Nature, Covid-19 and Species Fear

The great challenge is not to deny this fear, but to take responsibility and overcome it, avoiding paralysis and nihilistic or cynical attitudes. In other words, converting fear into preventive and effective action, into awareness of all species.

Why Oil Didn’t Save the Whales – and Why it Matters

Far from saving the whales, it was oil that nearly obliterated them, and may yet still do so. The real lessons to be drawn from the history of whaling are more interesting and more complex than the oil salvation narrative.

From Beetles to Butterflies, Scientists and Landowners are Working Together to Bring Endangered Insects Back from the Brink

But there’s another story that the American burying beetle is a part of. It’s the less-told but equally important story of bringing uncharismatic minifauna back from the brink through cooperation among sometimes-opposing groups: private landowners, public officials and conservation activists.

Rare Wildflower Threatened by Lithium Mine

In a remote corner of Nevada is a wildflower that grows nowhere else on earth. Named “Tiehm’s Buckwheat” (Eriogonum tiehmii), it has been found on only ten acres of public land in the Silver Peak Range of Esmerelda County, and is virtually unknown except to a handful of botanists. Tragically, it is at risk of extinction due to mining activities that have just started in its habitat.

I’m Sorry for Your Loss

Today the monarchs are all but gone. That sad fact hit home this week as I read of the 97 percent collapse of the Western monarch population. No number of inspired “Ten Things You Can Do” articles, no amount of milkweed replanting, will revive a species once it falls into the past.

Civilization as Asteroid: Humans, Livestock, and Extinctions

Humans and our livestock now make up 97 percent of all animals on land.  Wild animals (mammals and birds) have been reduced to a mere remnant: just 3 percent.  This is based on mass.  Humans and our domesticated animals outweigh all terrestrial wild mammals and birds 32-to-1.

Half-Earth or Half Solution? E.O. Wilson’s Solution to Species Loss

Despite my somewhat snarky title, which is based on my assessment that Half-Earth is missing a key strategic component, E. O. Wilson’s book is engaging and even inspiring. Wilson makes a compelling case that our planet is facing serious and accelerating species loss, that human beings are the primary cause of this phenomenon, and that, most importantly, we are capable of doing something about it.