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 […]

Health Tools

One of the primary tools against global warming, whatever the cause, is the planting of trees. Several countries have initiated tree planting programs as a buffer against climate change — while the world watches the burning of the Amazon rain forest. The hypocrisy and stupidity around the issue can drive you crazy. What can one […]

Hard Work and Invasive Species

A weed is a flower growing in the wrong place. ~ George Washington Carver The crew was clearing the Texas ranch of mesquite trees, using a bulldozer and drag chain. Then the small group of “illegals” would pile up the small trees and brush for burning. It was dirty work, and between the heavy equipment, […]

Harmony of Nature

“In forty years of medical practice … I have found only two types of non-pharmaceutical ‘therapy’ to be vitally important for patients with chronic neurological diseases: music and gardens.” ~ Dr. Oliver Sacks in Jones   We deal with stress and the hardships of everyday living in different ways. Some take a long walk in […]

Pines in Lines

Once, while studying groundwater contamination at an air base in Florida, I was taken to several old, abandoned landfills to determine which of them should be drilled for testing. One presented a real problem: In the twenty years since it had been closed, the landfill had been planted with pine trees — part of the […]

Nothing to Sneeze At

“A big part of the problem is most people don’t know much about trees, and think, well, trees are good and no trees are bad,” he says. “But trees are just like people, they have a multitude of differences. Some trees are human-friendly, and some are just the opposite.” ~ Tom Ogren quoted by Sabrina […]

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 […]

The Opportunity of The Retail Apocalypse

“They paved paradise And put up a parking lot Don’t it always seem to go That you don’t know what you’ve got ‘Till it’s gone” ~ Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi It was basically a 50’s strip mall that occupied two sides of a square block, with room for plenty of parking in the middle […]

Fighting Climate Change

“There is, however, a catch: The world must act now … If we’re too slow to start better managing and protecting these natural systems, the inaction will damage nature’s ability to help heal the planet … In other words, the longer we wait, the less nature can do.” ~ The Nature Conservancy We seem to […]

The Forest Garden

Over the years, a vine has grown up under the aged eave of the tiny frame house to form a large ball of dead leaves and branches. Facing east, it catches the morning sun, but by afternoon is in the shade. Most of the time, it is chock-full of sparrows — flitting, chirping and dropping […]