A Tale of Two Viruses

The lesson of COVID-19 is that nature demands respect. If we continue trying to dominate and commodify nature, we will pay dearly. “Rampant deforestation, uncontrolled expansion of agriculture, intensive farming, mining and infrastructure development, as well as the exploitation of wild species have created a ‘perfect storm’ for the spillover of diseases from wildlife to […]

The Fall

Eden, the original field of human thought, contains two fruit-bearing trees. One brings life and the other brings death. One fruit is digested and the other gets caught in the throat.

Breaking Glass

“I hope you’re writing some of this down,” she said, gathering her books and hopefully her wits before I swept her off to class. On the way to campus we stopped in a long column of cars in front of what turned out to be a perpetual red light. At the corner a pretty young […]

Entropy & Empire

Historically the response to the crisis of overdevelopment is more development. This is why so many civilizations undergo their most intensive building activities in the final years before collapse.


In 1950 the journal Mind featured a curious proposal for determining if a computer could think. Submitted by code-breaker and computing pioneer Alan Turing, the idea was that an examiner would pose questions to a pair of test-takers located in a different room, and the answers from both respondents — one human and one machine […]

A Dream Called Hell

You know you’re in trouble when the clouds turn green and start spinning on a vortex. You really should’ve gotten out of there by now. But you can’t move or sense your body. You can only watch as the funnel drops in fits and starts, bopping about as if feeling its way toward something until […]

The Mother of Invention

“I don’t know if we’re more religious today,” says Ken Bingman, who has taught biology in Kansas City public schools for 42 years, “but I see more and more students who want a link to God.” While religion certainly looks to be on the upswing in the United States, there’s a lot more to the […]

The Enemy of Nature

“Never has a holocaust been carried out so impersonally.”

In his 2000 presidential campaign, Joel Kovel ran to the left of Ralph Nader. Just as Nader’s campaign was purely symbolic in the context of money-driven politics, Kovel could barely manage a whisper against the roaring backdrop of Green Party enthusiasm for Public Citizen #1.

Narcissism as Politics

Not far from Stafford there’s a thousand-year-old tree, once slated for destruction, that will now live on for centuries. Except for a pitifully small “buffer zone,” the primeval forest surrounding it will vanish while this supreme specimen endures. Its promise of everlasting life was secured by a young woman who spent two years perched on […]