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Observations

Observations

Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific American

The Cool City Challenge: Getting a Low-Carbon Lifestyle to Catch On

The Cool City Challenge: Getting a Low-Carbon Lifestyle to Catch On

Most people are aware that reducing carbon emissions could help the planet. But convincing a particular individual to change his or her behavior in ways that emit less carbon—not to mention the behavior of an entire city—can be a monumental challenge.David Gershon, founder of the Empowerment Institute in Woodstock, N.Y., is taking on that challenge, with help from three urban managers who hope their cities can become models for the future.Gershon, who authored the 2006 book and program Low Carbon Diet, has spent 20 years researching how to change community behavior.

March 30, 2012 — Mark Fischetti
How to Fight Food Insecurity, Even in a Changing Climate

How to Fight Food Insecurity, Even in a Changing Climate

Image courtesy of iStockphoto/ookpiks About 800 million people worldwide do not get enough food to eat, while about 1.5 billion are overweight. As the global population expands by an additional 2 billion people by 2050 and climate change alters traditional agricultural areas, scientists and policy makers are racing to figure out how to address both problems.

March 28, 2012 — Katherine Harmon
Report from Former U.S. Marine Hints at Whereabouts of Long-Lost Peking Man Fossils

Report from Former U.S. Marine Hints at Whereabouts of Long-Lost Peking Man Fossils

Replica of one of the Peking Man fossils. Image: Yan Li, via Wikimedia Commons In the 1930s archaeologists working at the site of Zhoukoudian near Beijing recovered an incredible trove of partial skulls and other bones representing some 40 individuals that would eventually be assigned to the early human species Homo erectus .

March 22, 2012 — Kate Wong

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ObservationsOpinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific American

Confronting Common Wisdom