Eugene Linden
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Lastest Musing
THE OZONE CHRONICLES; HISTORY REPEATING AS TRAGEDY

Joe Farnam, the dogged, data-driven discoverer of the ozone hole, died in 2013, three years before publication of findings showing that the ozone layer, which protects life on earth from UV radiation, has finally started to recover. This nascent recovery comes 42 years after atmospheric chemists fir...

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Featured Book

The Ragged Edge of the World
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Articles by Category
endangered animals
rapid climate change
global deforestation
fragging

Books

Winds of Change
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Afterword to the softbound edition.


The Octopus and the Orangutan
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The Future In Plain Sight
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The Parrot's Lament
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Silent Partners
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Affluence and Discontent
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The Alms Race
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Apes, Men, & Language
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This web site contains links to Eugene Linden's essays, articles and books on a wide range of topics ranging from environment to social and economic issues. There are articles on the science and dynamics of climate change and the possible social, economic, and environmental effects of global warming ( including some of the first national articles on rapid climate change). Other environmental articles deal with endangered animals, the biodiversity crisis, threats to water supplies, global deforestation, and the politics of environment. The site also contains links to Linden's writings on social issues ranging from the plight of indigenous peoples to dynamics of financial markets. Some writings look forward offering future predictions about how such factors as the wage gap, population pressures, migration, and the rise of religious fanaticism might bring increased instability and drastic change.

-- Eugene Linden

the ragged edge of the worldThe Ragged Edge of the World


A species nearing extinction, a tribe losing the last traces of an accumulation of centuries of knowledge,  a tract of forest virtually untouched since prehistoric times facing the first incursions of humansóhow can we begin to assess the cost of the increasing disappearance of so much of our natural and cultural legacy? While these losses occasionally garner headlines, the pressures on earthís remaining wildlands and tribal peoples are unremitting and mounting.

For forty years Eugene Linden has explored environmental issues in a series of critically acclaimed books and in articles for publications ranging from National Geographic and Time to Foreign Affairs. His diverse assignments have frequently taken him to the very sites where tradition, wildlands and the various forces of modernity collide. In The Ragged Edge of the World, he recounts his adventures at this volatile frontier, where he has witnessed the dramatic transformations that follow in the wake of money, development and ideas as they make their way into the worldís last wild places.

Linden tells this story through encounters at this movable frontier. He takes us from Vietnam where exciting new species are being discovered near the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail to New Guinea and Borneo; from pygmy forests to Machu Picchu; from the Antarctic, where the entire ecosystem is changing, to the Ndoki, long celebrated as the most pristine rainforest in the Congo, which, even though it now has protection, suffers impacts from the outside world as dust, a portent of an ominous drying, blows in from the north. Even in the face of so much harm, however, many efforts at preservation have succeeded, and Linden charts the pioneering projects the protection of Midway Atollís vast albatross colony and Cubaís vigilant guardianship of its spectacularly beautiful landscape.

An elegy for what has been lost and a celebration of those cultures resilient enough to maintain their vibrancy and integrity, The Ragged Edge of the World captures the world at a turning point with a compelling immediacy that brings alive the people, animals and landscapes on the front lines, as change continues its remorseless march.

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Short Take

This week Donald Trump did the smartest thing he has done in his feckless campaign. He apologized. Those of us appalled by the bloviating narcissist can only hope it doesn't work, but the evidence of history is that the political apology is powerful medicine. For voters previously put off by bluster and bullying, the apology upendss the relationship of candidate and voter by turning the candidate into a humble supplicant, asking the voter for forgiveness. It humanizes the candidate and gives the voter a feeling of power. It's hard to withhold forgiveness and easy to embrace those who we've forgiven -- even if we know the apology is a political ploy and the candidate doesn't mean it. And in Trump's case, I'm sure he doesn't mean it, but rather it's a Hail Mary play cooked up his clever new team of advisors.

But will it work? It worked for John Lindsay of New York in 1969, when his apology shifted the dyanmic of a race in which the Mayor was deeply unpopular after neglecting the outer boroughs in the aftermath of a blizzard. It worked for Bill Clinton twice, once as governor and then again as President. But it may not work for The Donald. For one thing, he didn't say what he was apologizing for, which is reminiscent of Ted Kennedy's apology for Chappaquiddick when he referred to his fatal negligence as "the behavior." More importantly,  as Trump says over and over, he has to be himself, and so voters are likely to forget this apology as he loudly puts out more slanders, lies, and insinuations. He'll do that because that's who he is, and at this point in his life he can't change.

So, it's a smart move and let's hope it doesn't work.


 



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