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Sandy Kurtz

Hurricane Harvey hit Houston hard! Several days of excessive rain and wind flooded the city with four feet of rain in places where residents never before worried. City fathers admitted the storm surge didn’t lead to heavy flooding, but instead an ... more

Oct 4, 2017 1:49 PM Shades of Green

How many times have you heard someone say, “Yeah, when I was a kid, my mom would kick us out of the house and say ‘don’t come back ‘til dinner’?” Maybe it was even true for you. These days, however, mothers will likely say, “it’s dinner time—turn ... more

Sep 13, 2017 12:24 PM Shades of Green

In 2012, TVA suddenly cut numerous mature trees in people’s back yards bordering transmission lines. Contractors showed up unannounced to kill all tree species that might grow 15 feet tall within the wide power line easement. When citizens asked ... more

Aug 9, 2017 11:02 AM Shades of Green

For safe development purposes, land has been divided into two categories: greenfields and brownfields. You likely sense that a greenfield would be a farm or a place where no business or manufacturer has ever polluted. By process of elimination ... more

Jul 12, 2017 11:03 AM Shades of Green

Well, he has done it. President Trump has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Accord. Outrageous! As dust settles, we find China the new world leader in the urgent charge to ameliorate climate chaos. China, partnering with the European Union, will ... more

Jun 7, 2017 11:32 AM Shades of Green

Imagine yourself amidst a crowd of 200,000 people on a sweltering day marching on hot pavement in Washington D.C. Imagine this positive, energetic crowd bringing a message in unison to the center of U.S. governmental power: Listen! Listen, ... more

May 10, 2017 12:04 PM Shades of Green

Cuba and Tennessee are about the same size and shape. I am just back from Camaguey, Cuba, a city of 321,000 in the island’s center. I went to compare our use of natural resources to that of a communist country. What about water, air, energy ... more

Apr 12, 2017 12:22 PM Shades of Green

Chattanooga was once known as the dirtiest city in America. The soot in our air caused one wit to say, “We like to see what we’re breathing.” Clearly, we have come a long way: Our air is clean. Dirty manufacturing is behind us. We have clean ... more

Apr 5, 2017 12:21 PM Cover Story 1 Comments

It’s a stressful time for those who care about the environment given happenings in Washington D.C. With approval of fossil fuel industry shill Scott Pruitt as head of EPA, there’s a concerted effort to gut the budget, throw out clean water and ... more

Mar 8, 2017 11:46 AM Shades of Green

Turtle toenail clippings, fish fin clips, and fish body receivers. These components of aquatic research and education move forward right here in Chattanooga’s Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute (TNACI). Local scientists in their new ... more

Feb 8, 2017 11:19 AM Shades of Green

2016. What a year! For the environmentally minded, the election outcome brought great despair and concern about Earth’s future health. Will it mean runaway global climate change if the U.S. ignores the Paris Agreement? Will it mean ratcheting up ... more

Jan 11, 2017 11:08 AM Shades of Green

Well, it’s December, the holiday season! Amidst all the extra tasks, the shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping gifts, and entertaining plus special programs and party attendance, sooner or later you are justified in asking why. Good question ... more

Dec 7, 2016 11:56 AM Shades of Green

Thanksgiving is a time when we pause, however briefly, to feel grateful for the bountiful Earth, the sustenance it provides, and our continued existence. It’s a wonderful day especially for environmentally-minded folks as it reminds us of ... more

Nov 9, 2016 12:49 PM Shades of Green

In the October 2010 “Shades of Green” column, I wrote about how trees produce fall colors. I advised leaf peepers to emerge from air conditioning and enjoy autumn. Once again it’s time to appreciate the wondrous way in which deciduous trees ... more

Oct 5, 2016 11:04 AM Shades of Green

“Never before have people had to think about the well-being of the entire planet. We did not ask for this task, but it is the one being demanded of us.” —Sally McFague, eco-theologian and author, retired professor from Vanderbilt University ... more

Sep 7, 2016 1:01 PM Shades of Green

Did you hear there’s a fabulous Pokémon Go game you should play? Did you hear that Taylor Swift is feuding with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian? Did you hear that Watts Bar Nuclear Reactor #1 has been given permission to increase the amount ... more

Aug 10, 2016 11:56 AM Shades of Green

Do you remember the first picture you ever drew not counting wall scribbles? Chances are it was an outdoor scene with a stick figure, a square house and gable roof. The green grass bottom supported several “stems” and colorful U-shaped ... more

Jul 13, 2016 10:07 AM Shades of Green

We had arrived! Four small bags were affixed to a rope above us. Lizzie Diener, an avian field technician, removed one, and carefully opened it, retrieving a small bird. The tufted titmouse indignantly protested while being ... more

Jun 8, 2016 12:35 PM Shades of Green 1 Comments

Six legs, a pointed abdomen, and wings measuring up to ¾ inches in length and weighing .000088 ounces. Both males and females eat nectar for food, but the female sucks blood to supply protein for eggs. more

May 11, 2016 2:27 PM Shades of Green

Gardeners have been itching to get their hands in the soil since the first seed catalogs began arriving in the mail in February. People are mobbing garden centers to purchase young plants for home flower and vegetable ... more

Apr 27, 2016 2:28 PM , Cover Story

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