we don't need to change how we do conservation, we need to change why we do it

Ken Christenson

Author's posts

Extreme Times

Extreme temperatures in the Arctic. Extreme flooding in Bangladesh. Extreme wildfires in Australia and in California. Extremely low water-tables in Syria and in California. Extreme rates of glacier melting. And, most alarming for biologists, extreme rates of species extinction and ecosystem collapse. All caused by human activity over the years. It is becoming more and …

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One Species, One Niche: Why Humans Destroy Nature

If I am too cold for human friendship, I trust I shall not soon be too cold for natural influences. It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature. Those qualities which bring you near to the one estrange you from the other. — Henry David …

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The Narrow Way

Ok, in case you thought that last post from Darwin, Dogen, and the Extremophile Choice was too metaphysical, here is the physical prequel: four Our Platonic heritage prompts us to view means and medians as the hard ‘realities,’ and the variation that permits their calculation as a set of transient and imperfect measurements of this …

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‘Heat Death’ Through the Eyes of Darwin, Dogen and Maxwell’s Demon

[five] Now let us suppose that … a being, who can see the individual molecules, opens and closes the hole, so as to allow only the swifter molecules to pass from A to B, and only the slower molecules to pass from B to A. He will thus, without expenditure of work, raise the temperature …

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On The Value of Taking a Knee

There’s been a lot of cynicism expressed over the past week or two, pointing out the potential for hypocrisy when you ‘take a knee’. Images from the Black Lives Matter protests, which show law enforcement folks taking this posture, have naturally stirred up the lack of trust in the police that people of colour feel …

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Darwinian Zen

Please understand this as coming from a friend who shares with you the dis-ease of remaining fully human in a divided world. I am just a humble student of population evo-ecology and of zazen, and I don’t mean to present myself as a shining example of one who has perfected Rumi’s “marriage of form and …

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Is There a New Realty Afoot?

There are still a few cars coming and going on my street. I don’t know where they’re coming from or where they’re going to; maybe they’re just neighbours with cabin fever who want to get away from the TV news, which is all about Covid-19 anyway. Maybe they just want to come down to the …

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Hope in Confronting our Individuation

Climate Change is an existential threat, and many of us don’t know what to hope for any more, or even whether we should ‘hope’ at all. My feeling is that if hope means anything at all in this case, its roots must run very, very, deep indeed. Here is Essay FORTY-ONE from the book, Darwin, …

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Confirmation Bias is the Opponent Climate Activists Must Defeat —Within Our Own Ranks

Sir Francis Bacon: “The human understanding is no dry light, but receives infusion from the will and affections; whence proceed sciences which may be called “sciences as one would.” For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow …

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Optimism is a Political ACT

Thought you might like to see the text of the reading we did at the end of our new year, new decade, walk in Parry Sound. It is not, in fact, the message seen in the above image, but was condensed from the document: ‘In 2030 we ended the climate emergence. Here’s how’ — by …

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