Used once and done.
Research is yielding strategies for making plastics greener and more sustainable. But without support as they scale up, new versions will struggle to compete with well-established synthetic plastics.
Cal Fire Division Chief Mark Higgins directs helicopters dropping water in Lakeport, California.
AP Photo/Noah Berger
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.
Can Walmart go green while maintaining its commitment to low prices?
AP Photo/Tom Uhlman
Two business professors spent five years studying Walmart's ambition project to bring sustainability to its millions of budget-conscious customers – a plan that began with the birth of a granddaughter.
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
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
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
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.
President Gerald Ford discussing plans for a Strategic Petroleum Reserve with workers in California in 1975.
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum
There's no precedent for selling oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve at a time when there's no market-driven reason for doing that.
Millions of tons of plastic are manufactured every year.
In 2015, over 320 million tons of polymers, excluding fibers, were manufactured across the globe.
The bad old days of gas lines in the 1970s and shortages led to the creation of fuel economy rules.
The Trump administration's move to freeze fuel economy standards reflects a sea change in American energy policy first born during an era of oil shortages and environmental crises.
African elephant bull.
Cells that transmit nerve impulses in the part of elephants' brains responsible for functions such as learning and memory are structured differently from those of any other mammal.
Virginia Delegate Chris Hurst, a Democrat, at a Mountain Valley Pipeline protest before he took office.
AP Photo/Steve Helber
Whether they aim to stop pipelines in Virginia or block Pacific Northwest export terminals, organizers are trying to 'keep it in the ground' to save the climate.
Water from an irrigation system sprays flowering cotton plants on the farm of Allen Entz in Hydro, Okla, Aug. 16, 2012.
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
The Ogalalla Aquifer is a vast underground lake that irrigates farms across the US Great Plains. It took thousands of years to fill, but human use could drain it in roughly a century.
Guilty or innocent?
Hundreds of lawsuits against Monsanto contend that its popular Roundup weed killer gave users cancer. But proving this kind of connection is challenging in both science and law.
California and the Trump administration are going different directions on mileage standards.
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
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
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.
Commercial nuclear reactors provide roughly one-fifth of the electricity produced in the US. But they face grave threats to their continued operation.
The Carr Fire tears through Shasta, California, July 26, 2018.
AP Photo/Noah Berger
Climate change, development, past forest management policies and current firefighting practices are creating conditions for large, costly wildfires.
Purse seiner fishing in the Indian Ocean. Footprint estimates do not assess how sustainably resources such as fisheries are managed.
August 1, 2018 is 'Earth Overshoot Day,' a date coined by the nonprofit Global Footprint Network to publicize overuse of Earth's resources. But their estimates actually understate the problem.
Most garages can double as EV charging stations.
As EVs make more inroads, giving tenants somewhere to plug in their cars could become a selling point.
Fighting wildfires with air tankers, like this one dropping fire retardant on the Willow Fire in California on September 2, 2015, is expensive and not always effective.
A perfect storm of climate, forestry, development and fire management trends are driving up the costs of fighting wildfires.
How much would you pay to make this disappear?
Emilian Robert Vicol
What would you pay to keep trash off your favorite beach, or pollution away from a national park? Economists can tease these values out of our travel choices and use the numbers to help make policy.
Forest near Sarayaku, Ecuador.
What drives the emergence and disappearance of species? By modeling the fundamental processes of evolution and ecology on geographical scales, new research spotlights topography and climatic shifts.
One historic handshake in Helsinki.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Not only does U.S. law bar price-fixing, there are bipartisan efforts underway to make it possible to sue OPEC members in American courts for antitrust violations.
A clear day at Acadia National Park in Maine.
US national parks protect some of America's most spectacular outdoor settings. But new research shows that ozone pollution levels in the parks are roughly as bad as in major cities.
Nearly a year after Hurricane Maria, water is still not restored to all of Puerto Rico.
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.