July 3, 2022

Earth, Wind, Fire On Day of Onrushing Risks

The accelerating consequences of the warming Earth, the hazards associated with increasing reliance on fossil fuels, the promise of big clean energy projects, and the difficulties in advancing a national climate and energy policy fit for the 21st century came into sharp focus today in Washington and across the nation. In Boston, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that aftter nine years of public confrontation, the United States had reached a decision to approve crucial permits …

Earth, Wind, and Fire On Day of Onrushing Climate Risks

The accelerating consequences of the warming Earth, the hazards associated with increasing reliance on fossil fuels, the promise of big clean energy projects, and the difficulties in advancing a national climate and energy policy fit for the 21st century came into sharp focus today in Washington and across the nation. In Boston, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that aftter nine years of public confrontation, the United States had reached a decision to approve crucial permits …

Earth Pushes Back and Paris Climate Conference Responds

Like divers surfacing above a sea of noise and ambivalence, negotiators in Paris on Saturday reached an agreement that commits nations to develop new energy strategies that hold “the increase in the average global temperature to well below 2 degrees C” and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C.” The Paris accord is momentous for innumerable reasons, not the least of which is because it recognizes, at last, that three …

Donghao Chung, Guangzhou’s Daylighted Refuge

GUANGZHOU, China — Can a polluted stormwater drain newly constructed as an urban park speak for a city? Can a place of refuge, where clear water slips past slick rocks and families gather near the sound and mist of fountains, be an extension of a nation? There’s always risk in heaping such rhapsody on a single example. Still, in the characteristically handsome Chinese design, and in the cooling embrace of its flowing water, the Donghao …

Slowly, With Earth Pushing Hard, A Confederacy Of Concern Develops

BENZONIA, MI — The role of a journalist isn’t hard to understand. We’re translators. We sort through the myriad details of  complex subjects and choose the most salient to build a narrative that’s simpler for readers to understand. There couldn’t be a more important era to deploy that skill than now — the dismaying, dangerous, fabulous, primal decades of the 21st century. We’re now 15 years into the 21st century. Underlying so much of the …

Challenged By Drought, Fire, Earthquake, and Flood, California Departs On New Path

OROVILLE, CA — Until visitors peer over the crest of 770-foot Oroville Dam, which stores the cold Sierra waters of the Feather River and is the tallest dam in the United States, it’s hard to tell a drought grips Butte County, or any of the other neighboring Central Valley counties in this part of northern California. The dirt-lined transport canals are filled to the top with water that slakes the thirst of thousands of hectares …

World Water Day Ingredients Need Big Dash of Urgency

From east to west, ever since the world began, there was water. Plentiful. Clean. Always available. None of those descriptions apply to water today.  Though the condition of the world’s water is perilous, and job-producing opportunities for conservation and efficiency are abundant, water’s ranking on the list of public priorities and attention typically is not near the top. It’s not for a lack of effort from the water wonks. In 1993, a year after international …

Earth Pushes Back – Hard

There’s nothing demur about Mother Earth these days. She’s fuming and pushing back hard. Very hard. The Ebola emergency that began in West Africa and has since spread to two more continents has produced 5,000 deaths and is accelerating. Deep droughts engulf Brazil’s largest city and America’s largest state. Hurricanes drowned two major American cities since 2005. The 2013 Philippines typhoon killed 6,250 people. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed 228,000 people. A tsunami in …

As We Build More, Use More, The Earth Is Pushing Back Hard

PRAGUE — City Square erupted at the start of the 2014 New Year with a deafening and blazing midnight fusilade of rockets and cannon blasts. The air filled with spent gunpowder and smoke so dense the brilliance of the firebursts was obscured. The Czech crowds, so slim and young and dressed in chic leather and spiked heels, cheered with the joy and lusty charm that comes with political security and social success. This 1,000-year-old river …

Wastewater Disposal From Fracking Can Cause Earthquakes: Ohio Sets Example

It’s been generations since an industrial development as powerful and as widespread as the new oil and gas energy boom has swept across the United States. The risks — drinking water infiltration, wastewater disposal, oil well explosions, wildlife deaths, and earthquakes — are steadily emerging. The question for federal and state regulatory agencies, already under seige from diminished budgets and lawmakers intent on weakening oversight, is how quickly inspection agencies will respond to public threats. …