Greening of the Great Lakes

Kirk Heinze welcomes Dianne Byrum, Doug Buhler and Marc Schupan to Greening of the Great Lakes for the program’s annual sustainability roundtable discussion to share their expertise and insights on some of the key economic, environmental and social issues facing Michigan, the Great Lakes region and the United States.

MSU AgBioResearch and MSU Extension “have been collaborating for over a century, and they continue to partner to help address some of the most complex food, energy and environmental issues of our time,” says Greening of the Great Lakes host Kirk Heinze as he welcomes AgBioResearch director Doug Buhler and MSU Extension director Jeff Dwyer to the program.

“If I had to boil it down to a couple phrases that people might understand, I would say number one is zero emissions, which points to electrification of the vehicle.  And two is the quantum increase in computing power and sophistication of electronics in the vehicles,” Detroit News columnist and associate business editor Daniel Howes tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes in describing the evolving definition of mobility as it relates to the automotive industry.

“I think there will be some impact, but I don’t think the impact will be as great as people think or people thought when they voted for him (President-elect Trump),” Plunkett Cooney environmental attorney Saulius Mikalonis tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes.  “I think renewables like wind and solar are already in place.  The investments have been made.  They’re now cheap, especially compared to new coal.  So they’re not going away anytime soon.”

Fraser fir, Scotch Pine, Blue Spruce and White Spruce are just a few of the tree varieties grown in Michigan and shipped across the Midwest, Texas and Florida each holiday season says MSU Christmas tree expert, Dr. Bert Cregg.  “And harvests start as early as late October.”

Cregg, a professor in the Departments of Horticulture and Forestry at Michigan State University, talks with Greening of the Great Lakes host, Kirk Heinze.

Diverse thinking and innovation can solve energy problems, says Liesl Clark, principal and co-founder of 5 Lakes Energy, a public policy consulting firm for clean energy and sustainability.

Clark talks with Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes about an upcoming celebration of energy innovators and her work supporting careers for women in the energy sector.

The “unequivocal value” of sustainable urban development was a major “take home” message from Scott Adams, deputy city manager for the City of Las Vegas, who recently visited MSU as a guest of the School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC).

In both a speech to SPDC students and faculty and a follow-up interview for Greening of the Great Lakes, Adams underscored the Las Vegas commitment to a green planning ethos.

“When you look at all the things Michigan can do (to reduce its energy use), reducing energy waste is our cheapest alternative.  It’s our most environmentally protective alternative, and it’s also the thing that helps us with reliability,” Valerie Brader, the executive director of the Michigan Agency for Energy tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes.

Battel Creek Enquirer

One of the biggest food producing cities in the nation is doing its part to eliminate food waste mobilizing local local industry and the community to develop food-waste solutions.

Battle Creek is home to 37 food companies, including Post Foods, Kellogg Company, ConAgra Foods. Several food resources in the relatively small town, approximately 50,000 people, make Battle Creek the perfect test market, says Bill Schroer, a marketing and management consultant with extensive experience in the food industry.

Russ White, David Cleaves
Courtesy / WKAR-MSU

“Climate change is the most compelling global issue of this and future centuries,” says David Cleaves, the former climate change advisor to the U.S. Forest Service.  “The relationships between forests and people are being profoundly affected by the changing climate.”

by Kathleen Alexander

Consumers Energy is responding to its customers’ interest in renewable energy with their Solar Gardens project and Green Generation program.

“Right now about 10 percent of the energy our customers use comes from renewables,” says Tim Sparks, Consumers Energy vice president of energy supply operations.

MSU turns felled campus trees into furniture, art

Sep 28, 2016
MSU Shadows furniture photo
Courtesy photo

“MSU Shadows” isn’t just the alma mater of the mighty Green and White. It’s also a Michigan State University program that turns downed trees into beautiful and functional works of art. We learn more from Current State contributor Kirk Heinze.

by Kirk Heinze

Regular Greening of the Great Lakes listeners know I am a staunch advocate of genetically modified organism (GMO) technology.  As with other salient sustainability issues like climate change, wildlife habitat preservation, alternative energy technology and so on, I try to stay abreast of the undergirding science that I believe should inform discussions of such topics.

by Kathleen Alexander

The native bee population in the Great Lakes region is on a decline, forcing farmers to explore new, bee-boosting tactics to produce the high yields of fruits and vegetables producers and consumers depend on.

Kirk Heinze took Greening of the Great Lakes to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s Energy Excellence Awards ceremony at Michigan State University’s Wharton Center on August 11.

The Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards honor Michigan organizations and individuals for their commitment to responsible energy production and consumption.