Denying Dystopia: The Hope Police in Fact and Fiction

I recently read Terri Favro’s upcoming book on the history and future of robotics, sent to me by a publisher hungry for blurbs. It’s a fun read— I had no trouble obliging them—  but I couldn’t avoid an almost oppressive sense of— well, of optimism hanging over the whole thing. Favro states outright, for example, […]

Posted in: climate, eco, In praise of biocide by Peter Watts 51 Comments

The Cygnus Solution.

I think Ontario Power Generation is trying to sell us on the idea of feeding nuclear waste to swans.  At least, that seem to be the subtext of this ad I just got focus-tested on (click to embiggen)… Probit seemed curious as to my reaction… Then they asked some questions to assess my Tree-Hugger Quotient: […]

Last Rites, Lost Rights

Take Roger Bradbury very seriously.  He’s no crank: coral reef specialist, heavy background in mathematical ecology, published repeatedly in Science. Chief and director of more scientific panels than you could roll a raccoon over.  So when he says the coral reef ecosystem is already effectively extinct — not the Florida Keys, not the Great Barrier […]

The Feel-Good Spill of the Decade

Dead zones suffocating 20,000 square kilometers of ocean. Endangered wetlands, disappearing at the rate of over 300 Ha/day. Clouds of black viscous poison soiling the coastlines of four states. And then the Deepwater Horizon blew up. What, you thought those apocalyptic descriptions were of the spill? You thought the Gulf of Mexico was some pristine […]

Posted in: In praise of biocide, rant by Peter Watts 170 Comments

Earth Hour. Because the World Isn’t Worth a Whole Day.

Ninety percent of the world’s charismatic megafauna is gone. Hormone disrupters are turning the fish off Lakeshore into hermaphrodites, if the tumors don’t get them first. The Arctic is heading for ice-free status by 2030, the Wilkins Ice Shelf is a measly six kilometers away from disintegration, air pollution in this miserable dick-ass excuse for […]

"They’re Really More Guidelines than Actual Rules" — or, The None That Got Away.

I know I haven’t mentioned it lately, but the world is still turning to shit. The Bush administration recently gave the US Navy the go-ahead to kill as many whales as they want to in their hunt for tewwowists in diesel-powered submarines, and screw the California Supreme Court. It’s finally been officially admitted that nobody’s […]

Posted in: In praise of biocide, rant by Peter Watts 5 Comments

The anti-Moore’s Law

Anyone who’s read my fiction has probably figured out my perspective on life-support/environmental issues. I tend not to talk about such stuff here, not because I don’t find it relevant or important, but because it’s not new or cutting edge; the non-self-aggrandizing parts of this ‘crawl serve as a kind of scratch pad for things […]

Posted in: In praise of biocide, science by Peter Watts 10 Comments