Climate Change

“A Gun to Our Heads”

On October 13, 2016, Almir Suruí, then chief of the Paiter Suruí indigenous people of northwest Brazil, issued a panicked appeal. “This is my cry of alarm, please listen to me!” he wrote to national ...

Your Prius Is Not Enough

Many of those who voted for Donald Trump were elated by his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. For Trump supporters, environmentalism is a dirty word, and like other policies designed to ...

The Holocene Hangover

As a child growing up in the early 1980s, I often daydreamed of space exploration and interstellar frontiers. The leap into outer space seemed tantalizingly close. In the science fiction stories I ...

How to Live in Uncertain Times

Doomsday is a messy affair. We fix our anxious gaze on the horizon, awaiting the moment when the air will prove too warm, the sea too toxic, the ground unfirm. We live in a time we are calling the ...

Anthropocene and Empire

In the autumn of 1839, an unusually strong tropical storm devastated coastal communities along the Bay of Bengal in what was then the English East India Company’s premier settlement. A decade later ...

Too Bad About the Trees

This is the latest installment of our new blog series, An Engineer Reads a Novel.   Heat and Light, Jennifer Haigh’s fifth novel, highlights the complexity, dirtiness, and danger of the labor of ...

Planetary Politics

In 2000, the atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen and the ecologist Eugene Stoermer proposed that the earth had entered a new age. The Holocene period, the geological term for the past 11,500 years, had ...

Dancing on a Crowded Planet

Thirty dancers are barely enough to fill the shadow of the life-sized blue whale that hangs, mid-dive, in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Yet on ...

Forget Fertility, Get Feral

What’s more important to our planet’s future than little children? Global warming is about them, we’re told, and it’s on their behalf that we have to do better. Climate scientist James Hansen titled ...