April 22 has been Earth Day for 53 years. It started as a call for recovery from a polluted environment and has since focused on climate change.
Since we cover news and events impacting our planet every day, we have put together this list of articles which we hope will inspire, surprise and entertain you. It’s not exhaustive. To stay up to date with everything we do, consider signing up for our twice-weekly newsletter, Climate Forward.
1. Here’s how a couple fought to “naturalise” their lawn and eventually changed state law.
2. And how a farmer reached a truce with beavers.
As global warming intensifies droughts, floods and wildfires, Agee Smith has become one of a growing number of farmers, scientists and other “beaver believers” who see the creatures not only as helpers, but as furry weapons of climate resilience.
Mr. Smith’s father, Horace Smith, has blown many beaver dams in his life. But working with beavers can help store precious water and rejuvenate climate-ravaged land. As long as you don’t blow up their houses.
It was war. Then a rancher’s truce with some pesky beavers paid off.
It is a lesson in coexistence with other species, many of which are endangered by a staggering decline in biodiversity.
3. California has had a wild weather year. Scientists saw it coming.
In August, scientists published a paper exploring what could happen if a “mega storm” hit California. By January, the state had been hit by a large number of atmospheric rivers, though not to the extent the paper had suggested. But it was a reminder of how a warmer planet is one with more extreme weather and raised questions about whether our approach to crippling storms is up to the challenge of 21st century climate threats.
4. The majestic monsoon affects nearly a quarter of humanity. And it’s changing in dangerous ways.
The rainy season throughout South Asia is a spectacular time of the year, captured through the ages in poetry, in films, in popular music and in everyday life. But now climate change is making the season much more dangerous and unpredictable.
We captured the beauty and the danger while traveling through the region. Along the way, we encountered remarkable stories, including a group of rural schoolchildren who helped run an innovative early warning system
5. Surprising Solutions: How to Bury Carbon Dioxide in a Concrete Block.
Large buildings are a major source of emissions. To solve that, a New York City company wants to capture carbon dioxide at its source, liquefy it and bury it in concrete blocks as pictured above. In fact, he already does.
If that seems like a cumbersome way to reduce emissions, it is. But it turns out that some of the more obvious ways to reduce emissions, such as substituting gas and oil for cleaner electric heating, can be a costly and logistical challenge.
This is all in response to a sweeping new climate law in New York City requiring buildings to reduce emissions or face fines. It has turned the city into a laboratory of sorts, forcing change and innovation as property owners scramble to avoid hefty fines.
6. Seaweed: The slimy stuff with lots of superpowers
Look, in the ocean. It’s a snack. It’s a blob. It’s seaweed.
Seaweed is having a moment well beyond its traditional, delicious place in Asian cuisine.
Scientists and entrepreneurs are experimenting with seaweed-based plastic substitutes. They are exploring the potential to extract carbon dioxide from the air. And they feed it to cattle to make them farm less methane.
Still, there are big questions. For example, can seaweed itself thrive in a warming world?
7. Meet two climate activists, 40 years apart in age.
Bill McKibben published his first book more than 20 years before Xiye Bastida was born. But as climate leaders, they agree that “hope is the most important thing for an activist.” The Times spoke to both of them this year.
Ask your climate questions here, on Earth Day or any other day.
Climate change is a big subject that is difficult to comprehend. We have collected answers to big and small climate questions and also take note of new questions that need to be answered.