Items by Jonathan Thompson

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
The Global West: how foreign investment fuels resource extraction in Western states
The Global West: how foreign investment fuels resource extraction in Western states
China's insatiable energy appetite is fueling a natural resource boom in the West.
Western elections wrap-up
Western elections wrap-up
High Country News examines the results of what everyone agrees was a "very weird election."
Washington: Tea Party limbo #2
A Tea Party loss ironically helps Republican Dino Rossi's effort to unseat Sen. Patty Murray, while conflicting ballot measures seek to raise taxes on wealthy people or choke off all potential tax hikes.
Oregon: Tea Party limbo
Oregon: Tea Party limbo
John Kitzhaber, champion of land-use planning, is running for governor again -- and the Tea Party has failed to draw much attention.
New Mexico: Wolves, wilderness, drilling and Latinos
Ultra-conservative anti-wolf Steve Pearce wants his old House seat back from Democratic oilman Harry Teague, and the next governor of New Mexico will be a woman.
Nevada: A hairy ride for Harry
Nevada: A hairy ride for Harry
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tries gun-play in his battle with Sharron Angle, and former poli-sci prof Dina Titus tries to keep her Nevada House seat out of Joe Heck's reach.
Colorado: The West's true swing state
Colorado: The West's true swing state
Colorado voters are almost evenly split between Republicans, Democrats and the nonaffiliated, including the Tea Party -- and a Salazar looks vulnerable.
California: Dope, eBay, pollution and moonbeams
California: Dope, eBay, pollution and moonbeams
California flashes back to the 1970s with campaigns to legalize marijuana and re-elect Jerry Brown as governor, while other key races are also sizzling hot.
Arizona: Obama's curse?
Arizona: Obama's curse?
When Obama plucked Janet Napolitano out of the governor's seat to run Homeland Security, he surrendered Arizona to the ultra-conservatives.
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