Thoreau: Craving Reality

The New York Review of Books posts in its entirety a spectacular essay from Robert Pogue Harrison, this time on Thoreau on his centennial birthday, and en or so books and exhibits about The True American. Thoreau (to my blinkered view) is that exceedingly rare writer/philosopher capable of seeing afresh the most fundamental elements ofContinue reading “Thoreau: Craving Reality”

David Foster Wallace thinks about nature

In his classic (and often hilarious) essay for Harpers on the Illinois State Fair from l993, Ticket to the Fair, David Foster Wallace ruminated on many questions, including how people see nature in the MidWest. He wrote: Rural Midwesterners live surrounded by unpopulated land, marooned in a space whose emptiness starts to become both physicalContinue reading “David Foster Wallace thinks about nature”

Wounded Earth: poem and photograph

The late great C.K. Williams thinks through the suffering of the earth — whose suffering is it really? Is it as I suspect not that rare for you to be wounded ravaged stripped of so much of what you wore with seeming pride your seething glittering oceans your forests nothing new for you meteors cometsContinue reading “Wounded Earth: poem and photograph”

What put Trump over the top?

According to The Economist it was the sick. ….even after controlling for race, education, age, sex, income, marital status, immigration and employment, these figures remain highly statistically significant. Holding all other factors constant—including the share of non-college whites—the better physical shape a county’s residents are in, the worse Mr Trump did relative to Mr Romney.Continue reading “What put Trump over the top?”

ON THE BRINK: SoCal faces dire, drier future

Here’s a story I spent a month or so reporting over the summer for the Ventura County Reporter: What the science is saying about the prospects for drought this century in Southern California ON THE BRINK: Southern California faces dire, drier future I’d like to dedicate this story to the late great climatologist Kelly Redmond,Continue reading “ON THE BRINK: SoCal faces dire, drier future”

A country Nirvana song via Sturgill Simpson

NPR and Rolling Stone today both note the arrival of new country star Sturgill Simpson’s version of Nirvana’s “In Bloom.” The second song on the epochal Nevermind album, universally agreed to be the band’s masterpiece, and as well Country Love’s fave song on the record, Sturgill completely upends it. Sez me. The Nirvana version isContinue reading “A country Nirvana song via Sturgill Simpson”

Rockefeller charity calls Exxon “morally reprehensible,” disinvests

Today a fifty-year-old charity founded by the descendants of John Rockefeller, of Standard Oil wealth, disinvested their funds from Exxon Mobil and accused the company of misleading the public to enable the company to damage the climate. In a statement the Rockefeller Family Fund called the company morally reprehensible and said: “Evidence appears to suggest that theContinue reading “Rockefeller charity calls Exxon “morally reprehensible,” disinvests”

When will we start to see ice sheet disintegration?

James Hansen has published hundreds of scientific papers in his long and distinguished career as “the father of climate change awareness,” as described in The Guardian. With a team he published another one this morning, but this one is different. For one, although Hansen organized the effort, he is one of a team of 18 expertsContinue reading “When will we start to see ice sheet disintegration?”

Thinking about wildness in CA: Daniel Duane

Daniel Duane first came across my media screen last summer with a spectacular essay in the NYTimes Sunday Review — My Dark California Dream — in which he thought through some of the problems that have hit California lately, from wildfire to drought to traffic to the devastation of sea life off our shores. ButContinue reading “Thinking about wildness in CA: Daniel Duane”

Drought hits city trees too (not just wild forests)

Another excellent story from the Washington Post, on a problem — the fate of urban trees — that seems not as well studied as that of wild forests. BERKELEY, Calif. — Everywhere he goes, Anthony Ambrose sees the dead and dying. They haunt this city’s streets, the browning yards of stylish homes, the scenic groundsContinue reading “Drought hits city trees too (not just wild forests)”