Reporters track, catch, release scientists at work in field

Not with electronic tags (though I suspect some reporters would love to do that). With their co-operation. Some great stories have resulted in just the past couple of weeks. Here's on one the wandering of a mountain lion through SoCal, as reported on the front page of the Los Angeles Times. One statistic stands out:Continue reading “Reporters track, catch, release scientists at work in field”

Scientist challenges denier: denier threatens suit

In a column this past week, George Monbiot pointed to a meticulously detailed take-down of the English Vicount Monckton's scattered attack on climate change science by an American professor specializing in heat transfer named John Abraham. Abraham went through a presentation by Monckton and surgically took it apart, point by point. It's a devastatingly convincingContinue reading “Scientist challenges denier: denier threatens suit”

Best lit journal for backpacking

Without a doubt, Threepenny. Not because they're especially interested in the mountains or the environment (they're not). Because the richness and spontaneity of the writing flows well out of doors, and because the physical form they have chosen — thick paper, broad sheets, light weight — packs well, and works well as tinder, or evenContinue reading “Best lit journal for backpacking”

The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide (Richard Alley Explains All)

For those who would like to get the Richard Alley lecture straight from the source, the American Geophysical Union, here's the video. It's forty-two minutes long, but not a bit boring. Alley has a unique ability to explain complex topics in simple language. Here's an example of his clarity, from Alley's excellent book The Two-MileContinue reading “The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide (Richard Alley Explains All)”

The Rendering of the Dogs vs. Raising Cattle Well

In a bold Swiftian essay from a non-fiction book soon to be published called Eating Animals, New York novelist Jonathan Safer Foer brings up an unpleasant fact: Rendering—the conversion of animal protein unfit for human consumption into food for livestock and pets—allows processing plants to transform useless dead dogs into productive members of the foodContinue reading “The Rendering of the Dogs vs. Raising Cattle Well”

The Fabulousness of Unemployment

As circulation continues to crater, the Los Angeles Times laid off another forty or so staffers this week, including numerous veterans who somehow survived the last two years of terror at the beleaguered newspaper. Among them was a dashing columnist named Tina Daunt, who has reacted by going (on her blog at least) with sheerContinue reading “The Fabulousness of Unemployment”

Let America Be America Again

From artist Steve Brodner's wonderful blog…by which I mean both the art and the poem by Langston Hughes he quotes… Lincoln said, “We must disenthrall Ourselves  and then we shall save our country.” Meaning, snap to, pay attention Lest you lose your moment to act. But of all the days of my life This mightContinue reading “Let America Be America Again”

Church of England Invests in Al Gore

And not a token amount, either — more than $200 million, according to Religous Intelligence: The Church of England’s Church Commissioners have gone green, investing £150 million with former US Vice-President Al Gore’s environmentally minded investment firm, Generation Investment Management. The First Church Estates Commissioner, Andreas Whittam Smith reported that in late September the CommissionersContinue reading “Church of England Invests in Al Gore”

Joel Woolf v. Big Auto, Big Oil, Big Government…and Hippies

The idea of driving a vehicle powered by vegetable oil reeks of the hippie lifestyle: It’s a homegrown technology, seemingly far out of the mainstream, and requires a continuing commitment to the often messy process of filtering waste vegetable oil, usually begged from restaurants. The fact that the exhaust from a “vegged” vehicle can smellContinue reading “Joel Woolf v. Big Auto, Big Oil, Big Government…and Hippies”

Revered “National Poet” of Palestine Passes On

Mahmoud Darwish, the "National Poet" of Palestine, died yesterday. Though this will likely go virtually unnoticed in the West, his loss will be deeply felt in the Middle East. (His elegant website barely loads this morning, probably because the server is struggling to keep up with demand.) Darwish reportedly was devastated by the conflict thatContinue reading “Revered “National Poet” of Palestine Passes On”