Most of the epic survival stories you’ve read probably involve crazy mountain climbers, adventurous cave divers, or bearded and grizzled desert hikers. Scientists aren’t typically mentioned in this company. But sometimes, geologists find themselves enduring nature’s worst in the pursuit of that must-have dataset… or at least, a dataset that seemed really important at the time. Here are three stories about four geologists who found themselves at the wrong place at the wrong time when nature removed her flowery veil and donned her murder hat. But before I get into those, it needs to be said that people perished during the events of some of these stories. Given that, please consider this a celebration of the perseverance, luck, good fortune, and bad-assery of those who survived. Continue reading
Science is constantly reinventing itself, revising past theories and proposing new ideas that hopefully further our understanding of the world. Copernicus proposed the heliocentric solar system, Newton had gravity, and Einstein gave us relativity. But every once in a while, a theory gets proposed that’s downright nutty. Not only that, some of these theories can persist for decades or even centuries. As these ridiculous theories hang around, sometimes they find themselves intersecting with strange moments in history. Here, I present the crazy history you’ve never heard of behind 3 ridiculous geological theories. Continue reading
We revisit one of our first interviews with environmental historian Richard White. He addresses the (mis)perceptions of the natural world, the ambiguities surrounding the Anthropocene boundary, and explains what he meant when he wrote the provocative essay “Are you an environmentalist or do you work for a living.”
Historian, author, and urban park ranger Jenny Price makes her case for throwing out the well-tread “save the planet” mantra in favor of a new environmental approach stemming from social justice, a re-contextualization of nature, and even satire. In particular, she explains the beauty she finds in recognizing the nature of the concrete Los Angeles river. As she wraps up, Jenny discusses how her satirical approach to environmentalism has gotten her into trouble involving a hit man.