Monthly Archives : February 2011

Planet Climatewood

Can Hollywood save the planet from global warming? The LA Times reports that Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General, made his sales pitch last week at a UN outreach event: “I need your support,” he told entertainment industry insiders during a daylong forum Tuesday that focused on recent heat waves, floods, fires and drought,…Continue Reading…

In Praise of Naturalists

In his final column in a historical series about “how the discovery of species has changed our lives,” Richard Conniff notes: Were it not for the work of naturalists, you and I would probably be dead.  Or if alive, we would be far likelier to be crippled, in pain, or otherwise incapacitated.

Hey NYT: What the Frak?

This NYT exposé on lax regulation of the booming natural gas industry is a must read, but the paper of record is very late to the party. And the author of the piece, Ian Urbina, is fairly ungenerous in his acknowledgment of that fact when he notes, one quarter of the way into his story,…Continue Reading…

Will Climate Change be a 2012 Campaign Issue?

In the New York Times magazine, Judith Warner assesses the collective GOP stance on global warming and speculates: Whoever emerges as the Republican presidential candidate in 2012 will very likely have to embrace climate-change denial. I think she’s right, which means an issue that normally doesn’t factor into national elections may well have a high…Continue Reading…

A Dead End Dialogue

Freeman Dyson and Steve Connor, the science editor of The Independent, had a long email conversation that neither found very satisfying.

Doomsday Chronicles, cont'd

Mike Tidwell, a journalist turned activist, has published a how-to-ride-out-the-climate apocalypse instructional in The Washington Post. Years ago, global warming had already put Tidwell on high alert. But events in the last year have elevated his personal threat level: Now I’m changing my life again. Today, underneath the solar panels, there’s a new set of…Continue Reading…

Remaking Nature

Carl Zimmer has a provocative story in Yale 360 that questions some conventional wisdom on exotic species. Alan Burdick’s terrific 2005 book tread similar ground. As I see it, anything that enlarges our understanding of nature and our role in shaping it (as urban ecology has done in recent years), is a good thing.

Bad Bots

I always find it odd when bloggers complain about getting too many comments from readers who disagree with them. Most writers looking to tell a story or communicate a message want to reach as large an audience as possible. So I don’t get Chris Mooney here: Hmm, have we got any denier bots here? I’m…Continue Reading…

Surviving the Future

I have a deeply cynical side but I’m also an optimist by nature. Ms. Collide-a-scape is the fretter in the family. Several months ago, we finally got around to watching the dystopian documentary that made quite a splash in 2009, which NPR accurately characterized: So this is how the world ends: Not with an action-movie…Continue Reading…

The Doomsday Chronicles, cont'd

This is the stuff of my nightmares, but I’m with Michael Stipe on this one.