Nonprofit journalism dedicated to creating a Human Age we actually want to live in.

Summer 2012

Volume 13, Number 2


Making Land
Southern Louisiana is one of the world’s fastest-disappearing landmasses. Cutting the losses may mean letting in the floods.
By Hal Herring

Repacking the Future
A new generation of packaging engineers is breaking out of the plastic clamshell. They’re not only using less material—they’re growing biodegradable containers out of mushrooms, bacteria, and even sewage.
Photo Essay

An Inside Job
John Edel, a Chicago entrepreneur, has transformed an abandoned meat-packing facility into the nation’s first vertical farm. His goal is to bring large-scale, net-zero-waste food production right into the middle of the city.
By Jennifer Cockrall-King

The Best Ideas Money Can Buy 
The prize pool for environmental innovation challenges increased twelvefold in the past ten years—and shows no sign of easing up. But does crowdsourcing solutions pay off for the world as well as the winners?
By Marc Gunther


Agent for the Resistance
John Nielsen talks with Stephen Palumbi about the search for heat-resistant corals


Nanocellulose Is No Small Thing
Trees could become part of electronics, medical devices, and military gear
Conservation Drones
Small, remote-controlled planes explore large, hard-to-reach places
C.O.W.S. Turn Food Waste into Hot Water
Closed-loop composting system draws inspiration from the inner workings of ruminants
A Taste for Change
Divorcing shark-fin soup from Asian wedding menus
A Better Way to Dye
Coloring fabric using pressurized CO2—instead of water—could clean up the textile industry
Whither the Windcatcher?
Old-world cooling system makes a comeback in modern green buildings

Think Again

Tall Wood
Sustainable skyscrapers of the future may harken back to the log cabin era
By Sarah DeWeerdt

Journal Watch

Shade is sweet for cocoa and wildlife
Biofuel cell in snail generates power
Pollen levels rise with CO2 levels
Women’s rights keep emissions down
Noise pollution may harm trees
Rerouting planes around the Arctic Circle could slow sea-ice melt
Guns don’t deter bears any more than common sense
Illegal bird sales in street markets drain biodiversity

The Essayist

All the Time in the World
Extreme longevity can lead to a false sense of permanence
By Rachel Sussman

Mixed Media

The Lost Art of Listening
A Review of Bernie Krause’s The Great Animal Orchestra
By Dawn Stover

Art & Science
Underwater sculpture museums double as artificial reefs

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