Inside the Dirty, Dangerous World of Carbon Flooding

Ecology, Threats

Inside the Dirty, Dangerous World of Carbon Flooding

Around the world, scientists and advocates call for keeping carbon in the ground as a means of staving off climate change. But in the Southwestern United States – mainly in Colorado and New Mexico – a mainstay of obtaining more oil is facilitated by doing the exact opposite: drilling pure reserves of carbon dioxide out of the ground.

After it’s extracted from these natural-source underground fields, the gas then gets piped to the Permian Basin, the nation’s top-producing oil fields of West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. There, oil companies use the CO2 to flood their wells, forcing the last dregs of crude to the surface in a process also known as enhanced oil recovery, or EOR.

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How Native Americans were vaccinated against smallpox, then pushed off their land

Disease, Threats

How Native Americans were vaccinated against smallpox, then pushed off their land

More than 180 years ago, the federal government launched the largest effort of its kind in the United States to vaccinate Native Americans against the deadly disease of smallpox.

With it ravaging Native American communities in the 1830s, the disease became a widespread public health crisis and threatened to curtail the government’s massive effort to force thousands of Native Americans from their lands in the East and push them West to reservations.

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Make it rain: US states embrace ‘cloud seeding’ to try to conquer drought

Ecology, Threats

Make it rain: US states embrace ‘cloud seeding’ to try to conquer drought

Cloud seeding involves adding small particles of silver iodide to clouds to spur rainfall – but will it work?

With three-quarters of the US west gripped by a seemingly ceaseless drought, several states are increasingly embracing a drastic intervention – the modification of the weather to spur more rainfall.

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