Category

sustainability
If you know what bugs live in a river, you can gauge its health. So, every year just as Summer slips into Fall, the Biocitizen Corps ventures out and catches some, following EPA protocols, in a national citizen science initiative called “Rapid Bioassessments of Benthic Invertebrates.” Certain bugs need lots of oxygen. The cleanest coldest...
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Biocitizens—it’s rapid biotic assessment time! Which means: time to get into the rivers and collect the bugs that live under rocks. The bugs tell us—by their amount, variety and size—how oxygenated (& healthy) our rivers are: an annual “physical,” just like at the doctors’. The Biocitizen Corps reunites in the early Fall to care for...
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And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect...
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Alan Lightman, of the physics & creative writing departments at MIT, has published an essay in the NYTs that expresses his fear of “nature” and of dying. It is wonderfully naive, and a perfect example of the collapsing epistemology of industrial capitalism (that MIT has for its entire existence promulgated with brownfield, cancercluster and bankrupt-economy...
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“Epistemology” is a word that describes a system of knowledge and values. Every culture has an epistemology, as we find when we travel internationally and/or compare, say, Holland and Saudi Arabia. Epistemologies appear and disappear, along with their cultures. We can’t explain to ourselves what the Mayan epistemology was. We’ve seen a new one whelped...
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Allow me to give you an Earth Day gift I’ve been trying to wrap up ever since I studied under an eminent Thoreau scholar who, in his first lecture, handed it to me—by saying: “For Thoreau, nature was a symbol.” “A symbol of what?” I blurted, admittedly interrupting but…come on: a symbol? “Of God, of...
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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting some folks who are interested in learning about the little bit of the Dead Branch Brook in Westhampton that is home to endangered species. Thinking it might be of interest to many readers, I’ve decided to spread the joy—for isn’t it a special occasion, this sharing of scientific...
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Neoliberalism will destroy everything including itself, but that doesn’t mean the human species will become extinct. I write this, prematurely, to the survivors (& please, may our grandkids be among you). In a few weeks, food prices will skyrocket. They’ve already started to. If there has ever been a time for us to grow a...
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Today, our Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decided 5 to 4 that there’s no limit to the $$ consumers of politicians can spend to buy them. I don’t think the word has been invented that describes our present form of national government, but it’s quite clear that Jimmy Carter is correct: we no longer have a functioning...
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