Environment and Health

A Hidden Hand in Obesity

A Hidden Hand in Obesity

If you looked at me, you might not be able to tell that I'm obese. According to the measure of my Body Mass Index (BMI), I am. Slightly. I don't wear plus-sized clothing, I've only got one chin, and you wouldn't mind sitting next to me on an airplane. Most people who...

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A Slick Maneuver

A Slick Maneuver

What a relief. In exchange for Iran taking steps to guarantee that it can’t build nuclear weapons, the sanctions that have choked off its access to world markets will end without a single shot. Instead of celebrating this diplomatic breakthrough, conservative...

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A Heavy Question about the State of America’s Health

A Heavy Question about the State of America’s Health

The media and even some experts continue to miss the boat on obesity. Consider this recent example. "Being overweight or obese increases the risk of a variety of chronic health conditions, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” reported the Los Angeles...

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Lighting a Legal Fuse

Lighting a Legal Fuse

Climate action is finally gaining ground in Washington. No, not that Washington. Following their victory in a Seattle court, eight children are pressing Washington State’s Department of Ecology to crack down on carbon pollution. The agency has until August 7 to reach...

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A Luxury Vacation with No Modern Conveniences

A Luxury Vacation with No Modern Conveniences

When you read this, I'll probably be out in the wilderness on a 220-mile hike along the John Muir Trail. Embarking on this journey through California’s breathtaking Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks reminded me of a conversation I had in Mexico five...

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Pixar’s Lesson for Kids — and Adults

Pixar’s Lesson for Kids — and Adults

Pixar's latest flick holds some major life lessons for kids — and adults, too. Inside Out takes place inside the head of an 11-year-old girl, Riley, as she and her parents move from Minnesota to San Francisco. The main characters are cute personifications of the main...

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Francis vs. Washington

Francis vs. Washington

Pope Francis, the humble yet bold leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, has offered an inspiring 21st century vision to all people. It's a vision that's been sorely missing in the halls of power. In an encyclical focused on the environment, he details how we...

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Solar-Powered Friars

Solar-Powered Friars

If you visit the Franciscan Friars Conventual of Ellicott City, Maryland, you’ll notice a large solar array standing in one of their fields. The friars have dramatically reduced their electricity bill, but that’s not the primary reason they invested in renewable...

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5 Key Things Pope Francis Says about Climate Change

5 Key Things Pope Francis Says about Climate Change

Pope Francis just released an “encyclical,” a fancy word for a sort of intimate letter that is meant to serve as a guide to understanding our personal relationship to some of the most complex issues of the day through religious doctrine. This particular encyclical is...

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A Noxious Double Whammy

A Noxious Double Whammy

Here's the good news: President Barack Obama has committed to reducing the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 17 percent by 2020. The bad news? A rise in fracking for natural gas could make the United States fail to keep this pledge. Unfortunately, a big...

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