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California’s Elongated Drought: Warming to a Changing Status-Quo

With the winter of 2014-2015 failing to deliver much of a snowpack to California, Californians entered a fourth year of drought. The measurement on March 3rd of the snowpack was the water equivalent of five inches, or 19% of the average for that date.[1]The drought’s extension ran counter to the conventional wisdom that droughts last three years in California. Such “wisdom” is problematic not only for its specific content in this case, but also because of the underlying presumption of epistemological infallibility. Ok, I’ll unpack this bit of creative verbosity. Without being aware of it, we tend to assume that we can’t be wrong about things we have not studied. In fact, we even dismiss the knowledge of those who are learned in a given subject in favor of our own belief that we can’t be wrong about what we suppose we know. This tendency of the human brain gets our species in a lot of trouble, yet we as a species are nearly blind to underlying drought.


The full essay is at “California’s Elongated Drought.”



[1]Adam Nagourney, “Alarm Rises For a State Withered By Drought,” The New York Times, March 18, 2015.

Continue reading California’s Elongated Drought: Warming to a Changing Status-Quo

California’s Elongated Drought: Warming to a Changing Status-Quo

With the winter of 2014-2015 failing to deliver much of a snowpack to California, Californians entered a fourth year of drought. The measurement on March 3rd of the snowpack was the water equivalent of five inches, or 19% of the average for that date.[1]The drought’s extension ran counter to the conventional wisdom that droughts last three years in California. Such “wisdom” is problematic not only for its specific content in this case, but also because of the underlying presumption of epistemological infallibility. Ok, I’ll unpack this bit of creative verbosity. Without being aware of it, we tend to assume that we can’t be wrong about things we have not studied. In fact, we even dismiss the knowledge of those who are learned in a given subject in favor of our own belief that we can’t be wrong about what we suppose we know. This tendency of the human brain gets our species in a lot of trouble, yet we as a species are nearly blind to underlying drought.


The full essay is at “California’s Elongated Drought.”



[1]Adam Nagourney, “Alarm Rises For a State Withered By Drought,” The New York Times, March 18, 2015.

Continue reading California’s Elongated Drought: Warming to a Changing Status-Quo

Divestment as a Carbon-Reduction Strategy

As gas prices were dropping during the fall of 2014 throughout the U.S., sales of SUVs were picking up. That such drivers might find themselves with gas-guzzlers and high prices was apparently out of sight, out of mind. Moreover, that the increased carbon emissions might push the planet further from the habitable zone for humans was a point entirely missing from the mainstream media as well as office-holders. To the extent that some “socially responsible” investors selling off their holdings in or related to fossil-fuel companies was generally deemed to be a suitable approach to global warming, the overriding question may be how a species could treat its own survival as if it were an after-thought rather than a priority.


The full essay is at “Divestment

Continue reading Divestment as a Carbon-Reduction Strategy

Divestment as a Carbon-Reduction Strategy

As gas prices were dropping during the fall of 2014 throughout the U.S., sales of SUVs were picking up. That such drivers might find themselves with gas-guzzlers and high prices was apparently out of sight, out of mind. Moreover, that the increased carbon emissions might push the planet further from the habitable zone for humans was a point entirely missing from the mainstream media as well as office-holders. To the extent that some “socially responsible” investors selling off their holdings in or related to fossil-fuel companies was generally deemed to be a suitable approach to global warming, the overriding question may be how a species could treat its own survival as if it were an after-thought rather than a priority.


The full essay is at “Divestment

Continue reading Divestment as a Carbon-Reduction Strategy

The Holiday: We Accept the Love We Think We Deserve

Two women suffering from unfaithful boyfriends swap homes in California and Britain, respectively, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love. By unfaithful, I don’t necessarily mean cheating; rather, the cheating variety can be situated within the larger category of not committing to love one person completely and with fullness of heart. Such is the plot of The Holiday (2006), a film that is essentially about five good people. As the three unfaithful people are pruned out, the viewer is left with an optimistic feeling about human beings being capable of emotional intimacy.

The full essay is at “The Holiday.”

Continue reading The Holiday: We Accept the Love We Think We Deserve

The Holiday: Faith for the Human Race

Two women suffering from unfaithful boyfriends swap homes in California and Britain, respectively, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love. By unfaithful, I don’t necessarily mean cheating; rather, the cheating variety can be situated within the larger category of not committing to love one person completely and with fullness of heart. Such is the plot of The Holiday (2006), a film that is essentially about five good people. As the three unfaithful people are pruned out, the viewer is left with an optimistic feeling about human beings being capable of emotional intimacy.

The full essay is at “The Holiday.”

Continue reading The Holiday: Faith for the Human Race