America’s National Parks Were Never Wild and Untouched

Montana's Emblematic Glacier National Park Reveals the Impact of Human History and Culture

In 1872, Congress created the first national park, Yellowstone, so that its scenic features would be “dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Other parks followed, including Sequoia and Yosemite in 1890, Mount Rainier in 1899, and Crater Lake in 1902. In 1916, Congress passed the Organic Act creating the National Park Service and directing it “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the …

More In: climate change

What One New England Tree Can Tell Us About the Earth’s Future

By Studying a Single Massachusetts Oak, I Recorded How Climate Change Is Confusing Nature

Trees are up to more than we think. Belying their image as mute, unmoving, and solitary, trees are not just standing there. They move. Breathe. Communicate. Politically astute and nimbly …

To See the Fate of the Oceans, Look Back a Half-Billion Years

Too Much Carbon and Not Enough Oxygen Devastated Marine Life in Ancient Times

What can the deep geological history of the oceans tell us about the future?

This question is a difficult one. In fact, it is considerably easier to start with the opposite …

Move Over, California, China Is Becoming the World’s Environmental Leader

But Can the Planet's Biggest Greenhouse Gas Polluter Replicate the Golden State's Adventurous Approach?

California is in the process of passing the baton of environmental leadership to China. But can it transfer the spirit of Californians as well?

The two of us have been participants …

Hiking Wisconsin With ‘Ghosts’ of the Ice Age

A Scenic Trail Takes Me To Centuries Past, and Forward Into a Climate-Changed Future

In “Marshland Elegy,” an essay in A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold described a dawn wind slowly rolling a bank of fog across a Wisconsin marsh. “Like the white ghost …

We’ll Always Have (the) Paris (Accord)

Economic Necessity Gives Hope That the Global Climate Agreement Will Endure

The United States is out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the Trump administration says we will burn coal and fossil fuels if we like, and no one …