For Americans, the automobile horn is emergency equipment, deployed to avoid collision or express road rage. For Indians, the horn is more of a conversational tool, used by everyone — and I mean everyone — as they jostle in traffic. The racket is deafening. One wonders if the Indian motorist is some sort of terrestrial bat, navigating with ears instead of eyes. [...]
The East Coast isn’t know for its heart-pumping outdoor adventure sports, but whitewater kayaking is something that Washington, D.C. does very well. In this story, I explain a foray into whitewater kayaking in a way that I hope is both amusing and instructive. [...]
A post I wrote for Forbes about tidal power in Maine has generated some controversy among the people of Eastport. [...]
In August 2011, I visited New York City in search of its most interesting and attractive green roofs. Here are the best in one entertaining video slideshow. Based on research and visits, I believe the five sites captured here represent the best green roofs in New York, and by “best” I mean I the most unique, diverse and beautiful. If there is a fabulous planted roof in New York that I missed, or another unforgettable spot elsewhere in the country that deserves attention, please let me know in the comments. [...]
At the southernmost tip of India lies the Muppandal Wind Farm, the biggest source of wind energy in India and one of the largest in Asia. I drove through it by accident a few days ago and and can report that Muppandal is as curious and multilayered as India itself. [...]
On a recent trip to India, I came to understand one reason why India’s per-capita electricity consumption is 15 times less than that in the United States. [...]
The piece, “Wilderness Calling,” is part of KQED’s Perspectives series, where regular people make their best case on a topic of the day. While some might question if I’m a regular person, I have formed an emphatic opinion about the growing use of cellphones in the great outdoors, based on a jarring experience I had in Yosemite National Park last summer. Listen to the whole thing below. [...]
Today I visited Washington, D.C. to cover the Blue Vision Summit, a gathering of ocean scientists and ocean activists, and rarely have I been so depressed and inspired in the space of a single speech.
Roger Payne addresses the Blue Vision conference.
That speech was the keynote by Roger Payne, the biologist who discovered [...]
What does it smell like in a wastewater treatment plant? Not as bad as you might think. A powerful chemical-detergent smell pervades, masking something the nose can’t quite identify.
These “climber screens” are the first line of defense, where things like rags and sticks are taken out.
Once through [...]