Category Archives: Environment

Space tourism is a waste

Gizmodo reports: Bezos’ New Shepard rocket, made by his company Blue Origin, runs on a combination of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. Though neither of those emit carbon when they’re burned, producing liquid hydrogen usually does. Compressing and liquifying the oxygen for the fuel is also an energy-intensive process that, if not done using renewables,… Read More »

Incursions into indigenous lands not only threaten tribal food systems, but the planet’s well-being

Georgina Gustin writes: For thousands of years Indigenous people have survived by hunting, fishing, foraging and harvesting in ways that sustain them while maintaining an equilibrium with nature. But a major report from the United Nations warns that this balance is being severely tested by climate change and by incursions into Indigenous lands—many of them… Read More »

The dark side of solar power

Atalay Atasu, Serasu Duran, and Luk N. Van Wassenhove write: It’s sunny times for solar power. In the U.S., home installations of solar panels have fully rebounded from the Covid slump, with analysts predicting more than 19 gigawatts of total capacity installed, compared to 13 gigawatts at the close of 2019. Over the next 10… Read More »

Rocky Mountain forests burning more now than any time in the past 2,000 years

Colorado’s East Troublesome Fire jumped the Continental Divide on Oct. 22, 2020, and eventually became Colorado’s second-largest fire on record. Lauren Dauphin/NASA Earth Observatory By Philip Higuera, The University of Montana; Bryan Shuman, University of Wyoming, and Kyra Wolf, The University of Montana The exceptional drought in the U.S. West has people across the region… Read More »

Pesticides are killing the world’s soils

Nathan Donley and Tari Gunstone write: Scoop up a shovelful of healthy soil, and you’ll likely be holding more living organisms than there are people on the planet Earth. Like citizens of an underground city that never sleeps, tens of thousands of subterranean species of invertebrates, nematodes, bacteria and fungi are constantly filtering our water,… Read More »

Microbes are a missing piece in the biodiversity puzzle

Ian Morse writes: Scientists are clear: the number of plant and animal species on Earth is declining. The climate crisis, habitat loss, pollution and the illegal wildlife trade are all pushing species toward extinction. Researchers especially worry that losing too much biodiversity could push the earth past a tipping point into irreversible change, and on… Read More »