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Archive: Pollution & Health

15 Sep 2014

How to Make Farm-to-Table A Truly Sustainable Movement

by DIANE TOOMEY
Chef Dan Barber says the farm-to-table movement that he helped build has failed to support sustainable agriculture on a large scale. To do that, he says in a Yale Environment 360 interview, we need a new way of looking at diverse crops and the foods we eat. READ MORE

11 Sep 2014

A Red Dirt Town: An Enduring Legacy Of Toxic Pollution in Southern Waters

The second-place winner of the Yale Environment 360 Video Contest examines the legacy of pollution in Anniston, Alabama, the former home of a Monsanto chemical factory. Produced by Spenser Gabin, the video tells the story of how PCBs from the Monsanto plant contaminated the town’s waterways and continue to taint the fish that are popular with local anglers. READ MORE

18 Aug 2014

A New Frontier for Fracking: Drilling Near the Arctic Circle

by ED STRUZIK
Hydraulic fracturing is about to move into the Canadian Arctic, with companies exploring the region's rich shale oil deposits. But many indigenous people and conservationists have serious concerns about the impact of fracking in more fragile northern environments. READ MORE

14 Jul 2014

The Soil Pollution Crisis in China: A Cleanup Presents Daunting Challenge

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07 Jul 2014

In China’s Heartland, A Toxic Trail Leads from Factories to Fields to Food

by HE GUANGWEI
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30 Jun 2014

China’s Dirty Pollution Secret: The Boom Poisoned Its Soil and Crops

by HE GUANGWEI
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26 Jun 2014

On Front Lines of Recycling, Turning Food Waste into Biogas

by RACHEL CERNANSKY
An increasing number of sewage treatment plants in the U.S. and Europe are processing food waste in anaerobic biodigesters, keeping more garbage out of landfills, reducing methane emissions, and producing energy to defray their operating costs. READ MORE

12 Jun 2014

Can Waterless Dyeing Processes Clean Up the Clothing Industry?

by LYDIA HEIDA
One of the world’s most polluting industries is the textile-dyeing sector, which in China and other Asian nations releases trillions of liters of chemically tainted wastewater. But new waterless dyeing technologies, if adopted on a large scale, could sharply cut pollution from the clothing industry. READ MORE

27 May 2014

As Dairy Farms Grow Bigger, New Concerns About Pollution

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
Dairy operations in the U.S. are consolidating, with ever-larger numbers of cows concentrated on single farms. In states like Wisconsin, opposition to some large operations is growing after manure spills and improper handling of waste have contaminated waterways and aquifers. READ MORE

22 May 2014

Putting San Francisco On the Road to Zero Waste

by CHERYL KATZ
For two decades, Jack Macy has spearheaded San Francisco’s efforts to become a global leader in recycling. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about how San Francisco has engaged the public in a recycling crusade that has resulted in the city reusing or composting 80 percent of its garbage. READ MORE

27 Mar 2014

On Ravaged Tar Sands Lands, Big Challenges for Reclamation

by ED STRUZIK
The mining of Canada’s tar sands has destroyed large areas of sensitive wetlands in Alberta. Oil sands companies have vowed to reclaim this land, but little restoration has occurred so far and many scientists say it is virtually impossible to rebuild these complex ecosystems. READ MORE

18 Feb 2014

As Fracking Booms, Growing Concerns About Wastewater

by ROGER REAL DROUIN
With hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas continuing to proliferate across the U.S., scientists and environmental activists are raising questions about whether millions of gallons of contaminated drilling fluids could be threatening water supplies and human health. READ MORE

06 Feb 2014

In Developing World, A Push to Bring E-Waste Out of Shadows

by MIKE IVES
For decades, hazardous electronic waste from around the world has been processed in unsafe backyard recycling operations in Asia and Africa. Now, a small but growing movement is seeking to provide these informal collectors with incentives to sell e-waste to advanced recycling facilities. READ MORE

21 Jan 2014

As Uses of Biochar Expand, Climate Benefits Still Uncertain

by MARK HERTSGAARD
Research shows that biochar made from plant fodder and even chicken manure can be used to scrub mercury from power plant emissions and clean up polluted soil. The big question is whether biochar can be produced on a sufficiently large scale to slow or reverse global warming. READ MORE

14 Jan 2014

Greenpeace’s Kumi Naidoo on Russia and the Climate Struggle

by DIANE TOOMEY
In a Yale Environment 360 interview, the outspoken executive director of Greenpeace discusses why his organization’s activists braved imprisonment in Russia to stop Arctic oil drilling and what needs to be done to make a sharp turn away from fossil fuels and toward a green energy economy. READ MORE

02 Jan 2014

A Legal Call to Arms to Remedy Environmental and Climate Ills

by FEN MONTAIGNE
University of Oregon law professor Mary Wood says environmental laws in the United States are simply not working. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she explains why she believes a new strategy and robust judicial intervention are needed to protect nature and the climate. READ MORE

18 Dec 2013

Documenting the Swift Change Wrought by Global Warming

by PETER ESSICK
Photographer Peter Essick has traveled the world documenting the causes and consequences of climate change. In a Yale Environment 360 photo essay, we present a gallery of images Essick took while on assignment in Antarctica, Greenland, and other far-flung locales. READ MORE

