‘Silent Spring’ author Rachel Carson testifies before a Senate Government Operations Subcommittee in Washington, D.C. on June 4, 1963. Carson urged Congress to curb the sale of chemical pesticides and aerial spraying.
Did Rachel Carson catalyze the organic farming movement, as many advocates claim? Or would she reject their ban on synthetic fertilizer and see organic as an inefficient way to feed the world?
Solar lowers prices and shifts when daily peak demand hours are.
Large-scale solar and wind tend to push energy prices down, which sounds great as a consumer. But that makes keeping the grid in constant balance harder.
Chemical companies touted synthetic insecticides and herbicides as miracle products in the 1940s and 1950s. But farmers and cropdusting pilots didn't always buy the sales pitch.
Wild bumble bees provide natural pollination for blueberries in North America.
Honeybees receive a lot of attention, but the first North American bee to be listed as an endangered species is a wild bumble bee. Wild bees are vital pollinators, and some are declining rapidly.
All bottled water comes from somewhere.
Nestle pays the state a pittance in exchange for its water at a time when public awareness of water issues is rising.
Solar panels being installed in new housing under construction in Sacramento, Calif.
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
Environmentalists and climate hawks are cheering, but many experts aren't excited about the state making rooftop solar panels mandatory on most new homes beginning in 2020.
Smog alert in Cleveland, Ohio, July 20, 1973.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to change the grounds for setting US air pollution targets. An environmental lawyer explains why Pruitt's approach misreads the law and could roll back decades of gains.
The Berry Fire burns in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, August 27, 2016.
AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File
With elevated wildfire risks forecast across much of the western US this summer, here's how travelers can track local conditions, stay out of harm's way and avoid accidentally starting fires.
The landmark Harvard Six Cities study found a strong link between air pollution and health risks.
The EPA intends to limit what scientific studies can inform policy – a change long sought by industry. A long-time public health researcher explains the single study at the root of the controversy.
Panamanian golden frogs (
Atelopus zeteki) are listed as critically endangered, and may be extinct in the wild.
Chytrid fungus has caused a global "amphibian apocalypse," killing frogs worldwide. Now some appear to be evolving resistance – but a closely related fungus threatens newts and salamanders.
Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker signed a comprehensive energy law in 2016 that authorized the development of new offshore wind and hydroelectric projects.
Massachusetts governor’s office
Several states, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have developed ambitious renewable energy targets that hinge in large part on getting their power from turbines stationed in the water.
A streamlined NEPA review of replacing New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River, which would normally take 3-5 years, was completed in 1.5 years.
Do environmental reviews delay large-scale projects? The Trump administration says yes, but studies show that these reviews lead to better results and can even save time and money.
A drilling site next to farms and homes in Weld County, Colo.
Stephanie Malin/Flight provided by LightHawk
Many Coloradans feel powerless to protect themselves from pollution and other fallout caused by the state's fracking boom.
Good for you, bad for the air?
New research is spotlighting personal care products, such as shampoos and skin lotions, as a significant source of chemicals that contribute to urban air pollution.
Cutting red tape is a high priority, but the execution hasn’t always led to results.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
A review of Trump's stated war on regulations doesn't find many successful repeals. But it is hurting regulatory enforcement in quieter ways.
Lava flow moves in the Leilani Estates subdivision near Pahoa on the island of Hawaii, May 6, 2018.
USGS via AP
Fountains of lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano are dramatic, but the most deadly impacts of volcanic eruptions are toxic gases and ash and mud flows.
Enviva’s wood pellet plant in Ahoskie, NC.
Deriving fuel from trees costs more than wind and solar power and it emits more carbon than coal. There are many heated debates about this kind of energy, known as forest or woody biomass.
Morning smog in New Delhi, India.
AP Photo/Manish Swarup
According to one study, more than 8 million people per year die early from air pollution exposure.
Blooms of algae, like this growth in 2015 in Lake St. Clair between Michigan and Ontario, promote the formation of dead zones.
NASA Earth Observatory
Scientists have mapped a huge dead zone in the Gulf of Oman, without enough oxygen in the water to support life. This Speed Read explains why dead zones form in waters around the world.
Toppled road sign for a closed water distribution center in Flint, Mich.
Michigan officials have ended distribution of free bottled water in Flint, but many residents believe the city's water crisis is not over and have lost all trust in government.
Mercury enters rice through local industrial activities and through burning coal.
Study finds that coal pollution in China is leading to people getting significant levels of mercury poisoning from rice.
Wind turbines are becoming as American as haybales.
While wind energy is often perceived as controversial, that may be due to the tyranny and power of unrepresentative anecdotes.
Long-eared Myotis bat (
Myotis septentrionalis), photographed in Arizona.
Scientists often use animals and plants as indicators to assess whether ecosystems are polluted. Tracking bats, which cover wide areas and need clean water, could become a way to find potable water.
Long’s Peak framed by rock outcrop, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
Scientists have long thought most nitrogen in Earth's ecosystems comes from the air, but new research shows it also is released as rocks weather. This could boost plant growth and help sequester carbon – but not fast enough to avert climate change, as some pundits have claimed.
For a megacity, Tokyo is rich in trees.
In an increasingly urban world, trees can make a major difference. One study found that, for every dollar invested in planting, megacities saw a $2.50 return on their investment.