Impressionist painter Claude Monet was able to see beauty in the swirl of fog encompassing Britain’s Houses of Parliament at the end of the 19th century. Most people regarded it as a very unpleasant inconvenience. Today, Londoners recognize the sources of the city’s current air quality problems: diesel vehicle exhaust and natural gas combustion for heating and cooking. Back in the 19th century, a small group of architects and scientists was just beginning to recognize the fog Monet painted as a threat to people, buildings and the city itself.
A highly toxic form of mercury could jump by 300 to 600 percent in zooplankton—tiny animals at the base of the marine food chain—if land runoff increases by 15 to 30 percent, according to a new study.
Along the arid coastline of northwestern Mexico, indigenous Seri communities, who first resisted Spanish rule and then Mexican extermination efforts, eventually gained formal titles over a small part of their ancestral coastal and marine territories. The ocean has always sustained their livelihood, but now they must contend with outside competition over declining fish resources.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Republican candidates strongly agreed that the United States has too many regulations, and that these rules often are bad for business or a waste of taxpayer dollars. President Trump calls himself an environmentalist, but asserts that environmental regulations are “out of control.” Trump’s nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, has repeatedly sued to block federal environmental regulations.
Walk into your typical U.S. or U.K. grocery store and feast your eyes on an amazing bounty of fresh and processed foods. In most industrialized countries, it’s hard to imagine that food production is one of the greatest challenges we will face in the coming decades.