12 Dec 2013

In South Africa, Renewables Vie With the Political Power of Coal

by ADAM WELZ
Although coal has dominated the South African electricity sector for decades, the country’s abundant solar and wind resources offer a promising renewable energy alternative. But entrenched political interests connected to the ruling party are fighting to expand coal’s role in the national economy. READ MORE

10 Dec 2013

A Successful Push to Restore Europe’s Long-Abused Rivers

by FRED PEARCE
From Britain to the Czech Republic, European nations have been restoring rivers to their natural state — taking down dams, removing levees, and reviving floodplains. For a continent that long viewed rivers as little more than shipping canals and sewers, it is a striking change. READ MORE

05 Dec 2013

Shipping Crude Oil by Rail: New Front in the Tar Sands Wars

by JACQUES LESLIE
As debate over the Keystone XL and other pipeline projects continues, crude oil from the Alberta tar sands and western U.S. oil fields is increasingly being hauled by railroad. Critics warn that this development poses a threat not only to the environment but to public safety. READ MORE

03 Dec 2013

Out of India’s Trash Heaps, A Controversy on Incineration

by DAVID FERRIS
India is planning to burn more of its trash to generate badly needed electricity. But as the case of a waste-to-energy plant in New Delhi shows, critics are worried about lax air pollution controls and the impact of incineration on people who eke out a living picking through waste dumps. READ MORE

14 Nov 2013

China at Crossroads: Balancing The Economy and Environment

by R. EDWARD GRUMBINE
After three decades of unbridled economic growth and mounting ecological problems, China and its new leadership face a key challenge: cleaning up the dirty air, polluted water, and tainted food supplies that are fueling widespread discontent among the country’s burgeoning middle class. READ MORE

12 Nov 2013

Canada’s Great Inland Delta: A Precarious Future Looms

by ED STRUZIK
The Peace-Athabasca Delta, one of the world’s largest freshwater deltas, is facing major change as rising temperatures, a prolonged drought, and water withdrawals for Alberta’s tar sands industry threaten to increasingly dry out this vast expanse of waterways and wetlands. READ MORE

17 Oct 2013

Focusing a Lens on China's Environmental Challenges

by SEAN GALLAGHER
Traveling throughout China, from the Tibetan Plateau to the lush subtropical forests in the south, a photojournalist documents the vast scope of the country's environmental challenges. READ MORE

09 Sep 2013

How Tiny Fish Could Reveal Effects of Chemical Exposure

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
Researchers at a lab at Oregon State University are using zebrafish to assess the impacts of multiple chemical exposures. Their findings could help lead to a better understanding of how chemicals in the environment and in consumer products affect human health. READ MORE

19 Aug 2013

Bringing Back the Night: A Fight Against Light Pollution

by PAUL BOGARD
As evidence mounts that excessive use of light is harming wildlife and adversely affecting human health, new initiatives in France and elsewhere are seeking to turn down the lights that flood an ever-growing part of the planet. READ MORE

05 Aug 2013

With Tar Sands Development, Growing Concern on Water Use

by ED STRUZIK
Environmental questions about Canada’s massive tar sands development have long centered on greenhouse gas emissions. Now there are mounting concerns about the huge volumes of water used by the oil industry and the impact on the vast Mackenzie River Basin. READ MORE

01 Jul 2013

No Refuge: Tons of Trash Covers The Remote Shores of Alaska

by CARL SAFINA
A marine biologist traveled to southwestern Alaska in search of ocean trash that had washed up along a magnificent coast rich in fish, birds, and other wildlife. He and his colleagues found plenty of trash – as much as a ton of garbage per mile on some beaches. READ MORE

19 Jun 2013

Coal Pollution and the Fight For Environmental Justice

by DIANE TOOMEY
As its director of "climate justice," Jacqueline Patterson is leading the NAACP’s campaign to shut down coal-burning power plants in minority communities. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she talks about the skepticism she faces from her own constituents. READ MORE

17 Jun 2013

An Economic Boom in Turkey Takes a Toll on Marine Life

by SULMAAN KHAN
The development-at-any-cost policies of Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan — a key factor behind the protests and clashes in Istanbul’s Taksim Square — are also playing a role in the steady decline of the nation’s porpoises, dolphins, and other marine life. READ MORE

09 May 2013

How Mussel Farming Could Help to Clean Fouled Waters

by PAUL GREENBERG
Along the shores of New York Harbor, scientists are investigating whether this ubiquitous bivalve can be grown in urban areas as a way of cleansing coastal waters of sewage, fertilizers, and other pollutants. READ MORE

15 Apr 2013

Will Global Coal Boom Go Bust As Climate Concerns Increase?

by FEN MONTAIGNE
The surge in global coal consumption, driven largely by China and India, has climate scientists deeply worried. But environmentalists and a growing number of financial experts say that alarm over global warming may halt the seemingly inevitable rise of the coal industry. READ MORE

28 Mar 2013

Long Outlawed in the West, Lead Paint Sold in Poor Nations

by REBECCA KESSLER
A new study finds that household lead paint — banned for years in the U.S. and Europe because of its health effects on children — is commonly sold in the African nation of Cameroon. Is lead paint the latest case of Western companies selling unsafe products in developing countries? READ MORE

13 Mar 2013

An Advocate in Pursuit of Environmental Justice at EPA

by BEN GOLDFARB
Matthew Tejada is taking over the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice after helping low-income communities in Houston fight air pollution in their neighborhoods. He talks to Yale Environment 360 about how his work in Texas prepared him for the challenges of his new post. READ MORE

