Noteworthy News

E.P.A. Sets a Lower Limit for Soot Particles in the Air
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency announced a new standard for soot pollution on Friday that will force industry, utilities and local governments to find ways to reduce emissions of particles that are linked to thousands of cases of disease and death each year.
In Doha, Philippines Negotiator Delivers Emotional Plea For Climate Change Action
This kind of thing rarely happens. But today during the United Nation's COP 18 climate change conference in Doha, the lead negotiator for the Philippines broke down.
Keystone's 'dilbit' problem
"Dilbit" — drop the word in casual conversation and listeners might think you're talking about the comic strip engineer who can't get a date. But dilbit actually stands for "diluted bitumen," a heretofore obscure oil industry term that may soon be trending on your search engine as controversy deepens over the Keystone XL
Proposed Rules on Fracking Gain Cautious Praise
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial process of shooting water, sand and chemicals underground to retrieve oil or natural gas trapped in shale rock, has made plenty of headlines in recent years. But the drilling process involves many other steps beyond breaking up rock — and several opportunities for things
On environment, Obama likely to keep walking middle line
WASHINGTON — On election night, President Obama uttered a phrase that thrilled environmentalists. "We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality," Obama said, "that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet."
The 2,000-Year-Old Wonder Drug
THE inexorable rise in health care spending, as all of us know, is a problem. But what’s truly infuriating, as we watch America’s medical bill soar, is that our conversation has focused almost exclusively on how to pay for that care, not on reducing our need for it. In the endless debate about “health care reform,” few
Pesticides: Now More Than Ever
How quickly we forget. After the publication of “Silent Spring,” 50 years ago, we (scientists, environmental and health advocates, birdwatchers, citizens) managed to curb the use of pesticides and our exposure to them — only to see their application grow and grow to the point where American agriculture uses more of them
How Technology May Help Cut Meat Consumption
One of the most interesting—and controversial—fields in tech these days involves in vitro meat. By growing our meat in labs from animal cells—so the theory goes—we could eventually wean ourselves off our dependence on livestock as a protein source. One day, we may even be able to print our steaks and chops from a 3D
How to cut American oil use in half in 20 years
The Union of Concerned Scientists has figured out how Americans can cut their oil consumption in half within 20 years. Sound impossible?
Going Beyond Carbon Dioxide
WE all know (or should know) by now that the carbon dioxide we produce when we burn fossil fuels and cut down forests is the planet’s single largest contributor to global warming. It persists in the atmosphere for centuries. Reducing these emissions by as much as half by 2050 is essential to avoid disastrous consequences