From Robert Harrison’s review (sorry, subscription only) of two new books on Teddy Roosevelt:
One of the hardest lessons for Americans to learn is how to receive, perhaps because we believe so fervently in earning, or perhaps because we have a long history of merely taking, if not grabbing. Perhaps Robert Frost had it wrong in his poem ‘The Gift Outright’ when he wrote: ‘the land was ours before we were the land’s.’ What if you first have to feel that you belong to the land before you can feel that the land belongs to you?
- Argentina, Paraguay join Brazil in pledging to preserve the Atlantic Forest (the “most endangered” tropical forest, down from an estimated 500,000 sq. kms to about 35,000 sq. kms. today).
- Columbia University will not be accepting applications for its 2 year program in environmental journalism, due to falling employment in the field, rising costs of education and lack of financial aid for students.
- This one’s being picked up all over the place: forests in the NW might increase in the next century due to climate change. Although the net effects will be positive (in a value neutral sort of way), there will be a decline in growth at lower elevations, and an increase in growth at higher elevations (= more difficult to log). At, least, that’s what the model says.
- This is kind of awesome. Communities in the Andes are using large nets to collect fog drip to use for irrigation. Although it only rains about 1.5 inches / year in the area, it’s foggy for almost 9 months.
The Big Picture recently celebrated World Animal Day 2009. Some great photos, but this is my favorite (with the well-preserved baby mammoth coming in a very close second):
- Bushmeat hunting in central Africa still classified as unsustainable by TRAFFIC based on data from FAOSTAT (the UN Food and Agriculture Organization database).
- Winner of the Most Depressing Lead of the Year: “Species of plants, animals and other categories of living things are disappearing. And millions of people still live in extreme poverty.”
- Runner-up, division of Applied Ecology: “U.S. researchers say they’ve determined it will not be easy to scientifically predict the spread of invasive plants and animals.”
- On ecology and economics.
I’m sorry, this is literally insane. Not for pre-breakfast viewing.
After a dreadful PR year for both privatization and government intervention, perhaps we should have expected a renewed enthusiasm for the commons. And that’s just what we got yesterday morning, straight out of Oslo. It’s too bad that University of Indiana political science Professor Elinor Ostrom had to win both the first Nobel Prize in Economics ever awarded to a woman as well as the first pendant the committee handed out after sullying its credibility by awarding President Obama the Peace Prize before he even pardons his first turkey. But no matter! If we can spin Obama’s win as a “call to action,” why not do the same with Ostrom’s? Pessimism (fatalism) aside, I’m all for the twenty-teens being the decade of disappearing nuclear warheads and retreating neoliberal resource management.
Let’s hear from the Laureate herself!
An excerpt form the introduction to her 1990 book, (more…)
Have there really been no sloth posts on consblog?