WIRED April 2020

The Wired mission is to tell the world something they've never heard before in a way they've never seen before. It's about turning new ideas into everyday reality. It's about seeding our community of influencers with the ideas that will shape and transform our collective future. Wired readers want to know how technology is changing the world, and they're interested in big, relevant ideas, even if those ideas challenge their assumptions—or blow their minds.

United States
Conde Nast US
USD 7.99
USD 29.99
12 Números

en este número

3 min.
an awesome question

NOT LONG AGO, I WAS DRIVING WITH MY three sons back from trying to ski on a mountain that doesn’t really have snow anymore, and we were talking about climate change. They’re 11, 9, and 6, and they’re upset, as they should be. They know that their adult years will be spent in a world of raging fires, flash floods, and mass extinction. They love Greta and resent their elders. The future feels different and vaster when the actuarial tables give you 80 years to go, not 40. We talked about turning our thermostats down, eating less meat, and putting the cable box on a smart plug. I promised to install solar panels. I tried futilely to explain what capitalism is and why it was still a reasonable way to organize…

18 min.
the warm war

THE FIRST HUGE RENEWABLE-ENERGY revolution—the one that dotted the US with hydroelectric dams and ultimately made power ubiquitous in every American home—started at a bankruptcy sale. In 1877, Jacob Schoellkopf went to an auction for a waterway owned by the Niagara Falls Canal Company. A succession of entrepreneurs had tried and failed to harness the ferocious power of the falling water. That night he told his wife, “Momma, I bought the ditch.” Two years later, Thomas Edison made a light bulb that glowed for 40 continuous hours in his lab. Three years after that, Schoellkopf installed a generator below the falls to power 16 electric lamps above it. Those first lights wowed tourists and gave people a sense of the powerful waterfall’s potential. But they didn’t reveal how to generate power that…

10 min.
here’s where you come in

ONE AFTERNOON IN DECEMBER, I TOOK THE 4 train from my home in the South Bronx to an apartment near Union Square. I had been invited to lead a conversation with a handful of artists about the climate crisis and their place in it. What I found was an intimate gathering of six or seven people. After some milling about over plates of cake and mugs of coffee, we started remembering Hurricane Sandy. We marveled at how much our experiences differed based on the borough or neighborhood we lived in. Sandy turned the Lower East Side—which was originally built for low-income communities but is now fairly affluent—into a place where police cars were submerged and electricity was scarce. Meanwhile, the South Bronx, originally built for the affluent but now the poorest…

24 min.
force of nature

37% THE PART THAT “NATURAL CLIMATE SOLUTIONS” COULD PLAY BETWEEN NOW AND 2030 TO KEEP GLOBAL TEMPERATURE RISE BELOW 2 DEGREES C. KEN BIBLE STEPS OVER A CARPET OF bracken and vanilla leaf to get closer to the big Douglas fir. He gives its furrowed bark an affectionate slap, as if introducing a prize racehorse. “It’s about 70 meters tall and 2.6 meters in diameter,” Bible says, leaning back to take in the behemoth stretching above him. From way down here on the shady floor of the forest, he has no hope of seeing all the way to the tree’s top. But thanks to a 279-foot-high tower that rises above the trees, Bible, who helps manage this site on behalf of the US Forest Service, has had the chance to know this…

1 min.
sea change

Oceans make up 71 percent of Earth, and give us food, work, and a habitable planet. They also absorb 90 percent of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gases and about 30 percent of all CO2 released into the atmosphere. For that they get: acidification, less oxygen, dying sea life. Three things that could help: 1. According to Janis Searles Jones at Ocean Conservancy, we will lose nearly all coral reefs if temperatures rise by 2 degrees. At the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, scientists are working to make coral more resilient; they’ve successfully bred the endangered pillar coral for the first time in a lab. And the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is preserving coral specimens to preserve biodiversity—like a seed bank for corals. 2. Warming waters are driving fish species to relocate.…

8 min.

8% PORTION OF GLOBAL CARBON EMISSIONS PRODUCED BY THE CEMENT INDUSTRY IF YOU FIND YOURSELF AT THIS MOMENT in a city of any size, take a look out the window. Most of what you see is made with a single material, one that dominates our world: concrete. It makes up the bulk of virtually every office tower, shopping mall, highway, and airport on earth. We produce tens of billions of tons of the stuff every year—enough to build a 100-foot wall right around the equator. And that tonnage is certain to grow in coming years, as cities continue to mushroom in China, Nigeria, and other fast-developing nations. Concrete is wonderfully useful, but it comes at a steep cost: The industry that makes it eructs about 8 percent of all annual carbon…