For those of you concerned about the end of days from a more, you know, scientific perspective, I urge you to head over to Shifting Baselines to read the work of my friend Josh Donlan (or, more accurately, because if I was a bad ass scientist, I'd want people to recognize, yo: Dr. Josh Donlan), who is dropping science like Galileo dropped the orange, as the Beastie Boys once said, and making it readable for the masses. So readable, in fact, that it was selected for inclusion in the Best American Science Writing 2008, which is a fantastic honor.
Here's a bit from his first post:
Over the past six years or so, I've spent a decent part of my energy thinking and writing about ecological history and its role in biodiversity conservation and society. That thinking and writing has included proposals that toy with the idea of bringing lions and elephants back to North America. Bring Back the Megafauna! a group of us proclaimed. To no surprise, our proclamation was met with gasps and groans (more about that later). When not pondering bringing the big stuff back, I spend much of my time restoring islands around the world by eradicating invasive species. How do I reconcile shooting 160,000 goats from a helicopter in the Galapagos Islands and treating horses in North America as a native species - as North America's prodigal son? History.
Reintroducing megafauna and killing things from helicopters tend to raise eyebrows (and occasionally piss people off). They also tend to be great topics to kick off discussions on stuff we often ignore, spiraling into wonderfully heated discussions with beers flying across the room.
Josh is an interesting and influential voice in the environmental field, one I first came in contact with when I was consulting for the Environmental Leadership Program, and what I can tell you is that if you're going to sit down and have a beer with a scientist, this is the guy you want to be drinking with. I suspect his blog will be the cyber equivalent of getting drunk at the Arbor Day farm in Nebraska and having him explain to you (or me, as the case might be) how bringing big game into the midwest would save the world...and have it actually make a lot of sense.