Other writing

April 16, 2020

Coronavirus Holds A Magnifying Glass To America’s Inequalities And The View Is Brutal

As the coronavirus bears down on the world, it is casting brutal light on societies’ biggest weak points and failings, from structural racism and extreme inequality to waning trust and the deterioration of the public sphere. The pandemic may offer the last warning ― and our best opportunity ― to begin repairing those fractures before an even bigger stress hits.

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March 23, 2020

Coronavirus Holds Key Lessons on How to Fight Climate Change

A frightening new threat cascades around the world, upending familiar routines, disrupting the global economy, and endangering lives. Scientists long warned this might happen, but political leaders mostly ignored them, so now must scramble to respond to a crisis they could have prevented, or at least eased, had they acted sooner.

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April 8, 2020

Pollution made COVID-19 worse. Now, lockdowns are clearing the air.

As the novel coronavirus tears around the world, it’s exploiting our biggest weaknesses, from creaking health care systems to extreme social inequality. Its relationship with one pervasive and neglected problem, however, is more tangled: Air pollution has intensified the pandemic, but the pandemic has—temporarily—cleaned the skies.

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February 28, 2020

White Supremacy Goes Green

As an environmental journalist, I’ve been covering the frightening acceleration of climate change for more than a decade. As a person who believes in the tenets of liberal democracy, I’ve watched the rise of white-supremacist, anti-immigrant and nationalistic ideologies with similar dread over the past few years. But I always thought of those two trends — looming ecological dangers and the gathering strength of the far right — as unrelated.

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March 31, 2020

How Air Pollution Makes The Coronavirus So Much More Dangerous

As the SARS virus tore through China in 2003, Zuo-Feng Zhang wondered whether the country’s notoriously polluted air might be amplifying its dangers. The answer he and his scientific colleagues found feels frighteningly relevant now, not just for China, but all across a world where SARS’ coronavirus cousin is bearing down on billions of people who already live with unhealthy air.

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January 20, 2020

A Surge of New Plastic Is About to Hit the Planet

As public concern about plastic pollution rises, consumers are reaching for canvas bags, metal straws, and reusable water bottles. But while individuals fret over images of oceanic garbage gyres, the fossil fuel and petrochemical industries are pouring billions of dollars into new plants intended to make millions more tons of plastic than they now pump out.

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© 2018 by Beth Gardiner