Watch TIME’s Exclusive Footage of NASA’s Most Powerful Rocket Ever Under Construction
Environmental Crises Are Forcing Millions Into Cities. Can Countries Turn Climate Migrants Into an Asset?
Rockets are built slowly—slowly and exceedingly carefully—which is in keeping with giant machines on which humans stake their lives and nations stake their prestige. In NASA’s cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Canaveral, America’s next great moon rocket—the Space Launch System (SLS)—is being constructed with all that in mind. It is here too that TIME...
When he was a child, James Owuor loved hearing the elders talk about the way life used to be. So it comes as something of a surprise that at 38, he is now the one tasked with the job of describing the Before Times in Kenya’s Rift Valley. Before Lake Baringo started to rise, before…
WEDNESDAY 21. APRIL 2021
The Urgent Need to Change the Language We Use to Talk About the Climate Crisis
Judith Butler: Creating an Inhabitable World for Humans Means Dismantling Rigid Forms of Individuality
Forty years ago, as I was leaving my friend’s house to throw a baseball outside, his father stopped us for inspection.
“Where are you going?” Peter’s father asked. “When will you be back?” And most pointedly: “Have you done your homework?” Peter had, but I had not. “I’ll get around to it,” I said.
“Ah, well, here you...
However differently we register this pandemic we understand it as global; it brings home the fact that we are implicated in a shared world. The capacity of living human creatures to affect one another can be a matter of life or death. Because so many resources are not equitably shared, and so many have only a small or vanished share of the world, we cannot recognize the pandemic as global...
TUESDAY 20. APRIL 2021
These Women Are Transforming What Climate Leadership Looks Like. Here’s What They Learned From the Pandemic
The Case for Abandoning ‘Corporate Responsibility’ When We Judge Company Practices
The COVID-19 pandemic, like the climate crisis, is amplifying existing racial and gender injustices in our society. TIME editors Naina Bajekal and Elijah Wolfson moderated a conversation with two women working to create a more inclusive climate leadership space: American author, strategist and teacher Katharine Wilkinson, who co-founded and leads The All We Can Save…
In an earlier era, green referred to grass and trees and jealous eyes. But over the past half-century, green has taken on a life of its own. The Green movement deals with the collisions and contagions of the contemporary world—how to view them, and how to cure them.
The book from which this essay is excerpted, The Spirit of Green, examines a wide array of social, economic and political...
MONDAY 19. APRIL 2021
The Biden Administration Is Trying to Kickstart the Great American Electric Vehicle Race
How NASA’s Mars Helicopter Flight Opens the Door to More Ambitious Missions
American tailpipes have played an outsized role in global warming. In 2019, transportation accounted for 29% of the country’s human-generated emissions, the most of any sector tracked by the Environmental Protection Agency—and the U.S. is the world’s second-largest carbon emitter. The Biden Administration wants to clean up transportation’s dirty reputation, and make...
The Climate Real Estate Bubble: Is the U.S. on the Verge of Another Financial Crisis?
Mars is a lousy place to try to fly a helicopter. There’s the temperature, for one thing—a paralyzing -90º C (-130º F), frigid enough to cause nearly any machinery to freeze up and lock. There’s the remoteness too; Mars is currently 287 million km (178 million mi.) from Earth, meaning that radio signals, even moving at light speed, take nearly 16 minutes to travel...
1171 Shoreham looks much like it did when Anna Zimmerman lived there: modest but presentable. A good starter home for Zimmerman and her husband when they bought it in 2005, for a while it provided an idyllic existence in suburban Charleston, S.C., a community of friendly neighbors for their young child, a quaint backyard and even…
SATURDAY 17. APRIL 2021
Climate Change Is the Biggest Story on Earth. So Why Can’t Hollywood Make Good TV Shows and Movies About It?
Last summer, I wrote a short story entitled Rat Island, set in a post-pandemic United States. In it, the rule of law and social order have broken down, with mobs roaming the streets of Los Angeles. A wealthy group of people stand on top of a skyscraper, waiting for the helicopter that will whisk them away, but the crowd storms the building, desperate to board. In the fall of 2020 my agent...
