Since a great deal of "nature writing" in the textbooks I had to choose from is elegaic, I provided a variety of sources for students to read, many of which provided business- and hard science-minded perspectives. We didn't just look at belletristic essays. We hit science-laden articles and a variety of articles that look at diverse quality of living concerns and geopolitical concerns. To stave off the negativity of some texts we read, such as Howard Kuntsler's fine but somewhat dated diatribe The Geography of Nowhere, I made an effort to inject the course with more positive-minded readings.
In that vein and because I miss teaching that course, I offer an article from Sierra about the really interesting research happening at various universities. The author discusses creating petrol from from cow manure, microscopic refineries, climate scrubbers, wicked strong batteries, optical-circuit technology, and electric vehicles.
Click HERE if you're interested in reading "The Latest from the Labs" by Edward Humes.