In recent years many scientists have come to use the term “the Anthropocene” for the geological era that started when human beings began to alter the earth’s environment in a major way — defined variously as the mass extinctions produced by Ice Age hunters, the transformation of landscapes by Neolithic farmers, or more recently, with the industrial revolution. Dubbing themselves “ecomodernists,” a group of environmental thinkers associated with the Breakthrough Institute have published a new manifesto calling for a “good Anthropocene.” They write: “A good Anthropocene demands that humans use their growing social, economic, and technological powers to make life better for people, stabilize the climate, and protect the natural world.”
More… “The Case for Ecomodernism”

Michael Lind is a contributing writer of The Smart Set, a fellow at New America in Washington, D.C., and author of Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States.



It’s not easy to get to the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., without driving. But if you were determined to do so, you’d take the Metro from downtown, then transfer to the B2 bus. There’s no stop at the Arboretum itself, but if you ask the driver whether that bus goes by the institution, as I did, he might pull over anyway and yell back that this is where you have to get off. Either way, you still have to walk about a quarter of a mile down a quiet residential street before you come to the low stone pillars that mark the entrance to the living museum.

If you were determined to make such a trek now, your fuel-saving efforts would be rewarded with Power Plants — a new temporary exhibit that explores flora’s potential to revolutionize… More…

I should start by revealing the location of my own perfect pizza: Denino’s Pizza Tavern, which has made its home on Port Richmond Avenue on Staten Island since 1937. The place is run by the family of the original founders, a fact that some claim contributes to the consistent quality of the pie throughout the decades. Staten Islanders, Bayonners, and Brooklynites alike have been eating here for generations, my family included.

Here’s a recent Friday night: The kitchen door swings open and out walks a waitress with a silver platter. The pizza arrives. I raise the first slice to my eager mouth and take a bite. As the thin, brick-oven crust, creamy mozzarella, and sweet but tangy sauce meet my taste buds, I can’t help but think: This must be the perfect pie. It’s the same epiphany I’ve had every time I’ve dined there over the past 10 years or… More…