Reading in the Dark

I’m heading to the woods of northwestern Maine for the next week, with legendary naturalist Bernd Heinrich and the Field Naturalist program.  Will certainly bring back some photos and stories.

In the meantime, here’s some reading for the darkest weeks of the year.  Remember, biological spring doesn’t begin until late January to mid February depending on your latitude and elevation – there’s still time to hibernate!

–A terrific, well-referenced look at the ecological history of the Eastern North American savanna.  It’s way more exciting and broadly relevant than it may sound – read it!  A very Renewing the Commons topic that I’m excited to explore more here soon.

–Another long “death of environmentalism” essay in Orion.  I say partly in jest, because of the regularity of the topic in that magazine and the deeply (and perhaps quite warranted!) negative/pessimistic tone of many of the essays in this subgenre.  But more so than some past entries, I think this one is very much worth reading and pondering.

I may respond or add my thoughts at more length at some point.  For now, I’ll just pose a question to anyone who reads it: what activities would you, for yourself in your own life, with your set of relationships and leverage points, add to the author’s list of “what, at this moment in history, would not be a waste of time”?

Finally, a not-unrelated reminder that as of two days ago the state of California is regulating carbon emissions through a cap-and-trade market.  It’s a fairly big deal; hopefully more on this soon as well.

Enjoy the dark, cold weeks and the ever-so-gradual return of the light.

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