Reading Time: 9 minutes In 2010, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa became the first national leader in the world to rule out drilling for oil in a major petroleum field for ecological reasons. Less than five years later, however, he has backtracked on his promise, and the future of the environmentally important Yasuni National Park is up in the air, as the debate rages on.
Reading Time: 3 minutes Big Coal, legally mandated to clean up mining-operation messes left behind in several states, could end up sticking taxpayers with the bill for its dirty deeds.
Reading Time: 7 minutes A formidable glitch occurred just as the United States prepares to embark on a multi-billion-dollar program to restart production of nuclear weapons. An explosion at an underground waste dump in New Mexico—complete with some sky-high kitty litter—is highlighting the dangers inherent not only in the weapons of mass destruction themselves but in the deadly wastes their development has left over the past 75 years. Here’s WhoWhatWhy’s exclusive report.
Reading Time: 3 minutes When the Oklahoma Geological Survey released a statement indicating that an increase in seismic activity was likely caused by humans, one billionaire called for the termination of scientists responsible for the report.
Reading Time: 4 minutes Why did the president back away from a commitment that federal agencies use green electronics? Buried in a recent Executive Order on sustainability is recycled rhetoric that undermines long-standing federal policy.
Reading Time: 3 minutes Chevron is selling treated wastewater to California that has been shown to include oil and potentially harmful chemicals. What exactly is in the water used in agriculture is still the oil giant’s dirty secret.
Reading Time: 5 minutes A 2014 ruling that all but absolved Chevron for one of the worst oil spills in South American history is being challenged in a New York appeals court. Video tapes showing Chevron officials laughing at the environmental destruction they caused in the rainforest—tapes that were not permitted as evidence in the 2014 trial—may be the long-sought “smoking gun.”
Reading Time: 4 minutes A spate of derailments of trains carrying crude oil has hit the U.S. and Canada, and a new report warns that the technology involved is outdated and dangerous – and little is being done to address it. Mary Papenfuss investigates.
Colluders in Crude: The Oily Politics of How the Obama Administration Sided with BP Over the American People
Reading Time: 12 minutes “I am a first-hand witness to the Obama administration’s complicity in putting the interests of a foreign company above and beyond the health and safety of American workers.” Environmental plaintiff attorney Stuart H. Smith, who represented thousands of clients against BP, reveals just how much the administration knew—and tried to cover up—after the largest marine oil spill in history.
Reading Time: 8 minutes Tucked away in last year’s defense bill is a measure establishing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. It encompasses three sites crucial to America’s wartime entry to the atomic age. Is the new park a monument to death or glorious victory? Paul DeRienzo went to one of the sites to find out.
Reading Time: 6 minutes Turkey’s rush to privatize state assets and mine its natural resources is turning a nation blessed with tremendous clean energy potential into a dirtier one. And it’s not just the environment that’s polluted. James Ryan investigates from Istanbul.
Reading Time: 2 minutes If you thought it was hot in 2014, it wasn’t just you. Last year was the hottest on earth since the beginning of record-keeping in 1880.
Reading Time: 2 minutes This year is the hottest year on record since 1880 globally. What’s going on with our temperatures?
Reading Time: 8 minutes Thanksgiving is upon us, and, in many places, so is the frigid weather. But don’t wish for warmer temperatures—not if you care about the survival of life on earth.
Reading Time: 3 minutes Two recent crashes of commercial spacecraft have unearthed a new risk to the heavens: the possibility that money-driven incompetence is replacing the nobler aims of space exploration echoed in the phrase “for all mankind.”
Reading Time: 5 minutes Begun in 1989, America’s biggest radioactive contamination waste site—run by the Department of Energy—has cost taxpayers roughly $40 billion so far and may take another 40 years and an additional $100 billion before the cleanup is done, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And critics argue workers are getting sick while waste is still leaking.
Reading Time: 6 minutes African terrorist groups are funding themselves through the sale of ivory from illegally slaughtered elephants. That connection is giving the fight against poaching a martial makeover, styled after the wars on drugs and terrorism.
Reading Time: 3 minutes Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, an important voice in climate change research, is about to take oil company funding. Is it going to be another case of industry buying academic influence? WhoWhatWhy takes a closer look.
Reading Time: 11 minutes Plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline—designed to pump 35 million gallons of tar sands oil a day through the heart of America—are on hold, stalled by legal challenges about its route to Gulf Coast refineries from Canada. Yet there are very few answers to questions about the health risks involved in moving that kind of oil, as pipeline accidents in Michigan and Arkansas are demonstrating. WhoWhatWhy takes a look at those questions in the second part of a series.
Reading Time: 4 minutes Thanks to increased travel, and possibly global warming, mosquitoes are bringing more diseases from the tropics to North America. One in particular—dengue fever—can be deadly.