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Comment: Pipe Dreams: What have we learned from the Volkswagen Clean-Diesel scandal?

It came to light this fall that Volkswagen had emplaced so-called defeat devices in millions of clean-diesel cars, thus allowing the cars to pass emissions tests but still drive the way consumers wanted. Many questions remain, but the scandal has already provided important lessons about consumer behavior, markets and the temptation to cheat in this new era of environmental anxiety.

18 Nov 2015

Comment: Remarkable geology sets new Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument apart

In the Coast Ranges west of Sacramento, Calif., lies a wilderness of steep-sided canyons, mountainous terrain, rich biological diversity, and cultural and historical significance. But it’s the geology of this region that makes it worthy of designation as a national monument.

12 Nov 2015

Comment: Exoplanets: Life on the Terminator

New missions are searching for potentially life-bearing exoplanets around small, cool, red dwarf stars. On many of these exoplanets, the habitable zone lies on the line between sunlight and shadow, which, ironically, is called “the terminator.” Would life be able to exist in the terminator zones?

10 Sep 2015

Comment: Who should be worried about space weather

If a severe solar storm were headed toward Earth, should you worry? And to whom should you turn for reliable information?
25 Jul 2015

Comment: The arrival of the energy future

In the U.S., both solar and wind energy more than tripled between 2008 and 2013. Renewables are now the fastest growing energy sources. But the first steps on a new path often are tentative and require reinforcement.
25 Jun 2015

Comment: The new frontier: Homesteading on Mars

Once relegated to science fiction, the idea of humans colonizing Mars could become a reality. But the lack of an international agreement governing the colonization of other planets challenges us to think about how to use the resources of space fairly, efficiently and ethically.
25 May 2015

Comment: When scientists come under legal attack

When scientific findings contradict some groups’ ideologies or business interests, they resort to legal tactics to stymie research. Here’s what scientists can do if it happens to them.
18 Apr 2015

Comment: Our flawed perceptions of risk

Growing up in Southern California, the author knew the damage earthquakes could do, but didn’t worry about it as much as distant friends and family did. New research suggests this phenomenon may come down to how we perceive probabilities and risk.

23 Mar 2015

Comment: Rebuilding geology faculty in Afghanistan

A Pentagon program to improve geology and mining education in Afghanistan enlisted a team of geologists from Nebraska, Missouri and Turkey, including the author, to help. 

24 Feb 2015

Comment: Supersites: Sharing geoscience data for science and society

In 2005, the United Nations developed the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) program, a collaboration of 89 institutions and organizations that sustain comprehensive Earth-observing capabilities for the benefit of humankind. One of GEO's programs is the Geohazard Supersites and Natural Laboratories initiative, which is focused on sharing spaceborne and other geophysical data to understand geohazards and to promote preparedness and hazard mitigation.

22 Jan 2015

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