We are nature

Spinoza helps diagnose the bad ideas and sad passions that preclude us from a finer relationship with the natural world Beth Lord is a philosopher and professor in the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. She is the author of Spinoza’s Ethics: An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide (2010) and Kant and Spinozism: Transcendental Idealism and Immanence from Jacobi to Deleuze (2011).Listen here Edited by Nigel Warburton In his book Novacene (2019), James Lovelock writes: ‘We must abandon the politically and psychologically loaded idea that the Anthropocene is a great crime against nature … The Anthropocene is a consequence of life on Earth; … … Continue reading We are nature

Welcome Back, Animals!

It’s time to consider how we can have more animals in our daily lives in the city. BY PAMELA YEH & IAN MACGREGOR-FORS The shelter-in-place orders and the massive drop in human activity in our cities, designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, have given us surprising and unexpected sightings of wildlife species across cities around the world. But beyond general awe—and a brief respite from the gloominess of the news—what can seeing all of this wildlife tell us about human-deprived spaces? Although the media has mainly covered unexpected sightings occurring in urban settings as a result of lockdowns, there … Continue reading Welcome Back, Animals!

The Hidden Life of Viruses

The COVID-19 crisis has made the dark energy of evolution visible. BY DAVID KRAKAUER & DAN ROCKMORE If there is one thing that the coronavirus pandemic has exposed, it is that there is much that we still don’t know about the world around us. Forget about the trillions—OK, more than trillions—of galaxies in the universe that we’ll never explore. Just at our feet or in the air around us are cohabitants of our own world, some alive, and some—viruses—that occupy an odd liminal space, not quite alive, but not dead either. They exist in what is effectively a hidden world, … Continue reading The Hidden Life of Viruses

As if Covid-19 was not enough, other virus outbreaks are erupting around the world

By Pete Gelling It’s a good time to be a virus, it seems. While everyone is likely well aware of the coronavirus pandemic, other viral diseases are also thriving, spreading locally and threatening already overwhelmed healthcare systems. In Indonesia, dengue—which is spread through mosquitoes—has infected some 40,000 people so far this year, a nearly 16% rise from last year. Compounding the problem, most of Indonesia’s hospitals are now tasked with prioritizing patients with Covid-19, leaving those suffering from the painful and sometimes fatal symptoms of dengue without treatment.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html In Latin America it’s even worse. The region saw the highest number of dengue cases in … Continue reading As if Covid-19 was not enough, other virus outbreaks are erupting around the world

If Nothing Else, The Lockdown Has Been Good For The Earth

Lockdown should make economic reform contagious gregfelton.com One day, perhaps several months or a year from now, the 2 SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus) pandemic will be declared over, but it will not be business as usual. The virus of 2020 is not something to be consigned to disease history alongside the Spanish Influenza, polio, SARS, MER, AIDS or numerous cholera outbreaks. It is a life-altering event that has rendered obsolete our concept of what is normal. Whether the pandemic is natural or man-made––a topic to be taken up later––does not alter the fact that it is making the earth conspicuously healthier. … Continue reading If Nothing Else, The Lockdown Has Been Good For The Earth

Slow hope

Climate change is an emergency but despair is not the answer. The world is full of untold stories of people-powered change Christof Mauch is director of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, and the Chair in American Culture and Transatlantic Relations, both at Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) of Munich. He is an affiliated professor in history at LMU Munich, and an honorary professor at Renmin University in China. He is the author of Slow Hope: Rethinking Ecologies of Crisis and Fear (2019). Edited by Sam Haselby In 2000, Tsai Jen-Hui, a professor of architecture at the National Taipei University of Technology, … Continue reading Slow hope

Concrete Is Awful for the Planet. Clever Chemistry Can Help

8%: The portion of global carbon emissions produced by the cement industry. by VINCE BEISER (@VinceBeiser) is the author of The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization. Without it, our civilization would be nowhere. With it, the Earth is suffering. But what if concrete could be used to store climate-warming carbon? IF YOU FIND yourself at this moment in a city of any size, take a look out the window. Most of what you see is made with a single material, one that dominates our world: concrete. It makes up the bulk of virtually every office tower, shopping … Continue reading Concrete Is Awful for the Planet. Clever Chemistry Can Help