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  • Species to be bred in captivity and released back to the wild

    In the latest initiative by developers to go green, a consortium of builders has created the “Condo Restoration Fund.” Condos, which once ranged freely over the California landscape, are now being displaced by red-legged frogs, pocket mice, giant kangaroo rats, and other ridiculous creatures, said Diggem Fast, the president of the fund. Can these condos […]

  • Pavement is replacing the world's croplands

    As the new century begins, the competition between cars and crops for cropland is intensifying. Until now, the paving over of cropland has occurred largely in industrial countries, home to four-fifths of the world’s 520 million automobiles. But now, more and more farmland is being sacrificed in developing countries with hungry populations, calling into question […]

  • Pounding the Pavement

    3 million — number of acres of open space developed each year in the U.S. 40 — percentage increase in acreage of developed land in the U.S. between 1982 and 1997 1891 — year in which the first road was paved in the U.S. 2.4 million — number of miles of paved public roads in […]

  • Development runs wild in the upper Midwest

    In an arm-wrestling contest, you’d probably pick Paul Bunyan over John Lawlis. Bunyan, after all, wielded his mighty ax with mythic strength and endurance, leveling the great forests of the upper Midwest. John Lawlis merely works the phones, selling vacation lots in what’s left of these woods. “I think Paul would definitely win,” laughs Lawlis. […]

  • How Ballard is leading the charge to spread fuel cells far and wide

    "Our long-term goal is very simple," said California Gov. Gray Davis (D) outside the state capitol in Sacramento in April 1999. "Zero emissions in the air. Zero. Nada. Nothing. Zip." A crowd had gathered to hear Davis announce a major new state initiative, and to see the latest non-polluting automobiles to be unveiled by DaimlerChrysler and Ford. Running on electricity, the peppy performance of these cars dazzled the spectators. The two auto giants promised to have them in commercial production around 2003 or 2004. A new era of environmentally friendly transportation had begun.

  • It's Report-Card Time

    The timing is unbearable. Here on my desk in the middle of the blooming, buzzing month of May is the best report yet on the state of the world’s ecosystems. Best not because it contains good news — it doesn’t — but because it’s short and clear and blunt. The report evaluates the health of […]