How to Make Crops Flood-Proof

Water is a fact of life in Thailand and its capital of Bangkok, where one of the easiest ways to get around the traffic-clogged megacity is on water taxis. This is a country, after all, that celebrates a water festival—involving some serious Super Soakers—every year. But weeks of rains have caused the worst floods Thailand has …

Why Bad Heat = Bad Air

As if the stifling, tripe-digit temperatures gripping much of nation weren’t bad enough, the heat wave is also contributing to dangerously high levels of air pollution—especially around the cities of the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic region. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) air quality rankings range from 0 to 500—500 …

Famine in Somalia: When Does the World Decide to Use the ‘F’ Word?

The word ‘famine’ may be a familiar one, but it is not thrown around lightly by the people who decide when there is one. The fact that most of us today probably associate the term with the 1984 crisis in Ethiopia is testament to its exceedingly careful dispensation; to use it too often would dilute its power to command the attention …

How the Heat Wave Is Stressing Out the Electricity Grid

As I emerged from the hellmouth that is the New York City subway system in July and walked into the Time-Life building in midtown Manhattan this morning, I noticed something odd. Most of the lights in the lobby were switched off. For a moment I hoped we were having the summer equivalent of a snow day, but then I remembered that the …

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