Environment

Part One: Old Salem. Just as our country was being forged in the halls of the Continental Congress and birthed in the Revolutionary war, a group of hardy Moravian immigrants was building a settlement in the Piedmont of North Carolina. The town of Salem sprang up and still remains just outside of Winston-Salem. Today it is a living museum, a window into some of the earliest founders of our state. We’ll visit with the President of Old Salem Inc., a company devoted to the settlement and to educating North Carolinians and other visitors on life in colonial North Carolina. Follow us back in time when Charlotte Talks.

Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy, Inc.

Nuclear power continues to be a hot topic when it comes to America's energy future but a new invention could change the entire landscape for nuclear power, or so they the supports of the SMR or Small Modular Reactor. These mini power plants could soon be installed all over the country fueling skyscrapers, neighborhoods and manufacturing plants. Supporters say they are safe, scalable and can be built quickly but those who watch the nuclear industry says that much more research needs to be done before small reactors dot our cities and states. A company on the forefront of this new technology is right in our backyard and we'll hear from them and others on this new plan to power America when Charlotte Talks.

The head of a panel writing rules for natural gas fracking in North Carolina says state standards should prevail over local rules when it comes to regulating the practice.  The remarks by Jim Womack came as a study group of the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission met Friday in Pittsboro.

Womack, the commission chair and a Lee County commissioner, said local governments should have to make a case for why their rules should be more stringent than any state standards,  The Fayetteville Observer reports.

When we think of climate change, we often think the consequences are far off. But doctors and scientists believe it is harming our health now and it will only get worse. Some of the climate's harmful effects to our health can be obvious - extreme weather events and increased temperatures. But many are less so, think asthma and allergies, even food and water borne diseases, on up to cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer. How does climate impact our health and what can we do about it? We'll talk with people involved in educating the public about the risks of the changing climate to our health, including from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We have discussed global warming and how we can reduce our carbon footprint several times on this show but we generally focused on the debate about whether climate change is real and man-made. Our guest today, film director Peter Byck, decided to forget the debate. He simply traveled the country to meet people who were actively reducing their carbon footprint whether they believed in global warming or not. These people just think it’'s smarter to use less energy or to create it more efficiently. Byck sees these innovators and entrepreneurs as part of “Carbon Nation” and he made a film by the same name. He'’ll join us when Charlotte Talks.

NASA

We have visited Mars several times in the past but perhaps no mission to the Red planet is as ambitious as the one underway right now. After months of interplanetary flight and a flawless landing, Mars Rover Curiosity has already begun to explore the planet’s surface. The aim of the mission; find signs of life on Mars. We’ll meet one of the principal members of the mission’s team, geobiologist Dawn Sumner, as we continue our geology conference series when Charlotte Talks.

NASA

One of the issues we’ve heard little about during this election campaign is climate change. But Hurricane Sandy has thrust the topic into the spotlight. It is a complex, challenging problem both scientifically and politically but on election day, we step away from the politics and focus on how scientists are communicating with those who make public policy to help them and citizens understand what is happening and the potential consequences.

Flickr/go_greener_oz

Sea levels all over the east coast are rising. There is generally no dispute about that. But there is much debate about how high our Atlantic sea levels will rise, how fast it will happen and what affect it will have on our coast and the eastern seaboard. We begin a series exploring the biggest geological and geopolitical topics in current times. First up, Dr. Rob Young, an expert on sea levels who says that current predictions could be far short of potential rising seas. We meet Dr. Young and learn more about rising sea levels when Charlotte Talks.

Native American Trail Trees (Rebroadcast)

Oct 1, 2012

It has been hundreds of years since the intersection of Trade and Tryon was a place where two Native American trading paths crossed but signs of that ancient network of tribal travel and culture are all around us. Right now, two men, among others, are in the midst of mapping the main travel routes of the Cherokees and other tribes as well as the guideposts they used. Many of the guideposts are trees and we'll learn about efforts to preserve them.

Zen Sutherland/Flickr

A new North Carolina law that allows the state to override local tree-protection ordinances has resulted in the loss of several hundred trees that covered at least 50 acres near billboards in Charlotte, according to the city's arborist. 

How the legislation is implemented is still being determined by the state Department of Transportation. The process involves a public comment period that ends Friday.

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