America, We Need to Talk

America, you need to read this book.  In fact, America, this is a textbook for how to get yourself out of the regressed state in which you find yourself.  It’s more:  It’s an encyclopedia of the reasons why we’ve come to this parlous state in our history, why our democracy is at greater risk than it’s ever been, how we have been lied to and cheated on – including to and by ourselves, the missed chances for righting our wrongs, and the abundant opportunities that are ours for the taking.  This book is a paean to good sense and civic engagement; a laurel wreath for our forebears who fought for freedom – political, economic, cultural, and spiritual; and it’s a recipe book for how to make nourishing, delectable meals to build our moral strength and satisfy our souls. Continue reading


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“Grab Him by the Midterms”

I was the wingman yesterday for my daughter at the Women’s March in New York City.  There were about 120,000 people out to express their determination to make change.  Last year it was about the outrage at the election of such a manifestly unfit person to be the head of America’s executive branch of government.  This year it was about putting some more balance back in our democracy by electing people to office that reflect more traditional Continue reading


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World Energy Outlook 2017

I went to a talk last night at the Council on Foreign Relations:  Dr. Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency IEA), sat down with Amy Myers Jaffe, the Council’s senior fellow for energy and the environment, for an interesting discussion.  (The video is here, along with a transcript.)  The IEA was founded in 1974 to help the world’s major economies respond to the Arab oil shocks of that time.  It has since become a well of knowledge about the world’s energy resources, now and for the future, and many of the critical aspects of our energy production and use, not the least of which are climate change, pollution, and energy poverty.  This year’s World Energy Outlook, in fact, contains an important report on the outlook for energy access for those billion of our fellow world citizens who have no modern energy services. Continue reading


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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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