19 Feb 2013

Grisly Trend: Green Activists Are Facing Deadly Dangers

by FRED PEARCE
With activists killed in Brazil, Cambodia, the Philippines, and elsewhere, 2012 may have been the worst year yet for violence against those working to protect the environment. So far, little has been done to halt this chilling development. READ MORE

31 Jan 2013

Mercury’s Silent Toll On the World’s Wildlife

by REBECCA KESSLER
Scientists are only beginning to understand the impacts of mercury contamination on birds, fish, and other wildlife populations. But what they are finding is alarming — even low levels can cause harm, and chronic exposure has unexpected and troubling effects. READ MORE

24 Jan 2013

To Tackle Runoff, Cities Turn to Green Initiatives

by DAVE LEVITAN
Urban stormwater runoff is a serious problem, overloading sewage treatment plants and polluting waterways. Now, various U.S. cities are creating innovative green infrastructure — such as rain gardens and roadside plantings — that mimics the way nature collects and cleanses water. READ MORE

17 Jan 2013

Black Carbon and Warming: It’s Worse than We Thought

by CARL ZIMMER
A new study indicates soot, known as black carbon, plays a far greater role in global warming than previously believed and is second only to CO2 in the amount of heat it traps in the atmosphere. Reducing some forms of soot emissions — such as from diesel fuel and coal burning — could prove effective in slowing down the planet’s warming. READ MORE

06 Dec 2012

Should Environmentalists Just Say No to Eating Beef?

by MARC GUNTHER
Conservation organizations are working with industry to try to make beef production more sustainable. But some are questioning whether green groups should be accepting funds from the beef industry or whether they should instead be urging consumers to stop eating beef. READ MORE

29 Nov 2012

Tar Sands Oil Boom Drives Push for A Northern Pipeline

by ED STRUZIK
The rapid development of Alberta’s tar sands has spawned a new proposal for a 731-mile pipeline that would transport oil to the British Columbia coast. The project is strongly opposed by conservationists and First Nations leaders, who fear the environmental risks it would bring. READ MORE

11 Oct 2012

How No-Flush Toilets Can Help Make a Healthier World

by CHERYL COLOPY
Inadequate sewage systems and the lack of toilets in much of the developing world have created a major public health and environmental crisis. Now various innovators are promoting new kinds of toilets and technologies that use little or no water and recycle the waste. READ MORE

04 Oct 2012

The Next Pandemic: Why It Will Come from Wildlife

by DAVID QUAMMEN
Experts believe the next deadly human pandemic will almost certainly be a virus that spills over from wildlife to humans. The reasons why have a lot to do with the frenetic pace with which we are destroying wild places and disrupting ecosystems. READ MORE

23 Aug 2012

With Funding Tight, Cities are Turning to Green Infrastructure

by JIM ROBBINS
From Seattle to Sweden, an ever-growing number of city and regional governments are using roof gardens, specially designed wetlands, and other forms of “green infrastructure” to rein in pollution from countless diffuse sources — and to save money. READ MORE

10 Jul 2012

Cooling a Warming Planet: A Global Air Conditioning Surge

by STAN COX
The U.S. has long used more energy for air conditioning than all other nations combined. But as demand increases in the world’s warmer regions, global energy consumption for air conditioning is expected to continue to rise dramatically and could have a major impact on climate change. READ MORE

02 Jul 2012

Oh Canada: The Government’s Broad Assault on Environment

by ED STRUZIK
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has been weakening Canada’s environmental regulations and slashing funds for oversight and research — all while promoting aggressive resource development. Critics warn these unprecedented actions pose a major threat to the nation’s vast natural heritage. READ MORE

21 Jun 2012

Fifty Years After Silent Spring, Attacks on Science Continue

by FRANK GRAHAM JR.
When Silent Spring was published in 1962, author Rachel Carson was subjected to vicious personal assaults that had nothing do with the science or the merits of pesticide use. Those attacks find a troubling parallel today in the campaigns against climate scientists who point to evidence of a rapidly warming world. READ MORE

29 May 2012

Japan at a Crossroads Over Nuclear Revival or Greener Path

by ANDREW DEWIT
In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, Japan has idled all 50 of its nuclear reactors. While the central government and business leaders are warning a prolonged shutdown could spell economic doom, many Japanese and local officials see the opportunity for a renewable energy revolution. READ MORE

24 May 2012

The Pollution Fallout From Zimbabwe’s Blood Diamonds

by ANDREW MAMBONDIYANI
The regime of President Robert Mugabe has been accused of profiting from the Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe, garnering illicit funds that could be used to bolster his oppressive security forces. Now critics are alleging the government is failing to stop mining-waste pollution that is sickening livestock and local villagers. READ MORE

21 May 2012

The Clean Water Act at 40: There’s Still Much Left to Do

by PAUL GREENBERG
The Clean Water Act of 1972, one of the boldest environmental laws ever enacted, turns 40 this year, with an impressive record of cleaning up America's waterways. But from New York Harbor to Alaska’s Bristol Bay, key challenges remain. READ MORE

25 Apr 2012

A Kenyan Woman Stands Up Against Massive Dam Project

by CHRISTINA M. RUSSO
Ikal Angelei is helping lead a campaign to stop construction of a major dam in Ethiopia that threatens the water supply and way of life of tens of thousands of indigenous people. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she explains what she believes is at stake in the fight against the Gibe III dam. READ MORE

