Environment

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.”

Seattle Is Choking on a Cloak of Wildfire Smoke

For the third summer in a row, the Pacific Northwest city is blanketed in air pollution from massive wildfires nearby. This is the worst year yet.

An assortment of plastic trash on a boardwalk.

How Plastic Trash Moves Around the Great Lakes

It doesn’t form garbage patches—but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Cooling Dallas’s Concrete Jungle

Using GIS technology, three environmental organizations are teaming up with residents to plant 1,000 trees in areas that need it most.

A pump jack operates at a well site.

The Amount of Water Used in Fracking Has Increased Dramatically

A new study of major U.S. fracking sites finds that water use per well increased by up to 770 percent from 2011 to 2016.

Stella Bowles stands on a riverbank.

How One Kid Stopped the Contamination of a River

To halt the illegal flow of raw sewage into Nova Scotia’s LaHave River, it took a determined 11-year-old with water samples and a Facebook page.

a girl works on a drawing amid a smoky haze

Will Washington State Voters Make History on Climate Change?

The state could be the first in the union to adopt a carbon price by ballot.

Tong-Wielding ‘Trash Runners’ Fight Litter in Shanghai

Picking up trash while jogging is not everyone’s idea of a good time, but in Shanghai, it’s an increasingly popular way to socialize (and keep litter in check).

Here Comes Amsterdam’s Man-Made Island for Sustainable, Affordable Housing

Centrumeiland will soon hold hundreds of affordable homes with the lightest of possible carbon footprints.

A policewoman in the Indian city of Patna directs traffic.

Gasping for Air in India’s Industrial North

Air pollution kills one million Indians annually. In the northern city of Patna, the toxic air shaves an average of four years off residents’ lives.

A man cools off in fountain on the Rose Kennedy Greenway during a heat wave in Boston.

Why Did So Many Die in Quebec’s Heat Wave?

When temperatures in Montréal spiked, living alone proved to be deadly.

Climate Report: Not Good

In a week full of climate-related terrors, don’t expect to find much good news in the American Meteorological Society’s annual report card on the state of the planet.

Animals Feel the Strain of Europe’s Heatwave

They’re getting shoes, taking shelter in tunnels, and finding other ways to keep cool in the dangerous heat.

A manmade island full of plants floats on a canal, with a large building behind it.

Fake Riverbanks Turn a Chicago Canal ‘Wild’

Chicago’s manmade North Branch Canal is polluted and lacks natural habitat. Enter 80 coconut-fiber “islands” that host wildlife and filter the water.

A building and street signs are reflected in flood waters.

The Cost of Flood Insurance Is a Price Worth Paying

Hours before it was set to expire, Congress reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program. That’s a good thing: Despite its many problems, America needs it now more than ever.

How to Fight Police Violence, Pollution, and Poverty, at the Same Time

Summer Lee is the first black woman elected to represent the Pittsburgh region in the state legislature. And she wants to set the record straight on the confluence of factors eating her constituents alive.  

The U.S. Steel Edgar Thomson steel plant

Environmentalists by Necessity

In the old steel town of Braddock, Pennsylvania, the toxic footprint is emblematic of what it means to suffer environmental injustice in the U.S. And nobody invested in the town’s future can afford to ignore it.

How Trump Is Targeting California’s Air Pollution Standards

At stake: The state’s half-century-long right to regulate auto emissions.