Backcountry adventurers know they’re taking chances

Six people have died in avalanches in the United States since the snow started to fly this fall. Every year, an average of 27 people —skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, snowshoers — die this way.

It’s do or die for the Great Salt Lake

Last November, the Great Salt Lake, iconic landmark of the Great Basin Desert, fell to its lowest surface elevation ever recorded. The lake had lost 73% of its water and 60% of its area. More than 800 square miles of lakebed sediments were laid bare to become dust sources laden with heavy metals.

America struggles to ‘finally fix sharp pain of racism’

When Tyre Nichols woke up the morning of the last day of his life, I feel certain that he wasn’t thinking about racism or the chance that it might be his end, though he’d likely had “the talk” from his parents at an early age. He’d pushed it back, seeking peace and joy in a life he shared with friends, family and his community. To do otherwise would create a constant state of fear, precluding any quality of life, the ability to just get through it all and grow up.

The West is an exploiter’s paradise

High on a mesa where everyone can see it, a trophy house is going up in the northern Colorado valley where I live. Some of my neighbors hear that the house will be as big as 15,000 square feet. Others say it will take three years to complete. Whether that is valley gossip or truth, the house is now the center of everybody’s attention.

It’s time to ask tough questions about our nation’s spending priorities

The ability to solve complex problems is a sign of maturity, intelligence and, some would argue, what separates humans from other species. Difficult questions can engage perception, knowledge, problem solving, judgment, language and memory.

Banning books is for bullies

Some people have become so alarmed by what children might read in school or in libraries that they want books they don’t like removed — immediately. The targeted books include scenes of sexual awakening, gender identity, racism or violence.

What a long, strange trip to kill four dams

Finally, after a 50-year effort, four massive dams on the Klamath River in northern California and Oregon will start coming down this July.

They never tire of abusing Dr. King

During the fight over the new House Speaker election, Congress member Chip Roy (R-Texas), who voted against the anti-lynching act last March, had the immoral temerity to quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He did so as he explained how he was positioning himself to the hardliner right of rightwing Kevin McCarthy (R-California).

The ‘energy gap’ nobody wants to tussle with

Many Western states have declared they will achieve all-renewable electrical goals in just two decades. Call me naïve, but haven’t energy experts predicted that wind, sun and other alternative energy sources aren’t up to the job?

Woman, life and freedom: Iran protests and U.S. policy

Streets in dozens of Iran cities are filled with angry people in popular protests that have already gone on much longer—three months and counting—than those in 2009 and 2019. The unrest erupted when news broke on September 16 that a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, had died in the custody of the morality police after being accused of violating Iran’s mandatory head scarf law.