Millions of us have been fretting helplessly for five years wondering how anyone can back Trump. The reason is much simpler — and more complicated — than you think.

Tourists having a normal day at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021 / Tyler Merbler, Wikimedia Commons

On a frigid December day I make my bemasked way into the post office in my little rural town and find the substitute postal clerk, for the second time that week, behind the counter with no mask. Obviously the first maskless time was not just a momentary oversight, so in the course of mailing my package I say, “So you’re not wearing a mask?”

Little did I realize that I had…


No matter what they tell you in the next four years, remember: Rachel Carson was right.

In early December 1952, fog settled over London. This was not news, at first, because anyone who’s been in London in winter knows the place is damp. But within a few days this fog got so thick it was literally dark during daylight hours. Visibility in places was just a few feet. People were having trouble breathing. When the fog lifted less than two weeks later, somewhere between 4,000 and 12,000 people were dead and 150,000 had been hospitalized.

The scientists knew the lethal…


Suicide by climate change, or not

NOAA graphic

Note: This is the third in a series of updates compiled over the last four years on climate and environmental news. This entry is from October 2018.

*

Two things we know for sure about climate change: 1. Unusually huge, destructive hurricanes the past few years are some of its effects, and 2. It’s a hoax. We know the giant hurricanes are effects of warming because thousands of scientists have figured out the mechanisms that have set it up. …


A Memoir of the Writing Life in Maine

The first time I heard of Stephen King, there was no Stephen King.

This was in the winter of 1973. Jim Smith was visiting my apartment on Quebec Street in Portland, Maine, for the first and last time. We were sitting at my kitchen table, which I had bought at Cinnamon’s clunky used furniture shop a month earlier (and which still lives in a ramshackle state in my garage in Waldo County right now, as I type this). …


The best of the worst cases.

May 2020

Author’s note: This is the second in a series of updates compiled over the last four years on climate and environmental news. The first entry was from August 2019; this one skips ahead to this May. About once a week after this, we’ll post another entry, to remind you what was going at the time, and what the consequences of ignoring the climate crisis are likely to be.

*

Covid-19 is not going to wipe out the human race. In the worst-case scenario I’ve read about so far, 90% of everyone on…


Author’s note: This is the first in a series of updates compiled over the last four years on climate and environmental news. This first entry is from August 2019, to remind you how the climate looked a year ago. About once a week after this, we’ll post another entry recounting what was going at various times from 2016 forward, to remind you what the consequences of ignoring the climate crisis are likely to be.

*

August 2019

My brother Rex, unlike me, is a pretty tough dude. Retired military, living outside Jacksonville, Florida, grew up on the mean streets of…

Dana Wilde

Newspaper columnist and book reviewer; nature and speculative fiction writer; journalist, college professor, editor; Fulbright and NEH scholar; in Troy, Maine.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store