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- Jan 12 201711 minutes
Why Most Planets Will Either Be Lush or Dead: Earth Science:The Gaia hypothesis implies that once alien life takes hold, it will flourish.
Can a planet be alive? Lynn Margulis, a giant of late 20th-century biology, who had an incandescent intellect that veered toward the unorthodox, thought so. She and chemist James Lovelock together theorized that life must be a planet-altering phenome
- Jan 16 20171 minute
The Ivory Trade Loses Its Biggest Player
KATE SAMUELSON ON DEC. 30, CHINA COMMITTED TO A ban on all ivory trade and processing activities by the end of 2017. The decision, hailed by conservation groups as historic, could help end the global trade of ivory for good. Here’s why: ELEPHANT IN
- Dec 7 20165 minutes
Tar Balls, The Beach's Fossil-Fuel Flowers
Globs of black goo occur on beaches both naturally from ocean seeps and artificially from oil spills. An Object Lesson.
- Jan 22 20171 minute
Bottled Versus Tap
BOTTLED Where it comes from: Nearly half of New York’s comes from city reserves. How it’s regulated: The Food and Drug Administration treats it as a food, and it can’t require food companies to publish detailed reports on where their products come
- Jan 12 20171 minute
Spark of Science: Jon Beckmann: The conservation ecologist discusses the plight of animals in a human-dominated landscape.
Whenever you face a challenge and you’re trying to solve a problem,” says conservation ecologist Jon Beckmann, “it always helps to take a different perspective than your own.” We’ve all heard that advice before. Just this week in his farewell address
- Sep 19 20161 minute
The Anthropocene Should Bring Awe—and Act as a Warning
JUSTIN WORLAND AS GEOLOGICAL EPOCHS HAVE COME AND gone throughout Earth’s vast history, shifts have often correlated with large-scale global changes like ice ages and mass extinctions. An asteroid hits the planet, wiping out the dinosaurs, and the C
- Apr 1 20132 minutes
A Franchisee Gym Pumps up Profits by Going Green
A Retro Fitness franchisee cut their electricity costs by adding eco-friendly features.
- Oct 24 20161 minute
5 Issues That Deserve More Love—or Hate
SHIPPING Ninety percent of all we use—shirts, phones, disposable coffee cups and the beans therein—have traveled around the world on ships burning one of the dirtiest fuels by the ton. According to Edward Humes, author of Door to Door, 160 of these
- Nov 28 20161 minute
The Return of ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’
It really is a new day for U.S. energy policy. The President-elect has pledged to roll back environmental regulations, invest in new pipelines and allow drilling on public lands—and he can make many of the changes unilaterally once in office. On thei
- Jul 4 20162 minutes
Erin Brockovich’s Latest Crusade
THE CELEBRATED ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST IS BACK ON THE FRONT LINES, FIGHTING FOR CLEAN WATER ACROSS THE NATION
- Feb 10 20175 minutes
How Endangered Species May Fare Under Trump
Environmentalists worry about Trump’s impact on Earth’s flora and fauna.
- Jan 12 20172 minutes
Nickelodeon Won’t Get Its Underwater Theme Park in the Philippines, If Environmentalists Have Their Say
"For a channel that targets children, Nickelodeon is setting a terrible example to the younger generation by taking away their right to enjoy our natural resources," says one critic.
- Feb 13 20171 minute
U.S. Policies Informed By Science
JUSTIN WORLAND Most federal policies incorporate a mix of law, facts and the best judgment of those calling the shots. Some are also required to take into account the latest science. Here are six policies and programs that are rooted in science—and
- May 29 20134 minutes
You Didn’t Build That: The Best Animal Engineers
If an intelligent alien species landed on the small bit of galactic rock that we call home, they might get out of their spaceships, have a look around, and decide that we—that is, our species—are the master builders on our planet. There would be plen
- Jul 23 20155 minutes
The Terrifying Uncertainty in Jeff VanderMeer’s Sci-Fi: How the best-selling author brings his incredibly strange worlds to life.
In Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling series Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy, an unknown force infiltrates a coastal village and begins to transform the nature of everything living in a domain called Area X. A government-backed scientific research gro
- Feb 24 20174 minutes
USDA Agrees to Not Regulate Genetically Modified Grass
Farmers worry the rogue weed will harm their livelihoods and hurt the environment.
- Jan 19 20175 minutes
Tiny Pollinators Need Wildlife Corridors Too
Bison aren’t the only animals that roam.