Hey Buddy, Can You Spare a Little (Climate) Change?

“And so, I became miserably conflicted about climate change. I accepted its supremacy as the environmental issue of our time, but I felt bullied by its dominance. Not only did it make every grocery-store run a guilt trip; it made me feel selfish for caring more about birds in the present than about people in […]

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 […]

Solve for X

“Life is an open book exam,” he said, “It’s not about memorizing formulas, but figuring out how to solve problems.” That approach worked well for me in college, although not all professors had the same attitude. Most engineering classes were tough, and slide rules complicated the precision of many answers, so partial credit was necessary. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Conversations

… It is not a sentimental but a grimly literal fact that unless we share this terrestrial globe with creatures other than ourselves, we shall not be able to live on it for long. Joseph Wood Krutch The other night our big cat, Betty, sat by the closed French door staring out through the glass. […]

It’s Al Gore’s Fault

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Greek Proverb “In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to remember seven generations in the past and consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people.” Wilma Mankiller “It’s all Al Gore’s fault anyway,” […]