The Good News — May Edition

As we get close to Mother’s Day, we’ve got to keep our eye on Mother Earth. A lot of action is taking place in the environmental news-sphere and these are just a few of the highlights. A few important themes have emerged in April and the start of May that are worth monitoring–plastic bans and water shortage solutions. … More The Good News — May Edition

Earth Day has passed, but Poetry Month lasts all April

When we think about nature and poetry, the knee-jerk reaction is to think of the English Romantic poets such as Keats, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Tennyson. However, their sublime view of nature and lofty diction may no longer appeal to contemporary audiences. Our relationship to nature has become more complicated. … More Earth Day has passed, but Poetry Month lasts all April

The Good News – March – First Edition

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the bad environmental news available left and right. That’s why I’ve decided to compile some links to recent good biodiversity news in this post. If all goes well, I hope to continue offering good news updates once a month. I not only offer links to genuinely good news, I also try to find the beauty in the news that makes us cringe. In the face of so many depressing reports, we need our hope to blossom.  … More The Good News – March – First Edition

3 Key Biodiversity Insights from Vandana Shiva’s Biopiracy

Vandana Shiva, a prominent scientist, activist, and feminist, has profoundly shifted my thinking about the preservation of biodiversity recently. Thanks to her book, Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge, published in 1997, I now see how patent protections negatively impact biologically diverse regions of the world when they support the competitive and monopolizing ownership of seeds, medicinal plants, agricultural crops, and other biological agents by multinational corporations. These patents promote private ownership over natural resources in a way that systemically prevents biodiversity preservation through the traditional use of the land by women, indigenous people, and farmers in the Third World.  … More 3 Key Biodiversity Insights from Vandana Shiva’s Biopiracy

Record and understand local biodiversity with iNaturalist app

I feel a stranger here, not just to the culture, but also to the living creatures around me. I want to learn their names. I wish to live a life like the naturalists Thoreau or Nabokov who spent time chasing streams or butterflies when they weren’t writing. I want to spend time walking, collecting, and observing. On top of that, I want to have an archive of my journeys, too. It may sound like a lot to ask for, but I’ve recently come across an app called iNaturalist that will help me with all of this. … More Record and understand local biodiversity with iNaturalist app

Tropical botanical gardens: both a fantasy and a necessity

My dream of lounging in a hammock surrounded by the flora of the Brazilian rain forest in a luscious botanical garden is now supported by biodiversity experts. A seminal study on ex situ conservation was recently published in Nature. It found that 30% of all plant species biodiversity is present in botanic gardens including 41% of threatened plant species, a total of 105,634 species. While the numbers are certainly promising, much of the remaining work to be done lies in the tropics. … More Tropical botanical gardens: both a fantasy and a necessity