Talking Trash

Plastics in the oceans, fish and turtles choking on garbage, litter … what can be done? I strongly advocate for cleaning up the beaches, oceans and rivers. The cleanup schemes range from just individually picking up trash to complicated ocean plastic-collection systems. In the U.S. we’re also talking about banning plastic straws and water bottles. […]

What Broke The Camel’s Back

Maybe it wasn’t that last straw that broke the camel’s back, it was the long-term accumulation of straws and other materials that did it. Can we reverse things by banning straws? Undoubtedly, no, but maybe we can slow the damage and take a little time to fix the problems. Plastic pollution in the rivers and […]

Blue Space, Green Space

“Blue skies smilin’ at me, Nothin’ but blue skies do I see.” ~ Irving Berlin, Blue Skies Take a deep breath, then exhale. You have just accomplished what every tree, indeed, all vegetation, accomplishes continuously. But unlike humans, trees absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. That — trees replenishing our oxygen — is what makes […]

Plastic, Plastic Everywhere, and Not Just Straws, I Think

As we walked into town for breakfast, up ahead I saw him rise from his spot on the planter in the shade to pick up an empty plastic water bottle that had blown down the street. He tossed it into the trash can and reclaimed his spot. As we passed, he avoided eye contact, but […]

Seeds of Change

“Okay,” the young student volunteer said, taking a break from collecting native grass seeds, “we’re going to use these to replant all that disturbed ground,” she pointed over to the old nuclear weapons manufacturing plant site, “then global warming will come along and turn it all into a desert. What’s the logic in that?” Several […]

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 […]

Oh, Poop!

“And every Saturday we work in the yard Pick up the dog doo Hope that it’s hard (woof woof)” ~ Joe Walsh, Ordinary Average Guy A small pond forms where the creek backs up behind a small weir, and the adjacent park is a favorite with the geese. As I walk through with my young […]

The Last Straw?

The last light went out, plunging the neighborhood into darkness. First, a quiet rustling, then silence. Somewhere a dog barks. The rustling resumes. The garbage can lid shifts slightly with a tinny sound. Suddenly, the lid flips off the can and an explosion of plastic straws, disposable water bottles and fast food wrappers cascades onto […]

Soiled

“…farmers are learning a lesson that resonates throughout human interactions with the natural world: People reap more benefit from nature when they give up trying to vanquish it and instead see it clearly, as a demanding but indispensable ally.” ~ Jaques Leslie “If you’ve never heard about the amazing potential of regenerative agriculture and land […]

North Slope

Wilderness might be reducible, acre by acre, but wildness is something else again. Michael Pollen, The Botany of Desire It was early, just before dawn, when we took off from Fairbanks. We surmounted the low hills to the north and gained altiltude, but stayed low enough to see the snowy, forested terrain clearly. The small […]