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May 2009

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to balance California’s budget by padlocking 80 percent of the state’s parks, and that puts environmentalists in a pickle. It’s a fine idea, in theory: nothing would be better for many of California’s natural places…

Reminders to stop and notice nature

Last night at the Chicago Cultural Center, Stuart Dybek, a writer who will be remembered as a member of the Chicago canon, recalled growing up in Pilsen, then a gritty immigrant neighborhood on the South Side. In Dybek’s day, the Boys Clubs of…

Give it up, humans: animals are just like us

For as long as I can recall, there has been steady erosion of the notion that humans are different from other animals. No sooner did we point out that we are special because we use tools than an ape used a straw to suck up termites and a bird used a…

Raising hell about sounding the alarm

Stories about global warming, including my own, have sounded increasingly alarmed in recent months. That’s partly because the November election ripped the duct tape off the mouths of government scientists gagged by the Bush Administration, partly…

As Sonia Sotomayor’s name zipped around the planet this morning, environmental groups checked their dossiers and found almost no information on the Supreme Court nominee, except for one ruling that made them smile. None of them declared her an…