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Fighting Drought With an Ancient Practice: Harvesting the Rain
Ancient methods of collecting and storing rainwater are being used to address severe drought today.
Amazon Rainforest Defenders Confront Violence, Encroachment and Politics
Debates over development in the world’s largest rainforest have led to deadly conflicts, threats to its indigenous people and harm to the global atmosphere.
Unprepared: Lessons From Two Massive Oil Spills
A disastrous oil spill off the coast of Alaska and massive explosion of a rig in the Gulf of Mexico revealed a pattern of unsettled standards and inconsistent oversight that cast doubt on the oil industry’s preparedness for future accidents.
We’re Catching More Diseases From Wild Animals, and It’s Our Fault.
Scientists who venture into rainforests and bat caves explain how viruses, like Covid-19, spill over from animals to people, and what we must do to stop the next pandemic.
Our Appetite for Beef Is Growing. So Are Climate Worries.
Scientists warn that to slow climate change, we need to change how we farm and what we eat.
Meatless Burgers Are on Trend. Eating to Save the World Has a Long History.
Plant-based meats may be high tech, but the ideas behind them have been around for decades.
Population Bomb: The Overpopulation Theory That Fell Flat
In the 1960s, fears of overpopulation sparked talk of population control. So what happened?
Lingering Peril From Lead Paint
About half a million children have dangerously high lead levels in their blood, mostly from exposure to peeling paint and contaminated dust. The fight over who should clean it up has lasted for decades.
Horses: Wild, But Not Free
There are now so many wild horses on public land – nearly 100,000 – that they have become caught in a battle between the government, ranchers and environmentalists.
A Barge Full of Garbage Helped to Fuel a Recycling Movement
In the 1980s, rising public awareness about waste was fueled by a bizarre news story about a meandering New York City garbage barge.
This Snake Is Eating the Everglades
Burmese pythons released into the wild by well-meaning pet owners have created a reptilian nightmare in the Everglades.
Future of Water
The increasing scarcity of drinking water is beginning to capture the world’s attention – but surprisingly, an innovative solution might just be found in one of the Earth’s driest places.
Future of Cities
In the latest installment of our “What Happens Next” series examining the future of society, we visit Medellín, Colombia—a city that has reinvented itself over the past few decades, turning its violent past into a sustainable future by transforming its slums.
Blazes That Damaged Yellowstone Changed Wildfire Strategy
A rapidly growing California wildfire is threatening a grove of giant Sequoia trees in Yosemite National Park, some nearly 3,000 years old. For context, we examine the 1988 fires in Yellowstone National Park that ignited a debate over firefighting tactics and sustainable forestry.
Rachel Carson’s Warning on D.D.T. Ignited an Environmental Movement
Author Rachel Carson’s strike against the pesticide DDT turned her into both an environmental hero and a foil for those who believe regulation has gone too far. That fight is more relevant than ever.
Princess Diana Brought Attention to Land Mines, but Their Danger Lingers
In the late 1990s, Princess Diana brought public attention to land mine victims. But, more than two decades after her death, how much progress has been made in the worldwide fight against leftover munitions?
Reintroducing Wolves to Yellowstone was a Success. That's When Trouble Began.
In the 1990s, the federal government reintroduced the gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park. It was considered a big success. And that’s when the real fight began.
Bees: Colony Collapse Disorder Is More Complicated Than You'd Think
The mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder has pushed honeybees into the public eye. But the story of their plight – and its impact – is much more complicated.
Earthquake Readiness: How the San Franciso 1989 Quake Shook Awareness
The 1989 earthquake that shook San Francisco sent out a wake up call that continues to echo across the country.
The Fly That Quarantined California and Pitted Environmentalists Against Farmers
In the summer of 1981, the Mediterranean fruit fly spread through California’s Santa Clara Valley, infesting backyard fruit trees and threatening the state’s $14 billion agricultural industry.
The Minneapolis Bridge Collapse that Sounded the Alarm on US Infrastructure
At the height of rush hour on August 1, 2007 a bridge carrying eight lanes of I-35W traffic over the Mississippi River suddenly collapsed, sending cars and trucks plunging into the water below.
Toxic Waste in the Neighborhood: The Love Canal Disaster
In 1978, toxic chemicals leaking from an old landfill thrust an upstate New York community called “Love Canal” into the national headlines, and made it synonymous with “environmental disaster.”
Hurricane Katrina's Aftermath and Lessons in Dealing with Disaster
Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, and Louisiana’s troubled housing recovery has shaped the response to every major disaster since, including Hurricane Sandy.
In the wake of the 1993 hit movie Free Willy, activists and fans campaigned to release the movie’s star – a captive killer whale named Keiko – and launched a story Hollywood couldn’t invent.