FRIDAY 16. APRIL 2021
After Visiting Pluto, NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft Reaches Another Cosmic Milestone
The Unexpected Ways Climate Change is Reshaping College Education
On Jan. 19, 2006, the Earth lost half a ton. More precisely, it lost 1,054 lbs (478 kg), but it’s O.K. to round down, since the 13 octillion-pound planet hardly noticed the missing weight. The flyweight fleck of matter was very much born of the planet, a collection of metal and silicon and copper and rubber and plastics and foil and a bit of plutonium hammered together into the New...
‘When the Rain Stops:’ a New Short Story by Bryan Washington
In 2018, Scott McCaulay had a “Wizard of Oz moment.” He was a final-year architecture student at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland when the U.N. published a report warning that the world had 12 years to transform society to avoid catastrophic, irreversible climate change. Buildings, the report said, account for 20% of energy-related global greenhouse-gas emissions, and the...
We heard about the storm a week before the rains. Manny figured they wouldn’t be a problem. Jae disagreed. The news called it a minor inconvenience—a flash flood at most—but we’d learned not to lean too deep into forecasts.
In the morning, Houston felt sticky. Our heels slapped across the floorboards. We plodded around the house, yawning and stretching and tugging at our...
THURSDAY 15. APRIL 2021
Our Digital World Can Deliver a Greener Industrial Future
Our Planet Faces Twin Climate and Nature Crises. Here’s How We Can Tackle Both
The globalization of manufacturing has transformed some of the world’s poorest nations to unprecedented levels of economic prosperity. But the resulting increase in poorly controlled emissions and eco-degradation has caused unsustainable levels of local air and water pollution, destabilizing the climate and threatening biodiversity.
Just as the vast development of technology hastened...
The Story Behind TIME’s ‘Climate Is Everything’ Cover
Nature and climate are inextricably linked. Nature loss drives climate change and vice versa. Right now, both are in crisis.
Repairing our natural climate—reversing deforestation, for example, or conserving ecosystems to sequester and store carbon—addresses both these crises. So-called natural climate solutions are one of the most important and cost-effective ways to stay on track...
Vanessa Nakate: How Educating Girls Will Help Combat the Climate Crisis
To illustrate the dramatic effects of climate change on our interconnected world for the April 26 issue of TIME, we turned the cover canvas over to “an artist who paints without a paintbrush.”
Malaysian artist Red Hong Yi spent two weeks creating an image that is part sculpture, part performance art. She and her six-person team constructed a 7.5 x 10-foot world map out of 50,000...
Lisa P. Jackson: The Fight Against Climate Change Is a Fight for People
When you think of climate solutions, you probably think of renewable energy or electric vehicles. But while we need these kinds of innovations, there are other powerful solutions we are not paying proper attention to.
There exists an environmental solution that can reduce inequality, build resilience to the climate crisis and reduce emissions all at the same time. It’s called educating...
The Pandemic Remade Every Corner of Society. Now It’s the Climate’s Turn
When I was 8 years old, I wrote a letter asking President Nixon to do what he could to protect our planet. I didn’t know I’d one day go on to lead the agency he founded, the Environmental Protection Agency, or build on that work at Apple. But I saw the impact pollution was having on my community, contaminating our air and water. I knew then, as I know now, that when people’s...
On her third day as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Marcia Fudge phoned the White House. She had taken over an agency with a role to play addressing a range of crises as the lack of affordable housing in U.S. cities has left hundreds of thousands homeless and millions more in financial straits.…
WEDNESDAY 14. APRIL 2021
Trillions of ‘Brood X’ Cicadas Are About to Emerge Across the U.S. to Sing, Mate and Die. Here’s What to Expect
This coming May, millions of people around the United States will have front-row seats to an extraordinary entomological event: Trillions of Brood X cicadas across 15 states will emerge almost synchronously after having spent the last 17 years underground. The males will take up elevated positions, each buzzing as loud as a lawnmower to attract females. After mating, the adult cicadas will die...
MONDAY 12. APRIL 2021
Why We Should Be Spending More on Space Travel
Let’s stipulate one thing: there’s absolutely no reason for us to go to space. It does nothing to feed us, to clothe us, to protect us, to heal us. It’s dangerous and hideously expensive too, a budget-busting luxury that policy makers and administrators have spent decades trying to defend—always unsuccessfully because the fact is, there’s no practical defense for...
