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 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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Book Review: Defending Giants: The Redwood Wars and the Transformation of American Environmental Politics

A decade ago, not long after moving to Oregon, I traveled to Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park where I entered an old-growth coast redwood forest for the first time. To say it was a moving experience is an understatement. The photographs I took were also an understatement; no picture can capture the enormity of these …

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Review: Edge of Awe: Experiences of the Malheur-Steens Country

Funny how a word can change on you. When I moved to Oregon nearly a decade ago, I first heard about the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, about the Steens mountain range, and the diversity of bird species that migrate through this region. Back then, Malheur meant wilderness. But in 2016, after group of armed men …

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Braiding Sweetgrass: Finding a way through environmental despair

At the ASLE conference earlier this summer I heard this book referenced in a number of sessions. And now, having read it, I realize why. Braiding Sweetgrass is a rich collection of essays about plants and animals, indigenous and scientific awareness, and our tenuous relationship with nature. But more than that, it is the story …

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Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment: And our irrational, insatiable, unsustainable desire to control nature

I feel ashamed to admit this, but until recently I had not read, end to end, Silent Spring. I had read parts of the book over the years and have been acutely aware of what the book is about — and perhaps this was the reason I avoided it for so long.  But when I saw …

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LitHub’s climate change library

If we lived on this planet only one day a year then perhaps celebrating one “Earth Day” a year would make more sense. But as LitHub points out, every day is earth day. And they are assembling an ambitious list of 365 books for your climate change library, beginning with the classics. It’s nice to …

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The Great (Unknown) Pet Massacre

The title of this book almost begs incredulity. The Great Cat & Dog Massacre? When I first saw the book cover I struggled to imagine what the book was about exactly. One of the pictures features men in helmets carrying animals, so I initially assumed the massacre was the result of bombings. But, no. This …

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