16 Apr 2012

Hopes Fade for Cleanup In Nigeria’s Oil-Rich Delta

by FRED PEARCE
The Ogoniland region of Nigeria has long been badly polluted by decades of oil production that has fouled the delta and contaminated drinking water. A United Nations report has recommended a massive recovery initiative, but so far the Nigerian government has shown few signs it will agree to the cleanup project. READ MORE

10 Apr 2012

China’s Ma Jun on the Fight To Clean Up Beijing’s Dirty Air

by CHRISTINA LARSON
Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun played an important role in a recent successful effort to force the government to more strictly monitor air pollution in Beijing. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about the daunting challenges of China’s anti-pollution battle and how social media is helping lead the fight to improve the nation’s air. READ MORE

05 Apr 2012

Betting on Technology to Help Turn Consumers Green

by MARC GUNTHER
U.S. consumers tell researchers they want to buy environmentally friendly products, but so far they haven’t been doing that on a large scale. Now a host of companies and nonprofits are trying to use new technology — from smartphones to social networking — to make it easier for buyers to make the green choice. READ MORE

19 Mar 2012

Scientists Warn of Low-Dose Risks of Chemical Exposure

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
A new study finds that even low doses of hormone-disrupting chemicals — used in everything from plastics to pesticides – can have serious effects on human health. These findings, the researchers say, point to the need for basic changes in how chemical safety testing is conducted. READ MORE

01 Mar 2012

How a Gold Mining Boom is Killing the Children of Nigeria

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
It is a pattern seen in various parts of the world — children being sickened from exposure to lead from mining activities. But the scale of the problem in Nigeria’s gold-mining region of Zamfara is unprecedented: More than 400 children have died and thousands more have been severely poisoned by exposure to lead dust. READ MORE

08 Feb 2012

California’s ‘Clean Car’ Rules Help Remake U.S. Auto Industry

by PAUL ROGERS
With the passage of strict new auto emission and air pollution standards, California has again demonstrated its role as the U.S.’s environmental pacesetter. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, explains how her state is helping drive a clean-car revolution. READ MORE

09 Jan 2012

As Fukushima Cleanup Begins, Long-term Impacts are Weighed

by WINIFRED BIRD
The Japanese government is launching a large-scale cleanup of the fields, forests, and villages contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. But some experts caution that an overly aggressive remediation program could create a host of other environmental problems. READ MORE

08 Dec 2011

As Coal Use Declines in U.S., Coal Companies Focus on China

by JONATHAN THOMPSON
With aging coal-fired U.S. power plants shutting down, major American coal companies are exporting ever-larger amounts of coal to China. Now, plans to build two new coal-shipping terminals on the West Coast have set up a battle with environmentalists who want to steer the world away from fossil fuels. READ MORE

21 Nov 2011

Northwest Oyster Die-offs Show Ocean Acidification Has Arrived

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
The acidification of the world’s oceans from an excess of CO2 has already begun, as evidenced recently by the widespread mortality of oyster larvae in the Pacific Northwest. Scientists say this is just a harbinger of things to come if greenhouse gas emissions continue to soar. READ MORE

14 Nov 2011

Making the Case for the Value of Environmental Rules

by GERNOT WAGNER
Some U.S. politicians have been attacking environmental regulations, arguing that they hurt the economy and that the costs outweigh the benefits. But four decades of data refute that claim and show we need not choose between a clean environment and economic growth. READ MORE

24 Oct 2011

A Rise in Fungal Diseases is Taking Growing Toll on Wildlife

by MICHELLE NIJHUIS
In an increasingly interconnected world, fungal diseases are spreading at an alarming rate and have led to deadly outbreaks in amphibian, bat, and bee populations. And in the last decade, researchers note, some of the most virulent strains have infected people. READ MORE

29 Sep 2011

Are Flame Retardants Safe? Growing Evidence Says ‘No’

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
New studies have underscored the potentially harmful health effects of the most widely used flame retardants, found in everything from baby blankets to carpets. Health experts are now calling for more aggressive action to limit these chemicals, including cutting back on highly flammable, petroleum-based materials used in many consumer products. READ MORE

26 Sep 2011

The Big Payback from Bringing Back Peat Bogs

by FRED PEARCE
The draining and burning of peat bogs is a major global source of CO2 emissions. Now, a pilot project in Russia — where wildfires burned vast areas of dried-out bogs last summer — is looking to re-flood and restore tens of thousands of acres to their natural state. READ MORE

11 Aug 2011

Assessing Emerging Challenges In U.S. Environmental Health

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
From understanding the cumulative impacts of widely used chemicals to preparing for life in a warming world, a host of environmental health issues now face medical experts. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Lynn Goldman, dean of the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, talks about meeting the challenges. READ MORE

04 Aug 2011

In Arid South African Lands, Fracking Controversy Emerges

by TODD PITOCK
The contentious practice of hydrofracking to extract underground natural gas has now made its way to South Africa’s Karoo, a semi-desert known for its stark beauty and indigenous plants. But opposition is growing amid concern that fracking will deplete and pollute the area’s scarce water supplies. READ MORE

18 Jul 2011

The World at 7 Billion: Can We Stop Growing Now?

by ROBERT ENGELMAN
With global population expected to surpass 7 billion people this year, the staggering impact on an overtaxed planet is becoming more and more evident. A two-pronged response is imperative: empower women to make their own decisions on childbearing and rein in our excessive consumption of resources. READ MORE

09 Jun 2011

Toxics in the ‘Clean Rooms’: Are Samsung Workers at Risk?

