Thursday, June 15, 2017
I received a lot of compliments on last week’s email condemning America’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. But my comments also spawned more complaints than usual. I’ll boil them down to three points: 1) I should have reported that, unlike Syria, Nicaragua refused to sign the accord because it failed to include binding emission reduction targets. (Actually, I don’t know why Syria didn’t sign. It could be that the country has its unclean…
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Paree will still be laughing after every one of us disappears.
But never once forget, her laughter is the laughter that hides the tears.
And until you’ve lived a lot, and loved lot, and lost a lot,
You don’t know Paree, you don’t know Paree.
The news this week was all about Paris. Sadly, however, the world’s attention was not focused on the shimmering city of light, (the epithet refers to Paris’ intellectual leadership during the Enlightenment),…
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
There was good news and bad news for nature (and humans) this week, and a few open-ended items. First, the open-ended.
One of our board members emailed me two photographs of eggs washed up on the beach at Sullivan’s Island. He wondered what bird they belonged to and where they came from. Incisive analysis led me to conclude that they were pelican eggs (because they were three inches long and no other nesting seabird produces…
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
This week’s news summary features articles about stuff, and how we, as a society, are dealing with it.
In the first article from the Post and Courier, Bo Petersen reports on the imminent (May 27) opening of the South Carolina Aquarium’s turtle rehabilitation hospital, the Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery Center.
P&C: South Carolina Aquarium to open $5.3 million sea turtle clinic on Memorial Day
Bo explains that sea turtle rehab has evolved from a…
Monday, May 15, 2017
This week we witnessed the next chapter in Google’s effort to withdraw 1.5 million gallons of groundwater a day from the Middendorf aquifer, one of the coast’s deep, ancient and threatened aquatic repositories. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control approved a water plan, (despite assurances that they would entertain further discussion before proceeding), and thus set the stage for action on Google’s pending permit.
Mt. Pleasant Waterworks (and the Conservation League) have opposed…
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
We have an environment, madam, if you can keep it.
Earth Day 2017, with homage to Benjamin Franklin.
I hope you had the pleasure of spending Saturday outside. There is so much going on – turtles are laying eggs, snakes are on the move, warblers and thrushes are returning from the tropics, alligators are basking on second floor Mt. Pleasant porches… It’s a great time to celebrate nature!
Re: the stair-climbing alligator, Bo Petersen with the Post and…
Monday, April 17, 2017
Ombra mai fu
cara ed amabile,
From “Serse” by George Frederic Handel
I’ve spent a lot of the last week outdoors, both in the mountains and on the Black and Pee Dee rivers. (This is my lame excuse for skipping last week’s e-mail.) The forests are mystical this time of year, with fresh leaves bathing road and river edges in diffused green light. In the mountains, silver bell and serviceberry flowers are emerging, and dogwoods…
Monday, April 3, 2017
I’ll start with the bad news about the federal government because I hope you will agree that it’s less important than the good news that follows.
The Trump Administration continues to amaze. Without exception, every single step they have taken on the environmental front is designed to undermine policies and programs that protect nature and human health, and to eliminate funding for critical scientific research on which future progress depends. They have, in the words…
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
A couple of weeks ago I included an article by David Brooks on the perils of abandoning the principles and processes of the Enlightenment – skeptical inquiry based on reason and empirical evidence. But I also included a piece from an English sheep farmer that seemed to provide a counterpoint to the cold rationality of, say, Francis Bacon. I thought the (sometimes) countervailing forces of reason and sentiment would help us navigate the environmental…
Monday, March 20, 2017
If you don’t know who Simon Kuznets was, you were probably an English major or a psychology major. You were almost certainly not an econ major.
Professor Kuznets invented National Income Accounting, which brought us the world’s most widely used measure of economic well-being, Gross Domestic Product (GDP). National Income Accounting systematized the evaluation of economic activity in America. Its misuse is also one of the reasons we are in so much trouble today.