Hard Edges

Hot town, summer in the city Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty Been down, isn’t it a pity Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city All around, people looking half dead Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head ~The Lovin’ Spoonful “… in cities … one seems to lose […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Home Garden

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ~ Margaret Attwood My father’s garden was a small area about ten-foot by ten against the south side of the house that got intense sun early in the day, but was shaded in the afternoon. He didn’t start a garden until […]

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 […]