Bacteria and fungi, Earth’s quintessential biochemists, are famous for the odd molecules they produce. But human beings are no slouches. According to one estimate, global commerce swells with thousands of industrial chemicals, many completely novel, some very toxic
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Last fall I rode 1500 miles from Taos, New Mexico to New Orleans on a 1983 Yamaha xs-650. It was my first solo, long distance bike trip and New Orleans — a legendary city — seemed like a good destination.
Will global capitalism eventually wean itself off fossil fuels? Can wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable energy sources generate enough joules to drive permanent economic growth? Should carbon emissions be taxed?
It would be difficult to go a day without stainless steel, and that steel would not be stainless without ferrochrome — the end product of chromite mining. In northern Ontario, chromium mining generates controversy.
In the rolling foothills of the Canadian Rockies, where cattle peacefully graze and ranchers retire to handsome chalets, a purple haze hovers. Fracking is being blamed not only for air pollution, but for a litany of health complaints.
Follow a group of naturalists up New Brunswick’s Nashwaak River, from its mouth, across from the provincial legislature in Saint John, to its headwaters a hundred and fifty kilometers north, near a proposed tungsten-molybdenum mine.
In the summer of 2014, several hundred people gathered at a fracking “Day of Protest” in Kent County, between Moncton and Miramichi — Elsipogtog First Nations territory.
One of Earth’s tens of millions of species has been mining colossal volumes of organic matter buried for ages, and burning the stuff for fuel — raising the surface temperature of their planet to a level higher than any time in the past.
Three quarters of Earth’s surface is covered in water. Most of this vast mass of water is salty, a mere two percent fit to drink. You’d think we’d conserve what’s so scarce and valuable. It isn’t always so. Bolivians are trying hard.
Once upon a time, the US was the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide. The average American still emits more than the rest of us, but – sometime last year – China’s annual emissions surpassed the US’s. As the Chinese choke on fume-filled air, their leaders are turning to the wind.