Yttrium crystal

The Downside to Renewable Energy

Rare earth elements are used in virtually all electronics, and mining them is a messy business.
A tractor spreads biosolids in a field

What To Do about Biosolids

People are understandably reluctant to make much use of sewer sludge. Can rebranding human waste as "biosolids" change the public's mind?
Food security

Global Food Security: A Primer

World hunger is not caused by our inability to produce enough food. The problem arises because of the economic inequality that distorts food distribution.

Converting Tobacco Fields into Solar Farms Can Save Half a Million Lives a Year

The cost of generating solar power has dropped so dramatically, it is now economically advantageous for tobacco farmers to replace tobacco with solar farms in many places.
Smokestacks with pollution

Plastic in Your Beer, Toxins in Your Air, and Heavy Metals on Your Doorsteps

From household plastic to industrial waste, anthropogenic activity has created compounds that poison ecosystems from water to air.
rose and bullets

It’s Not Magical Realism: Bullets That Bloom

With all the human casualties of armed conflict, sometimes the environmental impacts go unnoticed. But the U.S. military has started to ...
Extreme ultraviolet light streams out of an X-class solar flare

The Threat of Solar Flares

Solar flares are highly unpredictable and difficult to anticipate. But their threat is very real.

Man with Turtles in his Pants is the Tip of the Iceberg

Xu Gai was caught trying to enter Canada with 51 turtles crammed into his pants.