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
Workers groups in South Korea report an unusually high incidence of cancers and other serious diseases among employees at Samsung’s semiconductor and other electronics plants. While the company denies any link, the pattern of illnesses is disturbingly similar to that seen at semiconductor facilities in the U.S. and Europe. READ MORE

16 May 2011

From the Fields to Inner City, Pesticides Affect Children’s IQ

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
Scientists studying the effects of prenatal exposure to pesticides on the cognitive abilities of children have come to a troubling conclusion: Whether pregnant mothers are exposed to organophosphate pesticides in California fields or New York apartments, the chemicals appear to impair their children’s mental abilities. READ MORE

07 Apr 2011

Radioactivity in the Ocean: Diluted, But Far from Harmless

by ELIZABETH GROSSMAN
With contaminated water from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear complex continuing to pour into the Pacific, scientists are concerned about how that radioactivity might affect marine life. Although the ocean’s capacity to dilute radiation is huge, signs are that nuclear isotopes are already moving up the local food chain. READ MORE

21 Mar 2011

Anatomy of a Nuclear Crisis: A Chronology of Fukushima

by DAVID BIELLO
The world’s worst nuclear reactor mishap in 25 years was caused by a massive natural calamity but compounded by what appear to be surprising mistakes by Japanese engineers. The result has been a fast-moving disaster that has left officials careening from one emergency to the next. READ MORE

18 Mar 2011

Examining the Missteps In Japan’s Nuclear Crisis

A leading U.S. expert on nuclear energy discusses some of the fundamental failures that led to the intensifying nuclear drama in Japan and looks at what might lie in store for nuclear power worldwide. READ MORE

17 Feb 2011

Climate’s Strong Fingerprint In Global Cholera Outbreaks

by SONIA SHAH
For decades, deadly outbreaks of cholera were attributed to the spread of disease through poor sanitation. But recent research demonstrates how closely cholera is tied to environmental and hydrological factors and to weather patterns — all of which may lead to more frequent cholera outbreaks as the world warms. READ MORE

27 Jan 2011

Panel Chief on the Gulf Spill: Complacency Led to Disaster

by JOHN MCQUAID
William Reilly led the national commission that investigated the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and says he was struck by the totally inadequate response plans that were in place. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about why it’s crucial to carry out the reforms needed to prevent future disasters. READ MORE

03 Jan 2011

Threat of Mercury Poisoning Rises With Gold Mining Boom

by SHEFA SIEGEL
With high gold prices fueling a global gold rush, millions of people in the developing world are turning to small-scale gold mining. In many countries, including Colombia, miners are putting themselves and those who live nearby at risk by using highly toxic mercury in the refining process. READ MORE

20 Dec 2010

In China, a New Transparency On Government Pollution Data

by CHRISTINA LARSON
The Chinese government has begun to make environmental records available to the public, empowering green groups and citizens as they try to force factories — and the Western companies they supply — to comply with the law. READ MORE

24 Nov 2010

A Warning by Key Researcher On Risks of BPA in Our Lives

by ELIZABETH KOLBERT
The synthetic chemical, BPA — found in everything from plastic bottles to cash register receipts — is a potent, estrogen-mimicking compound. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, biologist Frederick vom Saal harshly criticizes U.S. corporations and government regulators for covering up — or ignoring — the many health risks of BPA. READ MORE

09 Nov 2010

After a Strong Counterattack, Big Coal Makes a Comeback

by JEFF GOODELL
With an aggressive campaign focused on advertising, lobbying, and political contributions, America’s coal industry has succeeded in beating back a challenge from environmentalists and clean-energy advocates. The dirty truth is that Big Coal is more powerful today than ever. READ MORE

04 Nov 2010

In War-Scarred Landscape, Vietnam Replants Its Forests

by MIKE IVES
With large swaths of forest destroyed by wartime defoliants, and even larger areas lost to post-war logging, Vietnam has set an ambitious goal for regenerating its woodlands. But proponents of reintroducing native tree species face resistance from a timber industry that favors fast-growing exotics like acacia. READ MORE

28 Oct 2010

China Takes First Steps In the Fight Against Acid Rain

by CHRISTINA LARSON
Amid China’s seemingly boundless emissions of industrial pollutants, there are signs of hope. Discharges of sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain, have actually decreased, offering some evidence that China is starting to establish a culture of pollution monitoring and control. READ MORE

21 Oct 2010

Hungary’s Red Sludge Spill: The Media and the Eco-Disaster

by ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
The sludge spill in Hungary dominated world news for days, as horrific images of red-mud rivers appeared nonstop on the Internet, newspaper front pages, and TV screens. Yet other environmental threats — less visible, but potentially more devastating — often go largely unnoticed. READ MORE

23 Aug 2010

On China’s Beleaguered Yangtze, A Push to Save Surviving Species

by RICHARD STONE
The Yangtze has been carved up by dams, used as an open sewer, and subjected to decades of overfishing. Now, Chinese scientists — alarmed by the disappearance of the Yangtze river dolphin and other creatures — are calling for a 10-year moratorium on fishing in the world’s third-longest river. READ MORE

