Environment Picture

Michigan Environmental Report

Spring 2012

Vol. 30 Issue 2

Rosina Bierbaum: Shaping policy, leaders

A life spent researching mollusks and microbiology might have suited Rosina Bierbaum just fine. We’ll never know. A timely series of interventions redirected her ambitions from marine biology to the chaotic intersection of politics, science and public policy. In that arena—working for employers as lofty as the President of the United States, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the University of Michigan—Bierbaum has carved out a definitive role in shaping public policy and training young people to make positive impacts on resource protection.
View Article2012-06-17  •  Spring 2012 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: MEC Board, MEC Member Groups

Blair Miller: Building a sense of place in his community

Blair Miller’s life is a contact sport. He’s scrapped with what he describes as the “good old boy network” in rural Vermontville Township, where he was elected to the township board before getting broomed in a recall election. He learned to fly planes in three weeks—insisting on landing at Chicago’s Midway Airport during training because: “If I’m going to fly, I’m going to learn how to do it in the busiest place.” And in response to a running dispute with the University of Michigan, Miller once mowed a massive block “M”—framed by a circle with a line slashed through it—in the fallow field outside his home. Private planes would fly by to see the oversized protest.
View Article2012-06-17  •  Spring 2012 - Michigan Environmental Report

Michigan Distilled blog, social media growth expand MEC’s reach

Are you enjoying Brad Garmon’s excellent climate change piece and Hugh McDiarmid’s harrowing honeybee tale in this issue? How about Allie Muchmore’s “Michigan Girl” story last issue? All are versions of stories originally published on MEC’s blog, Michigan Distilled, which launched in February and has been providing thoughtful, regular content for fans of Michigan’s environment ever since.
View Article2012-06-03  •  Spring 2012 - Michigan Environmental Report

President's Column: Troubling partisan gulf threatens environmental protection

A Pew Research Center report issued in June affirms what most of us already sense: Political polarization in this country is growing at an accelerated pace. The big news here is that political identity is now the greatest division among us; more than race, class or sex.
View Article2012-06-20  •  Spring 2012 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: legislation

Bell ringers! Environmental successes won in recent weeks

In each issue of the Michigan Environmental Report, we celebrate accomplishments by MEC and member groups.
View Article2012-06-20  •  Spring 2012 - Michigan Environmental Report

Reclaimed scrap metal provides raw materials for creative riverside bike racks

Artsy bike racks built with scrap metal are sprinkling the Lansing River Trail thanks to an innovative partnership.
View Article2012-06-01  •  Spring 2012 - Michigan Environmental Report

MEC poll: Voters willing to pay more for road, transportation upgrades

Michigan voters know the state’s roads and public transportation systems need help, and they’re willing to pay more taxes to improve them, a poll commissioned by the Michigan Environmental Council shows.
View Article2012-06-06  •  Spring 2012 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: transportation policy

MEC overheard in the news

“Well, the bottom line is that the legislature is not going to do anything. So, it’s going to be up to the people to say we want cleaner energy in the future and we want more of our energy dollars being spent on Michigan workers and Michigan products.” —MEC Policy Director James Clift on Michigan Radio’s May 22 Environment Report talking about the proposed renewable energy ballot initiative to require 25 percent renewable electricity generation by 2025
View Article2012-06-07  •  Spring 2012 - Michigan Environmental Report

Great Lakes Trivia Quiz

The days are long and hot, amplifying our appreciation for our deep and (mostly) clear lakes. Let’s celebrate Michigan’s special place on the planet—in the cradle of the greatest freshwater system on Earth—by testing your knowledge of the Great Lakes and Michigan’s water resources.
View Article2012-06-15  •  Spring 2012 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: Great Lakes

Honeybees: Good for Michigan’s environment; bad when they’re inside your bee suit!

A honeybee swarm in a residential neighborhood can be terrifying, unless you know a bit about honeybees. I learned from the wise old hands from the Southeastern Michigan Beekeepers Association, who taught me and several dozen other newbie classmates the ancient art and science of this fascinating trade/hobby last year.
View Article2012-06-08  •  Spring 2012 - Michigan Environmental Report

New report: Mining law loopholes put rivers, resources at risk

A new report from the National Wildlife Federation and Ecojustice Canada concludes that gaps, inconsistencies and loopholes in U.S. state and Canadian provincial laws are leaving the Great Lakes and other natural resources vulnerable to a new wave of mining activity sweeping the Upper Great Lakes states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota and Canadian province of Ontario.
View Article2012-06-12  •  Spring 2012 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: land use

Climate or weather?

I’m a scientist by training. I know the difference between climate and weather. So the fact that it’s supposed to hit 87 degrees today, March 21, in Lansing, Michigan, and that my neighbors are mowing their grass, that the trees in my yard are sprouting fresh new buds, and friends have been slapping mosquitoes? That’s weather.
View Article2012-06-20  •  Spring 2012 - Michigan Environmental Report
RELATED TOPICS: climate change
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