TUESDAY 6. APRIL 2021
Biden Is Pouring Billions into Offshore Wind Energy. Will It Be Enough?
Susan Stewart, a Penn State engineering professor specializing in wind energy, waited more than 10 years to see an offshore wind turbine up close. A pregnancy caused her to miss a chance in 2005 to tour offshore turbines in Europe. There, offshore wind farms have produced clean energy since the early 1990s, but regulatory roadblocks and a lack of political will left plans for U.S. plants...
FRIDAY 2. APRIL 2021
Space Can Take a Nasty Toll On An Astronaut’s Heart, Study Finds
It’s perfectly fine that human beings want to travel in space. But we have to reckon with the fact that space doesn’t want anything to do with us. The exterior environment of space, of course, represents instantaneous death, what with the killing cold and the absence of any atmosphere. But even inside a spacecraft or a space station—cozy, pressurized, temperature-controlled,...
SUNDAY 28. MARCH 2021
I Found a Rainbow At the End of My Hunt For a Vaccine Appointment
A version of this article also appeared in the It’s Not Just You newsletter. Sign up here to receive a new edition every Sunday. CHASING RAINBOWS (AND VACCINES) We humans are notoriously unreliable, superstitious narrators, always scanning the horizon for signs that validate what our hearts have already told us. Take me, for example. I…
THURSDAY 18. MARCH 2021
Digital NFT Art Is Booming—But at What Cost?
Listen to the Sounds of NASA’s Perseverance Rover Driving on Mars
In central Washington State, electric utilities are watching for homes with oddly high power usage after a recent surge in cryptocurrency prices collided with a boom in NFTs, or “non-fungible tokens”—an emerging technology that uses crypto platforms to authenticate ownership of digital files. In an emerging hype cycle, such digital assets have sold at auction for millions of...
You wouldn’t think sound could travel very well on Mars—what with the planet’s bare wisp of an atmosphere, which is just 1% the thickness of ours. Yet if you could stand without a spacesuit on the Martian surface (not advised) you’d actually hear plenty. That fact has already been confirmed by the Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars on Feb. 18 and, using a microphone...
WEDNESDAY 17. MARCH 2021
How Industrial Fishing Creates More CO2 Emissions Than Air Travel
It’s been well established by now that the agricultural systems producing our food contribute at least one fifth of global anthropogenic carbon emissions—and up to a third if waste and transportation are factored in. A troubling new report points to a previously overlooked source: an industrial fishing process practiced by dozens of countries around the world, including the United...
TUESDAY 16. MARCH 2021
Mars Has Much More Water Than Previously Known—But There’s a Catch
There’s never been much mystery surrounding the murder of Mars. Once a warm, wet world, Mars lost its magnetic field more than 4 billion years ago when its outer core cooled, shutting off the dynamo that kept the field in place. That exposed the planet to the solar wind, which clawed away at the atmosphere; and that in turn allowed the planet’s water to sputter off into space. To...
WEDNESDAY 10. MARCH 2021
U.N. Study Finds Just 2.5% of Pandemic Response Funds Committed So Far Will Help Fix the Climate and Environment
In 2020, the colliding crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly visible climate change led many governments, politicians and campaigners to adopt the slogan “build back better,” promising to use economic recovery funds to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels and create societies that are more resilient to extreme weather and other climate-related shocks.
TUESDAY 2. MARCH 2021
The COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on Global CO2 Emissions Didn’t Last Very Long
It’s awfully hard to find any upside in a global pandemic that’s sickened nearly 115 million people and killed more than 2.5 million. But throughout 2020, there was some good news buried in the bad concerning that other great infirmity: the sickly state of the earthly climate. When economies are booming and people are moving, greenhouse gasses soar. It follows then that economic...
FRIDAY 26. FEBRUARY 2021
They’re Healthy. They’re Sustainable. So Why Don’t Humans Eat More Bugs?
‘If This Task Was Urgent Before, It’s Crucial Now.’ U.N. Says World Has 10 Months to Get Serious on Climate Goals
If human beings could learn to add insects to their dinner plate, it would help save the planet
The language of diplomacy rarely allows for a true sense of emotion or urgency. But reading between the lines of the latest report commissioned by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)—the body representing the 197 member nations of the Paris Agreement to minimize a global average temperature rise this century—the message is clear. The world has precisely...
