What Dreams May Come

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil” ― William Shakespeare, Hamlet Hamlet came across the bones of an old friend, Yorick (that some claim he knew well). In those days, in Europe and elsewhere, people […]

The Web of Waste

And what was even more striking to me, and what I really got hung up on, was that the world inside the screen seemed to have no physical reality of its own. ~ Andrew Blum “It was just waste. Nobody wanted it and it cost too much to recondition, so we just dumped it.” He […]

Footprints

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. ~ Arthur Ashe A few years ago I became intrigued by the concept of ‘carbon footprint’, the sum of all the greenhouse gases — like carbon dioxide — emitted by someone’s actions. Early on, the size of your footprint was represented by the […]

Tall, Dirtless and Local

The soil has been mixed with human thought and substance. These fields … have moved and walked and talked and loved and suffered; hence one feels kinship to them and at home among them. ~John Burroughs, Fresh Fields Climate change is expected to knock extreme weather up a notch — droughts will become droughtier, floods […]

Future Farming

“With climate change increasing, drought increasing, and more high rainfall events, I think there’s more of a need to incorporate permanent vegetation into agriculture systems.” Susan Stein, Director of USDA National Agroforestry Center In the movie Interstellar, the near-future world is being consumed by climate change, and one-by-one the monocultural crops that feed the world […]

Tree Forts

 I have a Fort Theory of Ecology, Fort Theory of Conservation. Every ecologist I know, every conservation biologist I know, every conservation professional I know, built forts when they were kids. If we have a generation that doesn’t know how to build a fort, we’ll have a generation that doesn’t know how to care about […]

Coming Clean

“A little water clears us of this deed.” Lady Macbeth, The Tragedy of Macbeth, William Shakespeare As I entered the utility building I was met by a combination of unidentifiable smells. Here, the sewage plant, the water treatment plant and the solid waste incinerator for the pipeline construction camp were protected from the Alaskan winter. […]

Big Food, Little Food

“A food system organized around subsidized monocultures of corn and soy … guzzled tremendous amounts of fossil fuel … and in the process emitted tremendous amounts of greenhouse gas. … the types of food that can be made from all that subsidized corn and soy … bears a large measure of responsibility for the steep […]