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environmental history



  • Cancer Cases Likely in Those Exposed to New Mexico Atomic Test

    National Cancer Institute findings suggest that it is likely that some people exposed to fallout from the Trinity atomic bomb tests got cancer as a result. However, the incomplete data available make it unclear if the findings will help advance legislation to compensate "downwinders" for health damage.   



  • Why Hurricane Katrina Was Not a Natural Disaster

    by Nicholas Lemann

    Fifteen years ago, New Orleans was nearly destroyed. A new book by Tulane historian Andy Horowitz suggests that the cause was decades of bad policy—and that nothing has changed.



  • The Environmental Costs of War

    The effort to secure and refine aluminum ore for war materiel was environmentally damaging and previews the globalized impact of commodity supply chains. 



  • How the World’s Largest Garbage Dump Evolved Into a Green Oasis

    Freshkills is possibly the least likely poster child for urban ecological restoration in the world, and it is radical not just for the way it works — by encouraging flora and fauna do as they please — but for its sheer size. It is almost unbelievable that New York City would set aside a parcel of land as big as Lower Manhattan south of 23rd Street — and just let it go to seed.



  • Learning From the Kariba Dam

    The history of the Kariba Dam is the story of a war over the past and the future of a river. 


  • The Right to Breathe Free: A Showdown Over Race and Nature (Part II)

    by Douglas C. Sackman

    Over time American nature has been retrofitted with an infrastructure of racism, one that gives some people open access to land, clean water, and good air while constricting the access of others to these vital natural resources, or takes them away altogether.


  • After 50 years of Earth Day, Will we Have 100?

    by Kimberlee Hurley

    This fiftieth celebration of Earth Day should serve as a celebration of the work that has been done. However, it should also serve as a wake-up call for the work that still needs to be done.