Myopia: more environmental, less genetic

The science magazine/journal Nature has an interesting article this week on myopia, aka near-sightedness. Myopia is on the rise among children worldwide, and is reaching epidemic levels in some Asian regions: in 1955, 10-20% of the Chinese population was short-sighted, and today up to 90% of teenagers and young adults are. This has led to an […]

Oil Spills Used to Save Lives at Sea

Here is a pointer to a great article with a maritime history lesson:  sea captains used to intentionally create small oil spills around their ships during rough weather in order to calm the seas. And it worked.

Sometimes Nature Isn’t Intuitive

A new study released by Washington State University shows a very unintuitive result: killing gray wolves increases the likelihood of livestock killings the following year.  The explanation makes sense, once you hear it.

Ending the Elephant Program at Woodland Park Zoo

Today the Woodland Park Zoo announced, with great sadness, that it would be phasing out its elephant exhibit and transferring its two Asian elephants, Chai and Bamboo, to another AZA-accredited facility. Their reasoning is clear yet nuanced. Let’s take a moment to walk through it.

Bill Nye’s New Book

Bill Nye has a new book out, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation. I am constantly blown away by the fervor with which many people want to deny scientific facts so they can continue to live in their fantasy world of miracles and magic. We need more voices like Bill Nye, who not only […]

Louisiana’s coastline: don’t get too attached to it.

ProPublica has a very informative feature on the rapidly shrinking Louisiana coastline. This is another man-made natural disaster, but surprisingly sea level rise from climate change is only a tertiary factor.  The story goes much farther back than that, and could largely be attributed to naïve good intentions in a time when we thought we […]

When even oil refineries admit climate change is real

Turn the irony knob up to 11:  a tar sands oil refinery asks the State of Delaware to enact a shoreline stabilization project in order to mitigate the effects of sea level rise. I think my head is going to asplode. But it does point out something important: even while Republicans stick their heads in the […]


I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the water management issue on the west coast of the United States.

The sage grouse, or how not to talk about conservation

Over the weekend the AP published a story about the greater sage grouse, which has become a political hot potato in an important election year.

Sea stars: hope or last gasp?

It’s been reported this week that in some of the places where sea star wasting syndrome has recently wiped out the local sea star population, researchers are now finding baby sea stars. 

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