Avoiding the same old crops

We will never approach resilience unless we wade into the vast pool of little-known and rarely used plants. This time of year, as many of you are buying seeds for the spring, consider devoting a piece of your land for experimenting with new crops and new varieties. Not all your experiments will work, but some might prove easier, healthier, more pest-resistant, tastier, or more suited to your particular patch of the landscape that what you are planting no

The curse of competence

While I was eventually able to get off the treadmill without too much of a stumble, I think human society is facing a similar dynamic, and I don’t know how graceful our collective dismount will be. More than anything, I want my friends, family, and neighbors to understand the consequences of our collective trajectory. The technical name for the ratcheting-up, “curse of competence” dynamic is the Jevons Paradox.

What can we expect from COP28?

COP28 is the first COP to raise discussion about the public health impacts of climate change. Organisations representing 46 million health professionals have written to Sultan Al Jaber, calling for a total phase-out of fossil fuels. The World Health Organisation has exhorted ministers of health to make “health” a force for propelling climate action, via climate-friendly healthcare systems…

Visit to a future sustainable neighborhood

As I took my first breath in this future neighborhood, the air had a fragrant quality that I didn’t recognize. I could hear a person shout something, maybe a block away. It’s much quieter than the world I left. There’s certainly a smell of home cooking in the air. And there’s a lot more plants of all sizes and description wherever I look. That’s it! The air carries a mixture of fruit scents.

Review: “The Book of Rain” by Thomas Wharton

The story takes place in a near-future version of western Canada and centers on a fictional town called River Meadows, which once served as an epicenter for the extraction and production of a fossil fuel-like substance called ghost ore. This ore is vastly more energy-dense than any previously known energy source, and its environmental impacts are equally unprecedented. When emitted into the environment, it unleashes disruptive temporal anomalies known as “decoherences,” which severely warp people’s perception of reality.

Putting science in its place

Think of science as a powerful tool, like maybe a power saw. It can really take things apart. But it’s not always the right tool. Maybe it seldom is, in fact. We also don’t want to put it in the hands of children, or use it without first thinking carefully about the consequences and if there might in fact be more productive paths.

Can we keep both fascism and climate doom at bay for decades to come?

The enactment of bold new climate policies—bold enough to quickly drive US greenhouse-gas emissions down to zero—can succeed only if we defeat the looming threat of far-right authoritarianism. And today, the nation’s anti-democracy, fossil-fuel-loving political minority appears more determined than ever to gain enough power to turn us into a sweltering autocracy.

Overcoming authoritarian centrism – a vision for the climate movement

With COP28 starting and this time hosted in one of the most intensely carbon polluting countries, it is time to reflect on the where and what of the climate movement. …We need to learn to search in ourselves for the points where false hope is keeping us from really expressing what deep down we are convinced of. In other words, we need to grow up and break the chains of self-censorship…

A slow-motion Gaza or how to carbonize Planet Earth

Amid the daily headlines about the nightmare in Gaza and the earlier ones about the war in Ukraine, that other war, the potentially ultimate one that humanity is waging on the planet itself (with the slow-motion equivalent of nuclear weapons — the burning of fossil fuels), is getting all too little attention. And yet it should be considered the equivalent, even if in slow-motion, of World War III.