COVID-19 as an Opportunity

I see the pause forced on us by COVID-19 as an opportunity for cultural housekeeping and for learning. The pandemic clearly demonstrated some weaknesses in the lifestyle that we had been living. The economic ‘system’ that we depended on fell in shreds when attacked by a virus — a non-living microscopic chemical particle […]

Natural Processes –– Efficient Reducers of Atmospheric Carbon

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the inescapable root of climate change. Anything affecting the rate of addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is unquestionably related to climate change.


A small group of activists has recently tried to stimulate interest in natural processes as preferred alternatives to developing technical means of reducing […]

Undoing Ecological Messes is Costly

More than a decade ago, some New Zealanders imported brush-tail possums from Australia to establish a fur trade. Longer ago, rats got to Kiwi land with settlers. Stoats (weasels) were introduced to control European rabbits that had earlier been introduced. European deer were introduced by hunters. Humans distorted ecological relationships that they did not understand.


The […]

Timing – An Important Effect of Climate Change

When we speak of Climate Change, we often think only of temperature change but another powerful effect is changes in timing of natural events.


Consider spring in our area. Spring melt came earlier last year and the wetlands of the Kennebec Wetland Complex filled, taking the peak off the potential spring flood. But then, the filled […]

Top Predators Can Regulate Plant Growth

Australian ecologists have explained a clear example of how human enterprise depends on the population structure of an entire food chain in the ecosystem. Effects of the top predator affect all of the chain down to the shrubby plants and the grasses.


Encroachment by woody shrubs is a serious problem for livestock producers because the shrubs […]

The Need for Asylum

With so much media attention and social discussion of the issues at the USA border and the flow of asylum-seekers in Europe, we should be wondering what causes the need to seek asylum in so many places?


The obvious simple answer is: too many people with too little livable habitat for humans. How come?


Historically, religious groups […]

The Hidden Threat of the Herbicide Glyphosate

Most concerns about glyphosate have been ecotoxological. In addition there is the fact that glyphosate, C3 H8NO5P, adds phosphorus to any area receiving it. Across US agricultural lands, P added by glyphosate increased from 1.6 kg P per square kilometre in 1993 to 9.4 kg P per square kilometre in 2014 with peak values exceeding […]

Social Media, Truth and 'Facts'

Social media has made it possible for anyone to spread almost any utterances widely and rapidly. Badly used, social media can be a misleading source or a disastrously effective propaganda tool. The fundamental issue is the notion that an outlet can be fully ‘open’ to any input and, at the same time, a reliable source […]

Kennebec Lake –– the Nexus of Salmon Headwaters

All the upstream headwaters of the Salmon come together in Kennebec Lake. Kennebec truly is the nexus of the Salmon headwaters.


At the extreme eastern end of Kennebec, an extension of Crooked Creek joins tiny Cox Lake to Kennebec. Cox Lake receives Crooked Creek that flows south from the west end of Hungry Lake and its […]

Correct Our Trajectory

I find the priority given to human beings over all else to be philosophically mistaken. Just because humans have come to dominate the trajectory of the global system does not mean that it is correct to rank humans as more important than anything else. That philosophical position is shallow anthropocentrism.


Intellectually, placing the highest priority on […]