An energy company wants to build a pipeline above a natural aquifer in an area where earthquakes can happen.

In Boxtown, two men sit on a horse-drawn carriage after collecting wood to warm their houses. The year was 1960, when power plant industries developed rapidly across the United States. It brought electricity to thousands, but Boxtown itself still did not have such reliable energy. After decades of pollution, now, Byhalia Pipeline LLC wants to develop infrastructure that would carry crude oil there. Credit: University of Memphis Libraries, Ken Ross

Memphis’ most legendary natural wonder is not something you can easily see, even though it measures thousands of vertical feet. It runs as deep as the Appalachian Mountains on the other side of Tennessee are tall.

Formed millions of years ago when the land cooled from erupting volcanos, an underground aquifer collected pristine water for centuries with protection from alternating clay layers that formed along the way.

Called the Memphis Sands, it contains an estimated 57 trillion gallons of water that is so prestigious that, in theory, it could be drunk right from the source — with no technical filtration…


Forests burn. Carbon emits. Climate warms. Repeat.

Wildfire smoke hangs in the lower tree line of Mount St. Helens in the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest. Photo taken by Ashli Blow.

Thalia Dockery was on a flight from San Jose to Las Vegas after visiting with family. She forgot her headphones and turned to gaze out the window when she sat up in her seat and started fumbling for her phone. A plume of dense smoke in terrifying proportions, nearly nine miles high, billowed near the wing of the plane.

“It was a bit ominous,” Dockery told me in a direct message. “I thought it was just a huge cloud. Then I looked at the bottom, and it reminded me of a tree with roots. …


Netflix is essentially an empty tube of toothpaste right now. As social distancing continues, we’re all just scraping it against the bathroom counter to get any morsel that may be left inside it. So after giving up on the game show where people stay awake 24 hours to count quarters, a travel show like “Down To Earth” sounded quite nice.

In “Down To Earth” episode 1, The Bros travel along the tourist-laden Golden Circle to learn about renewable energy.

During the seemingly self-aware opening Zac Efron lay shirtless in Icelandic natural hot springs as iconic documentary narrator David Attenbourough graces us with his wisdom, “Energy here in this strange world, it is all around us.”

I thought, finally, producers…


A life in captivity separated the Dinos wolf pack and took away their chance to be wild. “Haven” tells their story.

Read my comic, illustrated by Tyler Parker, below. We intended to release the comic during Emerald City Comic Con this spring. Due to COVID-19, we’re releasing it digitally, with printed distribution postponed until summer 2021.


Doesn’t it feel like every day we’re waking up to another startling article about our changing climate? Well, that’s because we are.

Devastating wildfires. New projections of rising sea levels. The U.S. officially peacing out of the Paris agreement. Student marches for climate action. It all happened in just two months — and that’s just scraping the surface.

Yes, climate change is happening now, but these headlines have been decades in the making.

Inspired by Yale economist and Nobel Laureate William D. Nordhaus’ 1995 paper “Climates past and climate change future,” I did a series for Inktober — an annual Instagram challenge to ink regularly throughout October — sharing overlooked climate headlines and stories over the last decade.

I just learned how…

Ashli Blow

Ashli is a writer in Seattle, who talks with people about the environment, health, and transportation. ➡️ ashliblow.com

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