www.nytimes.com

Earthlings, unite: Let’s go to Mars.

While the author of this op-ed concludes that going to Mars would be a healthy sign that we, as a civilization, are still planning a future, his comment that "it's an insane proposal" seems closer to the mark. Imagining we can go to Mars at any scale commensurate with the goal of saving civilization distracts from much more important and immediate tasks in front of us, essential to ensuring that some semblance of civilization persists through the coming decades.

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Credit: WWF Malaysia/William Joseph
Children

Balancing palm oil and protected forests to conserve orangutans

Orangutan populations have decreased in fragmented forest areas near palm oil plantations, but they have remained fairly stable in protected forests, giving conservationists some hope for the species' future amid continued decline, according to a new study.

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Corals in American Samoa region that survived a 2015 bleaching event. (Credit: Stephen Palumbi)
Originals

“A friend is gone:” Handpicking hardy corals to save them from warming waters

When Steve Palumbi and a group of scientists arrived in American Samoa in 2017, they saw a grim scene. Acropora hyacinthus, a charismatic coral shaped like large plates, was dying out.

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Wil C. Fry/flickr
Toxics

Widely used PVC plastic chemical spurs obesity, prediabetes: Study

Mice exposed in the womb to a chemical used in PVC plastic, door and window frames, blinds, water pipes, and medical devices were more likely to suffer from prediabetes and obesity, according to a study released this week.

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