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How Special Are We, Really?

On the one hand, not very. The universe is massive. A single light year is 5.8 trillion miles long. The closest solar system to our own is 4…

Are You Bothered By Extinction?

Extinction rates are difficult to measure. We don’t know exactly how many species exist, and we don’t know how fast they’re dying off, or when. Scientists have guessed….

Do Environmentalists Need Nuclear Power? An Argument For “No”

In a speech to science writers in 1954, Lewis Strauss famously predicted that every U.S. household would soon be powered by abundant nuclear energy, “too cheap to meter.”…

The Dregs

My backyard neighbor is a military research institute. It’s a spacious facility, with many wings and layers. There are a few big satellite dishes that you can see…

A Warming, Sinning World

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51:5 Attitudes about climate change can, at times, share a certain symbolic similarity…

What VR Means For the Environmental Movement

Virtual reality scares me. Trying a headset on, I’m struck by how natural it feels, how convincingly real. People look like people; places look like places; things work…

What Have We Done With Stardust – Part Two

The question is so important I think the news should make frequent reference to it, perhaps as a mandatory tagline, e.g. “The New York Times  – What We Have Done…

Do Environmentalists Need Nuclear Power? An Argument For “Yes”

Avoiding the worst consequences of climate change—the raison d’être of modern environmentalism—requires a rapid worldwide reduction in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving that reduction demands…

What Have We Done With Stardust – Part One

Babies are born bluegray – the color of predawn sky. For the first time, atmospheric oxygen diffuses across the membranes of their lungs and into their bloodstream, where…

Inelegant Separation

Ideas of class and elegance are predicated, at least partially, on separation from the natural world (or the illusion of separation). We hide our privates, for “decency.” We…