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Umbra’s second helpings: Speedy showers [VIDEO]

We're rinsing off an Ask Umbra classic about power showers.

Climate & Energy

How the U.S. paved the way for Big Oil’s rise — and possible fall — in Iraq

American strategy throughout the Iraq war was aimed at making it easier for Big Oil to do business there. But with U.S. influence waning, there's another possibility for Iraq.

Climate & Energy

Heroic weatherman talks climate in a red state — and viewers thank him for it

When Jim Gandy, a South Carolina weathercaster, started putting his coverage in the context of climate change, the public response was much more positive than he expected.


Is your cup compostable — or biodegradable? And why does it matter again?

As more cities adopt municipal composting programs, the range of to-go ware made from bioplastics is expanding. Here's what you need to know about what's real, what's greenwashing, and why it matters.


Save the median strip! Or, how to annoy E.O. Wilson

Emma Marris, author of "Rambunctious Garden," challenged noted conservationist E.O. Wilson by arguing that we should learn to value all types of nature -- human-altered places as well as pristine landscapes.


Romney’s energy plan: How many times can you say ‘oil’?

Mentions of oil: 154. Mentions of climate: 0.

Climate & Energy

Paradise lost in Palau: Island nation fights back against climate change

Threatened by encroaching seas, the tiny island nation of Palau is taking legal action with the U.N. to hold the industrialized world accountable for damage caused by climate change.


Don’t toss your cookies: Curbing the crisis of food waste

Almost half the food in the U.S. goes uneaten, and every part of the supply chain is to blame -- including you and me. But we can do better.


Elephants in the room: Urban poverty, climate change, and other problems we love to ignore

When times get tough, Americans seem incapable of having rational discussions about our most pressing issues. As a result, they’ve been erased from the political discourse. The implications are downright ugly.