A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

26th Street, Baltimore, MD. Landslide aftermath.

Yesterday, May 1st, 2014, a huge amount of rain fell in Baltimore and caused a 120 year old retaining wall to collapse, sending cars, streetlights and sidewalk tumbling 75 feet down onto CSX rails. Thankfully no one was hurt, although houses on the block were evacuated. As the debris was being cleared up and more stories and videos of the collapse emerged, I was left with one burning question. Where did all this rain come from? Was it a freak occurrence, or should we be expecting more of the same?

Apparently Baltimore was …read more

Deeper Than Fracking

UNspOILed has covered fracking–otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing twice in the last six months and this week’s post will make a third. The initial post is titled “Maryland’s Choice: Renewable Energy of Fracking?” and it explained many of the ways fracking would hurt rather than help the state of Maryland. The following month’s posting, titled “Who Gives A Frack?!” examined the process and attempted to give an unbiased explanation of its benefits and consequences.

This month, however, is about how and why those consequences manifest.

According to Reuters, “seismologist Austin Holland of the Oklahoma Geological Survey said …read more

Go Native, My Friend

Driving through the rural southeastern part of the United States, you pass ghostly scenes that are composed entirely of green. You are looking at a non-native plant that was introduced into the U.S from Japan in 1876 and used the 1930’s to control erosion. It’s kudzu!

Kudzu is an invasive weed that climbs over trees or shrubs and grows so rapidly, it kills them by heavy shading. It even covers entire buildings. Kudzu’s environmental and ecological damage results from acting through “interference competition.” Kudzu competes with native plants for light, water, and soil nutrients. It blocks another plant’s access to …read more