Published: Monday 19 November 2012
There, a loose network of activists is waging a guerrilla campaign not with improvised explosive devices or rocket-propelled grenades, but with zoning ordinances and petitions.

 

There’s a war going on that you know nothing about between a coalition of great powers and a small insurgent movement.  It’s a secret war being waged in the shadows while you go about your everyday life.

In the end, this conflict may matter more than those in Iraq and Afghanistan ever did.  And yet it’s taking place far from newspaper front pages and with hardly a notice on the nightly news.  Nor is it being fought in Yemen or Pakistan or Somalia, but in small hamlets in upstate New York.  There, a loose network of activists is waging a guerrilla campaign not with improvised explosive devices or rocket-propelled grenades, but with zoning ordinances and petitions. 

The weaponry may be humdrum, but the stakes couldn’t be higher. Ultimately, the fate of the planet may hang in the balance.

All summer long, the climate-change nightmares came on fast and furious. Once-fertile swathes of American heartland baked into an aridity reminiscent of sub-Saharan Africa. Hundreds of thousands of fish dead in overheated streams. Six million acres in the West consumed by wildfires.  In September, a report commissioned by 20 governments predicted that as many as 100 million people across the world could die by 2030 if fossil-fuel consumption isn’t reduced.  And all of this was before superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the New York metropolitan area and the Jersey shore.

Washington’s leadership, when it comes to ...

Published: Monday 26 December 2011
“A benevolent and delightful creature, it’s beloved by everyone from children to farmers.”

Great news, people! A colony of nine-spotted ladybugs has been discovered in Amagansett, New York.

This uplifting story is a rich organic mixture of state pride and nature's resilience, along with America's scientific pluck, teamwork, serendipity, and bug love. In today's hard times, we need this.

Let's start with the bug. This ladybug is the classic Coccinellidae beetle, with exactly nine black spots on its red back.

A benevolent and delightful creature, it's beloved by everyone from children to farmers — so beloved that it became New York State's official insect. Sadly (and somewhat embarrassingly), however, this critter had vanished entirely from the state that honored it, with the last recorded sighting in New York 29 years ago. Apparently a victim of competition from imported Asian and European ladybug species, as well as pesticides and habitat loss, only 90 of the native nine-spotteds have been seen in all of North America in the past decade.

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