Learning to love weeds: Beyond the War on Invasive Species

Dandelions. Bull thistle. Kudzu. Japanese knotweed. Himalayan blackberry. From front lawns to woodlands, these are among the most despised of plant species. Species that, we are told, are hell-bent on taking over every square inch of soil, crowding out native species, ruining ecosystems, giving gardeners ulcers. But what if everything we know about weeds is …

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Review: In The Art of Earth Architecture everything old is new again

As an architectural enthusiast, I have long admired Louis Khan. When I first visited San Diego years ago, I made sure to visit The Salk Institute. To see how concrete was used as both structure and frame, guiding my eyes toward the ocean. Kahn inspired me to dream about one day building a home made …

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Bird by Word: Two reviews of American Birds: A Literary Companion

As I finished reading American Birds: A Literary Companion I realized that there were two reviews I could write: the “typical American birder” review and the “atypical vegan birder” review. And that, in the end, I needed to write both reviews. Let’s begin with the “typical American birder” review. In this review, I admire the …

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In Floating Coast, stories of survival, sadness and madness

The Bering Strait is probably best known these days for the 50-mile thin stretch of Pacific Ocean that separates Russia from the United States. But it is also one of the most ecologically abundant waters in the world, attracting whales and seabirds from around the world. As well as people who come to hunt these …

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In Animal City our painful past is still painfully present

If I asked you to picture a “cow town,” you would probably picture a small town, surrounded by pasture, set far away from the big city. Yet in the 1800s, cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco were also cow towns. It was not unusual to see herds of cows squeezed through downtown streets, …

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Eating meat in third person: The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood

Published in 1969, The Edible Woman is Margaret Atwood’s first novel. As a vegan, I was curious to read this book because it features a protagonist, Marian, who discovers one day that she can no longer eat meat. While at a fancy restaurant with her fiancé… She looked down at her own half-eaten steak and …

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Writing Opportunity: And Lately, the Sun

Now that so many of us are hibernating these days, there’s more time to write and submit. Such as to this planned anthology… Our project, “And Lately, The Sun”, explores climate solutions in a short story anthology slated for publication in November 2020. We are currently calling for submissions until midnight (GMT) on the 30th …

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Review: Building a Better World in Your Backyard

When it comes to nonfiction environmental books these days, I feel that we’re reaching “peek dystopia.” Or, at least I hope we are. Because it seems that between books about our warming planet, animal extinction, water shortages and wars, I’m sufficiently enlightened and depressed. What we don’t have enough of these days are hands-on books …

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New Writing Opportunity: Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest

Sponsored by the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University, the contest organizers are “looking for short stories that help us imagine how humans can live within Earth’s planetary boundaries—at the individual level, yes, but more importantly at the level of organizations, communities, and societies, and at the level of a global human civilization.” Work will …

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