California vs. the megadrought

Disasters by their nature are enormously loud, chaotic, disruptive events. Think the scream of hurricane winds, the crashing of boulders in floods, the phenomenal roar of a huge wildfire. Drought is different. Drought stays quiet. Its powers cannot be seen directly, save in the unblinking glare of the sun. Drought lacks drama.  Yet — as oneContinue reading “California vs. the megadrought”

To know yourself you must sometimes be by yourself

Last month Backpacker magazine ran a tough-minded Mark Jenkins essay on journeying alone called Go Solo. At its heart it goes something like this: Ever since Aron Ralston got himself caught between a rock and a hard place in Utah’s Blue John Canyon, hung there for five days, and then amputated his right forearm toContinue reading “To know yourself you must sometimes be by yourself”

If climate change is dangerous, can’t a scientist say so? (Hansen’s keynote address at the AGU 2013)

Back in l988, physicist/climatologist James Hansen told Congress that that we had begun to change the earth's atmosphere. This was during a heat wave in Washington, and his testimony made headlines. That's rare for a scientist of any sort.  "Global warming has began, Expert tells Senate" reported the NYTimes.  "It's time to stop waffling soContinue reading “If climate change is dangerous, can’t a scientist say so? (Hansen’s keynote address at the AGU 2013)”