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Lisa Margonelli

Lisa Margonelli
Lisa Margonelli is the author of Oil On the Brain: Petroleum's Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank. She is currently working on a book about termites.

Recent articles

How Farouk al Kasim Saved Norway From Its Oil

After growing up watching the benefits of Iraqi oil elude the Iraqi people, a young executive insisted that Norway do things differently.

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Meet the Flexians

A new professional class of movers and shakers—people who serve overlapping roles in government, business, and media with smiling finesse—is controlling the flow of power and money in America. The anthropologist Janine Wedel is bent on making us understand just how dangerous this new normal can be.

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The Environmental Defense Fund Is Pissing Off Fellow Environmentalists

Has the large advocacy group allowed itself to be “co-opted by industry interests”?

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Nikola Tesla Would Not Approve of Your Online Viewing Habits

Collectively, we’ve spent more than 50 years watching the Tesla vs. Thomas Edison rap smackdown that went viral on YouTube.

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How the Trailer Park Could Save Us All

A healthy, inexpensive, environmentally friendly solution for housing millions of retiring baby boomers is staring us in the face. We just know it by a dirty name.

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Guide to a Sizzling Planet

Not everyone is a pessimist when it comes to predicting the impact of climate change. Too bad the optimists aren’t nearly as convincing.

The Casino Pier Star Jet roller coaster submerged in the sea on January 13, 2013 in Seaside Heights, NJ. (PHOTO: GLYNNIS JONES/SHUTTERSTOCK)

The Energy Debate We Aren’t Having

The energy boom has the nation mired in chatter about a burgeoning job market, or panicked over certain environmental destruction. Instead, we should be asking: To whom will go the spoils of this bonanza, and on whose shoulders will the risks fall?

Anti-fracking activists hold a rally outside a Democratic Party policy summit in New York in August 2012 to express their opposition to fracking to Governor Andrew Cuomo. (PHOTO: ALLAN TANNENBAUM/NEWSCOM)

Why We Should Drop the ‘Mad Max’ Metaphors

In Namibia, the filmmakers creating ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ have run into a different kind of fury, and few roads.

A rare still from 'Mad Max: Fury Road,' with Tom Hardy in the role of Max Rockatansky

The Formula

How an equation cooked up by Mussolini’s numbers guy came to define how we think about inequality—from Occupy Wall Street to the World Bank to the billionaires at Davos—and why it’s time to find a new way of looking at the numbers.

(ILLUSTRATION: MARK MCGINNIS)

Mouse-Infest Destiny

Most of our homes are soaked in mouse urine. It’s at the core of our asthma epidemic—but it helps rodents stay connected.

(ILLUSTRATION: GRAHAM SMITH)

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Quick Studies

Banning Chocolate Milk Was a Bad Choice

The costs of banning America's favorite kids drink from schools may outweigh the benefits, a new study suggests.

In Battle Against Climate Change, Cities Are Left All Alone

Cities must play a critical role in shifting the world to a fossil fuel-free future. So why won't anybody help them?

When a Romance Is Threatened, People Rebound With God

And when they feel God might reject them, they buddy up to their partner.

How Can We Protect Open Ocean That Does Not Yet Exist?

As global warming melts ice and ushers in a wave of commercial activity in the Arctic, scientists are thinking about how to protect environments of the future.

What Kind of Beat Makes You Want to Groove?

The science behind the rhythms that get you on the dance floor.

The Big One

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014