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July/August 2012



read article Look, Don’t Touch

by David Sobel

Much of environmental education has become pedantic and rule-bound. Could it actually be turning kids away from nature? Web extra: author interview.

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read article Revolutionary Plots

by Rebecca Solnit

Urban agriculture: upscale fetish or revolution in the making? It depends in part on what you hope to cultivate.

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Chance Baptisms

By Chris Dombrowski, Art by Sandra Dal Poggetto

Featuring an unexpected dunk in a radiant river and other watery brushes with the earthly divine.


The Power to Heal

Photographs and text by Vance Gellert

A trained pharmacologist leaves the lab to photograph shamanistic rituals deep in the Amazon and Andes. Web extra: audio slide show.


Otherworldly Trees

Photographs by Beth Moon

An exotic island off the Horn of Africa is home to a rare assortment of astonishing trees.


Thirty-Year Plan

By Julia Alvarez, Charles Bowden, Ralph Nader, Helena Norberg-Hodge, M. Sanjayan

On the occasion of its thirtieth anniversary, Orion asked several writers and thinkers to ruminate on what humanity is going to need to build a better future.


Concrete Footing

by Kathleen Dean Moore, Photographs by Alfred Edelman

What appears solid and unchanging is as dynamic as evolution or the movement of the tides.


Tonto and the Undertaker

Tania James Art by Kristisu Sader

Fiction: Most of the time, the animals lay neatly by the side of the road, as if they’d had the courtesy to drag themselves there and then die.


Outside In

The Galileo Fallacy

By Jay Griffiths

The credibility that the media gives to climate change deniers is irresponsible—but more importantly, it’s a threat to democracy.

Small Change

A Matter of Degrees

by Bill McKibben

When you add up all the CO2 that would be generated from the reserves the fossil fuel industry is banking on burning, it’s a scary and immoral sum.


Upping the Stakes

read article Self-Evident Truths

by Derrick Jensen

A no-holds-barred diagnosis, and prescription, to match the urgency of our time.

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Lay of the Land


From the Editors

read article From the Editors

In considering the next thirty years, and trying to envision a compelling and enduring future, Orion asked thirty writers, educators, activists, and scientists to describe some of the other qualities that will be needed if humanity is to discover a more peaceful and redemptive way of living. Web extra: editors out loud.

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The Place Where You Live

The Place Where You Live

By Our Readers

In this issue: Sonja Hendersson on Stockholm, Sweden; Lauren Keller on New Windsor, Maryland; Gary Pace on Bodega Head, California.

Media & The Arts

American Myth-Busting

By Joe Wilkins

Long seen as a cinematic exercise in caricature and stereotyping, the western has finally come of age.



By Joy Harjo


Local Dollars, Local Sense: A Community Resilience Guide,
by Michael Shuman; Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific
Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed; Killer on the Road: Violence
and the American Interstate (Discovering America), by Ginger
Strand; and others.


go to poem Cherries, by Andrea Cohen
go to poem Massachusetts Audubon Chart No. 1, 1898, by Robert Cording
go to poem Chauvet, by Alison Hawthorne Deming
go to poem Roses, by Kathleen Jamie