Environment + Energy – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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A small colony of Townsend’s big eared bats at Lava Beds National Monument, Calif. Shawn Thomas, NPS/Flickr

It’s wrong to blame bats for the coronavirus epidemic

The value that bats provide to humans by pollinating crops and eating insects is far greater than harm from virus transmission – which is mainly caused by human actions.
Collecting water from a street pump in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Jan. 13, 2020. angladeshi people collecting drinking water from a water pump inside a streeMehedi Hasan/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Coronavirus spotlights the link between clean water and health

Water is essential for health, economic well-being and social equity, but too many people around the world still don't have access to clean drinking water and sanitation.
An Amazon forest in Brazil’s Para state after deforestation and wildfires March 9, 2019. Unlike in some tropical forests, the animals of the Amazon are not adapted to survive fire. Gustavo Basso/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dung beetles help rainforests regrow – but extreme drought and wildfires in the Amazon are killing them off

A new study finds 70% of Amazonian dung beetles were killed by the severe fire and droughts of 2015 to 2016. By spreading seeds and poop, dung beetles fertilize forests and aid regrowth of vegetation.
Collecting firewood on the Waiapi indigenous reserve in Amapa state, Brazil, Oct. 13, 2017. A new bill could open Brazil’s Native lands to development. APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images

Indigenous people may be the Amazon’s last hope

Native Brazilians are among the Amazon's most effective defenders against logging and mining, because they're fighting not just for the environment but for their people's very survival.
The January 2019 collapse of a dam in Brumadinho, Brazil, sent mining tailings and mud over the landscape for miles, destroying this bridge and killing 300 people. Andre Penner/AP

Mine waste dams threaten the environment, even when they don’t fail

Dams built to hold enormous quantities of toxic mining waste have a long history of spills. Decisions in the Pacific Northwest threaten three free-flowing rivers there.
Reducing fine particle air pollution from petrochemical complexes, like this one near the Houston Ship Channel in Texas, is a low-cost way to lower air pollution mortality. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Air pollution kills thousands of Americans every year – here’s a low-cost strategy to reduce the toll

A new study takes an innovative approach to reducing fine particle air pollution and spotlights key sources: factories that burn coal and oil, petrochemical plants and burning wood for home heating.