environmental studies

The ecological beauty of human hair

I happened to pick up a copy of Audubon magazine over the weekend. I admit that I'd thought of it as rather dull, a publication for retirees with too many pets and obsessed about animal protection above all other environmental concerns. But I was wrong. It was full of beautifully written articles about a wide range of ecological issues, with a strong science and ecology focus which fits well with my current work on sustainability. I happened to read an essay about fog that was so good I called my [...]

April 1st, 2008|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |

Your ecological footprint (and mine)

I'm a little shocked by the results of this Earth Day Footprint Quiz. Try it out: a salutary reminder of some of the things that have most impact. I'll be digging a little deeper to find out how their measurements work. BTW, the programming on the front page doesn't work very well, so be patient. The quiz will open after you choose your country and language if you give it some time.

December 22nd, 2005|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Biotech corn makes history

David and I flew to Iowa just over a week ago to see our son Tom, who has just started college there. To my surprise and pleasure, he has decided to get involved with the campus garden, and says he has blistered hands today from digging over some of the beds. I imagine that college gardens are all organic, but farming in Iowa is not. We spent a wonderful afternoon while we were there at the Living History Farms, walking through the woodland grove where an Indian encampment, and gardens, [...]

October 17th, 2005|Categories: Oddments|Tags: |

Nature-Deficit Disorder

I was in the bookshop picking up Teach Yourself German, because I'm leaving for Frankfurt on Monday, and happened to spot a book called Last Child in the Woods, Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. What a pleasure to see that such an important subject is being tackled, and published. The jacket copy is a little overloaded with pop culture allusions like "a nature-child reunion," but if that's what it takes to get people to tune into a shift that isn't just an abstract problem but a real loss for [...]

October 12th, 2005|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Textbook insights

My daughter's taking a class in environmental management and I've learned two important things from her. First, Richard Nixon's looking better and better: he signed into law the National Environmental Policy Act in 1970. One of the most important demands of this law is that Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be produced. As Rachel points out, creating these big reports is a lot of work. (Students are very much aware of the work involved writing reports, but I'm sure she doesn't realize the extraordinary resources that go into writing government reports.) [...]

March 20th, 2005|Categories: Oddments|Tags: |

Environmentalism goes to hospice

I can't believe I missed this when it came out in October, and that I found it only because the lines were long at the food coop before the holiday weekend (today is Presidents' Day, here in the US, and the radio hosts make terrible jokes about not being able to tell a lie, an ironic measure of a president these days). There is a loose network in the US of liberally minded people who are willing to look beyond the conventions of the left, the Democratic Party, and the [...]

February 21st, 2005|Categories: Oddments|Tags: |