Environment

A shuttered factory in Muncie, Indiana

The Hidden Hazard in American Cities: Industrial Pollution

Urban America is haunted by the toxic legacy of long-vanished industries.

Soldiers outside a collapsed building in Mexico City on September 20, 2017.

Mexico City’s Architects of Destruction

On the first anniversary of the Mexico City earthquake, an investigation explores how engineers, builders, and politicians failed to follow building codes—with deadly results.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed addresses a large crowd from a stage.

Spotted at the Climate Summit: Republican Mayors

A smattering of Republican mayors attended the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco last week: “We have to move away from fossil fuels,” said one.

Photos: Hurricane Florence Turned Roads Into Rivers

Rainfall and flooding in the Carolinas reveals highways that aren’t built for increasingly intense storms.

After Florence, the Gullah Could Face New Threats

Thousands of acres throughout the flooded Carolinas are heir’s property, a form of land ownership that leaves residents vulnerable to speculators.

Nuclear Waste scars the landscape outside the Midvale Smelter in Utah.

Photographing America’s Toxic Wastelands

David Hanson’s work from the 1980s shows industrial damage to the American landscape that may never heal.

The cooling tower of a nuclear power plant.

Nuclear Power Plants Brace for Hurricane Florence

The Union of Concerned Scientists has questioned whether two plants, in North Carolina and Virginia, are ready for a megastorm.

How Hurricane Florence Fueled a Pop-Up Micro-Economy

Need a lift? Hit the hurricane ride board.

People run across the street during Hurricane Harvey

The Best Defense Against a Hurricane Is Community

Robust social networks and high levels of trust help people survive, and then bounce back after a crisis.

Construction site of Athletes' Village for Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.

What Will It Take to Make Buildings Carbon Neutral?

Last month, 19 cities signed a declaration to make all new buildings carbon neutral by 2030. So what happens next?

visualization of weather patterns

Mapping the Unequal Burden of Hurricane Florence

The path of the powerful storm is only one way to understand the scope of its likely burden.

A photo of the two mayors using ladles to pack lunches.

Don’t Overlook Equity Issues in City Climate-Action Plans

Cities that fail to make issues of equity and empowerment central to climate-action initiatives are not living up to the values of the movement, says a former mayor of Portland, Oregon.

Floodwaters caused by rain from Hurricane Matthew block NC Highway 41 outside of Lumberton, North Carolina in 2016.

As Hurricane Florence Approaches, the Rural Carolinas Brace For Impact

Widespread poverty, lack of transportation resources, and poor internet service could complicate emergency response in a region still reeling from Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Governor Jerry Brown signing a law.

California Commits to 100% Clean Energy by 2045

The bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown makes California the second state, after Hawaii, to make the pledge.

People in matching baseball caps march down a street holding environmental placards.

Ahead of Climate Summit, Marchers Take to City Streets

Preceding this week’s Global Climate Action Summit, thousands rallied for the environment in cities around the world.

A woman adjusts the equipment in front of large metal vats at a brewery.

Craft Breweries in Colorado Brace for Less Water

People in the booming beer industry in Colorado worry about predicted water shortages and threats to the high quality of Rocky Mountain water.

A person walks with floods and grounded airplanes in the background.

The Kerala Floods: A Disastrous Consequence of Unchecked Urbanization

Kerala's busiest airport reopened this week, but the conditions that led to the deadly and destructive floods in the southern Indian state remain.

People walk and jog on a trail beneath trees with gold and yellow leaves.

Carbon Offsets for Urban Trees Are on the Horizon

Austin, Texas, and King County, Washington, are testing carbon credits for planting and protecting urban trees.

A small cottage stands on high stilts in Florida.

New Florida Keys Cottages Are Storm-Proof Affordable Housing

After the destruction of Hurricane Irma, the Florida Keys Community Land Trust started building affordable cottages that can withstand the next storm.

A flooded residential neighborhood seen from the air.

Houston’s Multi-Billion-Dollar Bet to Survive the Next Harvey

On August 25, the anniversary of Hurricane Harvey’s landfall, Harris County will vote on a $2.5 billion flood-control bond package that one disaster expert calls “a first step.”