst of transition, as manufacturers are moving more toward electric vehicle production. WEMU's David Fair and Charles Griffith, the director of the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center's climate and energy program, discussed the push for Michigan to join others in a commitment to zero out emissions from heavy vehicles by 2050.  


Tony Reames
University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability / seas.umich.edu

Energy poverty is a problem all too many low-income households have to contend with. While more affluent households leave a bigger carbon footprint, it is usually people of color that suffer the most economic and health consequences. University of Michigan assistant professor and Urban Energy Justice Lab director Dr. Tony Reames explores the issues and needed solutions in this conversation with WEMU's David Fair.

Huron River
Huron River Watershed Council / hrwc.org

Water levels on the Huron River are well below where they have been the last few summers at this time. Lisa Barry talks with a planner from the Huron River Watershed Council, Daniel Brown, about river conditions and the reasons behind them.


Howard Russell
Michigan State University College of Agriculture & Natural Resources / canr.msu.edu

It's a great time of year to get outdoors! But, there are some potentially harmful critters waiting for you. Ticks have expanded their habitat in Michigan, and there is a major increase in the populations in Washtenaw County and Southeast Michigan. WEMU's David Fair checked in with Michigan State University entomologist Howard Russell to find out why that is and what we can do to keep ourselves and our pets safe. 


Lisa Denys

Spring is in the air, and it's tempting to clean up the yard.  Yet, starting too early, or cleaning too thoroughly, can be devastating to our pollinators, including bees, birds and butterfiles.  On this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair spoke with Lisa Denys, a seasonal environmental program assistant for Washtenaw County, about some tips for maintaining a clean and environmentally friendly yard. 


Lisa Del Buono
Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action / states.ms2ch.org/mi/micca

We know, with certainty, the climate crisis is negatively impacting our environment.  It is also having adverse affects on pubic health, particularly in communities of color and among low-income familes.  Dr. Lisa Del Buono is the founder of Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action.  She joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss her organization's advocacy of a carbon-fee plan to comprehensively address the issues. 


Michelle Deatrick
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Throughout Women's History Month, WEMU is talking with women who are dedicated to creating new history when it comes to environmental protections.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair recognizes Michelle Deatrick.  The former Washtenaw County Commissioner was instrumental in forming the Washtenaw County Climate Council and has now founded and leads the Democratic National Committee Council on Environment and Climate. 


US Senate
US Senate / senate.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer told a US Senate committee Wednesday that the country needs a national strategy to tackle failing infrastructure and climate change.  We have more from Rick Pluta.

University of Michigan
University of Michigan / umich.edu

The University of Michigan’s Carbon Neutrality Acceleration Program is providing grant funding to  seven projects aimed at reducing net carbon emissions.  WEMU's Heather Irvine has more. 


Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Democrats in the U.S. House have stripped a freshman Georgia Republican of her committee assignments.  Michigan's 12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell explains why she voted in favor of the disciplinary measure.  Meantime, final preparations for Former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial in the Senate are underway, and there's the COVID-19 relief package still to pass.  Representative Dingell joined WEMU's David Fair to offer her view from the House floor. 


Richard Rood
University of Michigan / umich.edu

Joe Biden will be sworn in today as the 46th President of the United States.  University of Michigan professor Richard Rood is one of many experts expecting the new administration will undo the damaging environmental policies of the Trump administration and advance the effort to combat the climate crisis.  Dr. Rood discussed his predictions with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


City of Ypsilanti

Civil and social justice issues are expected to be included in goals and objectives Ypsilanti’s City Council is beginning to prepare for the fiscal year 2021/2022.  


Ashley Payne
University of Michigan College of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering / clasp.engin.umich.edu

One of the few certainties about weather is its uncertainty.  So far, the winter of 2021 is off to a rather mild start.  But, the weather phenomenon known as "La Nina" and other factors could bring  serious snowfall to the region.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair explored the possibilities with Dr. Ashley Payne, assistant professor in climate and space sciences and engineering at the University of Michigan. 


