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Not Even Free Money Can Fix a Carbon Tax

Once more unto the breach, my friends—once more to talk about carbon pricing.For 40 years, economists and environmentalists have proposed a simple solution to climate change: Put a price on it. If the government levies a fee on every ton of heat-trapping pollution that goes into the air, then the economy will move to cleaner, cheaper energy sources,...

The Utility of White-Hot Rage

Usually, a story like this starts with a quick roundup of alarming statistics and a reminder of all the latest climate disasters: heat domes, floods, hurricanes, etc. I’m going to skip that part. Most of us get it already. We understand with our rational minds that the climate is changing, and we feel that it is changing in the deepest pit of our gut,...

Astronomy’s Most Dazzling Era Is About to Begin

The world’s most powerful space telescope was ready to uncover the wonders of the universe, but first it needed some help from a little blue truck. The truck had to haul the James Webb Space Telescope, perched atop a more than 165-foot-tall rocket, to the launchpad at a spaceport in South America in late December. Next to the rocket, the vehicle looked...

Idaho Is Sitting on One of the Most Important Elements on Earth

Photographs by Alexis Joy HagestadOn September 13, I took my first plane trip in 18 months: Kansas City to Boise with a layover in Denver. The trip itself was largely uneventful, with one exception. After I boarded my connecting flight in Denver, a pilot announced that we would be briefly delayed because Air Force One was also en route to Boise. President...

How a Rare Brain Mutation Spread Across America

Of the three Bowlin sisters, Margaret, the middle one, was the first to show signs. She began having seizures as a toddler. Then the eldest, Bettina, had a brief and mysterious episode of weakness in her right hand. In 1986, as an adult, she had a two-week migraine that got so bad, she couldn’t hold food in her mouth or money in her right hand. The...

Why a 3-Dose Vaccine for Young Kids Might Actually Work Out

For many months now, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has been slowly making its way into smaller arms in smaller doses—from teens to adolescents to elementary-school-age kids in the fall. Now it’s just the under-5 crowd left, and the word on the lips of parents raring to protect their children is still, simply, when. Somehow, no one yet seems to know.Back...

Will Omicron Leave Most of Us Immune?

Even before Omicron hit the United States in full force, most of our bodies had already wised up to SARS-CoV-2’s insidious spike—through infection, injection, or both. By the end of October 2021, some 86.2 percent of American immune systems may have glimpsed the virus’s most infamous protein, according to one estimate; now, as Omicron adds roughly 800,000...

Lumber Prices Are off the Rails Again. Blame Climate Change.

Last year, lumber turned into the surprise superstar of the U.S. economy when it briefly outperformed bitcoin, gold, and the S&P 500 to become “the hottest commodity on the planet.”Now it’s happening again. Yesterday, the market closed at more than $1,200 per thousand board feet, a surge in price with only one precedent in the decades-long history...

We Booped the Sun

Kelly Korreck is still thinking about the time her spacecraft flew into the sun, how one moment, the probe was rushing through a stormy current of fast-moving particles, and the next, it was plunging somewhere quieter, where the plasma rolled like ocean waves. No machine had ever crossed that mysterious boundary before. But Korreck and her team had...

The Worst of the Omicron Wave Could Still Be Coming

Just weeks into its staggering ascent in the United States, Omicron appears to maybe, maybe, be taking its leave of a few big urban centers up and down the East Coast. Documented coronavirus infections seem to be leveling off, even falling, in cities such as Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.—a possible preview of what the country’s been waiting...

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