A look at the natural world around us.

Shenandoah National Park Plans Star Parties

Aug 10, 2015

It’s that time again.  The Perseid Meteor will be passing over Virginia Wednesday night, showering the planet with falling stars, and the Shenandoah National Park plans a celebration.

Experts will gather with telescopes at the Dickey Ridge Visitors Center near Front Royal, at Big Meadow and Lofts Mountain to give talks and offer tips on taking pictures of the night sky.  Park Ranger Kristin Hendershot says it should be a really good show.

Colin Keldie courtesy EMEC

With so much coastal property, this state could be harvesting the energy of waves, currents and tides to power homes and offices, factories and electric cars.  But Virginia is far from the day when that might happen. 

The Orkney Accordion and Fiddle Club meets weekly to celebrate old fashioned Scottish music and a growing number of enthusiasts on this island between the North Sea and the Atlantic.  73-year-old Innes Wylie is delighted by the newcomers.

Carbon vs. Mercury: EPA's Clean Power Plan

Aug 7, 2015
(AP Photo/John Locher)

President Obama recently unveiled a new rule to combat climate change by forcing state’s like Virginia to cut their carbon pollution. But this summer the Supreme Court shot down a new EPA rule aimed at limiting mercury pollution, which has conservatives calling for the new rule to be halted.

VA Company Sues State to Mine Uranium

Aug 7, 2015
AP Photo/Steve Helber

For more than 30 years, Virginia has banned mining of uranium.  Now, the owner of a large uranium deposit in Pittsylvania County has filed suit, hoping to overturn that law.

Virginia Uranium, Inc. has tried for years to persuade the legislature that it can safely mine a large deposit of the radioactive ore.  The company has given nearly $370,000 to legislative campaigns since 2008, but when Governor Terry McAuliffe said he would veto any attempt to lift the ban on mining, Virginia Uranium filed suit in U.S. District Court.

Fear of Fracking

Jul 28, 2015

With the dangers of nuclear power playing out in Japan, fighting in Libya pushing oil prices up, and climate scientists pointing an accusing finger at coal, America is desperate for some energy alternatives.  One that seemed promising is natural gas - a relatively clean burning fuel.  But critics now say the process of getting gas from the ground may be risky.    If you saw the documentary, Gasland, there’s one scene you’ll never forget.  A guy from Weld County, Colorado - where gas wells are common - turns on his tap, flicks his lighter and jumps back as the water bursts into flame.