Umbra Fisk

Ask Umbra®

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


Umbra on adult tricycles

Dear Umbra, I want to reduce my carbon footprint. I already take a commuter train to work, but the station is down a steep hill from my house, so I drive the first mile or so in the morning and …

Climate & Energy

Umbra on clean coal

Dear Umbra, I noticed that several of the presidential primary debates were sponsored by clean coal. This was announced during breaks and several commercials aired. I have since seen several more commercials and online advertisements. Is clean coal an oxymoron? …


Umbra on storing produce

Hi Umbra, Quick question: What is the best way to store vegetables in the refrigerator? I have a small crisper drawer and lots of vegetables from the CSA box. I don’t want to use plastic bags but unfortunately they work …

Climate & Energy

Umbra on sea-level rise

Dear Umbra, I’m a bit confused about the possible rise in sea level that may be caused by global warming. I know that in general water expands when warmed, and that is one cause of sea level elevation with respect …


Umbra on air mattresses

Dear Umbra, We live in a small house, and when we have guests, the bed situation is limiting. Convenience tells me that an inflatable bed would be ideal. However, the “no vinyl, that’s final” rule reigns supreme in our household. …

Climate & Energy

Umbra on driving versus flying

Dear Umbra, My husband asked me this one the other day and I didn’t know the answer, so I thought I’d ask an expert. Which is the more environmentally friendly method of travel: 100 people driving their own cars (let’s …


Umbra on exerting yourself in traffic

Dear Umbra, I bus, bike, or walk to work 98 percent of the time. I was wondering, when I’m biking (or walking, for that matter), am I inhaling more pollutants than those around me who are emitting them from their …

Climate & Energy

Umbra on carbon trading

Dear Umbra, I don’t understand carbon credits and how people can buy/sell/trade them. How is this good for our environment? Elizabeth Columbus, Ohio Dearest Elizabeth, I believe you speak of the carbon credit, rather than the carbon offset? The carbon …

Climate & Energy

Umbra on short-haul flights

Dear Umbra, I work in the touring music business, based in the U.K. but touring worldwide. I have noticed recently that the record companies are booking cheap flights for short distances, e.g., London-Manchester, about 200 miles. Over such short distances, …