Kirk Heinze

Russ White

It was 48 years ago we celebrated the inaugural Earth Day, April 22, 1970. Created by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, an estimated 20 million folks participated nationwide.  The observance has since become a global phenomenon.  MSU Today is marking Earth Day 2018 with a roundtable conversation among environmental experts working in Michigan— three individuals who have devoted much of their lives to the environmental, social and economic sustainability of our planet.


Russ White

Despite the projected continuation of lower commodity prices for farmers, Jim and Dianne Byrum remain very optimistic about the agricultural sector, especially in Michigan.

Jim, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association, and Dianne, partner and co-founder of Byrum and Fisk Advocacy Communications, recently joined me to discuss several  key agricultural issues that will be front and center in 2018.


Conservation Visions

For internationally renowned conservationist Shane Mahoney, “the beauty of conservation is that every individual can make a contribution.”

Mahoney, founder and president of Conservation Visions, was recently on the MSU campus to deliver the annual Boone & Crockett Lecture, hosted by the MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.  I spoke with him a few hours ahead of his talk, “Conservation Matters: The Secrets of Leadership,” during which he drove home the importance of a personal commitment to a conservation ethos.


According to acclaimed conservation writer and photographer, Krista Schlyer, the rare, U.S.-Mexico borderlands ecosystems are severely threatened “by the largest waiver of federal laws in U.S. history.”

Schlyer, the keynote speaker for 2017 Geography Awareness Week at Michigan State, says the waivers, legislatively authorized in 2005, apply specifically to border wall construction.  The legislation enables the Dept. of Homeland Security to waive, and essentially eviscerate, over 40 federal laws, including The Endangered Species Act, The Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act, which would otherwise protect the “fantastic, incredible, unique” biodiversity of the borderlands.


Valley Public Radio

“Water is the hidden ingredient in so much of what we do every day that we don’t even notice—hence its secret life,” Charles Fishman tells me on Greening of the Great Lakes. Fishman is the author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, one of the best books on water and water resources management I have read.


Russ White

“I used to think that we were having an argument about climate change and if we just wrote more books, eventually our leaders would be persuaded. But that’s not true; the argument ended a long time ago,” renowned environmentalist Bill McKibben told me on Greening of the Great Lakes. “Science is very clear about what’s going on.”


Cat Can Do Racing

(Please note:  My interview with Cpt. Keith Holmes aired on WJR 760 AM—Detroit just hours after the  iconic power boat racer died following a crash July 30 during the St. Clair River Classic Offshore Powerboat Association race.  Out of respect for his family, I decided to wait before posting the interview.  I had never met Keith previously, but it was clear from just one conversation that he was a gracious gentleman, a passionate competitor, a strong advocate for family farms and an ardent Great Lakes environmentalist.  Russ White and I extend our heartfelt sympathy to Keith’s family.) 


Russ White

Developments in energy generation, transmission, use and conservation are increasingly in the news, and the folks at DTE Energy are more than willing to share programs and initiatives in all things energy.