Dark Days?

“In casting up this dread balance sheet and contemplating our dangers with a disillusioned eye, I see great reason for intense vigilance and exertion, but none whatsoever for despair.” ~Winston Churchill, June 1940 Every day I am bombarded with bad news about politics, society and the environment. Crazy people in charge want to go to […]

The Plot Thickens

“So whether it’s redeveloping dying malls or re-inhabiting dead big-box stores or reconstructing wetlands out of parking lots, I think the fact is the growing number of empty and under-performing, especially retail, sites throughout suburbia gives us actually a tremendous opportunity to take our least-sustainable landscapes right now and convert them into more sustainable places.” […]

Trees Keep On Truckin’

“And we danced, on the brink of an unknown future, to an echo from a vanished past.” ~ John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids   Unlike the the mobile, man-eating Triffids in The Day of the Triffids, our trees don’t crawl around and eat people, but they may come and go over time. The […]

Out of Bounds

There is an urgent need for a new paradigm that integrates the continued development of human societies and the maintenance of the Earth system (ES) in a resilient and accommodating state. The planetary boundary (PB) framework contributes to such a paradigm by providing a science-based analysis of the risk that human perturbations will destabilize the […]

Our Only Planet

The great hope of the Enlightenment – that human rationality would enable us to transcend our evolutionary limitations – has taken a beating from wars and genocides, but only now, on the problem of climate change, has it foundered altogether. ~ Jonathan Franzen Earth system scientists … say biogeochemical pollution is one of four “planetary […]

In My Town

“… the growing number of empty and under-performing, especially retail, sites throughout suburbia gives us actually a tremendous opportunity to take our least-sustainable landscapes right now and convert them into more sustainable places. And in the process, what that allows us to do is to redirect a lot more of our growth back into existing […]

Anna’s Friends

“…in order to do something big, to think globally and act globally, one starts with something small and one starts where it counts. Practice, then, is about making the ordinary special and the special more widely accessible — expanding the boundaries of understanding and possibility with vision and common sense. ~ Nabeel Hamdi Over thirty […]

Future Suburbs

All good solutions are beautiful. They have proportion, balance and harmony – all parts fit with one another, and the solutions fit rightly into the bigger picture. ~ Boast and Martin, Masters of Change If you’re doing transit-oriented development without adding transit, then what’s the point? ~ Peter Moskowitz My adult son groans when I […]

Community and Connectedness

At the same time that we’re solving for climate change, we’re going to be building cities for three billion people. That’s a doubling of the urban environment. ~Peter Calthorpe Nationalism seems to be sweeping the U.S. and Europe, but maybe it’s just a pushback against natural forces. I remember reading that R. Buckminster Fuller saw […]

Doom and Gloom

Some people walk in the rain; others just get wet. ~ Roger Miller It’s easy for me to get depressed these days. Heat waves and glacial melting present as dire warnings that climate change is here and not just some far-off threat that may plague future generations. National politics have become horribly malicious, and so […]