Skip to content
Grist home
Support nonprofit news

Articles by Michael Grunwald

Michael Grunwald, a senior national correspondent at Time Magazine, is the author of The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise.

Featured Article

It’s hard to believe, now that it’s been overrun by 7 million residents and 7 jillion strip malls, but southern Florida was once America’s last frontier. As late as 1880, the census recorded just 257 residents in a county covering most of the region — because most of the region was a watery wilderness called the Everglades. Mapmakers weren’t sure whether to draw it as land or water. Politicians dismissed it as uninhabitable swampland. Explorers described it as a “godforsaken” and “hideous” and “abominable” morass, “suitable only for the haunt of noxious vermin, or the resort of pestilential reptiles.”

When good wetlands go bad.


Those explorers never would have imagined that the Everglades would get so dry that it would burn out of control, or that desolate southern Florida would become a sprawling megalopolis. But those two weird developments are intimately related. The wildfires raging through nearly 40,000 acres of the Everglades this week are the direct legacy of the elaborate water-management system that made southern Fl... Read more

All Articles