Debbie Dingell
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy / flickr.com

We are now in the final weeks of 2020, and Congress is on the verge of passing another COVID-19 stimulus package.  12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says she'll stay in Washington D.C. until the measure is passed.  The Dearborn Democrat joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the negotiations, President-elect Biden's cabinet nominations, and to reflect on 2020 and look ahead to 2021. 


Liesl Clark
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has set a goal of making Michigan a carbon-neutral economy by the year 2050.  She has also announced a $500 million water infrastructure plan.  Liesl Clark is director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and this month's guest on "1st Friday Focus on the Environment."  She discussed the initiatives with WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak.  


University of Michigan
University of Michigan College of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering / clasp.umich.edu

The wildfires along the United States West Coast continue to devastate homes and the surrounding environment.  Many environmental experts consider this more evidence of climate change, and yet some politicians constantly dispute those claims.  Dr. Richard Rood, professor of climate and space sciences and engineering at the University of Michigan, discusses his thoughts on this conflict, as well as the effects the fires have had on southeast Michigan, with WEMU's David Fair on this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Joel Brammeier
Alliance for the Great Lakes / greatlakes.org

Climate change continues to impact the Great Lakes.  We’re at record high water levels, and the water temperatures are also on the rise.  It is changing shorelines, habitats, and the well-being of wildlife.  On WEMU’s "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak explore the ramifications, impacts, and work being done to address these issues with Joel Brammeier, President and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. 


Marie O'Neill
University of Michigan School of Public Health / sph.umich.edu

On its surface, there may not appear to be many connections between the coronavirus pandemic and the climate change crisis.  You don’t, however, have to dig very deep to find the parallels and the impacts on people of color.  Dr. Marie O‘Neill is a Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Epidemiology at the University of Michigan, and her work has put her in the path of that intersection.  Dr. O’Neill joined WEMU’s David Fair this week to help connect the dots on this week’s "Issues of the Environment."


Christopher Taylor
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Despite this year's focus on the coronavirus pandemic and racial unrest, climate change remains a great threat to the world.  This past June, Ann Arbor city officials took a major step in fighting this crisis by approving the "A2 Zero Carbon Neutrality Plan."  The overall goal is for the city of Ann Arbor to completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030.  Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor details the plan further in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair for this week's "Issues of the Environment."


University of Michigan
Taubman College / taubmancollege.umich.edu

Climate change has brought more frequent incidents of heavy rains and flooding.  Old and poorly maintained infrastructure is at risk as water levels rise, and we saw that play out in Midland where two dams broke and forced evacuation of 11,000 people.  On "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair catches up with U of M professor of urban and regional planning Dr. Richard Norton.  Together they explore what to consider about the aging dams in Michigan and how proper development planning in the future can serve as a measure of flood prevention.  


Dana Nessel
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Michigan joined 22 other states and the District of Columbia Wednesday in filing an environmental protection lawsuit.   As we hear from Rick Pluta, state Attorney General Dana Nessel wants to preserve fuel economy standards set during the Obama administration.


Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Since President Donald Trump took office, 58 environmental protection policies have been rolled back or rescinded.  37 more are in the process of being taken off the books.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair checks in with 12th District Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell about efforts to thwart federal policies that threaten environmental health and sustainability.  


Noah Weaverdyck
Noah Weaverdyck / Facebook

In an attempt to reduce its carbon footprint, the University of Michigan has pledged to freeze its investments in fossil fuel companies.  This move has drawn praise from such activist groups as the U-M's Climate Action Movement (CAM).  But it also says the school needs to go much further.  CAM member and U-M doctoral student Noah Weaverdyck discusses it all with WEMU's David Fair on this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Missy Stults
Planet Blue-University of Michigan / sustainability.umich.edu

Last year, the City of Ann Arbor declared a "climate emergency."  Now, the city aims to be carbon neutral by the year 2030.  Missy Stults, City of Ann Arbor's Sustainability and Innovations Manager, provides further details on the plan with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Trish Koman
University of Michigan Multidisciplinary Design Program / umich.edu

Many cities and residents in Michigan have already begun to feel the effects of climate change.  Such changes can damage the environment and public health.  Dr. Trish Koman, a research investigator for the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, and her colleagues have developed the Michigan Environmental Project, an online mapping tool designed to track climate change impacts in Michigan.  She talks about how the project works with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


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