Category Archives: Environment

The Legacy of Local Environmentalist Bruce Hannon

“The rivers are the place where nature still exists.” – Bruce Hannon, 2017 interview for Prairie Rivers Network’s 50th Anniversary. Bruce Hannon, the founder of Prairie Rivers Network (PRN), passed away on Sunday, February 18, 2024. Bruce’s accomplishments are too … Continue reading

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Canada Goose Population Control: Homeowner Associations Become Experts—Print Version

See the full version of this article here. Spring is a good time to consider the giant Canada goose and methods of population control that are legal and humane. Canada geese (Branta canadensis maxima), like all waterfowl, are protected at … Continue reading

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Canada Goose Population Control: Homeowner Associations Become Experts—Long Version

Spring is a good time to consider the giant Canada goose and methods of population control that are legal and humane. March is breeding time. Male and female breeding pairs separate from the flock and become very protective of their … Continue reading

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Carbon Capture, Illinois’ Biggest Coal Fired Power Plant, and the Prairie Research Institute

Carbon capture has become the divisive hot topic in Illinois climate policy over the last year. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) included substantial subsidies for carbon capture that have created an industry gold rush looking to build and operate carbon … Continue reading

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Rescuing the Embarras River

Tucked into the southwest corner of the University of Illinois’s Urbana-Champaign campus, just beyond student housing and mostly hidden by roadside grasses, a ditch runs along a solar farm and through research farmland. This is the humble beginning of the … Continue reading

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Remembering David Monk

David Monk, 91, died on December 2, 2022. For a detailed account of his life and accomplishments, refer to the News-Gazette article published on July 13, 2022, soon after he went into hospice care. It is not easy to summarize … Continue reading

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Sola Gratia Farm Grows Good in CU

Here in Central Illinois, we’re surrounded by prime farmland—miles and miles of crops, primarily corn and soy, growing on some of the most fertile soil in the world. And yet, approximately one in seven adults and one in five children … Continue reading

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The Inflation Reduction Act: Historic Climate Legislation with a Lifeline to Fossil Fuels

With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August, many environmental advocates and others concerned about rapidly rising global temperatures breathed a collective sigh of relief. The US finally is taking historic action to address the climate crisis. … Continue reading

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West Virginia v. EPA: SCOTUS Decision Not Necessarily a Blow to Climate Action

Supreme Court rulings, once announced, sometimes take on curious lives. Understood in one way when released, they can, as precedent, shape the law in other, unexpected ways. The Supreme Court’s opinion in West Virginia v. US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), … Continue reading

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Illinois Responds to “Code Red” Climate Alarm

  IPCC Issues a Code Red for Humanity “Code Red for Humanity” has become the new rallying cry for climate action. The phrase was coined by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in reference to the August climate report, released … Continue reading

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Victory! Dynegy Will Move Its Ash

No More “Cap and Run” After a multi-year campaign calling for the clean-up of coal ash along the Middle Fork of the Vermilion, Illinois’ only National Scenic River, Dynegy Midwest Generation, owner of the coal ash, has finally agreed to … Continue reading

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This is going to take more than windmills: Addressing Trauma at the UN Climate Summit

Climate activists from around the world converged on New York City during the United Nations Climate Summit in September, 2019, and I was lucky enough to be invited to contribute to this historic moment. There were scientists, lawyers, architects and … Continue reading

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University and High School Students Collaborate to Host September 20th Climate Strike

Between September 20 and 27, over 6000 protests took place in 185 countries as part of the Global Week for Future. Students walked out of classes, workers went on strike, and millions gathered to demand climate justice and take action … Continue reading

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After Statewide Coal Ash Victory, the Fight for the Middle Fork Continues

Protecting the integrity of our natural resources requires multigenerational vigilance, perseverance and dedication. Successes are rarely quick and easy, and generally only mark milestones in an unending quest to preserve what we hold dear. Such is the story of the … Continue reading

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Faith in Place: Twenty Years Protecting the Earth and All Who Depend on It

At the dedication of a community garden, in a smallish county seat, I met Robyn, whose high school class had sown and nurtured the vegetable seedlings that we planted that day. She told me: “My special-needs students learn so much … Continue reading

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Unacceptable Levels—Our Body Burden, Our Planet Burden

Our planet is drowning in synthetic chemicals. Our bodies have become synthetic chemical processing plants. A 2005 Environmental Working Group study of umbilical cord blood revealed that babies are born already pre-polluted with over 200 industrial contaminates. Hundreds of the … Continue reading

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No Time to Wait: Let’s Make a Green New Deal!

As a series of intergovernmental panels and the March 15 global wave of student strikes remind us, the environmental crisis is no longer a thing of the future. It is our here and now, exacting a toll on the world’s … Continue reading

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Think Heliocentrically, Act Locally

“We are building solar at all scales.” Scott R. Tess, Urbana’s Environmental Sustainability Manager The Big Picture Solar power from photovoltaic (PV) panels has been around for a long time now, and the technology is definitely ready for prime time. Here, … Continue reading

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A New Option to Finance A Clean Energy Future for Everyone

While renewable energy technologies have made tremendous strides in recent decades, financing and investment options for those who want to go green have remained scarce. The Clean Energy Credit Union (CECU), chartered by the American Solar Energy Association in 2017, … Continue reading

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Air Pollution in Champaign-Urbana

By Jacquelyn Potter Why Should We be Concerned? Our most immediate necessity for life is breathing.  It’s the process of taking in life-giving substances and releasing metabolic by-products; therefore, clean air is vital for survival.  It’s only when substances are … Continue reading

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