Environment + Energy – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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Cal Fire Division Chief Mark Higgins directs helicopters dropping water in Lakeport, California. AP Photo/Noah Berger

Wildfires are inevitable – increasing home losses, fatalities and costs are not

As California reels from another devastating fire season, environmental resource scholars explain how the state – and other fire-prone areas – can better prepare and coexist with wildfires.
Plaintiff Dewayne Johnson reacts after hearing the verdict in his case against Monsanto at the Superior Court of California in San Francisco, Aug. 10, 2018. Josh Edelson/Pool Photo via AP

Jury finds Monsanto liable in the first Roundup cancer trial – here’s what could happen next

A jury concluded on Aug. 10 that exposure to the herbicide Roundup caused Dewayne Johnson's cancer and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages. Thousands more claims are pending.
A firefighter runs after trying to save a home in Lakeport, California, suffering its biggest fires ever. AP Photo/Noah Berger

Climate change and wildfires – how do we know if there is a link?

With California suffering another devastating wildfire year, more people are wondering about whether and how global warming is contributing. A climate scientist explains.
Algae cover the surface of the Caloosahatchee River at the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam, July 12, 2018, in Alva, Florida. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

What is causing Florida’s algae crisis? 5 questions answered

Red tide and a blue-green algae outbreak are fouling hundreds of miles of coast, killing fish and driving tourists away from beaches. Some of the causes are natural, but human actions play a big role.
Millions of tons of plastic are manufactured every year. Bert Kaufmann/Wikimedia

The world of plastics, in numbers

In 2015, over 320 million tons of polymers, excluding fibers, were manufactured across the globe.
California and the Trump administration are going different directions on mileage standards. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Trump administration and California are on collision course over vehicle emissions rules

Law scholars from California unpack the legal questions raised by the Trump administration's plan to roll back mileage standards and revoke California's ability to set more stringent rules.
Firefighters hose down flames from an advancing wildfire July 28, 2018, in Redding, Calif. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

A high-adrenaline job: 5 questions answered about fighting wildfires

Wildland firefighting has always been a risky job, but development in fire-prone areas is making it more dangerous by putting forest firefighters in situations they are not equipped or trained for.
California’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was shut down in 2013. julius fekete/shutterstock.com

The demise of US nuclear power in 4 charts

Commercial nuclear reactors provide roughly one-fifth of the electricity produced in the US. But they face grave threats to their continued operation.
Nearly a year after Hurricane Maria, water is still not restored to all of Puerto Rico. Reuters/Alvin Baez

Harvesting rain could help Caribbean countries keep the water on after hurricanes

Many countries collect and store rainwater for use during drought or dry seasons. But this technique is rarely used in the Caribbean, where hurricanes can leave people without water for months.