Cities that grow themselves

They are spreading like branching plants across the globe. Should we rein cities in or embrace their biomorphic potential? Josh Berson is an anthropologist and the author, among other things, of The Human Scaffold: How Not to Design Your Way Out of a Climate Crisis (2021) and The Meat Question: Animals, Humans, and the Deep History of Food (2019). Edited by Sam Haselby In 1996, one in three inhabitants of China lived in an urban setting. In 2021, the figure was close to two in three. In the United States, in comparison, the figure is four in five. The construction boom in China tracks … Continue reading Cities that grow themselves

The posthuman dog

If humans were to disappear from the face of the Earth, what might dogs become? And would they be better off without us? by Jessica Pierce is a bioethicist and writer. She is a faculty affiliate with the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Her books include A Dog’s World (2021) and Unleashing Your Dog (2019), with Marc Bekoff, and Run, Spot, Run (2016). She also writes the blog All Dogs Go to Heaven for Psychology Today. She lives in Colorado. Edited by Pam Weintraub If you share your home with a dog, you may have found yourself rolling your eyes … Continue reading The posthuman dog

My 3 Greatest Revelations

The author on writing her new book, “The Other Dark Matter.” BY LINA ZELDOVICH TOLD TO KEVIN BERGER 1 We Are Smothering the Planet with Our Poop The next time you go grocery shopping, look at where your food comes from. Most of it isn’t local. Strawberries come from California or Florida, asparagus from Mexico or Chile, bananas from Brazil or Ecuador. Most of the food gets shipped to us, trucked, flown, helicoptered, or whatever. We eat it and excrete it—in the same place, over and over. And that’s a problem. Before humans settled and started farming, we were nomadic, … Continue reading My 3 Greatest Revelations

Beware the ‘Climate-Stupid Agriculture’ of Bill Gates and His Allies

Bill Gates is just plain wrong when he says the only way to grow food is with synthetic fertilizers. by TIMOTHY A. WISE As world leaders wrap up the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, new scientific research shows that there is still a great deal of magical thinking about the contribution of fertilizer to global warming. Philanthropist Bill Gates fed the retreat from science in his book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster earlier this year. “To me fertilizer is magical,” he confesses, nitrogen fertilizer in particular. Under a photo of a beaming Gates in a Yara fertilizer distribution warehouse in Tanzania, he … Continue reading Beware the ‘Climate-Stupid Agriculture’ of Bill Gates and His Allies

Will Natural Resilience Leave Humans Behind On The Escalator To Extinction?

The Glasgow climate summit will tell. BY NATHAN GARDELS – Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine. While our species, unique in its capacity to envision a future and plan its behavior, stumbles toward climate action in the misty precincts of Scotland this week, the rest of nature can’t wait. It is moving on in evolutionary resilience, one organism at a time, flexibly adapting to human-induced planetary warming. This capacity to conjoin “urgency” with “agency,” biologist Thor Hanson writes in Noema, is a lesson humankind needs to learn sooner rather than later if it is going to either avoid the tipping point … Continue reading Will Natural Resilience Leave Humans Behind On The Escalator To Extinction?

The Scientists Are Terrified

A survey of the world’s top climate researchers shows a stark finding: Most expect catastrophic levels of heating and damage soon—vey soon. ByBrian Kahn A new Nature survey shows a majority of the world’s leading climate scientists expect “catastrophic” impacts in their lifetimes driven by rising greenhouse gas emissions. Brilliant researchers, they’re just like you and me—but with more data, which actually makes the new survey even more unnerving. The feature from Nature, published on Monday, involved querying Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change researchers. These are the same folks who put out a major report earlier this year warning that this is essentially the most consequential … Continue reading The Scientists Are Terrified

Against longtermism

It started as a fringe philosophical theory about humanity’s future. It’s now richly funded and increasingly dangerous Phil Torres is a PhD candidate in philosophy at Leibniz Universität Hannover in Germany. His writing has appeared in Philosophy Now, Nautilus, Motherboard and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, among others. He is the author of The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us About the Apocalypse (2016), Morality, Foresight, and Human Flourishing… Edited bySam Dresser There seems to be a growing recognition that humanity might be approaching the ‘end times’. Dire predictions of catastrophe clutter the news. Social media videos of hellish wildfires, devastating floods and hospitals … Continue reading Against longtermism

This Surprising State is Allegedly The Best Place to Ride Out Climate Change

Florida may be an abandoned city one day, according to the Armchair Urbanist. By Devan McGuinness  Unfortunately, it’s true that we are already living through the effects of climate change. The world is becoming hotter, wetter, and storms are becoming more intense. And while the next decades certainly aren’t yet foretold — there are plenty of drastic actions world governments can take to avoid the worst of climate change — there are places that will probably be better off as the planet warms. As some activists have stated, doing what we can to make a difference will go a long way, and … Continue reading This Surprising State is Allegedly The Best Place to Ride Out Climate Change

The oil and gas industry knew about climate change in the 1950s

Archival documents set the timeline of coverups even further back. BY BENJAMIN FRANTA/THE CONVERSATION  Four years ago, I traveled around America, visiting historical archives. I was looking for documents that might reveal the hidden history of climate change—and in particular, when the major coal, oil and gas companies became aware of the problem, and what they knew about it. I pored over boxes of papers, thousands of pages. I began to recognize typewriter fonts from the 1960s and ‘70s and marveled at the legibility of past penmanship, and got used to squinting when it wasn’t so clear. What those papers revealed … Continue reading The oil and gas industry knew about climate change in the 1950s

The Canary Islands and the Tsunami Threat

The Canary Islands and the Tsunami Threat I. G. Kenyon The Canary Islands comprise 7 volcanic islands that rise 6 to 8 km from the seafloor Eruptions occur on average every 30 years Landslide History of the Canary Islands 1 At least 14 large landslides have been mapped offshore from the Canary Islands Most of these landslides have been dated within the last 1 million years Landslide History of the Canary Islands 2 Recurrence interval is 100, 000 years for all islands and around 300, 000 years for individual islands Landslides comprise 50 to 500 km³ of debris avalanches spread … Continue reading The Canary Islands and the Tsunami Threat