Russ Weis

Commentator

Russ Weis teaches Education, Environmental, and Writing courses at Johnson State College. He also advises two student environmental clubs, and runs an annual summit at which teenagers compete for funding to green up their high schools.

Weis: Waffle And Spin

Aug 31, 2017

Mark Twain once said that “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ‘Tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

Weis: Beyond Paris

Jun 5, 2017

Abraham Lincoln – a favorite of current day Republicans, Democrats, and even Independent Socialists – once spoke these words: “(L)et it be remembered” our great sixteenth President said, “that… the exultations and mortifications of the present, are but temporary; that the victor shall soon be the vanquished… and that the vanquished this year, may be victor the next.”

Weis: Sunny Thoughts

Jan 20, 2015

Even on cloudy winter days , I’m nonetheless optimistic about the long-term potential of solar energy. In fact, solar’s been on my mind lately for a number of reasons.

Weis: Einstein's Birthday

Mar 12, 2014

We celebrated my Grandma Rose’s 103rd birthday recently, and this got me thinking about the world she was born into more than a century ago. We tend to think of it as a simpler time, and in many ways it was.
 

When Rose’s husband, my Grandpa Ben, was alive, he was fond of telling the story of how he got his driver’s license before he was of legal age. He simply changed the first name on his older sister Jenny’s birth certificate to “Benny” and – voila – he was all set.

Weis: A Greener Christmas

Dec 10, 2013

Let’s start with the “real vs. fake Christmas tree” debate. Turns out, real trees are the better bet. That’s because artificial ones are usually made with PVC, a non-biodegradable, petroleum-derived plastic.

What’s more, 85% of the fake trees sold in North America are manufactured in China, so they use lots of fossil fuel to get here. Even worse, producing PVCs generates carcinogens.

And fake trees can also shed lead-laced dust. So I’ll definitely stick with the natural alternative.

Weis: Compost Happens

Aug 13, 2013

You may have seen the popular bumper sticker that reads, “Compost Happens.” But does it? Or, more to the point, does it happen often enough?

Weis: Critter Combat

Jun 4, 2013

Ever since we moved into our house in the woods back in ‘96 – just after the last 17-year cicada infestation – a variety of fauna start pestering us as soon as the weather warms up.

For Earth Day this year, my students and I are planning an entire week of events that will feature ten things we can do to help save the planet. I’ll tell you what my number one item on the list is, but first a few facts.

The average American uses around 130 plastic bags a year. Most of them go straight to the landfill after use. In one year, all of us together use around 300 billion plastic bags. It takes 12 million barrels of oil to produce this many bags.
 

Weis: The Power Of Hope

Jan 18, 2013

(Host) As political rhetoric heats up, environmental educator and commentator Russ Weis considers how presidential politics can have a big impact on our ever-warming planet.

(Weis) Now that Fall is here, I'm thinking back to the scorching temperatures that afflicted much of the nation this past summer - especially our central and western states. And it's occurred to me that the term global warming shares the initials of our first president: George Washington.

http://www.vpr.net/audio/programs/56/2012/10/Weiss-1001 Mourning in America.mp3