Category: Nature

In Praise of Barry Commoner

He had a name that you might call Dickensian, except Barry Commoner, who died this week at 95, was anything but his nomenclature. A man of the people, yes. Common, no. Barry Commoner was uncommon. Today, millions of Earth’s inhabitants believe that overpopulation, increased affluence, and advanced technology are the root causes of environmental degradation....

Litter Forensics

SINCE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHING THIS ESSAY, WE’VE COLLECTED NEARLY 3,000 PIECES OF LITTER IN RUNYON CANYON. The results are in! After nearly one week of highly un-scientific sampling, we’ve collected and analyzed the data. Literally. During the test period, we visited Runyon Canyon, Hollywood’s celebrated nature area, and collected as much trash as we could carry –...

Madikwe Safari Lodge

There may be places in South Africa that offer a higher density of game than the Madikwe reserve, near Botswana. But few offer as low of a humans-to-wild-animals ratio as you’ll find at Madikwe Safari Lodge. This sense of solitude helps connect visitors to the rhythms of the bush — that and a terrific staff...

Poem: The Loneliness of the Orchid

When you walk into a room, the dining room let’s say for the sake of useful metaphor, her solitude is silent, screaming mutely and crying in the quiet. The loneliness of the orchid. The stillness of the table. The gentle droop, a swan’s neck, a dancer’s bow to the enveloping sound of love. Cursed with...

A Simple Plan to Save the World

Here’s how we feed everyone, repair our environment, and provide meaningful work: convert lawns into organic vegetable gardens. Imagine if all the property owners currently pumping water and fertilzer into their grass carpets used our precious natural resources to grow food — healthy, unprocessed, nutrient-rich vegetables. Imagine if vast swaths of public land currently serving...

Eating Animals

For more than three years I’ve enjoyed a vegetarian diet, which has left me feeling altogether better. Better energy, better sleep, better digestion, better physical fitness, better health and wellness. I grow a good portion of what I eat. The correlation may be circumstantial or fanciful, but farming my food seems to have made me...

Notes from the Garden

We fear radiation, especially when it’s emanating from a damaged nuclear energy facility. But without it, our plants won’t grow and our children won’t eat. We need the sun to radiate life. Most plants spend their whole existence committed to a single purpose: producing a flower. For some this is easy; they get all the...

Department of Bold Predictions: Crackpots

Bold prediction: Within a decade, a whole class of societal crusaders will develop and be recognized by the arbiters of culture. They will be called radicals, Luddites, crackpots. They’ll be dismissed and ridiculed. And they’ll be consistently marginalized by those with money and power. But they’ll be right.  Their main focus? Harnessing the astonishing energy...

Michael’s Sharing Manifesto

Like many of my friends, my pal Mommy S likes to visit a place in Hollywood we call The Farm. It’s a small garden, actually, where our dear buddy M plants his organic fruit, vegetables, and weed. She enjoys hanging with her gorgeous toddler son in the garden, absorbing the gentle vibrations of life. Mommy...