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Mining operations like this one on Kayford Mountain, West Virginia, work around the clock; this lonely stand of trees disappeared in less than a day.
Mountaintop removal -- the name says it all -- is the most ruthless method yet found to extract coal as quickly and as cheaply as possible.

Features

A tale of blind salamanders, endangered snails, and one man's underground crusade.
How a small farm town traded its dairy cows for renewable energy.
Discoveries about the impact of the environment on our DNA could revolutionize our concept of illness.
Manufacturing microchips takes a colossal amount of scarce water. But in a hypercompetitive industry, conservation may actually help the bottom line.
Scrambled Eggs Q & A: Troubled Waters Telling It on the Mountain The UN's Facelift Cleaner than What?
What could be more geeky than the image of a birder checking species off a list? Maybe that same birder later, assiduously typing the list into a computer.