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"Mind Flowers," by Olaf Hajek
Acrylic on wood
12.7 x 16.4 inches

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September/October 2012




read article The Fracking of Rachel Carson

Sandra Steingraber

Fifty years ago a book changed the way we think about nature—or did it? Web extra: audio slide show

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read article The Independent

Sue Halpern

No one in Congress works harder for truth, justice, and sustainability than Vermont’s iconoclastic senator.

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read article The Mismeasure of All Things

Steven Stoll

As a method of gauging the wealth of a society, gross domestic product is grossly inaccurate.

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read article After the Fall

Photographs and text by Matt Black

Photos from Matt Black’s Orion photo essay, as well as many more, are displayed in this poignant slide show featuring the voices of indigenous Mexicans whose village has literally lost its moorings in the hilly Mixteca region of southern Mexico. Web extras: video & audio slide show

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A New Kind of Day

Barbara Kingsolver

Too early in the season, onto a blanket of freakish spring snow, drops a tiny creature fully formed, curled inside its steaming sac.


I Should Learn to Look at an Empty Sky

Poems by Colin Cheney Photographs by Ian Cheney

Two brothers ponder what we lose when we lose a view of the stars.


The Larch

Rick Bass Photographs by Randy Beacham

A barrel-chested stalwart, coniferous yet deciduous, a tree so venerable the author is almost too humble to attempt an essay about it.



The Wastelander

read article Life on the Mississippi

Luis Alberto Urrea

Drifting down dirt alleys with the ghost of Tom Sawyer. Web audio extra: the author reads this column aloud.

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Upping the Stakes

To Protect and Serve

Derrick Jensen

If governments won’t protect us from polluters, to whom does that responsibility fall?

Lay of the Land


From the Editors

From the Editors

This issue of Orion is a testament, of sorts, to the need for the change Rachel Carson sought—change that is grounded in shifting paradigms rather than quick fixes. Web extra: editors out loud.

The Place Where You Live

The Place Where You Live

By Our Readers

In this issue: Owen Maguire on Amherst, Massachusetts; Abigail Sussman on Byrd Surface Camp, Western Antarctica; Francisco Valdez-Perezgasga on La Laguna, Mexico; Orion Pahl on Boulder Creek, California.


Media & The Arts

read article Ice Ice Baby

Justin Nobel

A surprising musical revolution is heating up the Arctic.

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The Slather

Brian Doyle


Boleto, by Alyson Hagy; Breasts, by Florence Williams; Trespasses, by Lacy M. Johnson; Garbology, by Edward Humes; Mr g, by Alan Lightman; Zoobiquity, by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, MD, and Kathryn Bowers; Curious Critters, by David Fitzsimmons.


go to poem Anatomy of a Tree, by Laurie Kutchins
go to poem Lexicon, by Emily Wheeler
go to poem In the Afternoon, by Stephanie Adams-Santos
go to poem Meditation at Five Islands, by Dave Lucas