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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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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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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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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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Our national economy isn’t making us happy. We don’t want to contribute to global warming, for example, but our economy does and so do we. We don’t want to drink plastic-bottle water, and fill up the sea and cover the land with them, but the tap water tastes bad or we’re traveling or whatever. Many,...
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Ah, spring is here, time for serious cleaning of gardens and basements. I’m going to clean Biocitizen of the concept of the “environment,” mainly because, beyond its status as a concept, there is no such thing. What the EPA calls the “environment”—The sum of all external conditions affecting the life, development and survival of an...
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As I was saying, while I was earning my PhD at UConn, I learned that its administration was trying to develop water protecting land that was illegal to develop, and falsifying population figures so it could build lots of  industrial sprawl without having a sufficient water supply. There was another thing I noticed when I...
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Having alienated its local chapters by selling out its name and mission to Clorox in 2008, and through its failure to get neoliberal carbon-trading legislation passed in Congress 2 years later, the Sierra Club has struggled to maintain both its relevance and funding. Cleverly adhering to the EDF “market-based solution” model of actively greenwashing to...
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