Environment: The Garbage God

Set in the arid plains of western Texas, the small city of Odessa (pop. 79,000) was built for one reason: exploitation of the immense oil deposits that lie around it. But today's riches disguise tomorrow's problem. The oil reserves will run out in 15 to 20 years—and then what? The town has no other industry, and the surrounding land is too poor to support large-scale cattle ranching, much less farming.

Yet Odessa need not become a ghost town. At least that is what Dr. Geoffrey Stanford says. A blithe, British-born M.D. who conducts research...

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