Environment + Energy – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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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.
‘Earthrise,’ which appeared on the cover of the second and third Whole Earth Catalog, was taken by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders during lunar orbit, Dec. 24, 1968. NASA

Thing-makers, tool freaks and prototypers: How the Whole Earth Catalog’s optimistic message reinvented the environmental movement in 1968

The Whole Earth Catalog was a blueprint for sustainability that envisioned humans living in balance with nature. Its creative spirit was welcomed in a year riven by war, assassinations and riots.
Wildland firefighters, like this crew heading into New Mexico’s Gila National Forest, in 2012, are equipped and operate differently from urban firefighters. USFS Gila National Forest

All wildfires are not alike, but the US is fighting them that way

A historian of wildfires explains the difference between urban and rural fire cultures, and what it means for protecting communities in fire-prone rural areas.
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., speaks about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the state of the EPA during a protest on April 25, 2018, in Washington. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

What next for the EPA? Here’s what Reagan did

After two years of turmoil at the EPA in the 1980s, President Reagan hit the reset button, choosing a Republican who supported environmental protection to head the agency.
The sun sets behind the Statue of Liberty, July 1, 2018. AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File

Coping with heat waves: 5 essential reads

July is the hottest month in much of North America. Experts explain who is most affected by heat waves and ways to cope with them.
Hurricane Harvey approaching the Texas Gulf Coast in August 2017. NOAA/Handout via Reuters

3 reasons why the US is vulnerable to big disasters

Large-scale emergencies can be a strain, even in one of the world's richest countries. Population growth, income inequality and fragile supply chains may make the problem worse.
A barn that can hold up to 4,800 hogs outside Berwick, Pa. The state says the farm is in compliance with regulations, but residents have gone to court seeking relief from odors. AP Photo/Michael Rubinkam

Rural Americans’ struggles against factory farm pollution find traction in court

Many people who live near large-scale livestock farms complain about noxious smells, air and water pollution and health risks. With little help from regulators, they are turning to lawsuits.
Crop insurance is designed to help farmers weather disasters such as Hurricane Irma, which devastated many Florida citrus farms in 2017. AP Photo/Tamara Lush

Crop insurance is good for farmers, but not always for the environment

Crop insurance cushions farmers against natural disasters, but it also can lead them to overuse resources and reduce their incentive to adapt to climate change.
Soybean seeds treated with neonicotinoids (blue) and treated corn seeds (red) versus untreated seeds. Ian Grettenberger/PennState University

Why it’s time to curb widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides

US farmers are planting more and more acres with seeds coated with neonicotinoid pesticides. An ecologist explains why this approach is overkill and may be doing more harm than good.