ENVIRONMENT

A Moveable Feast

Americans are natural vagabonds—the instinct to uproot and reboot is embedded in our DNA. This issue, “A Moveable Feast,” considers why we are so eager to pick up and go—and what we hope to find at the end of the road.

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How to Be a Good Ancestor

“Are we being good ancestors?” This question resonated with Krznaric and his wife, the Oxford economist Kate Raworth, who are raising twins. These two academic superstars have been drawing on 40 years of systems modeling and risk research to create a better world for future generations.

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Changes in the Land

Americans are going through a period we might call “The Great Accountability,” considering how this country was actually built—through the decimation of its Native peoples and the mismanagement of its natural resources. William Cronon’s 1983 classic, Changes in the Land, bears rereading, for it explores the relationships between “Indians, Colonists and the Ecology of New England.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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