Rumination

“Climate change will increase the risks and hazards facing urban populations in numerous ways, from increasing heat waves to more intense rainfall to rising sea levels. For some of these risks, trees and other natural features can be a way to reduce the threat, in effect serving as part of the climate adaptation strategy of […]

Solve for X

“Life is an open book exam,” he said, “It’s not about memorizing formulas, but figuring out how to solve problems.” That approach worked well for me in college, although not all professors had the same attitude. Most engineering classes were tough, and slide rules complicated the precision of many answers, so partial credit was necessary. […]

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 […]

Small Green Spaces

Now more than ever, in an age when children grow up staring at tiny screens all day and Earth itself is threatened by human heedlessness and folly, it’s critically important to protect those places and get out to experience them as often as possible. But it is not necessary to live exclusively in the world […]

Coming Clean

“A little water clears us of this deed.” Lady Macbeth, The Tragedy of Macbeth, William Shakespeare As I entered the utility building I was met by a combination of unidentifiable smells. Here, the sewage plant, the water treatment plant and the solid waste incinerator for the pipeline construction camp were protected from the Alaskan winter. […]

Fifty-Fifty?

“It is past time to broaden the discussion of the human future and connect it to the rest of life.” E.O. Wilson, Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life Extinctions. Habitat loss. Climate change. We are wreaking havoc on the natural world. In spite of his dire warnings, E.O. Wilson is relatively upbeat about our chances […]

The Katniss Generation

The trouble with facts is that there are so many of them. – Unknown Professor Noreena Hertz, University College London, reporting on her recent surveys, described today’s teenage girls as profoundly anxious. The news reports deplored the abundance of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic films and TV shows that inundate us with peril and danger at every […]