May 16, 2008
Bill Allen's Burlington, Vt., nonprofit is aptly named Forever Young Treehouses. Nothing brings out the kid in us like a tree house. For the last eight years, Forever Young has built universally accessible tree houses around the country, including at Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang summer camp in Ashford, Conn., for children with cancer. Forever Young recently created Lookout Loft, one of three tree houses in Longwood Gardens' "Nature's Castles" exhibit, and is a consultant for Morris Arboretum's canopy walk, which opens next year.
April 14, 2008 |
For years, climate researchers puzzled over a long hot spell around 90 million years ago, when tropical breadfruit trees flourished in Greenland, crocodiles slithered above the Arctic Circle and at least a few dinosaurs roamed Antarctica. It's a serious concern because the warmth came at least in part from greenhouse gases, and climate scientists need to understand that period, they say, to better forecast how rising carbon dioxide levels will change our climate in the future. Computer models scientists rely on for those predictions can't quite account for how steamy it got during that ancient period, says Lee Kump, a geoscience professor at Pennsylvania State University.
February 10, 2008 |
Ted Brinton, 83, stood on a step-stool and carefully unscrewed the 75-watt incandescent bulb from Barbara and Bill Kelley's hallway light fixture. He handed the bulb to Elaine Frost, who recorded the location of the lamp on a form and then selected a 20-watt compact fluorescent lightbulb from her cardboard box. "We're out of three-ways," Frost told him. "OK," he said. "I'll order more. " Brinton twisted the bulb into the socket and instructed Barbara Kelley to flick the light switch.
January 17, 2008
Qualified right The People's Plaza at Independence National Historical Park does have a grand backdrop, but people need to be cleared by the Park Service to speak up ("The rule here is: Raise your hand before you speak," Jan. 16). It is polar opposite to the original People's Plaza: Independence Square, now sadly dissected and made inaccessible by unsightly crowd fencing and hired guards. There, on July 8, 1776, in grievance to the king of England, Col. John Nixon read aloud the Declaration of Independence.
November 25, 2007 |
Planting a tree used to be such a simple thing. For many, it was a simple act of beautification. Or perhaps a way to shade a patio. But lately, planting a tree has been elevated to a cause, a mission, a step - however tiny, as skeptics note - to stall global warming. In cities throughout the country, in countries around the planet, volunteers are muddying their knees and dirtying their fingernails as they plant more, more, more! Southeastern Pennsylvania's TreeVitalize program is finishing up a mammoth tree-planting spree - more than 14,000 - this fall.
June 7, 2007 |
Despite chronic scandals that suggest it can't clean up even its own offices, the United Nations wants to manage the weather of the entire planet. In the name of cooling global warming, the U.N. is steering toward a role as chief broker for assigning and trading national rights to emit carbon dioxide. The plan amounts to a tax on high per-capita carbon emitters, such as the United States, and subsidies for low emitters, such as Laos and Equatorial Guinea. Unfortunately, a global carbon tax-cum-redistribution system would likely chill the productivity of free societies and subsidize some of the world's worst regimes.
April 4, 2007 |
The U.S. Supreme Court's groundbreaking decision that regulation of so-called greenhouse gases appears to fall under the Clean Air Act is expected to have far-reaching consequences. But for New Jersey and Pennsylvania, experts said yesterday, the biggest impact of Monday's ruling is likely to be what they won't experience - legal challenges to their programs to mandate cleaner-burning cars. Both states have enacted rules based on California legislation that regulates carbon-dioxide emissions from passenger cars and light trucks.
July 14, 2006 |
It's another hot July day. The air feels like soup. The world moves in sticky slow motion. How to beat the summer doldrums? Try shooting a geyser of soda fizz 20 feet into the air. All it takes is a couple of Mentos candies dropped into a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke, and presto, you've got a fountain guaranteed to put the pop back in your hop. This cheap thrill has triggered a craze on the Internet, multiple home videos, and bizarre renditions...
June 29, 2006
'Carbon dioxide: It's what we breathe out and plants breathe in. They call it pollution; we call it life. " That paradox expressed by the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute is being used to counter former Vice President Al Gore's scary global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. How could a life-giving gas be dangerous to our planet? What right does a president or Congress have to regulate it as if it were smog, acid rain, or arsenic? Those are the central questions the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to answer by hearing Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency next fall.
June 4, 2006 |
Never mind that Atlantic City will be underwater and the rest of us blown away by hurricanes. Here's another threat associated with global warming: giant poison ivy vines. And for those who come in contact with them, a more vigorous version of the horrendously itchy and ugly rash. For decades, foresters have noted the increased abundance of woody vines. They suspected rising levels of carbon dioxide, which fuels photosynthesis. Now, researchers who spent six years monitoring plots of poison ivy in the Duke University forest - to their eventual discomfort - have proved it. Lead researcher Jacqueline E. Mohan was a Duke doctoral student when she picked poison ivy for her study because, as only a scientist might say, it is "a very special type of plant.