Saving Nature and Human Civilization

As the majority of the world’s citizens become aware that both climate and extinction are in danger of spiraling out of control, there are growing efforts to direct our governments to take action. Continue reading

Weeds–Nature’s Emergency Technicians: No. 1. Alkali Heliotrope

Weeds are the most dynamic members of the botanical world. The many ways they disperse their seeds and smite their competitors are often unexpected and enlightening. Weeds’ ability to colonize and thrive in damaged and hostile environments suggests that they will be the plants that survive the Anthropocene. Some weeds will make fine companions for any of us that survive, but some weeds would be inimical to humans and other animals. Continue reading

Political Platform for Nature-Conservation

We need leaders who understand the value of watersheds, soils, pollinators, and ecosystems. We need leaders who recognize that we are in the midst of both a climate and an extinction crisis. We need leaders that know humanity cannot survive without healthy ecosystems. Continue reading

New map reveals concentrations of nature-disrupting roads

The natural world is in the midst of a mass extinction as wild places are destroyed by conversion to farmland, mining and pollution, and animals are hunted in huge numbers. In October, a major analysis found the number of wild creatures was on track to fall by two-thirds by 2020, compared to 1970.

Roads are the catalyst for much of the destruction by, for example, giving U.S. coal miners access to forests, and giving illegal loggers access into the Amazon or poachers access to wild animals. Continue reading

What if humans abandoned half the planet to wildlife?: A conversation with E.O. Wilson

First, to explain, the anthropocene is a word that some people are using to describe the current geological epoch. The idea is that so much has changed — in terms of the atmosphere, the soil, the animals of the world, etc. — that we should formally designate a new epoch dating to sometime in the 18th century, around the beginning of the industrial revolution. The world is changed, it’s increasingly human-dominated, and we ought to start calling it something that reflects that. Continue reading