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Fighting Climate Change Was Costly. Now It’s Profitable.

Sign up for The Weekly Planet, The Atlantic’s newsletter about living through climate change, here.It is a good time to be in the decarbonization business in the United States. The Inflation Reduction Act—with its $374 billion cornucopia of green incentives, subsidies, and grants—was designed to entice private companies to invest in the transition away...

Earthquakes Are Unlike Any Other Environmental Disaster

On February 6, at 4:17 a.m., death came for thousands of people in their sleep. At that moment, 11 miles beneath the south-central Turkish city of Nurdağı—close to the Syrian border—a spark was launched into a geologic powder keg.An epochal battle between tectonic plates had reached a crescendo. Two gigantic blocks, moving side by side in opposite directions,...

The Real Obstacle to Nuclear Power

Photographs by Brian FinkeThis article was featured in One Story to Read Today, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a single must-read from The Atlantic, Monday through Friday. Sign up for it here.      “WE WERE A BIT CRAZY”Kairos Power’s new test facility is on a parched site a few miles south of the Albuquerque, New Mexico, airport. Around...

The Most Mysterious Part of the Moon Isn’t Where You Think

The far side of the moon has a certain mystique about it. It’s eternally out of view, never facing the Earth—which has earned it a misleading nickname, “the dark side,” as if sunlight never reaches its surface (it does). It’s the section of the moon we’ll never see for ourselves, not unless we hop on a spaceship and fly over there.But the really mysterious...

The Chinese Balloon and the Disappointing Reality of UFOs

Residents of Billings, Montana, encountered a rather strange sight this week: A giant white ball hovering in the sky in broad daylight. The ball drifted between clouds and shimmered in the sun. It looked almost like a second moon.American military officials suspect that the floating mystery object is a Chinese spy balloon. The high-altitude object,...

America Is Too Depressed About Vaccines

The world has just seen the largest vaccination campaign in history. At least 13 billion COVID shots have been administered—more injections, by a sweeping margin, than there are human beings on the Earth. In the U.S. alone, millions of lives have been saved by a rollout of extraordinary scope. More than three-fifths of the population elected to receive...

Someday, You Might Be Able to Eat Your Way Out of a Cold

When it comes to treating disease with food, the quackery stretches back far. Through the centuries, raw garlic has been touted as a home treatment for everything from chlamydia to the common cold; Renaissance remedies for the plague included figs soaked in hyssop oil. During the 1918 flu pandemic, Americans wolfed down onions or chugged “fluid beef”...

1.5 Degrees Was Never the End of the World

Sign up for The Weekly Planet, The Atlantic’s newsletter about living through climate change, here.How hot is too hot for planet Earth? For years, there’s been a consensus in the climate movement: no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The figure comes from the Paris Agreement, a climate treaty ratified in 2016, and world leaders...

The Existential Wonder of Space

Illustrations by Daniele CastellanoOf all the moons in the solar system, Saturn’s largest satellite might be the most extraordinary. Titan is enveloped in a thick, hazy atmosphere, and liquid methane rains gently from its sky, tugged downward by a fraction of the gravity we feel on Earth. The methane forms rivers, lakes, and small seas on Titan’s surface....

Labs Are Scooping Up Animals Killed by Wind Turbines

This article was originally published by Undark Magazine.“This is one of the least smelly carcasses,” says Todd Katzner, peering over his lab manager’s shoulder as she slices a bit of flesh from a dead pigeon lying on a steel lab table. Many of the specimens that arrive at this facility in Boise, Idaho, are long dead, and the bodies smell, he says,...

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