16 Aug 2010

LEED Building Standards Fail to Protect Human Health

by JOHN WARGO
LEED certification has emerged as the green standard of approval for new buildings in the United States. But the criteria used for determining the ratings largely ignore factors relating to human health, particularly the use of potentially toxic building materials. READ MORE

09 Aug 2010

The Legacy of the Gulf Spill: What to Expect for the Future?

by JOHN MCQUAID
The Gulf of Mexico’s capacity to recover from previous environmental assaults — especially the 1979 Ixtoc explosion — provides encouragement about the prospects for its post-Deepwater future. But scientists remain worried about the BP spill's long-term effects on the health of the Gulf and its sea life. READ MORE

02 Aug 2010

Are Cell Phones Safe? The Verdict is Still Out

by BRUCE STUTZ
While some studies have suggested that frequent use of cell phones causes increased risk of brain and mouth cancers, others have found no such links. But since cell phones are relatively new and brain cancers grow slowly, many experts are now recommending taking steps to reduce exposure. READ MORE

12 Jul 2010

With a Boost from Innovation, Small Wind Is Powering Ahead

by ALEX SALKEVER
New technologies, feed-in tariffs, and tax credits are helping propel the small wind industry, especially in the United States. Once found mostly in rural areas, small wind installations are now starting to pop up on urban rooftops. READ MORE

15 Jun 2010

A Louisiana Bird Expert Assesses Damage from the Spill

The images of pelicans and other Gulf of Mexico seabirds drenched in oil have stirred sadness and outrage around the world. But, says conservationist Melanie Driscoll, the unseen effects are probably far greater, with some birds perishing out of sight, far from shore, and others facing spill-related declines in the fish on which they depend. READ MORE

14 Jun 2010

As the Far North Melts, Calls Grow for Arctic Treaty

by ED STRUZIK
The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a warning, conservationists say, of what could happen in the Arctic as melting sea ice opens the Arctic Ocean to oil and gas drilling. Many experts argue that the time has come to adopt an Arctic Treaty similar to the one that has safeguarded Antarctica for half a century. READ MORE

09 Jun 2010

The Oil Spill’s Growing Toll On Sea Life in the Gulf of Mexico

by DAVID BIELLO
A prominent marine biologist says the impacts of the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico will persist for years, no matter when the flow finally stops. What’s more, scientist Thomas Shirley says that most of the damage remains out of sight below the surface, as creatures succumb to the toxic effects of the rapidly spreading tide of oil. READ MORE

03 Jun 2010

Under Pressure to Block Oil, A Rush To Dubious Projects

by ROB YOUNG
In response to the widening disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, government officials have approved a plan to intercept the oil by building a 45-mile sand berm. But scientists fear the project is a costly boondoggle that will inflict further environmental damage and do little to keep oil off the coast. READ MORE

10 May 2010

Anatomy of the BP Oil Spill: An Accident Waiting to Happen

by JOHN MCQUAID
The oil slick spreading across the Gulf of Mexico has shattered the notion that offshore drilling had become safe. A close look at the accident shows that lax federal oversight, complacency by BP and the other companies involved, and the complexities of drilling a mile deep all combined to create the perfect environmental storm. READ MORE

06 May 2010

Under Threat in the Gulf, A Refuge Created by Roosevelt

by DOUGLAS BRINKLEY
Among the natural treasures at risk from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, created by Theodore Roosevelt to halt a grave threat to birds in his era — the lucrative trade in plumage. Now, oil from the BP spill is starting to wash up on beaches where Roosevelt once walked. READ MORE

03 May 2010

Turning to Greener Weapons In the Battle Against Malaria

by SONIA SHAH
Insecticides such as DDT have long been used to combat the scourge of malaria in the developing world. But with the disease parasite becoming increasingly adept at resisting the chemical onslaught, some countries are achieving striking success by eliminating the environmental conditions that give rise to malarial mosquitoes. READ MORE

26 Apr 2010

The Consumption Conundrum: Driving the Destruction Abroad

by OSWALD J. SCHMITZ AND THOMAS E. GRAEDEL
Our high-tech products increasingly make use of rare metals, and mining those resources can have devastating environmental consequences. But if we block projects like the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, are we simply forcing mining activity to other parts of the world where protections may be far weaker? READ MORE

15 Apr 2010

As Pharmaceutical Use Soars, Drugs Taint Water and Wildlife

by SONIA SHAH
With nearly $800 billion in drugs sold worldwide, pharmaceuticals are increasingly being released into the environment. The “green pharmacy” movement seeks to reduce the ecological impact of these drugs, which have caused mass bird die-offs and spawned antibiotic-resistant pathogens. READ MORE

05 Apr 2010

Out of the Demographic Trap: Hope for Feeding the World

by FRED PEARCE
In Africa and elsewhere, burgeoning population growth threatens to overwhelm already over-stretched food supply systems. But the next agricultural revolution needs to get local — and must start to see rising populations as potentially part of the solution. READ MORE

08 Mar 2010

World’s Pall of Black Carbon Can Be Eased With New Stoves

by JON R. LUOMA
Two billion people worldwide do their cooking on open fires, producing sooty pollution that shortens millions of lives and exacerbates global warming. If widely adopted, a new generation of inexpensive, durable cook stoves could go a long way toward alleviating this problem. READ MORE

