Environment

47 articles
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The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker was extinct. Then it wasn’t. The story of an uncertain resurrection.

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A personal and scientific exploration of storm modification.

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“From all appearances, this place is still an earthly paradise. There is just one problem, though you could stare at this palm grove for a lifetime and never see it. The soil under our feet, whitish gray in color with flecks of coral, contains a radioactive isotope called cesium 137.”

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Trying to fix the Atlantic Ocean’s food chain.

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The environmental impact of server farms.

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How meteorologists are improving their predictive powers.

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On the economics, impact, and communities of the international pipeline.

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A personal reflection on bird-watching and relationships.

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Inside the increasingly hostile global warming debate.

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The fifty-year battle over where we store our nuclear remains.

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How we try - and usually fail - to fight the mosquito.

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“What are you doing here?” Loggins asked Janette. Janette thought this an odd question. “It’s Bike to Work Day,” she said. “Did you ride your bike to school?”“Bicycling isn’t allowed at Maple Avenue School,” said Loggins. Janette did a double take. “You’re kidding me,” she said. “Right?”

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For a half-century fires have burned under Centralia, PA.

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On the final two holdouts in Treece, Kansas, a former mining town that is soon to be wiped off the maps.

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On geoengineering, a high risk/high reward fix for global warming.

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On spending six months on the southern coast of Argentina with the “Jane Goodall of penguins” and several hundred of her research subjects.

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A profile of environmental activist Van Jones.

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On the Texas-sized trash island floating in the Pacific.

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An investigation into Erin Brockovich and the lawsuits that made her famous.

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The changing landscape of the Lower Ninth Ward in post-Katrina New Orleans:

There have been sightings of armadillos, coyotes, owls, hawks, falcons and even a four-foot alligator, drinking from a leaky fire hydrant. Rats have been less of a problem lately because of the stray cats and the birds of prey. But it’s not just animals that emerge from the weeds.

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How an industry that couldn’t miss did just that.

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How black market mining is destroying the Peruvian rain forest and enslaving child workers.

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A report from the oil boom in North Dakota, where unemployment is 3.4 percent and McDonald’s gives out $300 signing bonuses.

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Steven Donziger, an American lawyer, headed up a successful lawsuit against Chevron on behalf of Ecuadorans. Then the legal tables turned on him.

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The case for why a cup of joe is about to become a luxury item.

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On the dying city of Port Arthur, Texas, and one man’s fight to save it.

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On the development of South Korea’s New Songdo and Cisco’s plans to build smart cities which will “offer cities as a service, bundling urban necessities – water, power, traffic, telephony – into a single, Internet-enabled utility, taking a little extra off the top of every resident’s bill.” The demand for such cities is enormous:

China doesn't need cool, green, smart cities. It needs cities, period -- 500 New Songdos at the very least. One hundred of those will each house a million or more transplanted peasants. In fact, while humanity has been building cities for 9,000 years, that was apparently just a warm-up for the next 40. As of now, we're officially an urban species. More than half of us -- 3.3 billion people -- live in a city. Our numbers are projected to nearly double by 2050, adding roughly a New Songdo a day; the United Nations predicts the vast majority will flood smaller cities in Africa and Asia.

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She surveyed her former possessions, the stuff of a world now lost. "I'd be happy with just walking away from all of this," she concluded. "Dump it all and just start over. Happy birthday — I'm alive."
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What overcrowded and swelling Bangladesh can tell us about how the planet’s population, more than 1/3 of which live within 62 miles of a shoreline, will react to rising sea levels.

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On the battle over solar farms in the Mojave desert. An excerpt from Madrigal’s new book, Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology.

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Energy problems are long problems that often receive short solutions. In 2000, when Mother Jones ran this history about what happened to the energy research boom of the late 70s and early 80s, I was buying $0.99 a gallon gas for my Escort. I chose this story because I think longform journalism can keep people interested in these issues that require decadal attention but are subject to year-to-year fluctuations in public interest. And it’s a great story.

-A. Madrigal

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Twenty-five years later, inside the Exclusion Zone.

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“Look, we all know that every city is unique. That’s all we talk about when we talk about cities, those things that make New York different from L.A., or Tokyo different from Albuquerque. But focusing on those differences misses the point. Sure, there are differences, but different from what? We’ve found the what.”

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A trip to the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles.

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The profile that led to the Massey Energy CEO’s resignation.

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America, China, and the case for coal as a vital weapon in the war against climate change.

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In 1997, a logger-turned-activist named Grant Hadwin cut down a very special tree. Then he bought a kayak and disappeared.

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The story of how Washington blew its best shot to do something on climate change.

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The author investigates the massive wildlife die-off in the Salton Sea by rafting from its tributaries in Mexico.

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Will we deplete the worldwide Bluefin Tuna population beyond repair?

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An hour-by-hour account of the explosion and rescue effort on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Why don’t TV weathermen believe in climate change?

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It’s the biggest environmental lawsuit in history. The people of Lago Agrio, an oil-rich area in the Ecuadorean Amazon, are suing Chevron for $6 billion after decades of spills. The case has been underway since 1993.

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A mayday call in the critical moments after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform.

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Paul Krugman breaks down the basics of climate change economics, from Arthur Cecil Pigou to Capitol Hill.