Elizabeth Kolbert’s new book asks what it means to protect nature in the Anthropocene.
Elizabeth Kolbert’s new book, Under a White Sky, opens with the story of the battle to keep invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The problem exists because of two earlier interventions with nature. A century ago, we reversed the flow of the Chicago river to keep the city’s pollutants out of Lake Michigan …CONTINUE READING
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One of the Christmas classics is the Jimmy Stewart movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. Stewart is despondent about his life but then learns how much he has unknowingly helped others and how grateful they are. There’s a flip side to that story: the need to remember how much others have contributed to our own lives. …CONTINUE READING
Even the most cursory look at Jewish ethics will reveal a vehement — at times almost obsessive — concern with preventing gossip. Even little kids grow up being warned against לשון הרע (“Lashon Hara”), literally the “evil tongue” — a horrific sin in traditional Jewish ethics. The great rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (1838-1933, and no …CONTINUE READING
David Brooks’ column a few days ago makes an interesting case for radical environmentalism — even if Brooks doesn’t see the implications of his argument. Brooks thinks he is writing a paean to Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn: Those of us in secular America live in a culture that takes the supremacy of individual autonomy as …CONTINUE READING