Maybe it’s just that it’s Monday, but I couldn’t help but have my attention riveted this morning to two rather downcast but provocative items:
1) In Andy Revkin’s excellent “Dot Earth” sustainability blog, the author was working overtime this weekend when he came up with a post that explains how climate change is like puberty.
How? OK, here goes: Revkin recalls how as a child on the verge of manhood he shot a bird with a BB gun — and then, horrified at his own action, with blood and feathers staining the snow, vowed never to take life like that again.
Climate change, he explains, is a bit like that bracing “grow up!” message. The whole post is worth a read, but here’s a taste:
At a quickening pace, humanity is etching its signature across the Earth, diverting waterways and downing forests, spreading pythons to the Everglades and American bullfrogs to Bordeaux, extracting minerals used in cellphones from a last patch of gorilla habitat, altering the atmosphere, knitting the land with roadways and the sky with contrails
2) It isn’t always the Financial Times one looks to for enviro savvy, but today the old pink-sheet features an interview with Jared Diamond, author of the true-apocalypse book “Collapse.”
David Pilling’s account of his interview wtih Diamond would have been a little breezier if he’d gone a little lighter on the details of Diamond’s domestic life — do we really need to know he pecks his wife on the cheek and calls her “sweetie”? — but it’s an engaging look at an important thinker.
Was it a cultural choice that the Inuit up in the Arctic did not become farmers? No, it wasn’t. You could not have agriculture in the Arctic. So it seems to me that the rise of agriculture in the modern world really does involve strong environmental influences. And if you want to call that geographical determinism, you can call it geographical determinism. Except that we are taught to react to that like you should react to wife-beating and incest with your mother: we all know it is not nice, and that it should be stopped.
He goes on to admit he’s not a vegetarian, despite his preaching about Earth’s limits, and to opine that when things get out of control in the biosphere, it’s the Stone Age tribes that might survive best. It’s worth a read.