How can our divided country come together? Where can we meet the tribe that lives on the other side of the deep fractures that separate us? What if there were a common topic, an issue, that pulled us together rather than pushed us further apart? There is, and it is all around us. The cause … Continue reading Can nature bring us together?
Author: Tom Cook
Earth Day on the Shiawassee River
The world is a big place. Its salvation will come from little locations, small acts, and petite plants. In the niche of the world I live in, along Michigan’s Shiawassee River, winter relinquishes control grudgingly sometime after the vernal equinox. A few warm days in late March are countered with freezing nights and snow showers … Continue reading Earth Day on the Shiawassee River
Water: Lessons for the Great Lakes from Texas
. To create a landscape add water; or not. After a trip to natural areas in West Texas I am reminded of the power and necessity of water. In the Great Lakes region, we know well (sometimes to the point of forgetting) that our defining lakes, fish-full rivers, verdant vegetation, and our economic future all … Continue reading Water: Lessons for the Great Lakes from Texas
Conservation for Climate: A Trip to the Michigamme Highlands
We are lost in the woods in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It’s mid-summer and a small group of staff and supporters from The Nature Conservancy can’t find their way out of the dark woods of the McCormick Wilderness. I’m annoyed. We’re not trapped in the dense spruce and fir forest along the Peshekee River: I can … Continue reading Conservation for Climate: A Trip to the Michigamme Highlands
Conservation and Indigenous Perspectives: a review of “As Long as Grass Grows”
Place and places fascinate me. Perhaps this is why I pursued an academic education in geography and a professional career as a city planner. I know it is why I am an environmentalist. How do we define place? And how do we as people relate to a place? That is, how and why do we … Continue reading Conservation and Indigenous Perspectives: a review of “As Long as Grass Grows”
E pluribus duo
This opinion column first appeared in Bridge Michigan on December 20, 2020 Too often I worry that E pluribus unum will be replaced with E pluribus duo. We have become so divided in our country that at each election cycle it seems our national motto should be “out of many, two.” I react at first … Continue reading E pluribus duo
Climate Hope: A letter to my daughter
As you know, I turn 61 next week. Perhaps you will send a present, but talking with you will be gift enough for me. Paradoxically, I have been thinking what to give you, or more precisely, what my generation will leave to yours. The last few times we talked, you expressed dismay over the issue … Continue reading Climate Hope: A letter to my daughter
Nature on the Bestseller List: “Where the Crawdad Sings”
The book "Where the Crawdad Sings" has been a tremendous literary hit, but why? It's a "great read" as everyone says, and the wonderful audio version engaged me on a long two-day drive. But its rise did not follow the usual path of the books you can find at Target. The initial printing was only … Continue reading Nature on the Bestseller List: “Where the Crawdad Sings”
Sunrise or Sunset?
North Bay on Lake Huron, Presque Isle County, Michigan I worry about the future of our country, and our continent. I have been spending a fair amount of time in northeast Michigan this year. Its rural, wild landscape, and the human decorations on it, remind me of the two great threads of American history that … Continue reading Sunrise or Sunset?
The Wonder of Place
“Although it’s hard to maintain the perspective, the whole world is a watershed” – Gary Snyder Wonder. It is May in northern Michigan and I awake in the lake house Anna and I purchased at the end of last year. During the winter we prepared it for a summer’s use and now we are here. … Continue reading The Wonder of Place