environmental news

5 popular reads from our newsroom in 2021

Check out what sparked readers' interest over the past year.

Try as we may, it sure is hard to know what story is going to resonate with readers. From forests to fertility to fish farming, here are five of our most popular reads from 2021.


1. WATCH: Fertility crisis leaves little time for solutions

Worldwide, sperm counts in men have declined 50 percent in 50 years, with no sign of easing soon.

2. The push for standing forest protections in US climate policy

forests climate change

Researchers say "proforestation" policies are the fastest and most effective way to draw excess CO2 out of the atmosphere.

3. Use of disinfectants has soared, sparking new examination of ingredients

covid

Regulators are considering whether disinfectant ingredients called quats are safe and effective in light of increased use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Fish farming has a plastic problem

plastic pollution

Microplastics in fishmeal are contaminating farmed fish—impacting their health, the nutrition they provide, and leaving consumers potentially exposed.

5. A disability should not be a death sentence during a natural disaster

wildfires climate change

"I have the privilege of studying wildfires—but I often don't have the privilege of escaping them when it matters most."

Banner photo credit: Keith Seiffert/flickr

Food, feed and fuel: global seaweed industry could reduce land needed for farming by 110m hectares, study finds

Scientists identify parts of ocean suitable for seaweed cultivation and suggest it could constitute 10% of human diet to reduce impact of agriculture.

Sunrise in the woods

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When will we hit peak fossil fuels? Maybe we already have

Kingsmill Bond, energy analyst and author, describes the circumstances that hastened the transition of the electricity sector—plus four reasons he’s optimistic about our planet’s future.

Google empowered climate crisis deniers
Steve Rhodes/Flickr

Google let Daily Wire advertise to climate crisis deniers, research shows

Exclusive: Data shared by the Center for Countering Digital Hate shows that Ben Shapiro’s news site paid for climate crisis denial search term ads.

greenwashing in fashion
UK in Italy/Flickr

'Vegan,' 'sustainable': How to spot greenwashing in fashion

Virtuous proclamations and campaigns from clothing brands can often amount to greenwashing, or in some cases, “clearwashing,” where the information doesn’t tell consumers much.
heavy metals in baby food
pixydust8605/Flickr

How do heavy metals like lead get in baby food?

The problem begins at the farm where plants draw toxins from the soil. There’s no washing them away.

A copper mine could advance green energy but scar sacred land

Tribal groups are fighting an Arizona project whose backers say increasing the supply of copper, crucial to batteries, would reduce fossil-fuel use.

As the Colorado River shrinks, Washington prepares to spread the pain

The seven states that rely on the river for water are not expected to reach a deal on cuts. It appears the Biden administration will have to impose reductions.
From our Newsroom
oil and gas wells pollution

What happens if the largest owner of oil and gas wells in the US goes bankrupt?

Diversified Energy’s liabilities exceed its assets, according to a new report, sparking concerns about whether taxpayers will wind up paying to plug its 70,000 wells.

Paul Ehrlich

Paul Ehrlich: A journey through science and politics

In his new book, the famous scientist reflects on an unparalleled career on our fascinating, ever-changing planet.

oil and gas california environmental justice

Will California’s new oil and gas laws protect people from toxic pollution?

California will soon have the largest oil drilling setbacks in the U.S. Experts say other states can learn from this move.

popular stories 2022

Our 5 most popular reads from 2022

A corpse, woodworking dangers, plastic titans ... revisit the stories that stuck with our readers this past year.

Pittsburgh environmental

What I learned reporting on environmental health in Pittsburgh in 2022

For a lot of people, 2022 felt like the first “normal” year since 2020. It didn’t for me.

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