Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Nature and the Serious Business of Joy

USFWS photo via Wikimedia Commons
Read about Rachel Carson's eloquent look at how we perceive the natural world in this article:

"There can be occasions when we suddenly and involuntarily find ourselves loving the natural world with a startling intensity, in a burst of emotion which we may not fully understand, and the only word that seems to me to be appropriate for this feeling is joy."

We've never needed this realization more than we do now.

Friday, March 30, 2018

More on sustainable seafood

 "All reputable seafood guides are based on science. Take these three for example – Seafood Watch, the Safina Center at Stony Brook University's seafood ratings guide, and the Environmental Defense Fund's Seafood Selector. All three use scientific data from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which relies on a team of more than 20 scientists who weigh factors like fish population, harm to habitat, harm to other species, and management practices to determine the sustainability of a fishery. These factors produce ratings of green (best), yellow (good alternative), or red (avoid). Despite this shared source of data, the guides offer similar but different advice."

 How to unpack this information:

Historical photo John Nathan Cobb; Wikim. Comm.

Friday, March 2, 2018

human activity speeding the decline of Earth’s biodiversity

 "Healing Earth is an environmental science e-textbook written by women and men who share this awe and concern for the natural world. We are an international group of scientists and humanists who imagine—and work for—a cleaner and healthier planet. We are delighted you are exploring Healing Earth and we invite you to join your hopes for a healthy planet with ours."

 A "second aim of Healing Earth is to help you think ethically as you study environmental science, to reflect on the major moral questions in each chapter topic from the standpoint of a coherent environmental ethic."

Here is the chapter on Biodiversity and Ethics:

See the entire online resource at


Friday, January 12, 2018

Defending Biodiversity - new book

A challenging but powerful new book.


"Imagine that you are an environmentalist who passionately believes that it is wrong to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. How do you convince someone that a decision to drill is wrong? Debates about the environment and how humans ought to treat it have gone on for decades, yet arguments in favor of preserving biodiversity often lack empirical substance or are philosophically naïve, making them far less effective than they could be. This book critically examines arguments that are commonly offered in support of biodiversity conservation. The authors adopt a skeptical viewpoint to thoroughly test the strength of each argument and, by demonstrating how scientific evidence can be integrated with philosophical reasoning, they help environmentalists to better engage with public debate and judiciously inform public policy. " (from )

Friday, December 29, 2017