Can rock dust be a climate fix for agriculture?

On a hot and humid August day near Geneva, New York, Garrett Boudinot stands in a field of hemp, the green stalks towering a foot or more over his 6-foot, 4-inch frame. Today, the mustached Cornell University research assistant will harvest six acres of the crop, weigh it in red plastic garbage bins, and continue… » Read More

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USDA wants to make farms climate-friendly. Will it work?

What if all it took to make a dent in agriculture’s contribution to climate change was to pay farmers not to farm? That’s the theory behind the recent expansion of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a decades-old initiative that has emerged as a central tool in the Biden administration’s effort to achieve net-zero emissions in… » Read More

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As halibut decline, Alaska Native fishers square off against industrial fleets

Each year in mid-June, Father John, dressed in long black robes, heads to the small boat harbor on St. Paul, a tiny island of 500 souls in the middle of the Bering Sea. It’s the start of the fishing season, and the Blessing of the Fleet is a community affair, an opportunity to give best… » Read More

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The tasting menu at the end of the world

In mid-August, as a largely uneventful tropical storm named Fausto was starting to wind down in the Pacific Ocean southwest of Baja California, a plume of moisture it spun off had metastasized into dry thunderstorms that were rolling across northern California, more than 700 miles away. Recently flattened by a record-setting heat wave, the region… » Read More

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The water war in Indian Wells Valley

John Conaway has lived in and around the town of Ridgecrest since before it was much of a town. In 1967, when he moved his young family to the remote Southern California community, Ridgecrest had been incorporated for only a few years. “It was all dirt roads,” he says. “No stop signs, no nothing.” Mostly,… » Read More

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How do climate change, migration and a deadly sheep disease alter our understanding of pandemics?

For thousands of years, an unknown virus lingered quietly among the wild ruminants of South Africa. The kudu. The giraffes. The Cape buffalo. Spread by a genus of biting midges called Culicoides, the virus lived in harmony with its hosts, rarely causing disease, until the late 18th century, when farmers began importing purebred merino sheep… » Read More

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Praying for rain

Etched into the face of a red sandstone cliff in the arid highlands of northwestern New Mexico is an unlikely image: a delicately outlined fish. Dozens of petroglyphs surround it, carved centuries ago by the ancestors of the pueblo tribes who still live in the region. They depict antelopes, humans, supernatural beings, spirals and other… » Read More

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Is carbon farming a climate boon, or boondoggle?

Trey Hill led a small group of fellow farmers to a field outside his office in Rock Hall on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It was a cloudy February day, but the ground was alive with color — purple and red turnip tops mixing exuberantly with green rye, vetch and clover, and beneath it all, rich brown… » Read More

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