Occupying the planet

I want points for this.   I’m not a particularly competitive person, but I did smugly think I would score better than average.   After all, I don’t commute to work in a car, I’ve worked in conservation most of my life, and most importantly, I don’t have kids.  But when I used the Global Footprint Network’s footprint calculator, I learned that it would still require 4.3 … Continue reading Occupying the planet

Inside out

Every year I grapple with the same thing.  The first weekend in November typically is gorgeous, with the sun just strong enough by midday to shine a few final bursts of warmth through the bare trees before it withdraws into the dark and cold of December.  Most of the leaves are down, although a few still decorate the landscape with splotches of orange or red … Continue reading Inside out

A frightening future: Overpopulation

A scary thing will happen this Halloween:   the world’s population will reach seven billion people according to a new United Nations Population Fund report.  That’s six billion more than existed just 200 years ago  and twice as many as 1960.  Each person requires food, water, shelter, clothing, health care, and ideally, opportunities for self-fulfillment – a tall order on a crowded planet. Providing adequately for … Continue reading A frightening future: Overpopulation

A Panasonic Pandora’s box?

We bought a new television set this week and the stink bugs returned.  No, these weren’t cause and effect.  And normally I wouldn’t mention them in the same breath.  Except that I also started reading William Stolzenburg’s new book, Rat Island, this week.  Will’s a friend and neighbor here in Shepherdstown WV where we both live.  He also happens to be an excellent science writer, … Continue reading A Panasonic Pandora’s box?

Relative response

At a family gathering this weekend a relative asked me what areas of environmental action are ripe for progress.  He wanted to know where he should direct his retirement energies.  In other words, how could he actually do some good?  He and his wife live in New Hampshire, and as the opportunity presents itself there every four years, they become engaged in presidential politics.  But … Continue reading Relative response

The power of place

My people have always moved.  Place has never been as important as opportunity.  Hence, my maternal grandparents crossed the Atlantic in 1929 to escape the economic collapse that had already occurred in England (only to encounter it a few months later in America when the stock market crashed).  My grandmother was an old hand at immigration by then.  She previously had left Ireland for England, … Continue reading The power of place