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 […]

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 […]

Talking Trash

Plastics in the oceans, fish and turtles choking on garbage, litter … what can be done? I strongly advocate for cleaning up the beaches, oceans and rivers. The cleanup schemes range from just individually picking up trash to complicated ocean plastic-collection systems. In the U.S. we’re also talking about banning plastic straws and water bottles. […]

What Broke The Camel’s Back

Maybe it wasn’t that last straw that broke the camel’s back, it was the long-term accumulation of straws and other materials that did it. Can we reverse things by banning straws? Undoubtedly, no, but maybe we can slow the damage and take a little time to fix the problems. Plastic pollution in the rivers and […]

Plastic, Plastic Everywhere, and Not Just Straws, I Think

As we walked into town for breakfast, up ahead I saw him rise from his spot on the planter in the shade to pick up an empty plastic water bottle that had blown down the street. He tossed it into the trash can and reclaimed his spot. As we passed, he avoided eye contact, but […]