Florida Is Fighting to Feed Starving Manatees This Winter

Few vignettes show how much human activity has affected wildlife more than the scene at Florida Power & Light’s plant in Cape Canaveral. Hundreds of manatees bask in an intake canal on its southeast edge, drawn by the warm waters. These manatees are hungry. Pollution has decimated their usual menu of seagrasses in the Indian River Lagoon. Many have starved: 1,101 died in Florida in 2021, and as of December, 2022’s official estimate was nearly 800 deaths. So along the canal, members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are tossing them lettuce.

“It’s just emblematic of how dire the situation is,” says Rachel Silverstein, the executive director of environmental nonprofit Miami Waterkeeper. “The point where we would need to artificially feed a wild animal because their ecosystem is so destroyed that they cannot find food for themselves is pretty extreme.”

The supplemental feeding program began in early

You’ve Been Choosing Your Goals All Wrong

If you’re getting ready to set your yearly goals for 2023, stop. Chances are, you’re going about building and breaking habits all wrong, according to the experts—especially if you’re extremely motivated in January, but find yourself getting distracted or overwhelmed come February. Before we get into the specifics of how to start or break a habit that you’ll actually stick to, there are a few things you need to know.

The most important thing is that habits are actually separate from goals. “Goals are how we make decisions—how we commit to an exercise program, or to eating healthily, or to saving money,” says Wendy Wood, provost professor emerita of psychology and business at the University of Southern California and the author of Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick. “But habits are how you stick with a behavior.” 

That’s because once something becomes a

Alaska’s Arctic Waterways Are Turning a Foreboding Orange

This story originally appeared on High Country News and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Dozens of once crystal-clear streams and rivers in Arctic Alaska are now running bright orange and cloudy, and in some cases they are becoming more acidic. This otherwise undeveloped landscape now looks as if an industrial mine has been in operation for decades, and scientists want to know why.

Roman Dial, a professor of biology and mathematics at Alaska Pacific University, first noticed the stark water-quality changes while doing field work in the Brooks Range in 2020. He spent a month with a team of six graduate students, and they could not find adequate drinking water. “There’s so many streams that are not just stained, they’re so acidic that they curdle your powdered milk,” he said. In others, the water was clear, “but you couldn’t drink it because it had a really weird mineral

The Climate Struggle Literally Hit Home in 2022

That transition to an all-electric life—no more gas stoves or water heaters, either—will also create jobs. One estimate reckons that the IRA will create nearly a million per year over a decade. These should serve both red and blue regions: Rural areas might have solar or wind farms that need building and maintenance, while bluer urban areas have lots of buildings that need better insulation and heat pumps. “What a great opportunity for us to create jobs that are going to be highly skilled, well-paid labor that can’t be outsourced very easily,” says Foley. “You can’t insulate your attic from China.”

In an increasingly polarized US, the green economy stands to benefit the whole political spectrum. November’s midterm elections showed just how serious American voters have gotten about climate change. Democrats focused in large part on the end of Roe, to be sure, but also on climate, with

It’s Time to Break Bad Pandemic Learning Habits

I’ve been in academics for more than 20 years as a member of the physics faculty at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. Here, the department is small enough that all of us get to share in the course load, which is quite nice—it gives me an opportunity to teach a wide range of courses, from physical science (for non-science majors) all the way up to quantum mechanics.

During the first years of the pandemic, everyone in education had to adapt, and most of our activities weren’t conducted in the most ideal environment. At my school, we started off by moving all classes online using Google Meet. (That wasn’t too much fun.) This was supplemented with short lecture videos. (I actually enjoyed making those.) Next, we implemented a hybrid model where some students would be in class and some would be online. (This was terrible.)

While remote learning can have