Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Steven Nadler: We have an ethical obligation to relieve individual animal suffering

Last winter, unforgettable video footage online showed a starving polar bear, struggling in its Arctic hunting grounds. Because of global warming, the ice was thin and the food supply was … Continue reading

August 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

Emily De Ferrari: On Killing Flies with Dr. Seuss

I killed them in the window. I killed them on the door. And when I killed a hundred flies I kept on killing more. Why is my heart so cruel, … Continue reading

August 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

Al Maginnes: The Book of Forgetting

By now she’s tired of stories spotlighting her early deeds, actions too endearing to be plotted, or the years before she came, blanks of time distant as fires in the … Continue reading

August 14, 2018 · Leave a comment

Dani Burlison: What Wildfires Do to Our Minds

A Northern California community offers mental health first aid to survivors of devastating fires. It’s late spring, and I’m hiking Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in Sonoma County with therapist, ecopsychologist, … Continue reading

August 14, 2018 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: Europe’s Heat Wave

Here’s what you give up in a heat wave here in southern France. You don’t leave the house much, since the paved streets can reach well above one hundred degrees … Continue reading

August 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

Video: Physicist Emmy Noether’s Theory of Symmetry (animation)

. This short animated film by Rosanna Wan explains how the early 20th century German mathematician Emmy Noether dramatically transformed how scientists think about the physical world when she revealed … Continue reading

August 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

Tim Radford: Hothouse Earth could soon be unavoidable

Researchers say the world may be approaching a tipping point, followed by a dangerous slide towards Hothouse Earth, an overheated planet. Human actions threaten to push the planet into a … Continue reading

August 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Joan McGregor: What philosophers have to say about eating meat

WeWork, a co-working and office space company, recently made a company policy not to serve or reimburse meals that include meat. WeWork’s co-founder and chief culture officer, Miguel McKelvey, said … Continue reading

August 9, 2018 · 3 Comments

Walter Bargen: Dogs of Beauty

Somewhere in some other place their kind are wild, meant for the verdant and exotic, and on the west slopes of the coastal range, near Palos Verdes, where the foothills … Continue reading

August 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mel Gurtov: While Rome (and Most Everywhere Else) Burns

The Trump administration is taking action, but in precisely the wrong direction. . The sky above Soda Bay, Calif. is seen on July 30, 2018 as the River Fire burns. … Continue reading

August 6, 2018 · Leave a comment

Michael Simms: The Garden and the Drone

We come to the garden because it is beautiful. Arborvitae, hydrangea, anemone— Even the names are beautiful.   The men who call themselves our leaders Seem far away. We feel … Continue reading

August 5, 2018 · 11 Comments

Sara Bir: A Brief History of the Feral Blackberry

The Himalayan blackberry was introduced to North America as a food crop. Like a Gremlin doused with water, it escaped its confinement and became almost impossible to eradicate. . Blackberries … Continue reading

August 4, 2018 · Leave a comment

Stacy Bannerman: Is Climate the Worst Casualty of War?

The money misspent on the Iraq War—a war for oil, let’s not forget— could have purchased the planetary conversion to renewable energy. Just sit with that a moment. . “The … Continue reading

August 3, 2018 · Leave a comment

Jessica Corbett: California Fires Are the Nightmare that Climate Scientists Long Predicted

Wildfires ravaging the state have “spawned bizarre pyrotechnics, from firenados to towering pyrocumulus clouds that evoke a nuclear detonation.” . Flames from the Carr Fire burn through trees and a … Continue reading

August 2, 2018 · 2 Comments