Nonprofit journalism dedicated to creating a Human Age we actually want to live in.

Fall 2011

Volume 12, Number 3


Natural History Upgrade
Struggling to survive in the twenty-first century, naturalists might take a page from their own playbook: evolve, adapt—and use technology to woo people back to nature.
By Richard Conniff

Design Genius
Nature’s most elegant designs may hold the key to super-efficient, ecofriendly technology

The Efficiency Catch-22
Some experts say that energy efficiency can slash carbon emissions at bargain prices. Others say, not so fast. The more energy we save, the more we use.
By John Carey

Finding Genes That Fit
Desperate to break up the genetic monotony that cripples endangered species, researchers are outfitting populations with borrowed genes. The payoff is survival. The price is uniqueness.
By Joe Roman


Counsel for the Accused
John Nielsen talks with ecologist Elizabeth Nichols about parasite conservation.


Following the Paper Trail
New DNA and forensic techniques could curb illegal logging
Bottom Feeders

Mushrooms that clean up dirty diapers
Free-Range Fish Herding

Wild-fish roundups may be the future of sustainable seafood
Can I Keep It?
An app for finding ecofriendly exotic pets
Electric Fruits
Tropical plants could charge your next car battery
Between a Rock and a Warm Place
Pumping CO2 underground to generate geothermal power

Think Again

Everything Old Is Green Again
By Sarah DeWeerdt

Journal Watch

Edited by David Malakoff

Nuclear power and climate change don’t mix
Cell phones buzz off bees
Demographics of climate-change denial
Measuring uranium contamination with Coke
Carbon footprint of Antarctic tourism
Warming climate boosts avian malaria
Artificial light and moth mortality
“Landscapes of death” create conservation opportunities

The Essayist

The Ecology of Make-Believe
By Adelheid Fischer


The Rat in the Hat Doesn’t Come Back
A review of William Stolzenbug’s Rat Island
By Jeffrey Lockwood

An Invasive in Every Pot
Books and resources for cooking up invasive species

Art & Science (print only)
Chris Jordan’s sobering blend of garbage, statistics, and impressionist masterpieces

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