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 …

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L.A. Is Drowning in Its Own Water Pretensions

Civic Leaders' Fantastical Claims of Water Self-Sufficiency May Endanger Southern California's Real Water Supplies

This time, “Chinatown” is fooling itself.

Los Angeles has a long history of water deceptions, a point made famously by Roman Polanski’s 1974 neo-noir film. But the massive self-sabotage of the …

The “Crying Indian” Ad That Fooled the Environmental Movement

Behind the '70s Anti-Pollution Icon Was an Italian-American Actor—and the Beverage Industry

It’s probably the most famous tear in American history: Iron Eyes Cody, an actor in Native American garb, paddles a birch bark canoe on water that seems, at first, tranquil …

Sixteen Years After His Death, a Renowned Environmentalist Won His Longest Fight

David Brower, Founder of Friends of the Earth, Spent His Career Negotiating Between Nature and Power

Earlier this year, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, which built and operates the Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors on the central California coast, announced that it will phase them out by …

Will Environmental Crises Segregate Sports?

Snowless Mountains and Poisoned Beaches Will Drive a Wedge Between Athletes of Different Classes

In Brazil, Olympic rowers and sailors will chase gold through dying rivers and poisoned lagoons. Even amid all the crises piling up on this year’s games—unfinished infrastructure, political drama, financial …

What Does China’s Growing Middle Class Desire Most? Blue Skies.

Decades of Rapid Industrialization Created Massive Pollution, Now Wealthier Chinese Are Demanding a Cleaner Environment

Over the last 35 years, China’s economy has completely transformed itself, thanks to urbanization and industrialization.

As their country has become the “world’s factory,” hundreds of millions of Chinese people …