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Robinson Meyer

Robinson Meyer is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers technology.
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Trump’s EPA Pick Is Skeptical of More Than Just Climate Change

December 8, 2016 Throughout the long campaign, and in the long month that has followed, President-elect Donald Trump sounded some odd notes about the environment. He rejected the scientific fact of climate change, calling it a hoax or a fraud. He repeatedly announced his intent to repeal all of the Obama administration’s environmental...

In a Decade, Oklahoma's Earthquakes Will Be Normal Again

December 1, 2016 Earlier this month, a disaster threatened the American economy—but no one much noticed it because of the presidential election. On the evening of Sunday, November 6, a 5.0-magnitude earthquake shook Cushing, Oklahoma. The trembling dislodged bricks, broke windows, and forced 40 people out of their homes. Some of the city’s...

How a Bunch of Hacked DVR Machines Took Down Twitter and Reddit

October 24, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow What began as a 2-hour morning outage spanned well into Friday afternoon as Twitter, Reddit, Spotify, Github and many other popular websites and services became effectively inaccessible for many American web users, especially those on the East Coast. The websites were not targeted individually. Instead, an unknown attacker deployed a...

Donald Trump Is the First Demagogue of the Terrorism-and-Climate Change Era

October 20, 2016 Lately I’ve been thinking back to something that John Kerry told The Atlantic’s editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, earlier this year. Asked about the importance of the Middle East to the United States, Kerry answered entirely about the Islamic State. “Imagine what would happen if we don’t stand and fight...

A Mega-Drought Is Coming to America’s Southwest

October 11, 2016 Between 1545 and 1548, an epidemic swept through the indigenous people of Mexico that is unlike anything else described in the medical literature. People bled from their face while suffering high fevers, black tongue, vertigo, and severe abdominal pain. Large nodules sometimes appeared behind their ears, which then spread to...

Body Cameras Are Betraying Their Promise

September 30, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow When they were introduced to the American public two years ago, police body-cameras seemed like they might help everyone. Police departments liked that body cams reduced the number of public complaints about officer behavior. Communities and protesters liked that they would introduce some transparency and accountability to an officer’s actions....

Why Does Fracking (Sometimes) Trigger Earthquakes?

September 26, 2016 At 3 a.m. on the morning of May 17, 2012, the town of Timpson, Texas, was awoken by the largest earthquake ever measured in the eastern half of the state. The 4.8-magnitude tremor shattered glass cabinets and knocked deer heads off the wall. “One respondent reported his fireplace came down...

Apple Just Reinvented Its Biggest App

September 16, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This week, Apple released the weirdest, most idiosyncratic product I can remember from the company in the past decade: the new iMessage for iOS 10. iMessage is the company’s default texting app—if you’ve ever texted on the iPhone, you’ve used it. Where the previous version of the app let you...

Why the EPA Doesn't Regulate Ocean Acidification

September 13, 2016 Imagine that a recently discovered pollutant prevented trees from forming leaves. Every April, buds would spring from the branches, and kids on their way to school would point to the tiny shoots of green and pink. But as the leaves fleshed out further and began to photosynthesize, an invisible vapor...

Why a Major Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest Looks Even Likelier

August 12, 2016 For about the last 30 million years, a small tectonic plate named Juan de Fuca has been sliding under the far vaster North American plate into the Earth’s mantle. Today, this mostly happens without anyone’s notice—even though it causes minor, near-undetectable earthquakes about every 300 days—but sometimes the pressure pent...

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