Umbra Fisk

Ask Umbra®

Advice for Living Green

Yours is to wonder why, hers is to answer (or try). Send your green-living questions to Umbra.

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Umbra Fisk is Grist Research Associate II, Hardcover and Periodicals Unit, floors 2B-4B.

Climate & Energy

Umbra on water vapor and climate change

Dear Umbra, Coming from a scientific background, I was under the assumption that water vapor was the worst — or you could say the best — at causing global warming. Do you believe this to …

Climate & Energy

Umbra on the greenhouse effect

Dear Umbra, Man-made greenhouse gases are blamed for recent global-warming trends. But man-made greenhouse gases account for only 5 percent of the greenhouse effect. Water vapor, over which civilization has virtually no control, accounts for …

Climate & Energy

A climate-change compendium

Dear Umbra, I know you don’t make up questions, but in this instance I think it’s acceptable. Could you suggest a collection of resources on climate change? I think it might help us all get …

Climate & Energy

Umbra on climate-induced relocation

Dear Umbra, Given that there is a possibility/probability that sea levels will rise significantly [due to climate change], and that some parts of the world may become too hot while others could become too cold, …

Climate & Energy

Umbra on climate-change patterns

While I am in no doubt about the effect of human activity on climate change, I have a friend who is convinced that even if we weren’t destroying the earth, the earth’s own weather patterns …

Climate & Energy

Umbra on global warming

Dear Umbra, The many articles on global warming conclude with something about the inherent complexity and uncertainty of the issue. So exactly what is the evidence for (and against) arguing that the current warming trend …

Climate & Energy

Umbra on talking to friends about climate change

Dear Umbra, I need a good stick-it-to-ya comeback to friends who, while they acknowledge global warming and hear me rattle off all that is bad about it, are liking the direct effects, which right now …

Climate & Energy

Umbra on plants and global warming

Dear Umbra, My simple understanding of global warming is that we are introducing long-buried carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is shifting the balance, leading to a host of undesirable issues. CO2 is consumed by …


Umbra on organic pesticides

Dear Umbra, Recently, an article in my newspaper stated that federal and state guidelines allow the spraying of “organic pesticides” on organic crops. I thought organic crops were pesticide-free. I am very disappointed to find …