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139 Countries Could Get All of their Power from Renewable Sources

From the Scientific American, November 19, 2015 – Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucchi have done it again. This time they’ve spelled out how 139 countries can each generate all the energy needed for homes, businesses, industry, transportation, agriculture—everything—from wind, solar and water power technologies, by 2050. Their national blueprints, released Nov. 18, follow similar plans […]

schmeckle art contest photo

Friends of Schmeeckle Reserve arts contest exhibition slated

Entries in the second annual Friends of Schmeeckle Reserve Writing, Art, and Photo contest will be exhibited during December at the Portage County Public Library in Stevens Point. First and second-place winners in each of the categories will be honored at an opening reception at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2. The public is welcome to […]


La Crosse Mayor presents city progress toward resilience

The Local Government Summit on Energy and Resilience, held in Stevens Point on November 18th featured many speakers about energy conservation and renewable energy. Mayor Tim Kabat of La Crosse described the significant progress his city has made, including: Reducing electricity use by 22% since 2007 through installing upgraded lighting and variable speed drives, saving […]


Plan for stricter guidelines on pesticide use is welcomed by some but irks farmers

From the Montreal Gazette, Quebec, November 22, 2015 – David Heurtel, the minister of sustainable development, the environment and the fight against climate change announced at a news conference that he will introduce legislation this winter to amend the Pesticides Act. The pesticides being targeted with the tough new legislation include atrazine and neonicotinoids, which will […]


Farm worker pesticide rules tightened

From Los Angeles Times, September 28, 2015. The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday established the first minimum-age requirement — 18 — for farm workers applying pesticides to fields.The change is part of a revision of pesticide rules by the agency, which acknowledged that previous regulation was not enough to prevent an estimated $10 million to $15 […]


Neonicotinoid Pesticides Make Bees Worse Pollinators

From Popular Science, November 18, 2015 – Bees live up to their busy reputation. These insects are responsible for pollinating $15 billion worth of crops in the United States. But bee populations have been dwindling for years, and scientists are still trying to figure out why.  One of the major suspects in bee declines is […]


There’s a population crisis all right. But probably not the one you think

From The Guardian, November 19, 2015 – This column is about the population crisis. About the breeding that’s laying waste the world’s living systems. But it’s probably not the population crisis you’re thinking of. This is about another one, that we seem to find almost impossible to discuss. You’ll hear a lot about population in […]


PSC votes to cut rates but raise customer fee for Green Bay utility

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 20, 2015 – Rates for customers of a Green Bay electric utility are on track to drop in 2016, but the customer fixed charge will rise by $2 a month under a plan approved Thursday by state energy regulators. Customers of Wisconsin Public Service Corp. will pay a fixed […]


Wisconsin second in U.S. with organic farms

From the Wisconsin State Farmer, November 18, 2015, Madison – Organic farming is alive and well in the state of Wisconsin, according to the newly released 2014 Organic Survey. The survey is compiled by the USDA using data from the Ag Census. The report includes all known farm operators who produced organic crops and/or livestock […]


Should Stevens Point develop bike share?

From the Stevens Point Journal, November 12, 2015, STEVENS POINT — A local interest group might develop a new system in the city to help residents, students and visitors get from Point A to Point B. As bike sharing programs grow in popularity across the country, the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is discussing whether one might benefit […]


One farmer’s fight against contaminants in groundwater

From the Wausau Daily Herald, November 15, 2015 – In the early 1990s, Jim Goodman and his wife began to worry about how the chemicals they were using on the farm might affect their children. The fourth-generation Wisconsin farmer decided to make the shift away from conventional farming at his Sauk County operation. Now certified […]


Nitrate in water widespread, current rules no match for it

From the Wisconsinwatch.org, November 15, 2015 – Born a month early in the spring of 1999, Case 8 had been thriving on formula. But at three weeks old, when her family ran out of bottled water and started using boiled water from the household well at the dairy farm where they lived, she got sick. She […]

green building

Architect Brown, green building expert Eggert honored for efforts

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 9, 2015 – An architect who helped lead implementation of green building practices and the founder of a statewide sustainable business organization have won top honors from the Wisconsin affiliate of the U.S. Green Building Council. Tom Brown of Stevens Point and Tom Eggert of Madison were recognized with […]


The next food revolution: fish farming?

From the Christian Science Monitor, October 25, 2015, Sanggou Bay, China; and Truro, Mass. — Sanggou Bay looks like a place where the pointillism movement has been unleashed on an ocean canvas. All across the harbor on China’s northeastern coast, thousands of tiny buoys – appearing as black dots – stretch across the briny landscape […]