Articles

Climate Change on Trial

Originally published on Fall 2015 in Dissent

On August 12, twenty-one young Americans, led by the organization Our Children’s Trust, filed a lawsuit against the federal government. By now, President Obama is used to getting sued, but these were not his usual adversaries. Far from challenging his efforts to reform health care or immigration policy, these teenage plaintiffs were pleading for more aggressive action to address climate […]

LA Existential

The Third Los Angeles: Can It Truly Become a Green, Sustainable City?

Originally published on April 19, 2015 in Slate

Earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown’s announcement of California’s first-ever mandatory restrictions on water use drew attention to the state’s uneasy relationship with its natural resources. “Mother Nature didn’t intend for 40 million people to live here,” University of Southern California historian Kevin Starr told the New York Times. If any city is known for violating natural boundaries, it’s Los […]

How to Solve Climate Change with Cows (Maybe)

Could better grazing patterns be the answer? A sweeping new theory divides the environmental world

Originally published on May 4, 2014 in The Boston Globe

In the United States, there is famously little consensus on the topic of climate change. But among the community most concerned about it, certain convictions are widely shared: Fossil fuel emissions deserve nearly all the blame for warming our planet. Meat—especially from flatulent cattle—is an environmental scourge. The Koch brothers, with their campaigns against solar power and cap-and-trade legislation, are […]

The Repurposed PhD

Finding Life After Academia--and Not Feeling Bad About It

Originally published on November 3, 2013 in The New York Times

ON a recent Sunday afternoon, a monthly meeting convened around a long table in a Whole Foods cafeteria on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. As people settled in, the organizer plopped down a bag of potato chips and tackled housekeeping matters, like soliciting contributions. But she did not insist. “I know that some of you are in fragile situations,” […]

How to solve America’s childbirth cost crisis

A middle ground between hospital and home birth could save America lots of money. And yes, it's safe.

Originally published on July 5, 2013 in Salon

Almost two years ago, pregnant with my daughter, I paid my first visit to the Cambridge Birth Center. Located inside an old Victorian house, the facility is hard to distinguish from a modestly appointed home, with blond wood floors and three spacious bedrooms, each attached to a bathroom with a large tub. If the interior is comforting, so is the […]