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This week’s New York Times Magazine includes a fascinating read by Ferris Jabr (with incredible photos by Brendan George Ko) about the work of forest ecologist Suzanne Simard. Simard’s career began when studying for her Ph.D. she examined the fungal links between Douglas fir and paper birch in the forests of her childhood home in British Columbia. Her peers at the time questioned the choice: “They thought it was all very girlie.” But it developed into a life’s work on how trees “communicate” in the forest via underground fungal threads. Simard believes that trees are “Very perceptive of who’s growing around them. I’m really interested in whether they perceive us.” Simard’s own book, “Finding the Mother Tree,” comes out next May — it’s a memoir of her “lifelong quest” to prove that “the forest was more than just a collection of trees.”
Why This Matters:Simard’s research has provoked “one of the oldest and most intense debates in biology: Is cooperation as central to evolution as competition?” Jabr writes that “some scientists have advocated, sometimes controversially, for a greater focus on cooperation over self-interest and on the emergent properties of living systems rather than their units.” Is there a greater lesson here for how competition and the tragedy of the commons have made the planet sick, and how we humans will need to heal it through cooperation?
With the Trump administration rolling back environmental protections and exacerbating environmental inequalities, the burden had landed on states to take up measures to protect minority and poor communities.
Why This Matters: Environmental Justice (EJ) was still not well known in 2019 when Senators Cory Booker, Tammy Duckworth, and Tom Carper created the first EJ Caucus in the Senate in 2019. And as with climate, state governments are leading the way.
The Trump Administration wreaked havoc on the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum that brings together eight nations and six Arctic Indigenous organizations to discuss issues impacting the melting top of the globe.
We have no time to waste when it comes to getting this virus under control and building our economy back better. Tune in as I announce my American Rescue Plan. https://t.co/4YAg0nhJMn — Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 15, 2021 Yesterday, President-elect Joe Biden announced his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan which he described as “a two-step […]
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