Urban Species

“Cities are the 21st century’s dominant form of civilization — and they’re where humanity’s struggle for survival will take place … Half the planet’s population lives in cities. They are the world’s engines, generating four-fifths of the global GDP … As the economist Ed Glaeser puts it, ‘we are an urban species.’” ~ Robert Muggah […]

Nature Persists

“From a coyote’s-eye view, you could see what the trees were up to: Growth, failure, decay and the drip of acid water through the gravel were mixing a dirt out of the detritus. This hideous forest, I suddenly realized, was there to repair the damage done, and not at our bidding. Its intent was not […]

Plastic Panic

“It’s not nice to fool (with) Mother Nature” ~ Apologies to Chiffon Margarine I think it started with the dirty diaper panic. Years ago, it suddenly became the cause celebre among environmentalists (few of whom, I suspect, were actually parents). Dirty diapers littering the landscape and bursting out of the landfills. Dirty diapers oozing baby […]

Is Climate Change Contagious?

“All I maintain is that on this earth there are pestilences and there are victims, and it’s up to us, so far as possible, not to join forces with the pestilences.” ― Albert Camus, The Plague Given the plague of zombies we’re seeing this Halloween, I thought I’d remind everyone that zombies are brought back […]

How High’s the Water, Mama?

How high’s the water, Mama? Five feet high and risin’. How high’s the water, Papa? She said it’s five feet high and risin’. Well, the rails are washed out north of town. We gotta head for higher ground. We can’t come back till the water goes down, Five feet high and risin’ ~ Johnny Cash, […]

The Salt of the Earth

“I shivered in those solitudes when I heard the voice of the salt in the desert.” ― Pablo Neruda It was Earth Day and the environmental department that I worked for had planned a party celebrating the environmental movement. Unfortunately, no one had told the building landlord about it, and at 9 am a crew […]

Foul Air and Foul Deeds

“Prior to the late 19th century, night air was considered dangerous in most Western cultures …” ~ Wikipedia “Wherever the cloud of pollution travels, crime increases.” ~ Sefi Roth The idea has been rebuffed by modern science and our understanding of contagion (not withstanding anti-vaxxers), but according to Wikipedia: “Based on “zymotic” theory, people believed […]

Do Straws Really Suck?

“We are drowning the sea in plastic.” ~ Melissa Breyer   “Would you like a straw?” the waitress asked. I hesitated. While I really like drinking my iced tea through a straw, visions of dying sea creatures and piles of trash on the beaches invaded my thinking. The photos of sea trash and stories of […]

Lettuce Prey

As part of my pre-Thanksgiving dinner preparations, I made a big salad for lunch instead of the sandwich or hot dog I usually have. The romaine was still fresh, sweet onion, some left-over cooked beets, a little celery and a carrot from the garden. Some smashed up tortilla chips for croutons and probably a little […]

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 […]