This is the year to de-center your smartphone

Illustrations from “Goodbye Phone, Hello World” by Emiliano Ponzi

For the sake of yourself and your country, it is time to get off your phone.

Yes, I know you needed to see the latest from the Capitol storming, the impeachment hearings, the Republican backlash, and then you’ll need to know how it’s all going down with the new administration in the first 100 days, and then perhaps you’ll want to check in on the stalled Covid-19 vaccination effort. And then poof, before you know it, midterm elections will be ramping up and you’ll need to scroll and scroll and scroll.

But there’s a good reason to balance a civic…

The loss of the old Tsukiji Fish Market is a national tragedy

A skilled fish cutter at the now demolished Tuskiji fish market takes on a tuna loin (photo by Paul Greenberg)

Tokyo, you have cut out your ocean heart as we in New York have cut out ours. You should have taken a moment to pause before you demolished a market with a long and illustrious past. You should have paused and considered the ocean and the fishermen who harvest its treasures and the difficult future they are facing.

These thoughts drifted up in my mind as I watched a dispirited Olympics, devoid of crowds and sound-tracked by automated cheers. They came to me after a decade of looking into the troubled history of fisheries in my own country. My home…

A modest proposal to J.P. Morgan’s Jamie Dimon as he turns 65

“Forest fire” by Ervins Strauhmanis is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Co-authored with Reverend Billy

Congratulations Jamie Dimon!

The world’s biggest birthday candle is burning for you!

This year you turned 65, the age at which many Americans step away from their jobs and claim a well-deserved retirement. After all you’ve done, you’ve certainly earned the right to do the same. For 20 years you’ve piloted J.P. Morgan Chase to a place where it is now the world’s largest bank commanding $3.4 trillion in assets. Yours is the most recognized name and face of banking in the United States. When the President or Federal Reserve makes an important statement about economic…

Saving your mind from Big Tech and saving the earth from Big Oil are intimately connected

Paul Greenberg and son working in their garden at Ground Zero in Manhattan (photo by Jackie Snow)

How can we possibly save the planet if we never really experience it in real time with our own senses? Lately, this question has been my primary concern and resulted in two books written in the same pandemical year: Goodbye Phone, Hello World and The Climate Diet. …

They’re not what you think

It’s been over a decade now since the writer Michael Pollan advised: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Ever since, a certain kind of progressive supermarket aisle has emerged: “Real” foods, calorie-limited portions and vegetarianism (or at least Meatless Mondays) have become culinary aspirations for millennials and boomers alike.

Mr. Pollan’s advice is sound. But what about the 71 percent of the Earth’s surface that provides humans with 350 billion pounds of food every year? …

Why our next president should be neither old nor young

“Feliz cumpleaños Kurt Cobain” by Cambio de Flickr :B !!! is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

100 days have come and gone with another boomer president. Another 1000 will pass before we’ll probably reelect him or reelect his rival who is also a boomer. Meanwhile Mark Zuckerberg will bang his pans and so will Bernie Sanders. But silent, always silent are my people.

And that’s who I want to talk about? Why can’t we have a president born in that odd gap between the high 1960s and the low 1980s. Here are a few reasons why President X will get America out of its present mess.

Silent, always silent are my people

First off while we…

Here’s what we can do to stop it

The footprint of big ag and the Gulf of Mexico dead zone (NOAA)

To get an idea of how American coastal waters might look just before they succumb to all the degradations they have suffered these past five centuries, it would be worth taking a July trip to Mobile Bay, an Alabama inlet that feeds into the Gulf of Mexico. If the air is still and hot, an event may occur that Gulf Coast residents call a “jubilee.” The bottom-dwelling flounder will be among its first victims, growing agitated as each successive gulp of water brings less and less oxygen across their gills.

In a panic, the fish will head shoreward toward the…

This Independence Day make a cooler cookout

“Charcoal grill fire” by warriorwoman531 is licensed with CC BY-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The time has come for Americans to light a blazing inferno and throw pounds of carbon belching beef on the grill. Make no mistake, our annual 4th of July cooking event is a climate event. An all-beef, charcoal-cooked barbecue for 12 people is going to cost the planet about 160 pounds of emissions. Multiply that out by the population of the US and we’re talking 4.3 billion pounds of emissions for our annual national meal. For comparison’s sake that’s nearly double the yearly emissions of the nation of Burundi.

You can have an enjoyable, satisfying cookout and cut your holiday…

The story of one scientist’s quest to save the birds he loves

Finches used to test the effects of methylmercury (photo by Paul Greenberg)

It was just another sweltering summer afternoon gathering blood samples from Shenandoah Valley birds when the news came in. The ornithologist Dan Cristolhad been conducting a preliminary assessment funded by DuPont to determine to what degree the company’s pollution of the watershed might have affected the avian community. DuPont was facing potential legal action and had cautiously agreed to one summer of funding for a small team to gauge just how expensive fixing the damages might be. True to his nature, Cristol hadn’t been tentative in his research. He and his students had skulked into stream-bank kingfisher nests, cornered screech…

A change in attitude can do a lot for the oceans

“Father and son fishing, Ibiza” by David de Mallorca is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Forty-odd years ago, while aboard a fishing boat with my father on Long Island Sound, I felt a pull on my line like none I’d ever felt before. And then another. And another still. The wild world had hit my line with all its abundance. I reeled hard and with a crazy swing I swept my multi-hooked rig loaded with five big mackerel in a wide arc over the rail until the whole bloody mess landed with a chaotic thud. I had no care about what I would do with all these fish that I had killed in one haul…

Paul Greenberg

New York Times bestselling author of Four Fish as well as The Climate Diet: Fifty Simple Ways to Trim Your Carbon Footprint paulgreenberg.org

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