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Adirondack Explorer

December, 2016

How to save the world
Author: Edward O. Wilson

Review by: Philip Terrie

Edward Wilson probably knows more about ants than any single person ever has—and perhaps ever will. But the study of ants, which he has been pursuing since he was a child in Alabama during the Great Depression, is only the beginning of this polymath’s prodigious appetite for understanding how our natural world works and what our place in that world is and should be. As his command of myrmecology (ant science) grew increasingly encyclopedic, his wonder at the complexities of ant society led him to breakthrough insights about broader ecological themes, especially concerning the importance of biodiversity. (It also led >>More


October, 2016

Heroes of the High Peaks
Author: Christine Bourjade

Review by: Philip Terrie

Book Review By PHILIP TERRIE From north to south, from east to west, the Adirondack Park is a spectacular place. We have vast expanses of intact forest, unpolluted lakes, and crystalline rivers with roiling whitewater. Everywhere you look, there’s something wonderful. But let’s face it: the High Peaks, especially that extraordinary environment on the alpine summits with its rare and delicate flora of the tundra, found nowhere else in New York, is the truly astonishing part of this splendid Park. Can anything really compare with the view from Haystack (or Dix or Gothics or Colden—fill in your personal favorite) on >>More


July, 2016

The tale of a cougar
Author: William Stolzenburg

Review by: Philip Terrie

By PHILIP TERRIE On a snowy winter night in Lake George, in 2010, Cindy Eggleston’s motion-detecting light came on in her back yard. She looked out her kitchen window and saw a big cat. A really big cat. Her husband, a retired conservation officer, guessed that it must have been a bobcat. No, she said, “it had a long tail.” So he went out to look around. In the snow he found huge tracks and, eventually, a hair sample. DNA analysis subsequently showed that these hairs came from a cougar, an animal whose last proven presence in the Adirondacks had >>More


May, 2016

Climate deniers get it wrong
Author: Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter and S. Fred Singer

Review by: Curt Stager

BOOK REVIEW By CURT STAGER The main premise of this 106-page book is that many scientists do not believe that human-driven global warming is real because the evidence for it is deeply flawed. In reality, it is this book that is deeply flawed. The primary audience is not scientists but policy-makers, and its release last November was timed to coincide with the climate-change meeting in Paris. The Heartland Institute funds publications such as this one from the “Non-Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” (NIPCC). The panel’s name is a tongue-in-cheek jab at the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which summarizes peer-reviewed scientific literature. Author Craig Idso has a doctorate in geography and >>More


March, 2016

Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism
Author: Mark Stoll

Review by: Philip Terrie

Saving God’s creation Book Review by Philip Terrie In 1967, Science published an article destined to be one of the most controversial and most frequently cited ever to appear in that distinguished journal: “The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis.” The author, Lynn White Jr., was a medieval historian, a professor at UCLA. He argued that the devastating and unsustainable exploitation of nature that began with the Industrial Revolution had its intellectual roots in the Judeo-Christian tradition, especially in the creation story in the book of Genesis. White saw the patriarchal, exploitative, frequently abusive treatment of the natural world that >>More


January, 2016

Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home
Author: Pope Francis

Review by: Bill McKibben

  The pope’s green message The old conceit that the president has a “bully pulpit” needs updating; it’s clear that the pulpit at St. Peter’s Basilica is now the bulliest of all. Pope Francis may lack legions, but he has 6.3 million followers on Twitter, and for days before its official release, the world followed the leaks of his new encyclical on climate change and the environment. Laudato Si’ is a remarkable 183-page document, incredibly rich—it’s not dense, but it is studded with aphorisms and insights. A few things are immediately evident. First, simply by writing it, the pope—the single >>More


May, 2015

The Kid’s Guide to Exploring Nature
Author: Marilyn Smith

Review by: Jaime Armstrong

Did you know that wood frogs have natural antifreeze in their cells? Pigeons are descendants of escapee rock doves. You can estimate the temperature outside by counting cricket chirps. Ants will actually farm aphids so they can steal the sweet syrup that they produce. Nature is full of fascinating tales. As a science teacher, I’m constantly looking for new, engaging resources to share with my students, and The Kid’s Guide to Exploring Nature fits the bill. It also provides a great opportunity for parents to expose their children to the wonders of the natural world around them. The book is organized according to seasons, which makes it easy to find just the right activity >>More


January, 2014

New York Wildlife Viewing Guide
Author: Published by Adventure Publications

Review by: Ed Kanze

SEEING WILD ANIMALS has never been easier. All you have to do these days is flop onto a couch, hit a button, and the glittering pixels of a digital television bring you images of almost any creature you like. You see it eating, sleeping, birthing, mating, dying, the works. Still, let’s get real. Ogling virtual wildlife on TV isn’t half as satisfying as finding the real thing in the wild. Where to go looking? Ah, that’s often the question. How to find animals to watch when you get there? That’s a perennial puzzle, too. The new glossy New York Wildlife >>More


March, 2011

Deep Future The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth
Author: Curt Stager

Review by: Philip Terrie

Most books on climate begin with the last couple of centuries—the Industrial Revolution and the onset of massive emissions of carbon dioxide—and then move to what remains of the twenty-first century. In Deep Future, Curt Stager looks at millennia, thousands of millennia, back toward the very origins of life and forward for over a hundred thousand years. Stager is a professor at Paul Smith’s College and a paleoecologist; he studies ancient environments, through pollen samples, fossils, and other vestiges of past life. This gives him the “long view,” an understanding that over vast eons, life on earth and the environment >>More


November, 2010

The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food and Love
Author: Kristin Kimball

Review by: Philip Terrie

KRISTIN KIMBALL’S The Dirty Life is the story of an urban, highly educated woman and how she moved to the Adirondacks and learned to be a farmer. Instead of worrying about commuting and her 401K, now she thinks about the weather and whether the hogs are warm enough. This profound shift in priorities puts her in touch with a way of living and thinking that most Americans know nothing about, but these are “the kind of thoughts that have occupied the majority of the human race—the agrarians—for most of the history of the world.” She and her husband, Mark, operate >>More


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