Items by Jonathan Thompson

The two-wheeled stimulus plan
Can a big bike race make up for the loss of revenue in fire- and recession-battered towns?
Help us cover the New New West
We need your on-the-ground observations for our "communities in transition" beat
Get on the bus
The West has more mass transit than you might expect. Why aren't more (rich) people using it?
Price matters
How the natural gas glut is rippling across the economies and landscapes of the West (with charts!)
On droughts and fires past
Looking back can give us some perspective -- maybe even comfort -- in extreme times
Three days in the Four Corners
Three days in the Four Corners
A loop around the Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet, leads into a land of both historical and geological friction.
Getting strange with land art
Watch a video that's just "a little too weird" for HCN editors!
The Atlas of the Industrial West
The Atlas of the Industrial West
An annotated map shows you how to find some of the West's odder sites, such as old bombing ranges, giant dams, huge industrial projects and giant telescope arrays.
Land art of the West: An interactive map
Land art of the West: An interactive map
A guide to some of the West's most prominent pieces of land art or earthworks and some of the altered landscapes that interested or inspired land artists.
Exploring the West's land sculptures -- made by artists and industry
Exploring the West's land sculptures -- made by artists and industry
A land-art-inspired ramble takes the writer from Michael Heizer's Double Negative, to Robert Smithson's underwater Spiral Jetty, with detours to places including the Bingham Canyon copper mine.
Our first travel issue
Our first travel issue
We're all tourists in someone else's town, all of us just wandering through the world, so why not do a special issue on travel in the West?
Got the gold bug? Tour a mine.
It might just cure you
Swiss, salt flats and the sublime
The author joins a European tour of the post-industrial landscape of the Great Salt Lake
U.S. is net energy exporter! (Psych!)
Despite recent headlines, the "drill baby drill" method isn't getting us close to breaking our dependence on foreign oil
A fresh focus on frack attacks
A fresh focus on frack attacks
In all the fuss about fracking, the many other problems caused by rampant oil and gas development are being overlooked.
Oil and gas water use: the real issues
Drilling spouts more (salty toxic nasty) water than it slurps
Fearful of Agenda 21, an alleged U.N. plot, activists derail land-use planning
Fearful of Agenda 21, an alleged U.N. plot, activists derail land-use planning
A two-year planning process in La Plata County, Colorado gets hijacked by activists suspicious of United Nations influence. And in the West and nationwide, they're not alone.
Why industry doesn't like "fracking" and neither do I
The word "fracking" has great PR value for environmental activists, but it seems to be completely taking over the debate over oil and gas development.
The circular logic of energy independence
Energy self-sufficiency isn't realistic in our global economy
The year 2011, in apocalyptic weather events
The year 2011, in apocalyptic weather events
Fire and flood, snowstorms and droughts, downburst winds and desert haboobs -- 2011 brought incredibly wacky weather to the West.
The Estonian connection: Or how I started worrying about oil shale
Will a global oil shale push make it to the U.S. West?
The Southwest's population and housing booms bite the dust
The Southwest's population and housing booms bite the dust
As the West's population and real estate boom stumble to a halt, the once fast-growing Southwest is filled with foreclosed homes and undeveloped lots.
Why 7 billion isn't as scary as you think
Over-consumption is much more frightening than overpopulation
Return of the corn
A couple of guys and a "Red Buffalo" help bring corn-growing back to Taos Pueblo
Demise of the housing growth machine
The New West's biggest economic engine hasn't just slowed down, it's died
The urban wild
After the author moves to the city, he can't seem to avoid hazardous wildlife
Bill Koch, coal, and political cash
The "other" Koch brother is giving more and more money to the right wing
Hummer Syndrome
A Wyoming boomtown shows the Old West economy speeding along as the new West stalls out
When the locals don't want your coal, sell it overseas
When the locals don't want your coal, sell it overseas
Global markets could keep Powder River Basin coal flowing overseas for decades to come.
Global Players in the West's Extraction Economy
Global Players in the West's Extraction Economy
An interactive map of global influence in Western energy plays
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