18 Feb 2010

CO2 Capture and Storage Gains a Growing Foothold

by DAVID BIELLO
The drive to extract and store CO2 from coal-fired power plants is gaining momentum, with the Obama administration backing the technology and the world’s first capture and sequestration project now operating in the U.S. Two questions loom: Will carbon capture and storage be affordable? And will it be safe? READ MORE

28 Jan 2010

In Low-Lying Bangladesh, The Sea Takes a Human Toll

Living on shifting land formed by river deltas, the people of Bangladesh have a tenuous hold on their environment, with cyclones buffeting coastal zones and rising seas posing a looming threat. But, as this Yale Environment 360 video report by Jonathan Bjerg Møller makes clear, many Bangladeshis already are suffering as a growing population occupies increasingly vulnerable lands. READ MORE

07 Jan 2010

Behind Mass Die-Offs, Pesticides Lurk as Culprit

by SONIA SHAH
In the past dozen years, three new diseases have decimated populations of amphibians, honeybees, and — most recently — bats. Increasingly, scientists suspect that low-level exposure to pesticides could be contributing to this rash of epidemics. READ MORE

04 Jan 2010

Madagascar’s Political Chaos Threatens Conservation Gains

by RHETT BUTLER
Since the government's collapse after a coup last March, Madagascar's rainforests have been plundered for their precious wood and unique wildlife. But now there are a few encouraging signs, as officials promise a crackdown on illegal logging and ecotourists begin to return to the island. READ MORE

21 Dec 2009

Looking for a Silver Lining in the Post-Summit Landscape

by FRED PEARCE
Much was left undone in Copenhagen, and the many loopholes in the climate accord could lead to rising emissions. But the conference averted disaster by keeping the UN climate negotiations alive, and some expressed hope that the growth of renewable energy technology may ultimately save the day. READ MORE

17 Dec 2009

The Dangerous Allure of Global Warming Technofixes

by DIANNE DUMANOSKI
As the world weighs how to deal with warming, the idea of human manipulation of climate systems is gaining attention. Yet beyond the environmental and technical questions looms a more practical issue: How could governments really commit to supervising geoengineering schemes for centuries? READ MORE

12 Nov 2009

Pervasive Plastics: Why the U.S. Needs New and Tighter Controls

by JOHN WARGO
Long a ubiquitous part of modern life, plastics are now in everything from diapers to water bottles to cell phones. But given the proven health threats of some plastics — as well as the enormous environmental costs — the time has come for the U.S. to pass a comprehensive plastics control law. READ MORE

05 Nov 2009

The Nitrogen Fix: Breaking a Costly Addiction

by FRED PEARCE
Over the last century, the intensive use of chemical fertilizers has saturated the Earth’s soils and waters with nitrogen. Now scientists are warning that we must move quickly to revolutionize agricultural systems and greatly reduce the amount of nitrogen we put into the planet's ecosystems. READ MORE

04 Nov 2009

Amid Mounting Pessimism, A Voice of Hope for Copenhagen

With skepticism growing about the chances of reaching a climate agreement next month in Copenhagen, Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says he is “cautiously optimistic” that a treaty can still be signed. But in an interview with Yale Environment 360, Pachauri says the global community may have to move ahead without any commitment from the United States.audio READ MORE

29 Oct 2009

In Japan’s Managed Landscape, a Struggle to Save the Bears

by WINIFRED BIRD
Although it is a heavily urbanized nation, fully two-thirds of Japan remains woodlands. Yet many of the forests are timber plantations inhospitable to wildlife, especially black bears, which are struggling to survive in one of the most densely populated countries on Earth. READ MORE

14 Oct 2009

Leveling Appalachia: The Legacy of Mountaintop Removal Mining

During the last two decades, mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia has destroyed or severely damaged more than a million acres of forest and buried nearly 2,000 miles of streams. Leveling Appalachia: The Legacy of Mountaintop Removal Mining, a video report produced by Yale Environment 360 in collaboration with MediaStorm, focuses on the environmental and social impacts of this practice and examines the long-term effects on the region’s forests and waterways.
READ MORE

20 Aug 2009

Finding Common Ground on Protecting Montana Wilderness

by RICK BASS
In the Yaak Valley of Montana, environmentalists have been talking to loggers, snowmobilers and other longtime opponents of wilderness protection about the future of public lands. Their accord is part of a cooperative effort that could lead to the first wilderness-area designation in the state in a quarter century. READ MORE

17 Aug 2009

The Great Paradox of China: Green Energy and Black Skies

by CHRISTINA LARSON
China is on its way to becoming the world’s largest producer of renewable energy, yet it remains one of the most polluted countries on earth. A year after the Beijing Olympics, economic and political forces are combining to make China simultaneously a leader in alternative energy – and in dirty water and air. READ MORE

20 Jul 2009

Mountaintop Mining Legacy: Destroying Appalachia’s Streams

by JOHN MCQUAID
The environmental damage caused by mountaintop removal mining across Appalachia has been well documented. But scientists are now beginning to understand that the mining operations’ most lasting damage may be caused by the massive amounts of debris dumped into valley streams. READ MORE

