Shoo Fly!

  “With each generation, the amount of environmental degradation increases, but each generation takes that amount as the norm.” ~ Peter H. Kahn and Batya Friedman When we think about losing biodiversity, we tend to think of the last northern white rhinos protected by armed guards, of polar bears on dwindling ice floes. Extinction is […]

Technological Fix: Turn Off and Back On Again

“Climate change, hunger, disease, inequality, conflict. The list of problems facing humankind grows longer and more complex all the time. Emerging digital technologies may hold the answers to some of these and other challenges. But are people losing faith in what tech has to offer?” ~ Sean Fleming For most, the surprise from the Fourth […]

Down in the Dirt

Humans evolved in caves and fields — not in sanitized homes, cars and schools. And our immune systems developed to find and suppress foreign invaders, growing stronger with each battle won. ~ Christine Peterson It’s not there now, but I look forward to a time when we can essentially garden our homes — fill them […]

Caravans

“Building a wall, establishing a camp, creating a new border force, stopping the boats – these are all political shorthand for decisive action. Even if they don’t amount to much in the end, they give the impression of control amid chaos, and they hold out the hope of immediate results.” ~ Anne Gallagher The migrant […]

Take It To The Limit

“But what about the plutonium?” he said, “If you breathe in even one atom, you’ll get cancer and die.” It was a chat over breakfast with the old guys, and the subject of Rocky Flats, the nearby old nuclear weapons plant, came up. Following clean up, it was scheduled to become a wildlife refuge open […]

Be Green, Not Mean

“What’s in a fence? More than you’d think. In neighborhoods where as little as about $1,000 was spent transforming a vacant lot with some grass, a few trees, and a short wooden fence, people felt less depressed and less worthless.” ~ Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan In contrast to the suburbs or ex-burbs, urban areas are often relatively […]

Valuable Mutants

He rolled the dice again. This time, he was mimicking what he and his colleagues have been doing quietly around the globe for more than a half-century — using radiation to scramble the genetic material in crops, a process that has produced valuable mutants like red grapefruit, disease-resistant cocoa and premium barley for Scotch whiskey. […]

Que Sera Sera

  “Rape is kinda like the weather. If it’s inevitable, relax and enjoy it.” ~Texas Republican Clayton Williams Apparently, some people are fatalistic. In the recent controversies over Brett Kavanaugh and his sexual abuse accusations, some people, notably men of a given political persuasion, have decided that attempted rape or sexual harassment is just no […]

Live and Let Diet

When our distant ancestors invented farming ten thousand or so years ago, they began altering these and other wild plants to make them more productive, easier to grow and harvest, and more enjoyable to eat. To date, four hundred generations of farmers and tens of thousands of plant breeders have played a role in redesigning […]

Guerilla Tactics

Those who hear not the music think the dancers mad. — Unknown “There he goes again,” my neighbor sighed grumpily, pointing to the older guy wandering our street with pruning shears. “Come on,” I replied, “he’s harmless.” “But I may not want my trees trimmed,” he grumped and went inside. Once again my weird old […]