nav-left cat-right
cat-right

Is nuclear energy the key to saving the planet?

A new generation of environmentalists is learning to stop worrying and love atomic power. Emma Redfoot stands at a whiteboard in a small conference room, sketching neutrons, protons and nuclei, her voice rising enthusiastically as she explains nuclear fission: A neutron blasted into a uranium-235 atom shatters the atom, releasing energy and yet more neutrons that split other uranium atoms, causing a frenetically energetic...

Greenland’s ice sheet is melting at its fastest ra...

The ice that sits atop Greenland spans an area more than three times the size of Texas and almost two miles deep at its thickest. If this frigid white expanse ridged with crystal blue rivers of meltwater were to thaw completely, it would raise global sea levels by more than 20 feet. Which is why it’s alarming that scientists are reporting this week that this sheet of ice is thawing, and doing so at an accelerating rate not...

‘A kind of dark realism’: Why the climate change p...

Smoke and steam billow from Belchatow Power Station, Europe’s largest coal-fired power plant, operated by PGE Group, on Wednesday near Belchatow, Poland. (Kacper Pempel/Reuters) In the daunting math of climate action, individual choices and government policies aren’t adding up. Solar panels are being nailed to rooftops, colossal wind turbines bestride the plains and oceans, and a million electric vehicles are on U.S....

Why people become vegans: The history, sex and sci...

At the age of 14, a young Donald Watson watched as a terrified pig was slaughtered on his family farm. In the British boy’s eyes, the screaming pig was being murdered. Watson stopped eating meat and eventually gave up dairy as well. Later, as an adult in 1944, Watson realized that other people shared his interest in a plant-only diet. And thus veganism – a term he coined – was born. Flash-forward to today, and Watson’s...

Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Ins...

A decade ago, the U.S. mandated the use of vegetable oil in biofuels, leading to industrial-scale deforestation — and a huge spike in carbon emissions. The remains of an Indonesian rain forest that was cleared to make way for oil palms.CreditCreditAshley Gilbertson/VII, for The New York Times This article is a partnership between ProPublica, where Abrahm Lustgarten is a senior reporter, and The New York Times Magazine. The...

‘The Window of Opportunity for Action Is Alm...

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now at 405.5 parts per million (ppm), or 146 percent of pre-1750 levels. The concentration of methane is now at around 1,859 parts per billion (ppb), around 257 percent of pre-industrial levels, and the concentration of nitrous oxide reached about 329.9 ppb, or 122 percent of pre-industrial levels. “The last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration...

Healthier Products, Healthier People

Six Classes The Six Classes is a program of the Green Science Policy Institute that focuses on reducing the use of entire classes of chemicals of concern, rather than phasing out problematic chemicals one at a time. This approach of tackling entire groups of chemicals is needed because more than 80,000 chemicals are used in the U.S. Many have not been well studied and their impacts on human and environmental health are not...

Ice Sheets in Greenland, Antarctica Could Reach Ca...

Scientists just gave us another terrifying reason to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels: If temperatures push much beyond that point, both Greenland and Antarctica‘s ice sheets could reach a point where nothing can stop them from melting. An international team of researchers published this chilling finding in Nature Climate Change Monday. The researchers set out to study how the ice...

Questionable Economics Threaten The Keystone XL Pi...

Now that a federal judge has squelched the Keystone XL Pipeline, the question facing its owner, TransCanada Corp., is whether the oil economics justify its completion. Not only is the price of oil still relatively low and falling but, competing pipelines are coming out of Canada and into this country. While the price of a barrel of oil has risen from $50 in recent years to $75 in recent months, it is now down to about $60....

How Can You Talk to Kids About Factory Farming? Th...

By Reynard Loki Many children play with toys that evoke the bucolic life on a farm. And many will likely visit a small local farm, where animals have space and access to sunlight and the outdoors. But most kids are probably not aware that, for the vast majority of farmed animals, life is anything but happy. Consider the life of a chicken trapped on a factory farm. If she is one of the 9 billion chickens who suffer and die on...

A climate scientist who decided not to fly

I’m a climate scientist who doesn’t fly. I try to avoid burning fossil fuels, because it’s clear that doing so causes real harm to humans and to nonhumans, today and far into the future. I don’t like harming others, so I don’t fly. Back in 2010, though, I was awash in cognitive dissonance. My awareness of global warming had risen to a fever pitch, but I hadn’t yet made real changes to my daily life. This disconnect made me...

It’s Time to Stop Paying for Pesticides With...

A groundbreaking new study in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that you can cut your cancer risk by eating an organic diet. The findings are dramatic. In a study that followed nearly 70,000 people, those who ate the most organic food lowered their overall risk of developing cancer by 25 percent. The relationship was strongest for two types of cancer: participants who frequently ate organic...

GMO Potato Creator Now Fears Its Impact on Human H...

Of all the genetic engineers who have renounced the technology—Arpad Pusztai, Belinda Martineau, Thierry Vrain, John Fagan and Michael Antoniou, among others—because of its shortsighted approach and ability to produce unintended and potentially toxic consequences, Caius Rommens’ story may be the most compelling. Rommens was director of research at Simplot Plant Sciences from 2000 to 2013 where he led development of the...

Unknowingly on edge of a climate ‘precipice&...

Scientists are keeping an eye on the prospects for abrupt climate change, with some findings prompting increasing concerns. On September 17, a short paper in the journal Nature Climate Change caught the attention of Penn State University glaciologist Richard Alley. The article compared satellite observations of the Antarctic ice sheet between 2007 and 2017 with projections for the same period published in 2013 by the...

UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually ...

Just two years ago, amid global fanfare, the Paris climate accords were signed — initiating what seemed, for a brief moment, like the beginning of a planet-saving movement. But almost immediately, the international goal it established of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius began to seem, to many of the world’s most vulnerable, dramatically inadequate; the Marshall Islands’ representative gave it a blunter name,...