Are Carbon Offsets Too Good to Be True?

Feeling a little guilty about that flight to London last month? No problem — you can offset that trip with credits from a reforestation project in Nicaragua, available at The thriving carbon-offset market in the U.S. allows individuals and companies to voluntarily offset their carbon footprints relatively painlessly — just point, click, and pay. […]

By Your Own Emissions

| We reported a while back that the true private mortality cost of smoking a pack of cigarettes is close to $222. It turns out smoking has a serious environmental impact as well. Assuming all 5.5 trillion cigarettes produced around the world each year get smoked, smokers produce 84,878 tons of particulate air pollution annually […]

Los Angeles Transportation Facts and Fiction: Smog

As part of an ongoing quiz about transportation in Los Angeles, in the last post I challenged the notion that the city is sprawling. But sprawl or no, Los Angeles's air is choked with its world-famous smog. Isn't it?

Answer: A half-truth.

FREAK Shots: Not Everyone Likes Free Parking

Blog reader Paul Gorbould emailed us this photo from a parking lot at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada: Photo: Paul Gorbould Gorbould understands the good intent of the spots: The site was recently declared a Unesco World Heritage Site, and it appears to have taken the designation […]

The Tennessee Coal-Ash Spill, in Pictures

I was stirring the syrup for a pecan pie when the phone rang. My friend Brenda Boozer called to tell me there had been a massive environmental disaster close to home, and could I possibly get away to take photographs?

How Should We Allocate CO2 Permits?

Doug Kysar and I have a piece in Slate that suggests a way forward on the vexing problem of how to allocate CO2 permits. The problem is that rich and poor countries want very different permit allocations: Generally speaking, richer nations want permit allotments that track historic emissions rates — essentially locking in their economic […]