The Electric Typewriter

Great articles and essays by the world's best journalists and writers.

30 Great Articles and Essays about
the Environment

The best environment essays -- essays on the environment -- essays about the environment from around the web


1491 by Charles C. Mann

the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact.

Planet of Weeds by David Quammen

Decreasing biological diversity tends to favour adaptable invasive species, like us.

The Great Oasis by Burkhard Bilger

Can a wall of trees stop the Sahara from spreading?

America's Real Criminal Element by Kevin Drum

New research suggests that lead is the hidden villain behind violent crime, lower IQs, and even the ADHD epidemic

Climate Change/Global Warming

Some Convenient Truths by Gregg Easterbrook

Runaway global warming looks all but unstoppable. Maybe that’s because we haven’t really tried to stop it.

Global Warming: Who Loses—and Who Wins?
by Gregg Easterbrook

Climate change in the next century (and beyond) could be enormously disruptive, spreading disease and sparking wars. It could also be a windfall for some people, businesses, and nations.

The Ass’s Dilemma by Pat Joseph

Can We Engineer the Climate?

A Lucky Escape by Simon Winchester

The volcanic ash cloud from Eyjafjallajokull has caused travel chaos and misery. But we were lucky. An eruption in the future could wipe out the human race.

The Climate of Man by Elizabeth Kolbert

Disappearing islands, thawing permafrost, melting polar ice. How the earth is changing.

Relocation! Relocation! Relocation! by Bucky McMahon

At some point in the nearish future, much of the Maldive Islands will slip beneath the sea. But the country's young president has an audacious plan: To buy a new homeland for his people.

Goodbye, Miami by Jeff Goodell

By century's end, rising sea levels will turn the nation's urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin

Big Foot by Michael Specter

In measuring emissions, it's easy to confuse morality and science

The Climate Fixers by Michael Specter

Is there a technological solution to global warming?

The Last Drop by Michael Specter

Confronting the possibility of a global catastrophe.

Climate Change and the End of Australia
by Jeff Goodell

Want to know what global warming has in store for us? Just go to Australia, where rivers are drying up, reefs are dying, and fires and floods are ravaging the continent

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math
by Bill Mckibben

Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe - and that make clear who the real enemy is


The Oil We Eat by Richard Manning

The journalist’s rule says: follow the money. This rule, however, is not really axiomatic but derivative, in that money is really a way of tracking energy. We’ll follow the energy.

What If We Never Run Out of Oil? by Charles C. Mann

New technology and a little-known energy source suggest that fossil fuels may not be finite. This would be a miracle—and a nightmare.

Jungle Law by William Langewiesche

A journalist journeys into the Amazon to find out how hundreds of square miles of surrounding rain forest became a toxic-waste dump.

Power, Pollution and the Internet by James Glanz

Most data centers, by design, consume vast amounts of energy in an incongruously wasteful manner.

Dirty Coal, Clean Future by James Fallows

To environmentalists, “clean coal” is an insulting oxymoron. But for now, the only way to meet the world’s energy needs, and to arrest climate change before it produces irreversible cataclysm, is to use coal in more-sustainable ways.

The Fracturing of Pennsylvania by Eliza Griswold

An investigation into fracking’s effects on rivers, streams, drinking water and human health.

Scraping Bottom by Robert Kunzig

Once considered too expensive, as well as too damaging to the land, exploitation of Alberta's oil sands is now a gamble worth billions.


The Last Mountain

A critical look at mountaintop removal, a destructive form of coal mining that is causing extensive environmental damage in Appalachia


A tour through the wasteland left behind by fracking

The Cove

Japan's bizarre dolphin massacre