God bless the farmers

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn what the World Bank environmental advisors say — or think, for that matter. I would speculate that, before the 16th century, there were more buffalo in America than there are cattle now. I would even go further to speculate that there were many more wild animal farts […]

NOAA announces new National Climate Service, taps Asheville’­s Karl to lead

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Monday announced a plan to create a new Climate Service to meet an ever-increasing demand for information about climate change, and officials tapped Thomas R. Karl, the director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, to work as “transitional director” of the new Climate Service.

Headwaters Gathering shines spotlight on local climate change

Now’s the time to consider how climate change might affect our region, say the organizers of the first Headwaters Gathering. Dubbed “Southern Appalachia at the Crossroads,” the conference, slated for the weekend of March 27-29 at Warren Wilson College, will bring together a diverse mix of experts, environmentalists, activists, writers and community leaders, says Margo […]

The Green Scene

Rick Borchelt is one of those rare scientists who’s also a good communicator. So says Pamela McCown, a former TV meteorologist who’s now involved in educational and job-creation initiatives in Western North Carolina. She describes Borchelt as a biologist who “was bit by the science-communication bug.” Communications director for the Genetics and Public Policy Center […]

Hot air

Several years ago, poet/farmer Wendell Berry penned a controversial essay titled “Why I am Not Going to Buy a Computer,” in which he presented a clearheaded rationale for not buying into this form of technological slavery. His critics countered that computers enable them to follow and respond to the numerous environmental issues we face. Berry […]

Asheville activists arrested at Cliffside power plant

As the sky grew light on the morning of April 1, a half-dozen activists locked themselves to the heavy earth-moving equipment parked at the Cliffside power plant construction site in Rutherford County. At least three Asheville residents joined others from across the state to protest Duke Energy’s recently permitted, 800-megawatt coal-fired facility. The 20 or […]

The Green Scene

Asheville’s air quality “borderline” under new standard Every five years, the Environmental Protection Agency is required to take a hard look at its air-quality standards to verify that they’re strict enough to protect public health. During the latest assessment, announced March 12, the federal agency concluded that its restriction on ground-level ozone—the pollutant that causes […]

The Green Scene

Tracking N.C.‘s carbon footprint A new online database called Carbon Monitoring for Action could prove to be a powerful tool for activists who are pushing companies and policy-makers to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Available at no cost to users, the easy-to-navigate database displays information about how much carbon dioxide individual power plants, utilities and geographic regions […]

About that climate change business …

While environmentalists’ discussions tend revolve around how to avert catastrophic climate change, the business world is slowly starting hatch plans for adapting to the looming repercussions of an altered climate. Wired earth: On a tour of the National Climatic Data Center, staffer Carmella Watkins introduces “the magic planet,” an educational tool that creates a visual […]

Dog day afternoon

Like a bank officer turning down a loan, Doug Stachura sat behind his desk late last week in his office at Bank of America’s main local branch, at 68 Patton Ave., with arms crossed resolutely. His gaze, while not unfriendly, spoke volumes. With two acts of protest against the Charlotte-based bank’s financing of coal companies […]

Policing the protest

At 2:10 p.m. on Aug. 13, the Asheville Police Department received a call about the protest at Bank of America. Later in the afternoon, they announced the arrests of five protesters inside the bank on charges of trespassing, failure to disperse and resisting arrest. photo by Jon Elliston Sgt. Lizz Budd was the first to […]

Sticking their necks out

The day before the demonstration at Bank of America, the activists gathered at the Southeast Convergence for Climate Action were feeling stressed out. Despite the tranquil wooded surroundings at their camp near Brevard, the solar-powered van providing their electricity and the spicy rice and vegetables being served up for lunch, the air crackled with tension. […]