25 Jun 2009

With the Clearing of Forests, Baby Orangutans Are Marooned

by RHETT BUTLER
As Borneo's rain forests are razed for oil palm plantations, wildlife centers are taking in more and more orphaned orangutans and preparing them for reintroduction into the wild. But the endangered primates now face a new threat — there is not enough habitat where they can be returned. READ MORE

16 Jun 2009

The Damming of the Mekong: Major Blow to an Epic River

by FRED PEARCE
The Mekong has long flowed freely, supporting one of the world’s great inland fisheries. But China is now building a series of dams on the 2,800-mile river that will restrict its natural flow and threaten the sustenance of tens of millions of Southeast Asians. READ MORE

14 May 2009

Yellowstone’s Grizzly Bears Face Threats on Two Fronts

by DOUG PEACOCK
The magnificent creature at the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem now confronts two grave perils: the loss of its key food source because of rising temperatures, and increased killing by humans. A renowned grizzly expert argues that it’s time to once again protect Yellowstone’s grizzlies under the Endangered Species Act. READ MORE

12 May 2009

The Razing of Appalachia: Mountaintop Removal Revisited

by JOHN MCQUAID
Over the past two decades, mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia has obliterated or severely damaged more than a million acres of forest and buried more than 1,000 miles of streams. Now, the Obama administration is showing signs it plans to crack down on this destructive practice. READ MORE

26 Mar 2009

Satellites and Google Earth Prove Potent Conservation Tool

by RHETT BUTLER
Armed with vivid images from space and remote sensing data, scientists, environmentalists, and armchair conservationists are now tracking threats to the planet and making the information available to anyone with an Internet connection. READ MORE

24 Mar 2009

Twenty Years Later, Impacts of the Exxon Valdez Linger

by DOUG STRUCK
Two decades after the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaska’s waters, the Prince William Sound, its fishermen, and its wildlife have still not fully recovered. READ MORE

05 Mar 2009

Surviving Two Billion Cars: China Must Lead the Way

by DEBORAH GORDON AND DANIEL SPERLING
The number of vehicles worldwide is expected to reach two billion in the next two decades. Surprisingly, China – where the demand for cars has been skyrocketing – just may offer the best hope of creating a new, greener transportation model. READ MORE

19 Feb 2009

Why I’ll Get Arrested to Stop the Burning of Coal

by BILL MCKIBBEN
On March 2, environmentalist Bill McKibben joined demonstrators who marched on a coal-fired power plant in Washington D.C. In this article for Yale Environment 360, he explains why he was ready to go to jail to protest the continued burning of coal. READ MORE

26 Jan 2009

A Call for Tougher Standards on Mercury Levels in Fish

by JANE HIGHTOWER
In response to industry pressure, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has failed to set adequate restrictions on mercury levels in fish. Now the Obama administration must move forcefully to tighten those standards and warn the public which fish are less safe to eat. READ MORE

11 Dec 2008

As Rain Forests Disappear, A Market Solution Emerges

by RHETT BUTLER
Despite the creation of protected areas in the Amazon and other tropical regions, rain forests worldwide are still being destroyed for a simple reason: They are worth more cut down than standing. But with deforestation now a leading driver of global warming, a movement is growing to pay nations and local people to keep their rain forests intact. READ MORE

04 Dec 2008

In China’s Mining Region, Villagers Stand Up to Pollution

by ZHOU JIGANG AND ZHU CHUHUA
After decades of living with fouled rivers and filthy air, residents of China’s Manganese Triangle are rising up and refusing to accept the intolerable conditions created by illegal mining activity. Their bold protests have shone light on the dark side of China’s economic boom. From Sichuan province, Chinese journalists Zhou Jigang and Zhu Chuhua report. READ MORE

11 Nov 2008

Under a Sooty Exterior, a Green China Emerges

by FRED PEARCE
You’ve heard the environmental horror stories: rivers running black, air unfit to breathe, two new coal-fired power plants a week. But thanks to a surging entrepreneurial spirit and new policies, China is fast becoming a leader in green innovation, from recycling to developing electric cars to harnessing the wind. READ MORE

03 Nov 2008

Zimbabwe’s Desperate Miners Ravage the Land

by ANDREW MAMBONDIYANI
Hard-pressed by economic straits, illegal panners are tearing up Zimbabwe’s countryside in search of gold and diamonds. They leave behind a trail of destruction: devastated fields and forests, mud-choked rivers, and mercury-tainted water. Andrew Mambondiyani reports from eastern Zimbabwe. READ MORE

e360 digest

15 Sep 2014: Urban Air Pollution May Affect Brains of Young Children, Study Says

15 Sep 2014: Interview: Making Farm-to-Table A Truly Sustainable Movement

05 Sep 2014: Smog in India Damaged Enough Crops to Feed 94 Million, Study Says

29 Aug 2014: New Database Tracks Ecological Health Impacts of Dams on World's Rivers

25 Aug 2014: Health Care Savings Can Far Outweigh Costs of Carbon-Cutting Policies

14 Aug 2014: Some Chemicals in Fracking Fluids Raise Red Flags, Researchers Say

07 Aug 2014: Mercury Pollution in Oceans Has Tripled Since Industrial Revolution

28 Jul 2014: Trees Save Lives and Billions in Health Costs Annually, Forest Service Finds

23 Jul 2014: "Inglorious" Produce Campaign Is Major Success for French Grocer

22 Jul 2014: Costs of Urban Light Pollution Highlighted in Citizen Science Effort


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