A Voice in the Wilderness

By: John A. Lanier

Just listening to her allows you to feel the warmth, gentleness and passion that are mirrored perfectly in her character. I’d happily listen to Janine just count to one thousand, and I enjoy it all the more when I listen to her describe the majesty of our natural world.

Thanks to commonalities in our genetic code, essentially every human being on the planet has the same basic anatomy. Two eyes, two ears, one nose, one mouth, and so on until you reach your toes. In some fundamental respects, we are all the same.

I find it remarkable, however, that within such uniformity there is nearly infinite variety. Consider the mechanics of human speech to understand what I mean. In between our mouths and our lungs is the larynx, which has two mucus membranes that stretch across it. These membranes are our vocal cords, and as air moves out from our lungs, the vocal cords open and close, causing different vibrational patterns. These vibrations create audible sounds, and the characteristics of those sounds depend on the positioning of the cords, our tongues, our mouths, and the speed and amount of air that is moving.

This incredibly intricate combination of our physiological features allows me to say “watermelon” and “astronomy” and for you to understand the difference. The exact same mechanics allow me to sing, hum, growl, laugh, cry and scream. Tiny little differences create every imaginable human sound. There is so much variety, yet uniformity as well – this is how every human being on the planet speaks.

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The Energy-Water Collision

By: John A. Lanier

Sometimes the water is too hot in the first instance to be effectively used as coolant. Know when that is? In the heat of the summer, which will only get worse as our planet warms. Another challenge is droughts, like the kind also predicted to be more frequent as the climate changes.

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The Prodigal Species

By: John A. Lanier

We have a problem with excessive consumption. Our species has become prodigal, and we are spending not just our inheritance, but that of countless generations yet to come.

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Plan G

This 20-minute video covers four different climate stories in the state of Georgia. Even if you aren’t in Georgia, give it a watch – this is a great example of excellent climate communication!

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These Words Are in Style

By: John A. Lanier

I want the issues of our time (environmental or otherwise) to be reported on accurately, and the terms used by reporters and journalists matter when it comes to conveying correct information.

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A Burden to Bear

By: John A. Lanier

Some of the people interviewed for this piece are good friends of mine. Maybe that makes me biased, but it also means I have firsthand knowledge of their values and commitment. They are people of great courage, endurance, and love.

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A Walk in the Woods

By: John A. Lanier

It was beautiful. I took such joy in seeing my child drinking up all of nature’s wonder in that forest. It was as if the trees were speaking an ancient language to him, one he’d known all of his short life, telling him stories that left him spellbound.

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Failing Upward

By: John A. Lanier

Previously, we had to separate out meat products and “compostable” single-use products and throw them away. Now, we can toss those right in our bin. As a result, we have further reduced our household waste to landfill, while simultaneously creating more compost than before.

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That’s One Classy Cephalopod

By: John A. Lanier

You would be smart to consider octopi for inspiration if you were a practicing biomimic – especially if the design question you are asking is “how would nature efficiently navigate confined aqueous spaces like the piping in municipal water systems?”

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A Boy, His Elephant, and Blockchain

By: John A. Lanier

Blockchain could help usher in this era of easy energy exchange, which will move the energy system one step closer to being distributed. The more distributed our energy system, the less reliant we will be on fossil-fuel energy generation.

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