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Go to the Listen Again page
Tuesday 15:00-15:30
Richard Daniel chairs the interactive environmental programme in which he and his guests deal with listener's questions and concerns.
Call 0370 010 0400
Home Planet, PO Box 3096, Brighton BN1 1PL
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 10 July 2007
Richard Daniel
Tuesday 10 July 2007
Earth ©NASA


This week's guests:

Dr Lynn Dicks

Professor Graham Underwood

Professor Philip Stott


Environmental Education

A Home Planet listener with a First Class Honours degree in Ecology and two years working as a conservation volunteer cannot find a job.

The advice from the panel is that there are jobs in the environmental field particularly in local government and in industry. However, these often require more than a good degree and practical experience. A Masters' degree in a specialist field is often beneficial as is a specific qualification (like a licence to evaluate bat habitats). Don't rely on recruitment companies, contact organisations directly. Be prepared to work your way up and earn less than average. Demonstrate your commitment by doing voluntary work in that field.

For school leavers going to university, make sure you have core subjects - such as biology, chemistry and maths. If you see your future in academia make sure that you get in to a university with a strong research pedigree. Be warned, however, a PhD really only qualifies you for work in the academic field, industry requires more specific and practical skills.

Useful links

The Directory of Environmental Consultancies

Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management

British Ecological Society

Post-graduate UK

Is the caviar trade wiping out sturgeon?

Described as the 'royal' fish after legislation at the time of Edward II, the Atlantic sturgeon, which was found off the coast of Britain, is almost extinct. The Caspian Sea is home to the species of sturgeon which is prized for its roe (caviar), but over-fishing; combined with pollution; the damming of rivers so that it cannot swim upstream to breed; and confused international protection have all had an impact. The female sturgeon also doesn't achieve reproductive maturity for between 15 to 20 years so when one is killed it has a much bigger impact on numbers.

Useful links

Caviar Emptor

BBC News


Wasted heat from power stations

A listener pointed out that more than fifty per cent of heat generated by a power station (coal, nuclear or gas) is lost as steam or hot water which is often run off into rivers or the sea. Why can't this energy be better used?

The panel explained that warmed water in freshwater environments can be damaging because it can reduce oxygen levels. In the marine environment the impact is less problematic as the size of the oceans soon ameliorates the temperature of the introduced, warmer waters. The panel argued that the wasted heat would be better used in local buildings, providing heat or water and maybe, as in Holland, powering glass houses used in the horticultural trade. The problem in the UK is that the National Grid is very inefficient and local grid systems are better suited to distributing power and potential wasted heat to local communities.

Useful links

the Second Law of Thermo-dynamics

World Alliance for de-centralised energy

Local Bio-Fuels

Lynn Dicks expanded on her idea that farmers could produce bio-fuels for road transport which could be used by the local community in which they are based.

Useful links:

Bio-fuel equipment suppliers

Green Fuels Limited National Farmer's Union


Is the samphire harvest sustainable?

There are three types of samphire - rock samphire which is part of the carrot family; golden samphire which is part of the daisy family; and marsh samphire or glasswort which was once important in the glass-making industry but which is also the better-known marsh variety which is best eaten in early summer.

In the UK it is picked by hand and the only real damage could be done by heavy, careless use of boots!

Useful links

Biff Vernon's Homepage

The Guardian

Contact Home Planet

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Home Planet
BBC Radio 4
PO Box 3096
Brighton BN1 1PL

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