Commentary – Soul of a Luddite

When the season of giving and getting is over, households across the country are left to sort through the empty boxes and wonder how they ever got along without their new toys. But Great Lakes Radio Consortium commentator, Julia King, worries what all those new toys really mean-for our daily lives, for our fellow humans and for the planet:

Canine Unit Tracks Down Poachers

Mike Evers and a Golden Labrador-Retriever named Sky are always on the hunt. They’re hunting for people, fish, deer and black beer. They’re one of the three Labrador-Retriever canine units with Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources. Evers and Sky work throughout Southern Ontario. They help conservation officers catch poachers. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Myfanwy Davies joined them on a recent hunt:

Pet Diet Pill

It’s not news that Americans are obsessed with weight. And anytime a new product comes along, promising to take off pounds with little effort, chances are, it’s going to make money. And just such a product has hit the store shelves. But it’s not for people. It’s for pets. And it made the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson wonder: How far are we willing to go to get our animals slim and trim?

Rare Plant Finder

Before land can be logged, or roads built, or other development takes place on federal and state land, the officials in charge have to write up a statement about how the development will affect the land. Sometimes they just go by maps. But other times they send out researchers like Gary Walton, who seems to find more rare and endangered plants than just about anybody else. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Stephanie Hemphill has more:

Football Trash Talking

This time of year while football teams battle, and fans scream for their favorite players, they also consume food. Gobbling up hot dogs and popcorn and slurping down pops. But who picks up after these fans when the games are over? The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mary Boyle pays tribute to the clean up team at one of the nation’s largest football stadiums:

Fertility Drugs and Population Control

After reportedly taking fertility drugs, a woman in Iowa, already the mother of one, is now carrying septuplets. While Great Lakes Radio Consortium commentator Julia King wishes the family well, the situation has her wondering about the wisdom of creating such modern day miracles:

Synthetic Wine Corks Popping Up All Over

The art of wine-making is thousands of years old, and the practice of closing the bottles with cork has been the industry standard for at least three hundred years. But corks can crumble or leak and for years, wine-makers have been looking for alternatives. Now, they may have one. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson has the story:

Endangered Foghorns

Foghorns along the Great Lakes serve a dual purpose: each has a distinctive pattern of sound and silence that, with the help of a chart, tells boaters where they are. And in fog, the horns help lead them safely into harbor. But now the Coast Guard is questioning whether the horns are really necessary. Soon the melancholy wail of a distant foghorn may become just a memory to the people along much of Lake Michigan’s shoreline. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson has this report:

There Could Be an Oil Tank Buried in Your Yard

There’s a danger lurking underground… and it may be in your own yard. Most homeowners don’t even know their old fuel tanks present an environmental risk. But in some places, the law says if the tank isn’t being used, it has to be removed. And as the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson found out, sometimes an environmental story is right in your own backyard: