Can desalination save us from freshwater woes?

Dear EarthTalk: If the world is running out of freshwater, why aren’t we desalinating more ocean water?

—H. Smith, Providence, R.I.


Salty oceans cover 70 percent of the earth’s surface while freshwater becomes increasingly scarcer due to human overpopulation and climate change. Globally some 700 million people lack access to clean water while droughts are the norm in many regions.

Fly quiet: Airlines starting to address noise pollution

Dear EarthTalk: I’ve noticed more and more air traffic over my house in Seattle and I’m getting a little sick of all the noise. Is there anything I can do to force the airlines to disperse their routes more widely or, even better, cut back on their number of flights?   — Bill G., Seattle, WA

Low-carbon diet: The easy way to fight global warming

Dear EarthTalk: What is a low-carbon diet and is it good for losing weight or is it only about saving the planet?

— Jane Monroe

Scranton, Penn.


What do you suggest for healthy green snacks?

Dear EarthTalk: I’m looking for some ideas for healthy, green snacks to have around the house and pack into the kids’ lunches. Any ideas?

Mickey P.

Salt Lake City, UT


China has massive reforestation program

Dear EarthTalk: I’ve heard that China and other nations have gone gangbusters with reforestation projects that are ambitious enough to have a significant impact of cutting carbon emissions. Why aren’t we also doing this here in the U.S.?

Mickie Infurcia

Hamden, Conn.


Wishing for more fish in the sea

Dear EarthTalk: There’s a lot of talk about overfishing and pollution wreaking havoc in marine ecosystems, but has anyone actually studied if there is less wildlife in the oceans these days?

Melissa Cassidy

Raleigh, N.C.


DST good or bad for Earth?

Dear EarthTalk: Would extending Daylight Savings Time (DST) year-round have benefits for the environment?

—Jane Wyckoff, Soquel, CA


Please explain the ‘Green New Deal’

Dear EarthTalk: What is the so-called Green New Deal proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and is Congress likely to go for it?

Mark Talarico

Brooklyn, N.Y.


What is bitcoin and how does it work?

Dear EarthTalk: How is it that bitcoin, a virtual currency that few of us have heard of and no one I know uses, is becoming a major contributor to carbon emissions?

Troy Sussman

Bowie, Md.


Toilet paper without tubes — too good to be true?

Dear EarthTalk: Does the Scott brand’s “tube-free” toilet paper really save much paper or is it just another form of corporate greenwashing?

Matt Potamki

Milwaukee, Wis.