Are there survivors besides the ivory-billed woodpecker?

Dear EarthTalk: Whatever became of the rediscovered ivory-billed woodpecker that we thought we had lost to extinction? What other animals that we thought went extinct have “come back” from the dead?

Betsey Edgewater

Austin, Tex.


Justify grass-fed beef

Dear EarthTalk: Even though I know a vegetarian diet is better for the environment, I love cheeseburgers and a good steak every now and then. If I stick to grass-fed beef, can I live with myself environmentally?

Jeanine Smith

Hixson, Tenn.


Yes and no, depending on how much imperfection you’re willing to tolerate. 

What are B Corporations?

Dear EarthTalk: I know what C Corporations, S Corporations and LLCs are, but what are “B Corporations” and how does this status help the environment?

Robert Gendarme

Chicago, Ill.


Blame your pets

Dear EarthTalk: Is it really true that our dogs and cats are major contributors to climate change, and if so what can we do about it?

Carmen Santiago

Newark, N.J.


Climate geoengineering

Dear EarthTalk: What is so-called green patent sharing and how does it work?

Bill Gilmore

Albuquerque, N.M.


The idea behind so-called green patent sharing is that researchers, inventors and companies can share the rights to make, use or incorporate certain patented technologies that benefit the environment, theoretically expediting the development of energy efficiency, pollution prevention, recycling, water conservation and other advances for the common good.

Protecting children from hazards

Dear EarthTalk: How can we keep our kids safe from environmental hazards all around us in our everyday lives?
Jennifer Nichols
Wareham, M.A.
Children are affected by the same environmental hazards as adults, only they’re more vulnerable, given their smaller size and the fact that their bodies are still developing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), harmful exposures can start as early as in utero.

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Did global warming cause Hurricane Harvey?

Dear EarthTalk: Was Hurricane Harvey caused by global warming?

Tom Dell

Bern, N.C.


The short answer is no. No single hurricane or weather event can be directly linked to the general phenomena known as climate change. 

“Climate change does not cause things, because climate change is not a causal agent,” writes David Roberts on www.Vox.com. “‘Climate change’ is a descriptive term — it describes the fact that the climate is changing.”

How did Bloomberg become so green?

Dear EarthTalk: Since when did Michael Bloomberg become a great environmentalist?

Jackie Miller

New York, N.Y.


Michael Bloomberg was primarily known as a financier and media tycoon long before he became one of the most beloved mayors in New York City history. But what most people still don’t know about Bloomberg is that he is fast becoming one of the world’s great environmentalists through his work to hasten the transition to renewable energy and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Training people to become activists and climate advocates

Dear EarthTalk: What exactly is Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project and how does it work to train activists?

Kelly G.

Washington, D.C.


The Climate Reality Project (CRP) is a non-profit, launched in 2011 by Nobel laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore to address climate change, following up on the release of his influential book and documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth.” 

Climate-affected evolution

Dear EarthTalk: Could global warming really be a factor in the evolution of wildlife species?


Camden, N.J.


No doubt the quickly changing climate is already triggering various evolutionary shifts in a wide range of species. And while we can’t be sure just how different wildlife species will adapt (or not), scientists are already noticing some surprising changes as a result of rising surface and ocean temperatures thanks to human-induced global warming.