Insects have been so successful in the evolutionary sense that they have a strong foothold on every continent, save Antarctica. They are high in protein and much simpler to raise than cattle. I came to respect insects in a really odd way – and it started with hating them.
Today was an Earth Day unlike all the rest. Not that the environmental movement has ever lost its gusto in our hearts, but this year in particular everyone seemed to band together with the proposition that we need to do more for Earth. It was also a different day because I didn’t spend it picking up trash or re-arranging an eroded shoreline like I have in the past. Rather, today I supported the tropical plant conservatory at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, jointly operated by City of Madison Parks and the non-profit Olbrich Botanical Society, by visiting with a dear friend. Continue reading
In disease research, rats have the lamentable circumstance of being poked and prodded as a test subject. Today I am turning the tables to look at rats in a different way – by reading the literature on the evolutionary biology of rats and mice.Continue reading
In the spirit of the new year, I crafted a few environmental “Rules to Live By”. Like environmental resolutions for the planet, these are environmental goals that I would love to see reached in the US – or even worldwide.
- Recycling incentives do exactly what the name suggests and give people an incentive to save plastic bottles and eventually return them to the store. As it stands, Hawaii, Maine, New York, and other select states refund 5 cents for each item that is returned to a recycling center. I hope to see recycling incentives for everyone in the future.
Back in my younger days, I would always wear the coolest tee-shirt from Rainforest Café. It came with a bunch of clasp-on rainforest bugs that I could use to prank people, show off, or entertain myself when I was bored. Now, I’m managing my own miniature rainforest within the confines of my bedroom. What I’m referring to is the bioactive terrarium setup (featured on the left) that has become popularized in the pet community as of late. Here’s why I find this hobby fascinating.
A number of my friends decided to visit the beautiful island of Hawaii this month. Daydreaming about spending time on the beach or hiking Oahu’s “Stairway to Heaven” made me think about a different kind of island: The Urban Heat Island. Urban heat islands aren’t literal islands, though. Certain cities are referred to as urban heat islands because metropolitan temperatures tend to be higher (as much as 3 degrees Celsius annually) than local rural areas. Madison, Wisconsin is no exception to this concept.
Carbon capturing technology exists. The question among philosophers is whether or not using such tools is morally sound. Removing carbon from the atmosphere with machines makes consumerism appear less harmful than it really is. On the other hand, natural climate solutions (NCS) are a less costly and more ethical alternative to geoengineering that involve restoration and protection of our organic environment. NCS’s are simple solutions such as halting rainforest destruction or rebuilding drained wetlands. Which solution is the right one? Continue reading