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Articles on Pollution

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Maywood Riverfront Park was built on the site of eight former industrial properties in Los Angeles County. Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Flood maps show US vastly underestimates contamination risk at old industrial sites

Climate change is colliding with old factory sites where soil or water contamination still exist, and the most vulnerable populations are particularly at risk.
Image of Earth’s city lights, created with data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. NASA/Newsmakers via Getty Images

What the controversial 1972 ‘Limits to Growth’ report got right: Our choices today shape future conditions for life on Earth

A 1972 report warned that unchecked consumption could crater the world economy by 2100. Fifty years and much debate later, can humanity innovate quickly enough to avoid that fate?
A farmer works with his tractor in front of the Kusile Power Station located in eMalahleni. In Gauteng province residents can sometimes smell the pollution coming from this direction. Wikus de Wet/AFP via Getty Images

The air in South African Highveld cities smells foul in the winter: here’s why

Johannesburg occasionally smells like rotten eggs. The wind brings the smell from the east or the southeast, where most industries are located.
Water science researcher Callum Fleming in the Wollangambe River, deep within the World Heritage area. Ian Wright

The stunning recovery of a heavily polluted river in the heart of the Blue Mountains World Heritage area

For over 40 years, a coal mine on the outskirts of the Blue Mountains World Heritage area dumped poorly treated wastewater into the Wollangambe River. Finally, it’s on the road to recovery.
Self-driving cars could lead to increased traffic and pollution if they spur more travel by car. Witthaya Prasongsin via Getty Images

Driverless cars won’t be good for the environment if they lead to more auto use

Studies show that when people can ride in a car without having to operate it, they increase their car use. That could increase traffic and pollution, unless government puts a price on car travel.

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