THURSDAY 25. FEBRUARY 2021
NASA Hid an Inspiring Message on the Parachute of the Mars Rover Perseverance
NASA’s Perseverance rover is the gift that keeps on giving.
In the wake of the rover’s awe-inspiring touchdown on Mars on Feb 18, an event that brought over 20 million people together to watch NASA’s livestream of the successful landing, there was even more to the incredible spectacle than met the eye. An intrepid computer science student and his father cracked a coded secret...
MONDAY 22. FEBRUARY 2021
Watch the Perseverance Rover Land on Mars in This Newly Released NASA Video
When the Perseverance rover touched down on Mars on Feb. 18, NASA controllers had only the data-stream coming back from the spacecraft to confirm that the hair-raising descent was going as planned. It was only when they got the “weight on wheels” signal—the confirmation that the rover was on the ground and supporting itself—that they knew the landing was a success.
SUNDAY 21. FEBRUARY 2021
The Science of Awe and the Mars Perseverance Rover
Why feeling awe inspires empathy
FRIDAY 19. FEBRUARY 2021
Lawyers Are Working to Put ‘Ecocide’ on a Par with War Crimes. Could an International Law Hold Major Polluters to Account?
Creating a legal definition of "ecocide" would allow environmental destruction to be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court
THURSDAY 18. FEBRUARY 2021
What Perseverance, NASA’s New Mars Rover, Will Be Doing in its Years on the Red Planet
There was plenty of reason to celebrate when the Perseverance rover successfully touched down in Mars’s Jezero Crater this afternoon. But in some ways, the rover showed up too late—3.5 billion years too late, in fact.
Long ago, in an earlier epoch, as studies of Mars have shown, Jezero Crater was Jezero Lake, a 45 km (28 mi.) depression in the northern Martian hemisphere, fed with...
TUESDAY 16. FEBRUARY 2021
Don’t Blame Wind Turbines for Texas’ Massive Power Outages
Don’t point too many fingers at Texas wind turbines, because they’re not the main reason broad swaths of the state have been plunged into darkness.
While ice has forced some turbines to shut down just as a brutal cold wave drives record electricity demand, that’s been the least significant factor in the blackouts, according to Dan Woodfin, a senior director for the Electric...
WEDNESDAY 10. FEBRUARY 2021
NASA’s Climate Communications Might Not Recover From The Damage Of Trump’s Systemic Suppression
Healthy Planet, Healthy People. How Slowing Climate Change Saves Lives
Before former U.S. President Donald Trump incited a hostile insurrection against the Capitol, he’d already smashed wrecking balls through the ranks of government agencies. Among the many casualties was the truth about climate science, which NASA was routinely prevented from sharing with the public that supports it.
I was the senior science editor for NASA’s Global Climate Change...
Just because the United States has re-joined the Paris Agreement doesn’t mean that the world is on a path to a better climate future. The 2015 agreement, in which signatories pledged to collectively cap global warming at “well below” 2°C above pre-industrial levels, is only the first step. Member nations still have to adopt ambitious carbon emission reduction plans, known...
SUNDAY 7. FEBRUARY 2021
FRIDAY 5. FEBRUARY 2021
Underwater Noise Pollution Is Disrupting Ocean Life—But We Can Fix It
The ocean soundtrack of the popular imagination is a largely silent one, interrupted only by the mournful aria of migrating whales or the acapella vocalizations of dolphin pods.
In fact, the underwater realm sounds more like an orchestra warming up, the cetaceans hitting their high notes while other marine mammals clear their throats against a background of breaking waves. A distant downpour...
FRIDAY 29. JANUARY 2021
The Biden Presidency Could Fundamentally Change the U.S. Space Program
Teed up for a new age space greatness
THURSDAY 28. JANUARY 2021
Agnes Kalibata, the UN’s Food Systems Chief, on How Science Can Transform Farming to Help Save the Planet
The UN Food Systems envoy spoke to TIME about the future of farming and why eating insects will likely remain a fringe idea.
MONDAY 11. JANUARY 2021
mRNA Technology Gave Us the First COVID-19 Vaccines. It Could Also Upend the Drug Industry
The remarkable scientific discoveries behind the new COVID-19 Vaccines