Divestment Transparency

We like to think we can see the true nature of the world around us, or at least, that we have a chance of understanding it. In February, the Irish government took a big step towards revealing how the fossil fuel infrastructure really works. How? By halting all public investment in fossil fuels like coal,…

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Fueling Fossil Feelings

Over the past year, a variety of elections, polls and movements have demonstrated that, for all the endless access we have to information, we are entering an era that emphasizes acting on emotions and fears rather than weighing facts. Maybe it’s because the constant tsunami of facts threaten to overturn our personal vessels – it’s…

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Fewer Footprints

When we were out on the Pacific Coast in California a couple of weeks ago, two things in particular caught my attention: One was the lack of shorebirds, the skittering types that chase waves and scurry in tight huddles. Maybe it was just the wrong season. There were signs posted indicating that snowy plovers were…

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Just Passing Through

A flock of homing pigeons has taken up residence on our roof. How do we know they’re homing pigeons? They’re all banded, they’re very sleek and well-fed, and they seem a bit lost. They stand on our skylights and look down at us with beaky expectation, as if we know what to do better than…

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Varietals of Choice

Over the past couple of years I’ve noticed a lot of articles and blog posts questioning whether organic food is really worth the generally higher cost of the products to the consumer, i.e. whether organic food offers significant health benefits for the person eating it that justify spending more. The question itself represents part of…

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Adding It Up

Not so very long ago, processing large amounts of data was a tedious business, riddled with human error, machine failings and limited reach. These days, information availability can feel like a tsunami. There’s so much of it, all the time, all around. It’s become easier than ever to share information and images, sometimes involuntarily. The…

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Telling the Bees

Many cultures have customs relating to bees, animals that have long been highly valued, if little understood. After all, bees work hard all year, they pollinate many of our favorite foods and enable agriculture, they provide honey, and they don’t ask for much except to be left to toil in peace. I found out today…

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Arctic Oil Hubris

The U.S. government has approved plans by Royal Dutch Shell to begin drilling for oil off the Alaskan coast this summer. This comes after years of industry lobbying to explore what some estimate to be major oil deposits in the Chukchi Sea. Some estimates run up to 15 billion barrels. On the one hand, the…

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The Shape of Absence

Absence of information has the curious characteristic of being innocuous as long as it goes unnoticed, and undeniably intriguing once it becomes apparent. Once you notice something is missing, you can’t stop looking at the hole where it should be and wondering what should actually be there. For example, a recent report published by the…

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Of a Circular Nature

A flood control project in the Pikine suburb of Dakar, Senegal, has changed a community by redirecting flood waters into basins and creating urban gardens from the water. Previously, the flood waters that inundated the area were left to either recede on their own – during which time all stores remained flooded and the streets…

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