Climate Change and the West

A hard winter makes you think
Rhonda Claridge describes a hard winter in the high mountains, and points out that one seldom-acknowledged effect of climate change could be harder winters in some parts of the world.
Two weeks in the West
Nasty chemicals in the Western air; drilling dust; EPA gets tougher on mercury; wildlife agency reconsiders habitat for Canada lynx and protection for sage grouse and white-tailed prairie dogs; and Grand Canyon gets a man-made flood.
Unnatural Preservation
Public-land managers in the era of global warming face uncomfortable choices: Do they intervene to protect dying plants and animals, or stand back and let this new version of “nature” take its course?
Planning for uncertainty
A Phoenix symposium on dealing with drought and global warming echoes the larger uncertainties facing public-land and national park managers throughout the West.
You can’t stop nature
Pepper Trail warns us that we continue to tinker with nature at our peril.
Toxic legacy
Some activists fear that toxic chemicals in a New Mexico landfill, left over from Cold War-era nuclear weapons research, may be creeping toward the Albuquerque Aquifer.
Coal’s other mess
Even as the air over power plants clears, the coal combustion waste on the ground gets worse – and the EPA seems disinclined to deal with the problem.
Ashes to houses
One of coal's big messes is transformed into building blocks
Western water is petering out
Pete Letheby says the West is headed for a hotter and drier future, and this time, as farmer Gerald Spangler warns him, we’re running out of groundwater.
Smoke alarm
Wildfires across the West release surprising amounts of mercury
When smoke gets in your life
Alan Kesselheim misses the summers of the past, when Western skies were blue and clear and not blurred and choked with smoke and ash.
The inevitable fires next time
Rocky Barker warns us that the new West is a world of inevitable, long-lasting and increasing forest fires.
The caveguy within holds us back
George Sibley believes our Neandertal brains hold us back from accepting the fact that we cause global warming.
A Wyoming forest yearns to burn
Bill Sniffin warns that Wyoming’s Shoshone National Forest is ready to go up in flames.
The clock is ticking
Robert Redford and Auden Schendler find it ironic that, under its current leadership, the Environmental Protection Agency could never qualify for one of the Climate Protection Awards it gives out.
Global climate change? Let’s go shopping
Jim Stiles scoffs at the notion of saving the planet by buying so-called “green” products.
The challenge of climate-change denial
Skeptics, even irrational ones, probably once had a useful evolutionary role to play in human communities, but in the face of rapid climate change, they are becoming a fatal obstacle
Why are there still climate-change deniers?
Auden Schendler finds the evidence compelling but resistance persistent about global-climate change.
Market cooling
California and the West decide to tackle global warming through the market – by buying and selling carbon
Two weeks in the West
Death (and life) in the Sonoran Desert; fire and drought in the Southwest; courts rule against Bush on environmental issues.