ENVIRONMENT

The Body Electric

The body was the measure of work until the industrial revolution. Yet since we’ve mechanized our labor, turning it over to turbines, earthmovers, combines, augers, engines, electric motors, solar panels, nuclear fission, and natural gas, we no longer have any real notion of the effort it takes to actually power up our homes.

Read More »

Sanctuaries of Silence

Are there any truly quiet places left on the planet? As “The Sound Tracker,” acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton has circled the globe three times in pursuit of Earth’s rarest nature sounds—sounds that can only be appreciated in the absence of man-made noise.

Read More »

From Conversation to Conservation

The creek behind our place had turtles along with frogs, crayfish and a few catfish, and on our family vacations to Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, I encountered snapping turtles, musk turtles and painted turtles all with personalities of their own.

Read More »

Animal Grace

“There is another crime that humanity is committing against itself, the breaking of the Animal Contract. This is the contract that exists between ourselves and the other animals, making us partners in sharing the planet…” –Desmond Morris

Read More »

The Trickster in Your Own Backyard

As our towns and housing developments encroach on the private domain of wildlife, there are more and more sightings of foxes on manicured suburban lawns. In Japanese mythology, they are supernatural beings. In Finnish folklore, the fox is a cunning trickster.

Read More »

Keeping a Nature Journal

During the coronavirus, our daily forays into the natural world have kept us sane, and we’ve been extremely grateful for access to a park, a hiking trail, a meadow or a garden. As our world shifts, we keep returning to the landscape for a sense of solace, and more of us are keeping a Nature Journal.

Read More »

It’s Time to Reinvent the Human

In the 1988 environmental classic, Dream of the Earth, Thomas Berry warned that Western civilization was on the verge of collapse. To protect our planetary home, he said, we would have to reinvent the human, reorganizing all of our professions so they support the web of life.

Read More »