It’s a volatile time in the state budget process, and North Carolina’s main environmental agency, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, can do little but watch as legislators, led by a recently installed GOP majority, work to close an estimated $2.4-billion shortfall through sharp cuts to its budget, expected to be approved in June. This week’s negotiations included a proposal to cut DENR’s Asheville office by two thirds, and eliminate the Mooresville office (in the Charlotte area) altogether.
A look at what’s been making headlines.
All the trees on [Interstate] 40 along the sloped median strip from Exit 64 to Exit 55 are being clear-cut. Not trimmed, but totally destroyed. I do not believe road hazard — or visibility or whatever explanation the North Carolina Department of Transportation chooses to present — justifies this total destruction of the environment. Now […]
Coming in on the heels of the story “Hidden Hazards” in the Jan. 12 Mountain Xpress, an old fight is re-presenting itself in our community. It’s not hidden, and reminds me that what we don’t know can kill us. The prospect is not only for a neighborhood nuclear-waste dump but, at the very least, what […]
I applaud Mr. Ivey's letter [“‘Man-Made’ Global Warming is a Man-Made Myth,” Dec. 1 Xpress], although I don't hold his belief that global cooling [has been] going on since 1998. I would be interested to [see] the data he has that demonstrates this, as the data I am familiar with demonstrates increasing temperatures since 1998 […]
“Sustainability” has cropped up frequently in city policy statements in recent years, often accompanied by pleas for denser, more affordable housing to promote a style of living that proponents maintain is more energy-efficient and compatible with mass transit. But Montford resident Bernard Carman says he’s not impressed. He's owned a historic home on Cumberland Avenue, […]
What if you took the concept of "living green" literally? In Asheville, you'd certainly have plenty of options that could help make the case against Kermit the Frog's plaintive lament, "It's not easy being green." This area is thick with places that incorporate the term into their identities, from grocery stores and cafés to gas […]
At 1 a.m. on Dec. 22, some 500 million gallons of coal sludge flooded 15 homes in a 400-acre area west of Knoxville. Unleashed by a break in a waste-pond retaining wall at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston coal-fired plant, the wave of mud and coal ash knocked at least one home off its foundation and was as deep as 6 feet as it rushed downstream.
Imagine that you’re on a coffee farm in Nicaragua. After pulping and rinsing the coffee “cherries,” the precious beans are dried, sold and shipped all around the world for roasting and brewing. It’s good, tasty stuff. Coffee from cherries: Your cup of joe begins as a little red “cherry” with two coffee beans hidden inside. […]
Separate conservation actions are set to preserve some 2,260 acres of South Carolina’s famous low country.
Environmental awards have been piling up like fall leaves around here. Xpress thought you might like to know who’s been winning what, and why. Asheville’s got (compressed) gas Eight years ago this month, Mark Combs persuaded Asheville’s City Council to add natural-gas-fueled vehicles to its fleet. The public-works director argued that grants were available for […]
As leaves fall and a late frost arrives, I gaze at my garden. I’ve been busy these past few weeks, and now I’m weighed down by the guilt of all the unfinished garden tasks. Driving to work, I’ve seen other gardens freshly plowed, cleared of their brown cornstalks and rotting tomatoes. Mine remains a mix […]
Driving south of Providence, R.I., on Route 4 about 20 years ago, I used to see an old house that had a large cold frame installed on its south side, facing the highway. After about three winters of seeing it in use, I finally decided I just had to check it out. So I asked […]
Editor’s note: Xpress reporter Rebecca Bowe was part of a team of journalists invited by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism to travel to Alaska Aug. 13-16 to view the on-the-ground effects of climate change. Her experiences there provided some of the material for this article. Click the image above to view a slideshow by […]
Several solar-power plants are in operation or on the drawing boards across the state of North Carolina. Proponents declare that the industry is coming of age — from residential to small-company to large-utility applications.
I feel sad about the dialogue that isn’t happening concerning choices that have lasting, detrimental effects on our children and the planet. Sad that environmentalists are seen as a threat. Sad that the environmental community remains stuck in its own groups and doesn’t pool resources, efforts, hearts and hands to create the future we want […]
A possible program to promote lower carbon emissions from North Carolina vehicles took a step forward this week in the General Assembly, with the help of two WNC legislators.
Paddling along the section of the Swannanoa that runs alongside Swannanoa River Road, which winds underneath the bridges that connect to Circuit City and Wal-Mart, we saw a lot of junk.
One year later, Haywood County casts a critical eye at how its Slope Ordinance is actually working, and what improvements may be in order.
The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower-court decision paving the way for a lawsuit to require TVA to clean up its power plants.