December 1993

  • The True Cost of Coal

    Coal accounts for more than half of America's electricity because it is so cheap—and it remains cheap because no one pays the very large hidden costs of its mining and burning

  • Not Fanatics and Not Friends

    The leaders of post-revolutionary Iran may claim to be keeping the faith—but they know how badly they need the West. What should we do when they say it's time to let bygones be bygones?

  • In Search of Monster

    In a chilling autobiography a former gang member portrays himself as the inevitable product of a hellish environment. The truth is more interesting.

  • How the World Works

    Americans persist in thinking that Adam Smith's rules for free trade are the only legitimate ones. But today's fastest-growing economies are using a very different set of rules. Once, we knew them—knew them so well that we played by them, and won. Now we seem to have forgotten

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

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