The Green Book
Where the Wild Things Were
How Conservation Efforts are Faltering
The Globalization of Animal Welfare
More Food Does Not Require More Suffering
Africa’s Anti-Poaching Problem
How Wildlife Trade Bans Are Failing the Continent's Animals
How Technology Is Transforming Conservation
Animal Rights, Animal Wrongs
The Case for Nonhuman Personhood
The Day the Earth Ran Out
The Causes and Consequences of Earth Overshoot Day
Environmental Alarmism, Then and Now
The Club of Rome’s Problem—and Ours
Is Growth Good?
Resources, Development, and the Future of the Planet
No Wars for Water
Why Climate Change Has Not Led to Conflict
The Devolution of the Seas
The Consequences of Oceanic Destruction
How Yemen Chewed Itself Dry
Farming Qat, Wasting Water
Suicide By Drought
How China is Destroying Its Own Water Supply
A Light in the Forest
Brazil's Fight to Save the Amazon and Climate-Change Diplomacy
The Reincarnation Machine
From Cars to Skyscrapers, Indiana to Shandong
The Great Leap Backward?
Pollution Without Revolution
Why China's Environmental Crisis Won't Bring Down the Regime
Harder to Breathe
India's Pollution Crisis—And What To Do About It
Why We Still Need Nuclear Power
Making Clean Energy Safe and Affordable
Tough Love for Renewable Energy
Making Wind and Solar Power Affordable
Cleaning Up Coal
From Climate Culprit to Solution
Don't Just Drill, Baby -- Drill Carefully
How to Make Fracking Safer for the Environment
How Chinese Innovation is Changing Green Technology
Beijing's Big Gamble on Renewables
The First Cold War
The Environmental Lessons of the Little Ice Age
The Geoengineering Option
A Last Resort Against Global Warming?
The Truth About Geoengineering
Science Fiction and Science Fact
The Climate Threat We Can Beat
What It Is and How to Deal With It
How Big Business Can Save the Climate
Multinational Corporations Can Succeed Where Governments Have Failed
That scrapyard smell is strong, even when you’re driving in an air-conditioned pickup. I’m seated next to Dave Stage, the affable manager of OmniSource’s immense scrapyard in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and he’s giving me a brief driving tour of the facility, along with my soon-to-be wife, Christine, in the jump seat. This is a first for me: I don’t usually take anyone on reporting trips. But if we’re going to marry, then Christine needs to know why I like all this scrap so much.
Dave slows to point out stacks of junked Coke and Pepsi vending machines. There must be hundreds. “Most of them still have fluorescent bulbs and refrigerator compressors that we have to pull out,” he says. Both items contain hazardous materials that need to be recycled elsewhere. “After that, we shred them.”
I look back at Christine. “In the automobile shredder.”
She flashes me an annoyed look meant to convey that, yes, she knows.
But I know she doesn’t: until you’ve seen your first auto shredder, you can’t.
Dave parks the truck at the office, and we step into a hot, yellow brass sun. All around me I hear the groan and crunch of scrap-processing equipment at work, turning ordinary objects into raw materials. “You’ll need these.” Dave hands us hard hats, safety glasses, and orange vests.
There are two piles of scrap steel in front of us, both roughly two stories tall. The one on the left is rusty in color, made up mostly of unrecognizable pieces of metal cut into short lengths that can be managed -- and melted -- by a steel mill. In industry parlance, that’s “prepared steel.”
The pile to the right, meanwhile, is a multicolored crush of everything from fences to old machine tools, scaffolding, pipes, a few bicycles, at least one swing set, and lots of shelving. This is known as “unprepared steel,” meaning that it needs to be cut
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