California Literary Review


Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer


December 10th, 2019

Meanwhile, every billion dollars spent on the supremely misguided attempt to revivify the nuclear industry is a theft from the production of cheap renewable electricity. Think what these billions could do if invested in the development of wind power, solar power, cogeneration, geothermal energy, biomass, and tidal and wave power, let alone basic energy conservation, which itself could save the United States 20% of the electricity it currently consumes.

Festival of the Earth: Rabindranath Tagore’s Environmental Vision


December 6th, 2019

I knew it occurred every Autumn. And every Autumn I intended to go. And after many trials and as many errors, I finally made it one August. It was the festival of the earth.

Recycling Meets Recreation


May 17th, 2010

Last year Macro-Sea conceived of the Dumpster Pool. The designers constructed what they call a “lo-fi country club” in a trash-filled lot in Brooklyn. The mini oasis consisted of three adjacent swimming pools made out of repurposed dumpsters.

Movie Review: Food, Inc.


June 18th, 2009

Shocking and heartbreaking, Food, Inc. gives us those nitty-gritty details of how a tomato is grown or how a chicken is raised. It reveals that every step of the process from farm to factory to functional product is not as scrupulously regulated as government organizations like the USDA and the FDA would have you believe. According to Pollan, “the industrial food system is always looking for greater efficiency. But each new step in efficiency leads to problems.”

Confessions of an Eco-Sinner by Fred Pearce


December 21st, 2008

But Pearce knows more fundamental rethinking will be necessary to keep our species going. “The worst twentieth-century crime of urban planners was to design cities around cars.” We have to transform cityscapes “to make the car … irrelevant,” he writes. “We simply have to give up flying as much as possible.” He thinks the dangers of nuclear power have been “overblown,” and admits coal may be necessary to tide us over, if we can effectively bury its emissions.



December 8th, 2008

‘Can there have been any more inspiring vision this century than that of the Earth from space?’ exclaimed Lovelock, looking back. ‘We saw for the first time what a gem of a planet we live on. The astronauts who saw the whole Earth from Apollo 8 gave us an icon that has become as powerful as the scimitar or the cross.’

What’s Killing the Honeybees?


November 4th, 2008

“So the bigger conclusion is that we have soaked our landscape in toxic chemicals, many of which can interact to form even more toxic compounds, and there is absolutely no regulation or testing of this mixing. Most beekeepers and researchers I’ve spoken with believe pesticides are one factor, working in conjunction with introduced parasites, viruses, bacteria, and fungi, and quite possibly with deteriorating living conditions for bees. Bees could handle one or two of these stressors, but not all of them.”

The Gulf Stream: Tiny Plankton, Giant Bluefin, and the Amazing Story of the Powerful River in the Atlantic by Stan Ulanski


October 22nd, 2008

Aside from providing an easily assimilated scientific and historical overview, The Gulf Stream describes and mammoth natural system that helps drive the living organism that is earth. In these regards Ulanski has done his job as a writer.

Christine MacDonald on the Corruption of the Environmental Movement


October 1st, 2008

“But after watching environmentalists blatantly engage in greenwashing for their corporate sponsors, I can tell you that once a group takes money from a corporation and comes to rely on the continued flow of those dollars to run programs and pay salaries, it loses its ability to be a critic and a watchdog. One high-ranking environmentalist once told me he shies away from seeking corporate funds because corporate executives ‘tend to want to buy you up first and talk about conservation later.’ I think that is largely the norm.”

High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed


May 15th, 2008

All of this pales in comparison to the obscene madness that has now become the fate of Base Camp at Mount Everest. The 8,000-meter peaks of the Himalayas have become the unfortunate repositories for what is repugnant about human nature with very little innate goodness surviving. Dying climbers pushed aside, ignored and denied medical help while their equipment is stolen, greedy guides unethical to the point of criminal, drugs, alcoholism, prostitution – hell this could just as well be inner city New York or Saigon as 20,000 feet above sea level in what used to be one of the most remote landscapes on earth. Everest has become the poster child for this debauchery.

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman


November 16th, 2007

The North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, informally known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is a span of ocean between California and Hawaii the size of Texas, where floats a Sargasso Sea of trash consisting of 90 percent plastic.

Sophie Osborn on Saving the California Condor


June 15th, 2007

“I think hunters need to start demanding more research into the human health impacts of hunting with lead bullets. Saving condors may benefit us more than we ever imagined.”

Brave New West: Something Entirely Different


June 13th, 2007

Are environmentalists really prepared to embrace a simpler, less materialistic life? Or do they still want all the stuff but in a more efficient way?

Mark Harris Discusses A “Natural Way of Burial”


June 5th, 2007

“Above ground, the local cemetery may look bucolic and natural; below the surface, it serves as a de facto landfill of hazardous wastes and non-biodegradable materials.”

The Hundredth Meridian by Chilton Williamson


April 22nd, 2007

Chilton Williamson definitely cares about the West. Every essay in his collection The Hundredth Meridian – Seasons and Travels in the New Old West makes this abundantly clear.

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