Afghanistan, Ecology, and the End of War

Working with school children in Afghanistan, one experiences the great sweetness of the people there and the commonplace lack of ecological understanding of how the physical world works.  This absence of understanding is magnified by the striking deterioration of the Afghan land and the American effort to address these pressing problems with bombs and bullets.  

Two Books that Shed Light on Our Present Predicament: Arcadia and The Dog Stars

There’s no shortage of modern writers who are exploring our modern dystopia by, as someone has put it in a different context, “remembering forward.” Recently, I happened to read two such novels back to back, both quite fine and both illustrative of that something in the zeitgeist that makes our grinding apocalypse worth writing about. Neither is a techy, sci fi, plot-driven novel such as those of William Gibson or Paolo Bacigalupi, nor are they fully akin to sociological horror stories such as 1984 or The Handmaid’s Tale. They are less didactic than World Made by Hand or The Road.

Sandy: Storms in the Emergency Room

Storms in the Emergency Room – Hurricane Sandy, coal and nukes – it’s not pretty. From D.C. as storm hits, Earthbeat’s Daphne Wysham on the climate connection. From Australia, Greenpeace’s Georgina Woods on huge coal expansion. Then a Canadian plan to dump nuclear waste right next to Lake Huron and world’s biggest running reactor.

Economic Growth: The missing link in environmental journalism

Environmental journalists are like doctors. Doctors run from patient to patient, harried, dealing with symptoms more than causes. They’re too busy dispensing pills to talk about holistic health. It’s an approach that makes money for the health industry but isn’t so great for public health.

Liberal Expectations

I am currently working on a book-length manuscript with a provisional title of Liberal Expectations. In it I argue that the liberal world-view, and especially the expectations of most liberals, prevent them (us) from grasping the reality and consequences of global warming, peak oil, and other resource depletion and environmental problems,