Environment

A white foam of chemical pollution blankets New Delhi's Yamuna river.

What One Suffocating City Means for the World

News images from New Delhi seem cut from an apocalyptic outbreak film.

Smashing the Great Pumpkin-Waste Problem

Community pumpkin-smashing events aim to cut down on Halloween’s contribution to America’s food waste problem and reap the benefits of composting.

Photo: Media members report on a burning home as a firefighter douses flames during the Hillside fire in the North Park neighborhood of San Bernardino, California on October 31, 2019.

California’s Wildfires Are Not a Morality Tale

The fire-scorched state’s history has long been marked by calamities. But its latest disaster did not come to teach Californians a lesson.

photo: Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg at a campaign stop in Waterloo, Iowa, in September.

Pete Buttigieg’s Climate Vision: Local Fixes for a Planet in Crisis

The South Bend mayor’s approach to the climate crisis reflects his recent experiences with Indiana floods, and his belief that cities can lead with solutions.

A tall modern building made out of wood rises next to a small harbor.

The Timber Architecture Revolution Has Arrived in Norway. (Almost.)

Forest-rich Norway is a leader in building with lower-carbon structural wood. But it still lacks factories that can turn trees into building parts.

Photo: Harrison Ford on the set of Ridley Scott's seminal 'Blade Runner,' set in the grim future of November 2019.

How ‘Blade Runner’ and Sci-Fi Made Everything Dystopian

Science fiction, especially Blade Runner, has spawned so many dystopias that dystopia itself has become banal. We need a new utopianism that embraces the city.

photo: A firefighter works to clear a house destroyed by a wildfire in Los Angeles.

California Contemplates a Dark and Fiery Future

A fresh round of wind-fanned wildfires and planned power outages is darkening the fate of Pacific Gas & Electric, the state’s largest electric power utility.

Electric cars are plugged into a charging point in London

Can Green License Plates Help Plug Electric Cars?

The U.K. government wants to boost sales for ultra-low-emission vehicles by offering special number plates—and perks—for EV drivers.  

a photo of rose-ringed parakeets in London

The Urban War on Invasive Species Cannot Be Won

Madrid has pledged to cull its population of monk parakeets. But once non-native fauna and flora gain a foothold in the city, they can be hard to remove.   

How to See Fall Colors Without a Car

Americans often hit the road to see fall foliage, but it can be difficult to take the same trip without a car. These places make it a little easier.

a photo of the Florida youth engagement initiative TEMPO

When Resilience Starts With the City’s Most Vulnerable Youth

A violence-prevention initiative in Tallahassee is also training low-income youth for jobs that contribute to the city’s climate adaptation plan.

a photo of Extinction Rebellion climate change protesters in London

When Climate Activists Target Public Transit

The climate protest movement Extinction Rebellion is facing a backlash after disrupting commuters on the London Underground.

The Buoyant Ecologies Float Lab

Designing the Floating Future

A prototype in the San Francisco Bay is testing a vision for floating buildings built to withstand sea-level rise. And it’s distancing itself from some other utopian visions for floating cities.

This Is What Adapting to Climate Change Looks Like

PG&E’s blackouts in California are a bleak preview of the disruptions that will become routine in a warmer world.

a photo of a darkened CVS Pharmacy in downtown Sonoma, California.

Why the Bay Area Is Having a Massive Power Outage

Wildfire risks have led the embattled California utility PG&E to order a preemptive electric grid shutdown, leaving more than 2 million at risk of losing power.

Plastic containers of the weed killer Roundup lined up on store shelves.

Cities Are Worried About the Health Effects of Glyphosate

Seattle has joined Miami, Austin, and other cities in restricting the use of herbicides with glyphosate, such as Roundup.

Carbon Emissions Are Already Falling in 30 Cities

As mayors gather for C40’s summit on climate change, the coalition reports that a third of its members have hit peak emissions.

Meet Los Angeles’s First-Ever Forest Officer

L.A. set a goal to plant 90,000 new trees by the end of 2021 as part of the city’s New Green Deal. Here’s how they’ll do it.

a photo of solar panels

Five Radical Climate Policies That Most Americans Actually Like

Most registered voters are in favor of spending trillions on weatherized buildings and renewable-energy infrastructure.

A wooden tombstone marks a grave in a green burial area in Paris.

Paris Has Opened Its First Green Cemetery

The city has devoted a section of its Ivry-sur-Seine cemetery to lower-carbon, chemical-free burials—with wooden grave markers used in place of tombstones.