Verlyn Klinkenborg is a member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times
. His most recent book is Timothy; Or, Notes of an Abject Reptile.
More from Verlyn Klinkenborg
By analyzing mitochondrial DNA, scientists now can make more accurate estimates of the numbers of individual species that existed centuries ago. What does it tell us about our impact on the natural world and about our own future?
A recent study noted that most of the 6,900 languages spoken on Earth occur in regions of high biodiversity. These findings point to a strong correlation between biological and linguistic diversity, with languages closely connected to the habitats where they are found.
Large-scale industrial agriculture depends on engineering the land to ensure the absence of natural diversity. But as the recent emergence of herbicide-tolerant weeds on U.S. farms has shown, nature ultimately finds a way to subvert uniformity and assert itself.
The Japanese earthquake and tsunami remind us that we exist in geologic time and in a world where catastrophic events beyond our predicting may occur. These events — and the growing specter of climate change — show how precariously we exist on the surface of a volatile planet.
Introduced more than a decade ago, genetically modified crops are now planted on millions of acres throughout the world. But the fundamental questions about them remain — both about their safety and their long-term impact on global food security and the environment.
Charles Darwin brought an insatiable inquisitiveness to his view of the natural world. On the bicentennial of his birth, author Verlyn Klinkenborg reflects on what Darwin’s most fundamental observations mean to us.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
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In a Yale Environment 360
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