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Global Change, Sustainability »

Friday, March 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

Now that we’re busy hacking the planet, we need all the help we can get.  We humans are pretty good at solving complex problems like choosing the next move in chess- better than most machines.  But as Gary Kasparov notes in Clive Thompson’s Wired piece on the Cyborg Advantage, ... [More]

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Anthromes, Ecosystems »

Sunday, January 31, 2010 | 1 Comments

Do you feel uneasy?  Maybe your local ecosystem has taken a turn for the worse.  According to ecopsycology, we humans suffer profound discomfort when our habitat feels like it is being degraded.  As discussed in an article in this week’s NY times magazine.  Ecopsychology&nb...; [More]

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Anthromes, Land use »

Friday, January 29, 2010 | 2 Comments

People are everywhere these days, but if you really want to “get away from it all” , the remotest place on Earth, aside from Antarctica, turns out to be Tibet.  This from a New Scientist article (and related blog post) that explores travel times in the global accessibility map we... [More]

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Global Change, Sustainability »

Monday, January 25, 2010 | 2 Comments

“Cities are green. Nuclear energy is green. Genetic engineering is green. (Brand 2009).” In 1968 Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog was embraced by a generation trying to get back to the country, get off the grid, and grow their own. Now it’s 2010, and the quote above, from ... [More]

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Global Change, Sustainability »

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 | 6 Comments

Our planet is heating up in a hurry!  Call in the Earth doctors!  Let’s fix the planet!   Now that we’ve pushed Earth systems out of the comfort zone, Earth and environmental scientists are increasingly being called on to address the big questions that affect all of us, ... [More]

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Global Change, Sustainability »

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 | 3 Comments

Are humans pushing earth systems towards environmental catastrophe?  Or are we just worrying needlessly about the novel state of the earth that we have now created?  Or both? In a Nature Feature entitled “A safe operating space for humanity” a team of scientists affiliated wit... [More]

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Global Change, Land use »

Friday, August 21, 2009 | 1 Comments

Millennia before humans discovered coal, indeed, millennia before there was civilization, Homo sapiens had discovered fire and was making extensive use of it.  In a study just published by Bill Ruddiman and myself (Ruddiman and Ellis, 2009), we show that early farmers using fire likely cleared ... [More]

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Anthromes, Ecosystems, Global Change, Land use, Sustainability »

Thursday, July 23, 2009 | 1 Comments

Should we conserve nature even if it is not wild?  Humans have transformed 40% of earth’s ice-free land into crop fields, pastures and settlements, and have embedded another 37% within used and populated landscapes (anthromes).  While 23% is still free of people and their u... [More]