Totalitarian agriculture and our limited understanding of the economy

Oil palm produces palm oil, a cheap and therefore ubiquitous ingredient in modern foods. This oil palm plantation swallows the rainforest in Kalimantan. Palm oil is considered extremely harmful to Indonesian rainforests, a vital ecosystem that’s home to many endangered species. Several products in your home probably contain palm oil. Photo by Nanang Sujana/CIFOR

NOTE: This essay is taken verbatim from a graduate school application and contains the original academic citations.


Modern humans and our institutions are not equipped to fully comprehend the broad impact our economy imposes on the natural world. That’s because we conceive of “the economy” as the body of…

The VP’s progressive task force gesture doesn’t touch the most essential part of addressing climate change

A Shell Oil drilling platform. Recommendations from a progressive task force for Joe Biden’s climate change platform allow drilling, which activists say has to stop. Photo by Thomas Boyle.

When he became the presumptive Democratic nominee for this fall’s presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden commissioned a task force to develop a policy platform bridging the gap between centrist and progressive lawmakers in the Democratic Party. The group released recommendations in a 110-page report Wednesday. The climate section…

Despite this victory for water protectors, Trump is still dismantling environmental protections

A federal judge on the D.C. Circuit stopped the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from operating Monday and ordered the oil removed from it, citing a 1970s federal law requiring U.S. government agencies to conduct rigorous environmental assessments before rubber-stamping building projects.

An intense, years-long protest has swept the region containing…

So why do gaslighting pundits say otherwise?

Globally, the meat industry slaughters between 70 billion and 150 billion animals each year. But crop production also carries a heavy toll. The best estimate for how many wild animals die annually in crop monocultures is about 7.3 billion. …

DALLAS, Texas — In recent weeks American security forces staged a militant nationwide crackdown on peaceful protesters assembling in public squares across the United States to demand cities reallocate policing money to social programs.

The violent police actions failed to stamp out the protest movement, but they fomented riots and…

Some Christians think repentance is the solution to police brutality

A Christian preacher tells Black Lives Matter protesters they wouldn’t need to worry about police brutality if they accepted Jesus on Saturday in downtown Dallas.

On a street corner in downtown Dallas, a white guy, maybe in his 40s, with a protruding brow, thick biceps, a trim physique, and a mic and speaker, was preaching.

At least four people supported him, a white man in his late teens or early 20s, a black man about…

A writer remembers killing A. anguilla

Like Hansel and Gretel, Danish biologist Johannes Schmidt followed the crumbs. But they weren’t crumbs; they were eel larvae, strung in a meandering but generally westward trail across the Atlantic Ocean. And he hadn’t laid them. And he wasn’t feeling his way out of the forest. …

This is the freedom of whiteness

Protest in response to the Philando Castile shooting by Fibonacci Blue.

Joy and I were on our way to commit a crime or two. I was driving. It was in Dalhart, a cow town with a huge famous grain elevator in the westernmost part of Texas before you cross into the northeast of New Mexico. I was pulled over for speeding…

It’s the environment

“I don’t believe in Global Warming”: Climate change denial by #Banksy

I’m sometimes asked by people who say they can’t see a difference between Joe Biden and Donald Trump why I would support the former in the election, which I plan to. …

We don’t know how many animals there are

Jaycees measure the length of a western diamondback rattlesnake in the research pit at the World’s Largest Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, Texas, March 14. The Jaycees also record the weight and sex of the snake but not where it was caught.

Early every spring, dozens of bounty hunters canvass the hilly brush country of West Texas for western diamondback rattlesnakes.

The hunters know where they’re going. They’ve done this before, seen preceding generations do the same. Some talk about the dens they search as “my dens.” They have relationships with ranchers…

Aaron Hedge

I like to write about human-wildlife relationships, mostly.

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