Science

Love! Nature – the Book Review

I recently finished Love! Nature by conservation biologist Dr. Reese Halter. Here’s my review: read it. Love! Nature is a collection of more than 75 essays that provide a tour of the natural world. Reese’s eye and interest moves from oceans to mountaintops, desserts to rain forests, and covers the environments, bio-mechanics, evolution, habits, and…

That Didn’t Take Long

So, right after scientists got their hands on the gene editing tool called CRISPR-cas9 in 2015, the moral gymnastics began. Scientists faced the challenge of how to use — or more importantly how not to use — a new, powerful, and (ethically speaking) little understood technology. Well, some faced it. Others ignored it, as we knew…

Our Lazy Relationship with Reality

This week Roy Scranton — combat veteran, author, and Notre Dame professor — published what is in essence a manifesto explaining why, in the face of nearly-assured ecological doom, he chose life. It reminded me of Samuel Beckett’s closing to The Unnamable: “…where am I, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you…

Because We Can

If you think of technology as the materialized knowhow of others, then what’s the equivalent for ethics? Waiting… Yes, those are crickets you hear. Which is astounding when you consider the stakes. Consider: In the April 2017 issue of National Geographic, Linda MacDonald Glenn, a bioethicist at the California State University, Monterey Bay, gave an…

Last Second Shot

If you’re lucky enough to get out for a snorkel or a scuba dive, it’s obvious from the get go. The coral graveyard below the surface, that is. And unless you’re a purposeful ignoramus, your own part in that devastation hits home quickly. But even if you’re trapped in in a world of emails, tweets,…

Why So Ready to Forsake?

Our planet is so verdant with life we’re still ages away from discovering its many forms. Earth is bursting with so much variety, in so many environments large and small, that we’re driving loads of species extinct before we have a chance to even know them. Thankfully, one aspect of human nature drives some of…

Now Arriving: the Future (with Guests)

The real world and the worst of our dystopian nightmares have been in a blender since Y2K, and we’ve been living in a messy mix of both ever since. The difference of late is that the blender has sped up and the top has popped off — and not just in the realm of politics. Wondrous,…

This Is Happening

The message from scientists studying the effects of climate change: “climate change needs to be addressed as an issue now playing out, not something that could happen in the future.” The proof: “a survey of studies has determined that climate change has had a particularly dire effect on mammals and birds on the endangered species list.”…

Knowledge Is Power (and Salvation) – Even in Prison

“I continued to search and devour anthropology, history, biology, philosophy. I’m just going through the different subjects and putting all the different things together and trying to search out all the different areas that I can. It was very quickly that I found a vision of the purpose of life. I started to sense this…

Pruitt a Train Wreck of a Potential EPA Chief

Scott Pruitt, perhaps the worst of all Donald Trump’s administration picks (and damn that’s saying a lot), made a mockery of the confirmation process and the job he’s applying for when he answered a Senate committee’s questions today. Having already made part of his career willfully denying climate science, fighting to dismantle the agency he now…