Category Archive: Environment

Oct 04 2013

The truth about lorises


The latest celebrity fad is getting pet lorises. They’re adorable! They have such big eyes and a funny face! And look, they like to get tickled! Aww, so cute. I want one. At least, that seems to be the typical response in followers of pop culture. Anna Nekaris, a professor of primate conservation at Oxford …

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Sep 18 2013

I’m so sorry, Colorado

My daughter moves to Boulder, and what happens? The worst storm in a century. I’m not saying there’s a causal relationship, but you know we sent her far far away for a reason, right? Actually, I’m pretty sure she had nothing to do with it. But there are things we could have done and should …

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Aug 05 2013

Prime snide kookrant

I was surprised when I read the excerpt from the sneering letter to the editor-in-chief of Science magazine — it’s someone patronizingly chiding the little woman with the big job at a science journal in decline. It’s bad enough that it’s so condescendingly goofy, but it’s also complaining that Science has foolishly jumped into the …

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Aug 02 2013

Although…I would endorse “Christ Hunting”


Yesterday, I was sent a link to an appalling photograph: one of those standard trophy shots of a group of grinning idiots standing over the corpse of an elephant they’d sportingly murdered with their great big manly guns. There’s a whole gallery of cheerful assassins, if you want to see; I don’t recommend it. It’s …

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Jul 24 2013

It’s not just the pipelines we have to worry about

The new oil extraction techniques involve injecting super-heated steam under high pressure deep into the ground, liquefying the hardened, tarry stuff so it can be extracted. Only…sometimes there is a blowout, and the toxic gunk starts oozing out in all kinds of unexpected places. Exactly as is happening in Cold Lake, Alberta, on the lands …

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Jul 20 2013

We told you! You didn’t believe us but we told you!

Here, at long last, is proof sufficient to most systems of jurisprudence that I am not PZ’s alter ego. It’s the video from the #FtBCON panel Science, Skepticism, and Environmental Activism, held Saturday evening California time, also featuring Madhu Katti and Jennifer Campbell-Smith, my colleagues from the Coyot.es Network. The panel also featured Piasa the …

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Jun 26 2013

Obama says weasel words

Wasn’t it nice of Obama to say a few words about the environment yesterday? President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project from Canada to Texas should only be approved if it doesn’t worsen carbon pollution. The $7 billion pipeline has become a contentious issue, with Republicans touting the jobs it …

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Jun 21 2013

In Boring fields

In Boring fields the suburbs grow In Council houses row on row, A cozy place; and in the sky The plastic bags still bravely fly Used once by urbanites below. We paved the Dead. Short days ago It lived, sank roots, let seedpods blow, Ten thousand years, but bid goodbye to Boring fields. Dig up …

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Jun 20 2013

Flying over the Bakken

Ecoflight is a non-profit that uses light planes in the service of wildlands conservation. (I got on their mailing list a couple years ago after I took one of their flights over the California desert with pilot Bruce Gordon.) Today’s offering from EcoFlight’s mailing list included a link to this video of oil drilling in …

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Jun 20 2013

Living things are more than the sum of their minerals


I tell you, that’s a beautiful fish. It’s a sockeye salmon, native to Washington state, British Columbia, and Alaska, a gorgeous anadromous beast that has to spawn in lakes of the Pacific Northwest. Huge numbers of them live in Bristol Bay off the Alaska coast, which is pretty much the center of their population range. …

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