What Do Mining Claims and National Parks Have in Common?

America Enacted Two Environmental Laws 10 Weeks Apart in 1872. One Encouraged Drilling Into Public Lands—The Other Tried to Conserve Them

If you know where to go in Death Valley National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias Park and Preserve, Glacier Peak Wilderness, or Bears Ears National Monument, you might come across the remnants of a tramway or a pile of mine tailings or a rusted tank. The artifacts of industrial activity can be startling in the otherwise tranquil natural scene. But there is no mistake. Despite being miles inside a national park, a designated wilderness, or some other conservation area, you can encounter mining claims—they are everywhere. With resource development on public lands …

tktk | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California’s Prop 30 Is So Bad It Might Be Good

The Contest Over the Measure—and Others to Follow—Will Determine Whether the Climate Crisis Can Be Addressed Within the Current System

Will the fight against climate change finally force the replacement of California’s broken governing system?

That’s the most interesting question posed by the most interesting measure on this November’s statewide ballot. …

The 2023 Zócalo Book Prize Honors Explorations of Community | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The 2023 Zócalo Book Prize Honors Explorations of Community

We’re Looking for the Best Nonfiction Books on Human Connection

Since 2011, Zócalo Public Square’s annual book prize has recognized the U.S.-published nonfiction book that best enhances our understanding of community and the forces that strengthen or undermine human connectedness …

Why Migrant Butterflies Are Dying | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Migrant Butterflies Are Dying

Border Policies, Corporate Greed, and Political Dysfunction Hurt Monarchs and Humans Alike

In July, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) added the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus plexippus, to its Red List of Threatened Species, a recognition that the insect’s ongoing …

Is It Time for California to Go?

America Keeps Failing the Golden State—And the Supreme Court Decisions on Abortion, Guns, and the Environment Are Pushing Us to the Edge

To encourage us to think about the unthinkable, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists sets a Doomsday Clock, showing how close humanity is (in metaphorical minutes and seconds) to the …

Can Bureaucracies Be Sustainability Innovators?

How India’s Coal-Dependent Government Has Harnessed Its Power to Build Better and Cleaner

Bureaucracies are often thought of as stiflers of innovation and growth. But the Indian government, one of the biggest bureaucracies in the world, has made some surprising gains in the …