The Straight Story on Farming

Again, a perfectly wonderful book raised my ire by throwing out a tired trope — the assertion that all our societal woes date to the "inception of agriculture" (which phrase is itself a red flag that raises my blood pressure; there is no such point in time or place). This time the claim that farming… Continue reading The Straight Story on Farming

Ministry for the Future: Review

Ministry for the Future Kim Stanley Robinson Orbit Books, 2020 This is not an exhaustive review of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Ministry for the Future. I don’t feel competent to write such a thing, nor do I think it’s strictly possible to say all that could be said in a review in less than several pages… Continue reading Ministry for the Future: Review

Dog Days of Summer

The Dog Days are upon us. For me, this name evokes childhood afternoons spent with my collie, Toby, reading under the fig tree, swimming in river pot-holes, and generally doing as little as possible. I have never loved summer best. I’ve never liked heat. Nor did Toby. We invented all sorts of escapes. Mind you,… Continue reading Dog Days of Summer

On the Myth of Debatable Science

I wrote this in 2017. It is still depressingly relevant. And ever more urgent. Science is not a debate. It is not a conversation between opposing points of view. It is not a balanced discussion of belief systems. Science is the refinement of factual knowledge through the application of reproducible observation and experimentation. Opinion and… Continue reading On the Myth of Debatable Science

Stay or Go, and How?

Climate change is happening in real time right now. Temperatures are rising. Storms are intensifying. Permafrost and glaciers are melting. All of these affect sea levels. The oceans absorb much of the planet’s heat, and warmer ocean waters expand onto land. Intense storms can throw sea water far inland, destroying buildings and infrastructure, shifting river… Continue reading Stay or Go, and How?

Under a White Sky: Review

Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future Elizabeth Kolbert Crown, 2021 In Under a White Sky Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction, examines the future world we are engineering. Kolbert dispassionately reports on schemes to mitigate the multiple disasters we have created for ourselves — from climate change and ecological… Continue reading Under a White Sky: Review