Tom Philpott

Tom Philpott was previously Grist's food writer. He now writes for Mother Jones.

Climate & Energy

This chart shows why even a powerful El Niño won’t solve California’s water issues

For farms in the Central Valley, water troubles go much deeper than the current lack of precipitation.

Climate & Energy

The Midwest’s corn fields are even worse for the planet than we thought

The Corn Belt's fertilizer habit releases a greenhouse gas with nearly 300 times the heat-trapping power of carbon dioxide.


California’s groundwater is disappearing AND widely contaminated

About 20 percent of the groundwater that Californians rely on to keep their taps flowing carries high concentrations of contaminants like arsenic, uranium, and nitrate.


The newest threat to California pistachios: A nuclear deal with Iran

Well, this is nuts.

Climate & Energy

Should California produce farming move to Arkansas?

Climate change will continue to dry out California. Could fruit and veggie farming find a home in the Cotton Belt?

Climate & Energy

Why is Harvard buying vineyards in drought-ravaged California?

Harvard University's endowment fund bought 10,000 acres in the famed Paso Robles wine region.

Coral reefs are about to crash in a big way

Something really, really terrible is about to happen to our coral.


What America’s nutty demand for almonds is doing to California

It takes a gallon of water to produce one almond. And that's not the most insane fact about the hedge-fund-fueled race to plant thirsty trees in the middle of a catastrophic drought.


Scary maps show how bad California’s water shortage is

Just how bad is California's water shortage? Really, really bad, according to these maps.