Environment and Health

A Green-Energy Founding Father

A Green-Energy Founding Father

When historians get around to identifying who greened the national grid, Scott Sklar belongs on their list. The energy consultant and former solar lobbyist with a wild white beard has spent more than 40 years bolstering industries that tread more lightly than fossil...

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Faking It While the World Burns

Faking It While the World Burns

Rex Tillerson, of all people, just did the climate movement a big favor. He didn’t hand the Sierra Club tens of millions of dollars to fight the coal industry like former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. Nor did the chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil follow former...

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This Spill Hits Close to Home

This Spill Hits Close to Home

The recent oil spill in Santa Barbara, California hit home for me in a painful way. As a southern Californian for many years now, I take any excuse to head up the coast to Santa Barbara I can get. It's a particularly beautiful stretch of pristine coastline, populated...

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A Fossil-Fueled Fantasy

A Fossil-Fueled Fantasy

Newfangled carbon-capture power plants supposedly burn coal without poisoning the planet. They don’t. Extracting coal from the ground and disposing of its toxic byproducts makes a dirty mess no matter how it’s burned. But this “clean coal” ruse is conjuring up...

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GOP Climate Denial Syndrome Sweeps Wisconsin

GOP Climate Denial Syndrome Sweeps Wisconsin

It's well-known that harsh climate conditions can mess with your mind — from cabin fever to heat delirium. But America is now experiencing an even more dangerous disease: Climaticus Non-Vocalism Extremism. This syndrome almost exclusively afflicts a narrow segment of...

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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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