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Money to Burn

These are tough times for the coal industry. Coal-burning plants generate less than forty per cent of the electricity in the U.S., down from more than half just a few years ago. At least twenty-six coal companies have gone bankrupt since 2008. The Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan requires …

Fossil Fuels

The Woman Who Made Science Beautiful

Where others sought separation, Maria Sibylla Merian saw connection.<p><i>Updated on August 2, 2016</i><p>It was silkworms that first captured 13–year–old Maria Sibylla Merian’s attention. She would later graduate to a wider set of creatures, watching caterpillars, pupae, butterflies, and moths for days, weeks, …

Insects

12 Longreads To Get You Through A Snow Day

If you live in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic, a gigantic winter storm is about to screw up your weekend plans.<p>On the bright side, a snow day is one of the best excuses for finally getting around to tackling your Pocket or Instapaper queue. Need some inspiration? Here are 12 fascinating stories …

Obama Administration

Why California Is Such a Talent Magnet

By supporting worker mobility, cities can both foster the growth of denser talent networks within their borders and increase the likelihood of technological and other productive innovation. And yet some cities seem to attract talent much more easily than others. Californian cities have proven …

Transit

The Bravery in the N.B.A.’s Push Against Gun Violence

As Thursday night’s G.O.P. debate reminded us, the gun lobby and its allies want every discussion of firearms in this country to be about the Second Amendment, and President Obama’s putative determination to trample on that text on his way out of office. Earlier this month, when Obama held a press …

Guns

How a City in France Got the World’s First Short-Story Vending Machines

When Jess Mateychuk entered the tourism office in Grenoble, France, he wasn’t looking for information about the city. “I finally found them!” the twenty-one-year-old exchange student from Winnipeg, Canada, said with excitement. He was referring to the city’s recent cultural innovation turned …

City Halls

Last-minute maneuvering by utilities could throw a shadow over California's solar revolution

Here's a simple guideline for the California Public Utilities Commission when it votes next week on a new rate scheme for rooftop solar users who also connect to the electric grid: Don't be like Nevada.<p>Last month, public utility commissioners in that super-sunny state put the chill on the …

Budget Deficit
Monty Python
TV

The Secrets in Greenland’s Ice Sheet

At one point several hundred thousand years ago, snow began falling over the center of the earth’s largest island. The snow did not melt, and in the years that followed, storms brought even more. All around Greenland, the arctic temperatures remained low enough for the snow to last past spring and …

Global Warming

‘We Need an Energy Miracle’

Bill Gates has committed his fortune to moving the world beyond fossil fuels and mitigating climate change.<p>In his offices overlooking Lake Washington, just east of Seattle, Bill Gates grabbed a legal pad recently and began covering it in his left-handed scrawl. He scribbled arrows by each margin of …

Fossil Fuels

The Populist Prophet

Bernie Sanders has spent decades attacking inequality. Now the country is listening.<p>If you attended a Bernie Sanders rally this summer, when his seemingly quixotic Presidential campaign began gathering force, you might have noticed a few surprising things about the crowd. One was the scarcity of …

Middle-class

The Look and Feel of 'Inevitably Urban'

<i>We've been heading in an urban direction for a very long time. Let's look more closely at the role of the people.</i><p><b>Inevitable Urban Times</b><p>These times seem so inevitably urban. Of course, my wry remark comes from a city-dweller in a post-recessionary Seattle, where new construction appears at every …

Urban Design

The Physics of Gridlock

What causes traffic jams? The depressing answer may be nothing at all.<p>BERTRAND Russell once observed that animal behaviorists studying the problem-solving abilities of chimpanzees consistently seemed to detect in their experimental subjects the "national characteristics" of the scientists …

Driverless Cars

China, the Climate and the Fate of the Planet

If the world's biggest polluter doesn't radically reduce the amount of coal it burns, nothing anyone does to stabilize the climate will matter. …

Philips aims to relieve persistent pain with smartphone-controlled devices

Philips will soon launch a couple of iPhone- and iPad-controlled devices, but they're not the company's usual phone docks or Hue smartlight models -- they're gadgets designed to help suppress persistent pain. The first device (above) called PulseRelief uses Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve …

Under Cover Camper: An Elegant Two-Person Tent for Eco-Friendly Camping

A quick look at the aftermath of any music festival shows just how little tents are valued, these days. Everywhere from Glastonbury to Bonnaroo or …

This high-tech bicycle has proximity sensors that detect cars in your blind spot

There’s definitely no shortage of high-tech gadgetry you can attach to your bike these days — everything from proximity-activated bike locks, to …

Electric Vehicles

Your connected home could one day save your life

Consider this scenario: Randall is an elderly man living alone. He's doing pretty well -- until one day he has a mild stroke. In the weeks that follow, he's not as active as usual, getting up later and not leaving the house. Motion detectors, a mattress sensor and a smart door lock in his home …

Bring your own Internet of Things: The hottest new business trend?

While technology can certainly make life a lot easier, it also has the potential to create a lot of complications. Nowhere is this truer than in the …

17 Emerging Energy Technologies That Will Change The World

<i>Policy Horizons Canada worked with futurist and data visualizer Michell Zappa of Envisioning to produce a report called MetaScan 3: Emerging Technologies and accompanying infographics. We are reproducing the summary for emerging energy technologies.</i><p>We have included predictions based on consultation …

Energy

GOP Congressman Michael Grimm Comes Out for Climate Change, Will Reportedly Be Indicted

This article is from the archive of our partner .<p>New York Rep. Michael Grimm's Friday began with a flurry of good press from the left centered on his …

Jars of Clay's Christian Fans Lash Out after the Lead Singer Tweets for Same-sex Marriage

This article is from the archive of our partner .<p>Remember Jars of Clay? One of a handful of "cool" 90's kind-of Christian bands? The group's lead …

When it comes to climate change, don’t think of the children

No one wants their grandkids growing up in an apocalyptic world with soup-thick air and crusty land. Making the abstract idea of climate change more …