Climate

Good Sixties/Bad Sixties? (part 2)

Paul Goodman died in 1972, after roughly a dozen years as a widely-read and celebrated author. For this reason, he is largely remembered as a sixties figure, even though much of his important writing was published in the forties and fifties. Goodman's salad days as a public intellectual came in the early part of the sixties. Goodman became one of those figures, like Michael Harrington, C. Wright Mills, Rachel Carson, and Martin Luther King Jr., who at this pivotal moment in U.S. history transmitted into the culture ideas that helped bring about dramatic change.

Nuke Me Once, Shame on You. Nuke Me Twice, Shame on Me.

First I want to say that the suffering in Japan is weighing heavy in my heart. Second I want to say we should all of us be taking extra care of ourselves right now. No matter what they say about immediate health threats or lack thereof, radiation anywhere threatens us everywhere, especially in East Asia, the Pacific, and western North America.

A Pox on Both Your Houses

The Economy. The Ecology.

From the Greek, oikos: house, dwelling.

Which house do we really live in?

Which house shall we huff and puff and blow down?

For one of them will have to go;

that much we can hardly fail to know.

Thank heavens for the depression of 2008 and 2009. It's a miracle. I say this sincerely. For because of this depression, my country managed to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions for two consecutive years.

Mother fracker

In the Finger Lakes region of New York state, where I live, hydro-fracking has hit the top of the list of contentious, momentous political issues. If you haven't heard the term, hydro-fracking might sound like some kinky water sports. It's actually shorthand for hydraulic fracturing, an extremely invasive method for extracting natural gas from very great depths. The gas companies are especially covetous of the "Marcellus Shale," an ancient geological formation in central New York and Pennsylvania.

Facing facts

Climate change, dude. I find it difficult to think about it in a sustained way because I get emotionally overwhelmed. Yet it's on my mind all the time in little fleeting ways. That's the kind of bedeviling crisis it is. On a beautiful late-summer day, beneath a crisp blue sky and a canopy of leaves—sure, it's a little warmer than you'd think for this time of year; sure, the hot weather came early this year, and all the fruit crops came in weeks early too—but right here, right now, to my senses, things don't look too bad. Life looks as beautiful and orderly as ever.