Environment and Health

Virginia Is for Dirty-Energy Lovers

Virginia Is for Dirty-Energy Lovers

If you live in Virginia and would like to shrink your carbon footprint, here’s what passes for good news: We’re now officially free to ban fracking. For two years, Old Dominion communities weren’t at liberty to prevent that kind of oil and gas drilling. After the...

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Converting the Fossil-Fuel Fundamentalists

Converting the Fossil-Fuel Fundamentalists

Kicking humanity’s addiction to oil, gas, and coal before those industries render the planet uninhabitable may take a miracle. So it’s a good thing that the climate movement found a patron saint. I’m talking about Pope Francis, of course. Before an upcoming encyclical...

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Drink Outside the Box

Drink Outside the Box

I recently checked out an upscale yoga studio here in Madison, Wisconsin and discovered a new and disturbing trend: boxed water. Boxed water? OK, I've heard of boxed wine — and maybe even drunk a little. But water? The yoga studio in question appeals to a young,...

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The Real Drug Racket

The Real Drug Racket

Al Capone, the infamous mob boss and bootlegger in Chicagoland during the 1920s, always maintained that he was just a businessman. The only difference between him and others, he insisted, was that the law criminalized his business while legalizing the criminality of...

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Mindful Kids, Mindful World

Mindful Kids, Mindful World

I often ask my youngest yoga students, “What does it mean to be mindful?” “Mindful is when you pay attention to right now,” one of my first graders once responded. “Like your mind is full of just right now.” Pretty spot on. Researchers at Berkeley define mindfulness...

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Coal’s Collateral Damage

Coal’s Collateral Damage

Coal’s death throes are drawing closer, especially in Appalachia. Nearly three-quarters of the coal extracted from West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky these days is being mined at a loss. The number of coal companies declaring bankruptcy or edging toward it is...

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Greening Spring Cleaning

Greening Spring Cleaning

What’s that smell in the air? It's fresh and floral — and probably filled with formaldehyde. It's spring-cleaning time once again. And in the name of cleanliness, people everywhere are dousing their homes and workplaces with dangerous, even toxic, cleaning products....

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