Environment + Energy – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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Coal miner Scott Tiller works next to a drill in an underground coal mine roughly 40 inches high in Welch, West Virginia. AP Photo/David Goldman

Black lung disease on the rise: 5 questions answered

A recent study found the largest cluster of advanced black lung disease ever recorded among coal miners in central Appalachia. Two doctors who treat black lung patients explain how miners contract it.
Puerto Rico’s power utility, PREPA, has been decimated by years of scarcity and bad management. But will privatizing it really turn the lights back on for Puerto Ricans? AP Photo/Carlos Giusti

Why privatizing Puerto Rico’s power grid won’t solve its energy problems

Many Puerto Ricans are happy to see their broke power utility sold off to whoever can get the lights turned back on. But privatizing the island's energy grid may bring more problems than relief.
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Americans are saving energy by staying at home

New research shows that computers, streaming video and other digital technologies are helping Americans spend more time at home and less out shopping and commuting, yielding measurable energy savings.
Fires break out across San Francisco after the April 18, 1906 earthquake. USGS

California’s other drought: A major earthquake is overdue

According to current forecasts, California has a 93 percent chance of an earthquake with magnitude 7 or greater occurring by 2045. Early warning systems, now in development, could limit casualties and damage.
Dedicating a 31-kilowatt photovoltaic array at Rainshadow Community Charter High School, in Reno, Nevada. BlackRock Solar

The state of the US solar industry: 5 questions answered

What's at stake as the Trump administration imposes trade sanctions on imported solar panels? A look at the US solar energy industry, which generates more than twice as many jobs as coal energy.
Suspected infestation of Macrophomina phaseolina, a “novel” soil pathogen, in the non-fumigated buffer zone of a strawberry field. Julie Guthman

Healthy to eat, unhealthy to grow: Strawberries embody the contradictions of California agriculture

California produces 90 percent of the US strawberry crop, but growers face curbs on toxic chemicals that have helped their industry expand. Can a system centered on mass production become more sustainable?
Searching for victims after a rain-triggered mudslide that blanketed a village and killed at least 178 people in north China’s Shanxi province, Sept. 13, 2008. AP Photo/Andy Wong

Global toll from landslides is heaviest in developing countries

While the Montecito, California mudslides took 20 lives, landslides kill far more people in developing countries. Tighter construction standards and early warning systems could help reduce their toll.
Extreme cold weather in Atlanta, Ga., on Jan. 3, 2018. AP Photo/David Goldman

Climate change and weather extremes: Both heat and cold can kill

Many parts of the US have experienced extreme heat or extreme cold in the past year. Recent research projects that climate change will increase deaths from both types of weather, especially cold spells.