World Oceans Day

Today is World Oceans Day.  It is taking place in conjunction with a major international gathering at the UN headquarters in New York:  The Ocean Conference.  This timely conference is meant to highlight the critical importance of our oceans and the crises they are undergoing.  Sustainable Development Goal 14 zeroes in on the marine environment: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Continue reading


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The Mainstream

I was in Washington on Thursday and Friday for some interviews for a book I’ve been working on.  (Think meat, fish and feed and the many and complex ins and outs of those.)  My daughter came down on Friday evening so she, my sister-in-law, and I went to the big march on Saturday.  Great day!  A good time was had by all. Continue reading


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Science Marches On

for more of these cool posters from New York, click on the photo

I had a great time on Saturday joining the March on Science in New York City.   (I wrote about the march with some background back in February after it was first announced.) Aside from the main march in Washington, DC, there were over 600 satellite marches around the world.  Nice!  There were tens of thousands of people lined up on Central Park West for ten or more blocks.  Relaxed, festive.  Some young, some old, some nerdy, some hip, a good number of scientists, science teachers, activists, and others who are fans of science.  It was all largely apolitical but the message was quite clear: The war on science – and particularly climate science – being waged, let’s face the facts, almost wholly by the Trump Administration and his enablers in the Congress, is not something that people are going to take lying down. Continue reading


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Green Roofs

What insulates your building, making it cooler in summer and warmer in winter; helps protect your building from leaks from heavy rain and snow; is aesthetically pleasing; can serve as a vegetable and herb garden and home for honeybees; can enhance the performance of photovoltaic arrays; and boost urban biodiversity by creating avian habitat?  That’s right, you got it in one:  a green roof.  Continue reading


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March for Science

Put April 22 in your book!  If you took part in the Women’s March on Washington there or in any of the 673 sister marches around the planet, then you know the excitement, the camaraderie, the common purpose.  If you’ve been to the airports to support those caught in the web of xenophobia incarnate now in the Trump Administration, you understand the importance of being there, of making a statement with your presence, your voice.  If you’ve been involved with constituent meetings to tell your elected representatives that you won’t stand for democracy and the social compact being torn apart by the bestiality of the morally bankrupt in power, then you are well and truly in tune with hundreds of millions of your sisters and brothers around the world.  And, if you haven’t yet experienced the empowering, life-affirming coming together of people to express their common humanity and innate sanity, then here’s a great opportunity. Continue reading


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Catastrophe – Part Deux

dump-the-climate-deniersI wrote here after Election Day of the Catastrophe that Trump’s election meant for the world, particularly the part of the world where I spend most of my time:  the environmental movement.  That sense of foreboding has been more than justified in the selection of the extraordinarily perverse group of troglodytes earmarked for top leadership at the EPA (Scott Pruitt), Department of Energy (Rick Perry), Department of the Interior (Ryan Zinke) and, as strange as it could get, the Department of State (Rex Tillerson). Continue reading


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“Who Left the Lights On in Central Park?”

central-park-streetlights-on-during-the-day

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Why are the doggone streetlights blazing away in Central Park during the day?  That’s a question I’ve been asking for months.  I’ve asked the Central Park Conservancy, the NYC Department of Transportation, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal’s office.   Crazy, right?

One of the top columnists for the New York Times, Jim Dwyer, asked the same question in today’s paper.  See the article here.  He’s got the whole story. Continue reading


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China’s Nuclear Boondoggle

china-nuclear-plants

According to the IAEA here, there are 31 operational nuclear power reactors in China, and 24 more under construction.  But, according to the excellent “World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2015,” there is a deep slowdown underway in the planning for more new plants. Continue reading


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“Our Sister, Mother Earth”

laudato-si-itThe title of the new, long anticipated, hugely important treatise from the leader of over a billion Roman Catholics in the world, Pope Francis, is Laudato Si.  The title comes from his namesake’s “Canticle of the Creatures” in which St. Francis writes:  “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.”  Laudato Si’ – Praised be to you.

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“Think ahead. Act together.”

G7_Germany_Logo_lang_640_201The G7 members were hosted in Germany this year and made some bold pronouncements relative to the future of energy and the climate system.  I am manifestly not a cynic on the progress the world has been making on climate and energy over the past decade or so.  That is certainly the premise of my book and this blog:  that there are scores of important breakthroughs and initiatives being made every year, most everywhere.  I have, however, taken a cautious approach to the importance of the global approach to mitigating greenhouse gases.  A consensus has been building and continues to build about the need for action.  There is absolutely no doubt about that.  But the speed and depth of commitment from some of the leading actors remains in question. Continue reading


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