Portraits of Wildflowers

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Archive for April 20th, 2021

Drummond’s wild garlic

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A common spring wildflower in Austin is Allium drummondii, variously called Drummond’s wild garlic, wild garlic, or Drummond’s onion. I can’t tell you the name of the little critter that was ensconced in one of the flowers on April 6th in my part of town.

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Along the lines of my recent theme that some or even many commonly held notions are incorrect, I’m reading the 2020 book Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All. The author, Michael Shellenberger, is no “climate denier.” At 15 he started an Amnesty International chapter in his high school. At 16 he held a fundraiser in his back yard for Rainforest Action Network. In college he learned Portuguese and went to live in Brazil to work with the Landless Workers’ Movement and the Workers Party. By 1995 he “was interviewing the leading lights of Brazil’s progressive movement.” He was a Time magazine “Hero of the Environment.” In 2008 he won the Green Book Award. On and on it goes. And yet, the book’s cover blurb notes, “…in 2019, as some claimed ‘billions of people are going to die,’ contributing to rising anxiety, including among adolescents, Shellenberger decided that as a lifelong environmental activist, leading energy expert, and father of a teenage daughter, he needed to speak out to separate science from fiction.” And that’s what he does in this book, through 284 pages of text and an impressive 100+ pages of footnotes. Check it out (of your library) or buy it, as you prefer.

On the same day that I wrote the preceding paragraph I later became aware of a forthcoming book along similar lines, “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters,” by Steven Koonin. According to a review of the book in the Wall Street Journal by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.: “Any reader would benefit from its deft, lucid tour of climate science, the best I’ve seen.”

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 20, 2021 at 4:34 AM

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