Dr. Ron Sass, PhD

Mon Oct 13th 2008

Join us for a conversation with Dr. Ron Sass about the environmental and ecological effects of hurricanes including Hurricane Ike and some more on carbon footprint. Dr. Ron Sass, PhD – Professor Emeritus Rice University Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. In the ’80s, Sass decided he needed a change, and in 1986 he began to look at Earth systems. He soon became involved with the IPCC, set up in 1988 by the United Nations to investigate global warming. Sass led the committee that studied methane emissions from rice paddies, natural wetlands and landfills, primarily from the bacterial decomposition of organic matter, the largest natural source of methane in the atmosphere. (Man-made sources of methane, such as the burning of fossil fuels and cattle ranching, release far more of the gas.) A physical chemist by training, Sass coordinated the efforts of scientists in Thailand, Indonesia, Germany, the Philippines, Japan, China and Australia to measure and halt natural methane emissions. You can stop it completely, actually, he said of the process by which methane escapes rice paddies when they are flooded. The bacteria go dormant when you remove the water. When you reflood it, you’ve got about a three-week period before (the bacteria) really start cranking up again. So timing is critical, he said. You can cut (emissions) down significantly 50 to 60 percent would be fairly simple. His research led to the IPCC’s method for estimating greenhouse gas emissions without fieldwork. Poor countries don’t have enough scientists to go around, said Sass, who has spent significant time wading through rice paddies in China.

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Sheila W. Blake

Oct 6th 2008

Join Patricia Greer and Cath Conlon interviewing Sheila W. Blake, CBO, MBA, LEED AP Assistant Director City of Houston Code Enforcement. Ever wonder how the City of Houston is addressing the Green Building movement, energy codes, water, rebuilding after Hurricane Ike? Tune in and enjoy another facet of our great city and the affects of change. Additional information on this topic might be found at the following websites. City of Houston website link about Leed Houston Building Owners and Managers Association link about Leed


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Weekly radio report on the state of our ecological health every Tuesday at 3pm on 90.1 FM KPFT Houston,TX.