Category: Climate Change

Words that Matter

Those of us with little children often read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss to them at bedtime. The story points toward the past, because the Lorax is a ruin, with only residues remaining of something…

The Brave New World of the Digital Herbarium

Here in the northeast of the United States, spring will soon be upon us, pulling us from the darkness and cold of winter’s grip. Spring’s exuberance—singing and nesting birds returning from

The Parrots of the Caribbean

I ask you, for a few moments, to imagine a Caribbean region where you can suddenly be rendered breathless by the sight of a flock of a thousand Amazona parrots flying overhead, darkening the skies like a gaily colored, deafeningly squaking eclipse of joy…

Climate Change and Resource Pressures

Droughts in already dry places are lasting longer because of climate change and human intervention, but sometimes it’s hard to distinguish where climate change leaves off and human exploitation of natural resources begins…

Who More Cli-Fi than Us?

When I tell people that I research climate change and literature, they usually start asking me about novelists like Kim Stanley Robinson, Claire Vaye Watkins or Jeff VanderMeer. It makes sense. Climate fiction—or cli-fi—that depicts the earth after some kind of future weather-induced apocalypse seems like a natural starting point for a literary study of climate change…

Why Local Governments Matter

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When confronted with the need to address climate change, we environ-mentalists often set our hopes on global environmental agreements with strong enforcement capabilities. We look

Preparing Students to Lead Social Change

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Far from Boston’s windowless lecture halls and projector screens, the small Yucatecan town of Santa Elena became a dirt-paved classroom rooted in culture and global change. As the

Resilience and Resistance in the Peruvian Deserts

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Just a few decades after Francisco Pizarro conquered Peru and the Inca Empire, a natural disaster struck the Peruvian coast, threatening to put an end to the colonial project. Locals

The Melting of Humankind

Imagine one thousand ice-figurines covering the steps of Berlin’s Gendarmernmarkt Square Concert Hall on a warm September day. Similar scenes had emerged before in cities such as São

The Green Leap Forward

Chilean architect Cazú Zegers once stated, “The landscape is for Latin America what the cathedrals are for Europe.” The cultural power of territory has evaded every intention to dominate

Fragments of Hope Nursery

The drive to protect the coastline in Belize doesn’t end at the water’s edge: the most important need for protection can be out of sight, under the crashing surf. Reefs play a critical role in the…

Fleeing the Weather

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The streets of Santiago K are quiet. This village in the highlands of southwestern Bolivia bustled throughout centuries of conquest and expansion, but the mayor is now one of the few remaining

The Timescales of Climate Change

The energy choices we make today are resulting in changes in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere that will be seen in the composition of the atmosphere for hundreds

Extreme Hydraulic Urbanism

Growing up on Peru’s coast, we are always told as children that we don’t have enough water and that we shouldn’t waste it. But we also learn to get used to disasters, especially El Niño, which

Climate Change: Editor’s Letter

My colleague burst into my office, declaring, “Do you know climate change is going to wipe out chocolate?” Somewhere between joking and broken-hearted, she added…

Design with Water

Water is a key to the founding and shaping of cities. The first humans established settlements alongside bodies of water. Whether these populations flourished or not depended largely on

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