Erica Gies

Erica Gies is a freelance environmental writer who lives in San Francisco, Calif.

Animals

Goldman Environmental Prize winners give the rest of us a kick in the pants

It’s like the Oscars for the Patagonia set. Every April, just before Earth Day, San Francisco’s environmental community comes together at the city’s Opera House to laud six grassroots activists from around the globe, whose stories enrage and inspire. The …

Clean Energy: It’s Complicated

“American ingenuity” is the key to developing renewable energy resources, said President Obama last week, in his address on energy policy. That is surely true, and here in San Francisco, there are many examples of ingenuity being deployed to good …

What's the deal with offsets?

Offsets remain off-putting to many experts intent on curbing CO2 emissions

The massive climate and energy bill now working its way through Congress would create a multi-billion-dollar market in carbon offsets, giving owners of agricultural and forest land the opportunity to profit as companies seek to offset their carbon emissions. Offset …

What's the deal with offsets?

Offsets and Big Ag: Does the climate bill give away too much to the farm sector?

Special Series: What’s the deal with offsets?Photo illustration by Tom Twigg / GristThe compliance market for offsets proposed under the House’s American Clean Energy and Security Act would not just mean more opportunity for companies already in the business of …

What's the deal with offsets?

Key to climate bill, offsets have plenty of critics

America’s first major stab at tackling global climate change comes in the form of the American Clean Energy Security Act, a massive piece of legislation that would touch nearly every corner of the U.S. economy. The bill, often referred to …

Cities

I sold my car, and I couldn’t be happier … I think

It’s all yours.iStockI recently committed a subversive act: I sold my car, and I’m not buying a new one. I’d thought that I’d feel virtuous and free — and I do — but it’s turned out to be a bit …

Cities

A journey on China’s controversial new train to Tibet

Each night, the Qinghai-Tibet train leaves Beijing at 9:30. A mere 48 hours later, it rolls into Lhasa, 2,525 miles away. Waiting to depart from Beijing. Photos: Erica Gies Shortly after 9 p.m. one warm night last fall, my travel …

Cities

A guide to offsetting your carbon emissions

Taking a vacation to the other side of the planet is the ultimate luxury, but it’s one laced with guilt. On top of developed-country remorse, a new form of shame is beginning to stalk those of us taking “unnecessary” airplane …

What the West’s only communist nation has done right

Reports that Fidel Castro turned over power to his brother Raul last week because of surgery for intestinal bleeding have brought a flashback to the Cold War, with reporters rushing to doodle prematurely on his grave and interview the vociferous …