Hacking the planet so a few rich people can get richer

Published on Medium “Geo-engineering holds forth the promise of addressing global warming concerns for just a few billion dollars a year,” Newt Gingrich 2008 “Solar geoengineering solves everything! It’s great! We don’t need to bother to cut emissions.” President Trump 2017 “The main findings are that any implementation of stratospheric geoengineering could end catastrophically for many species. Although if geoengineering were ever done, it would … Continue reading Hacking the planet so a few rich people can get richer

Courses on Climate Change and Sustainability at the University of Florida – fall 2020

All of these courses now have full enrollment. All are online and all have synchronous live components. Until classes begin on 31 August I am willing to attempt to make room (about 5 more for each class) for UF registered undergraduate students. BSC3307C Climate Change Biology can be taken as a graduate course with the permission of your graduate advisor. Contact me by email if … Continue reading Courses on Climate Change and Sustainability at the University of Florida – fall 2020

White guys and aliens

Published on Medium “An invasive species is defined as a species that is: 1) non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and, 2) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” – USDA legal definition “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.  It is … Continue reading White guys and aliens

Burning down the house – global environmental consequences of tyranny in the United States

Published in Medium As a nation we have passed a political tipping point. The effects of decades of divisive rhetoric from right wing media and craven zero-sum political manipulation of race and economics by the GOP will be with us for decades to come. With the election of Trump our nation has been consumed by the negativity of his corruption, denial of science, overt racism, … Continue reading Burning down the house – global environmental consequences of tyranny in the United States

Death taxes and science denial

This is a more recent version of a post that I made in 2017. It seems clear that attacking science never goes out of style (ask Galileo and James Hansen), so I guess it is time to revisit this issue. Indelible in my memory is that day that I lost my political virginity. In March 2007 I was just beginning to deliver an invited talk … Continue reading Death taxes and science denial

The economy of nature and the case for big government

I am an economist. As a professional ecologist I have been trained in the economy of nature. It is only those economists that service the financial industry who treat the human economy as if it is separate from the economy of nature. Since the time of Adam Smith the evidence has been overwhelming that they are tragically wrong. I continue to be impressed by the … Continue reading The economy of nature and the case for big government

Their money and your life - the clarity of climate change and COVID-19

There are several parallels between the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, but perhaps the most disturbing is the intentional disregard of the value of human life in favor of money. This is hardly the first time since the end of WWII that money vs. lives has defined our daily lives. From the institutionalized denial of the damage from smoking tobacco, to the utter failure of … Continue reading Their money and your life - the clarity of climate change and COVID-19

On the survival of civilization – Earth Day 2020

An Australian NGO has been following the anthropogenic decimation of our planet for the past few years. The group, known as The Commission For The Future of Humanity, notes that there are ten existential issues that could spell the demise of civilization during this century. No single one of these is unfolding in isolation because they are potentially mutually reinforcing calamities on a global scale. … Continue reading On the survival of civilization – Earth Day 2020

Misrepresentation of business-as-usual emissions: The red herring of RCP8.5

The Breakthrough Institute has been busy. Their director of climate and energy has published a critique of the use of RCP8.5 as BAU.* While it is true that many papers misinterpret RCP8.5 as being the worst case scenario and that this is equivalent to BAU, the authors of the RCPs recently reminded the climate community that RCP8.5 assumed maximum burning of coal , which is not what is … Continue reading Misrepresentation of business-as-usual emissions: The red herring of RCP8.5