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Does the Government Track Anti-Public-Land Extremists?

June 30, 2017 The United States government owns more than a fifth of the land in 12 states, all of which are in the West. Recently, Americans everywhere have been reminded of how controversial that fact remains. In the past four years, armed militants have twice attempted to occupy federal facilities or stop...

The American South Will Bear the Worst of Climate Change’s Costs

June 29, 2017 Climate change will aggravate economic inequality in the United States, essentially transferring wealth from poor counties in the Southeast and the Midwest to well-off communities in the Northeast and on the coasts, according to the most detailed economic assessment of the phenomenon ever conducted. The study, published Thursday in Science,...

The Standing Rock Sioux Claim ‘Victory and Vindication’ in Court

June 15, 2017 A federal judge ruled in favor of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Wednesday, handing the tribe its first legal victory in its year-long battle against the Dakota Access pipeline. James Boasberg, who sits on D.C. district court, said that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to perform an...

Google's New Product Puts Peer Pressure to a Sunny Use

June 12, 2017 One of the best predictors of whether people install solar panels on their house isn’t their age, their race, their level of income, or their political affiliation. It’s whether their neighbors did it first. This finding has been shown repeatedly across space and time, including in California, Connecticut, Germany, Switzerland,...

Trump’s Paris Decision Hurts More than the Climate

June 1, 2017 The politics of climate change requires constantly comparing the very small and the very massive. On the one hand, the carbon-dioxide molecule: three atoms, bound together by electromagnetism, that in sufficient quantities can reflect heat energy back to its source. On the other, the whole planet, our island in the...

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What Does Trump's Budget Mean for the Environment?

May 24, 2017 Didn’t we just go through this? In early March, President Trump proposed a budget that would have scaled back the federal government’s stewardship of the environment beyond recognition. The budget traded historically unprecedented cuts to the EPA for $50-billion boosts to defense spending, and it shuttered long-running programs that protect...

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The Dismissed EPA Advisers Had Nothing to Do With Regulation

May 9, 2017 Less than three years ago, the threat of an Ebola pandemic caused millions of Americans to fear for their lives. As more than 11,000 people died of the virus in some of the poorest countries in the world—Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone—people in the United States panicked about a pandemic...

What’s Next for the Keystone XL Pipeline

March 28, 2017 Because that which has never lived cannot really die, the Keystone XL—the grinding, symbolic climate-change fight of the Obama era—has returned. On Friday morning, President Trump formally approved the pipeline, completing a process that he began a few days into his presidency. In the United States, the pipeline as planned...

A Visual Search Engine for the Entire Planet

March 8, 2017 At this moment in history, there are more satellites photographing Earth from orbit than just about anyone knows what to do with. Planet, Inc., has more than 150 orbiting cameras, each the size of a shoebox. DigitalGlobe has five dump-truck-sized sensors. And more startups are planning to launch their own....

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Congress and Trump Won't 'Terminate the EPA'

February 16, 2017 It could not look more grave, more straightforwardly destructive. Below a simple title—H. R. 861, A BILL TO TERMINATE THE EPA—runs the staggering text: Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, The Environmental Protection Agency shall terminate on...