The Pacific Islands, including Hawai‘I, American Samoa, and parts of Micronesia, are home to many cultures whose lives depend on the ocean and how they interact with their environment. Climate changes that reduce the productivity of coral reefs and produce rising sea levels will have wide-reaching impacts. People from low-lying islands will likely migrate to […]
Quitting a bad habit: Revelations from Obama’s tar sands decision If you smoke cigarettes, you may have reached a desperate point where you’ve picked up a half-smoked butt from an ashtray and lit up. Sure, it’s dirty, takes a lot of work for a relatively small reward, and is more than a little disgusting. But it […]
In 2002, the west African country of Gabon made international headlines with one of the boldest moves in conservation history: then-President Omar Bongo Ondimba announced the creation of 13 national parks, comprising more than a tenth of the country’s territory. In a recent trip to Gabon, I learned that nearly a decade later, Bongo’s bold […]
I contributed to my first climate change story in 1992, when I was working for Newsweek in the Washington bureau and people were still quaintly referring to the problem as the “greenhouse gas effect.” Newsweek was by no means a leader; this was four years after James Hansen famously told a congressional committee that humans […]
I will be honest about blogs. I don’t trust them. The proliferation of “citizen-journalists” has its upside, to be sure. Over the past few decades, we’ve seen a steady decline of smaller, independent journalism outlets. In their place, we’ve seen the growth of newspaper chains and the consolidation of broadcast outlets. We’ve seen a shift […]
For two years running, one of the more interesting environmental stories in the United States is something that hasn’t happened: the construction of new coal-fired electricity-generating plants. Four mini-documentaries highlight the efforts of citizens in four western states to stop proposed coal-fired plants in their areas.
Oil shale and tar sands are inefficient sources for fossil fuel, but energy companies continue to pursue ways to make them commercially viable. New attempts to process oil shale and tar sands in Utah, however, will meet with a cruel reality: there may not be enough water for commercial development in the country’s second-most arid […]
From New Mexico to Montana, rampant oil and gas development is having a profound effect on the landscape and on Western communities. Hear from people who live on the land and with the boom.