Are people ever going to care about our thoughtless mistreatment of environment? I mean really care, like viscerally, ache in the gut, care?
Twenty years ago, I thought the world was on the verge of waking up to the horror of climate change. In 1998, coral reefs were bleaching, one after the other, around the world, for the first time ever, simply because the world had got a little bit warmer. What a signal! Coral reefs around the world turning white overnight, with substantial death of corals following on. Far more powerful than a lonely canary falling off its perch deep in a coal mine, this signal was the wake-up call mankind had been waiting for. Only, it didn’t happen. We did not wake up.
We don’t care about what happens to coral reefs because we don’t know them. We only know of them. Coral Reefs, published by Yale University Press, uses my lifetime of experience on coral reefs to get us to know and care about them. By telling their stories. By making them real, vital, necessary. If we can learn to care, we will repair the environmental damage we have inflicted in so many ways for so long; caring for reefs is a good beginning, and a first step to fixing not a coral reef problem, but an existential crisis for all of us.
Over time the site has evolved into a blog in which I discuss recent science results on aspects of the environmental crisis, and recent news events, particularly from Canada, pertaining to the struggle to get the crisis taken seriously. Necessarily, I find there are important things to say about Canada’s tar sands, the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines, and attitudes to environment. However, I also talk more generally about the global environmental crisis, and more specifically about particular ecological systems and how they, and we, are doing. Visit, read, hopefully enjoy, comment, and tell your friends.
Our Dying Planet is my attempt, as an ecologist, to convey the complexity and severity of the environmental crisis, and the need for quick and determined action if we care at all about our own children. There is still time to act, and economically viable paths to take, that will bring us to New Atlantis, a future in which humans live rich and fulfilling lives as stewards of an ecologically sustainable Earth. Join up for the journey of our time.
Coral Reefs, a 2021 book about coral reefs: Colorful, exotic, of immense value to humanity, and disappearing rapidly because of our mismanagement of the planet — we are deluged daily by evocative photos and videos of coral reefs, and most everyone knows their story. But most of us don’t really give a damn – coral reefs are simply another just-so nature story. This book reveals that coral reefs and their messages are far more important to our lives.
Speaking Events & Other News
I frequently speak to community groups and participate in workshops and conferences dealing with the environment, climate change or coral reefs. I also speak about my books.
I prefer speaking in front of a group. But I’m now learning to also enjoy the way the internet permits you to Zoom all over (recent events are here) and talk at far away places!
If you are interested, contact me here.