Environmental Studies

For the Love of Trees

Peter Crane— Recent estimates suggest that there are roughly three trillion trees in the world, almost half the number that are thought to have existed prior to their widespread use and manipulation by people over the past 10,000 years.  Every year it is estimated that perhaps 15 billion trees are

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The Lingering Damage of a Deadly Hurricane

Stephen Long— It can seem like a long wait for Spring to replace the browns and grays of the woods with tints of green. But this time of year has its benefits. Before lush growth turns the woods into a maze of green, we have a chance at an unobstructed

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Thoreau’s Life with Flowers

Geoff Wisner— After graduating from Harvard College in 1837, Henry David Thoreau returned to the village of Concord, where he taught school with his older brother John. At least once a week the Thoreau brothers took the students out for a walk or a boating excursion. On one of these

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A Beginner’s Guide to Science Blogs

Christie Wilcox— I love writing a science blog. I write a lot of things—I’ve written peer-reviewed journal articles and a dissertation; I’ve written for major newspapers, science magazines, and chic, quirky outlets; I’ve even written a popular science book about venoms. But of all the writing I do, I have

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Echoes from a Soundscape Ecologist

Bernie Krause— Nearly twenty years ago, while exploring links between natural soundscapes and music, my dear late father-in-law introduced me to the writings of Paul Shepard. The book, The Others: How Animals Made Us Human, contained a chapter titled “The Gift of Music.” One particular line in that section stood

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The Carbon Crunch: Why What We’re Doing Isn’t Enough

Dieter Helm’s The Carbon Crunch takes a look at the world’s failure to adequately address climate change and proposes pragmatic, much-needed solutions. The following excerpt is from the preface to the revised and updated edition. The underlying position continues to deteriorate. In 2012, another 2 parts per million (ppm) of

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What Has Santa Got to Do With Climate Change?

Jessica Barnes and Michael Dove— An August 2012 edition of The New Yorker magazine adopted an unseasonal topic for its front cover: Santa Claus. In the illustration, Santa is slumped on the ground against a striped pole, cheeks flushed, under the yellow orb of a bright sun. In place of

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A Reality Check on the State of the Environment

As a reflection of the state of environmental debates in the United States, the Senate recently could not pass an amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline bill affirming that “human activity significantly contributes to climate change” (although an earlier amendment to the bill declaring the “climate change is real and

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Make Natural Capital the Heart of Earth Day

Dieter Helm— Earth Day is one of those great occasions when lots of people with goodwill and concern vent their frustrations at the destruction of our natural environment. They are right to do so, but they are wrong to expect much to happen. It is mostly a dialogue between like-minded

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Make Your Yard More Bird-Friendly

With spring finally arriving after a long winter, it’s the perfect time for  a video on how to make your yard more attractive and safe for our feathered friends. Ornithologist and urban ecologist John Marzluff, who recently wrote of the abundance of bird life in urban and suburban areas in Welcome to Subirdia, gives

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