CITIES NEED NATURE More natural cities are healthier, more resilient, and lovelier places to live. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has teamed up with city mayors around the world to finance climate action across dozens of cities. EXAMPLE: BISHKEK Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, where I recently completed four years of Peace Corps service, is a city filled with beautiful parks, trees, and flowers. EXAMPLE: SEATTLE My home town, Seattle Washington, is nicknamed “The Emerald City” because greenery abounds. Trees, shrubs, ferns, moss, and wildflowers are everywhere. My First Hill Streetcar stop is in a triangle at the intersection of two major streets. In this tiny park we have three fully mature trees, lots of green shrubbery, … Read More


Mussoorie, in the foothills of the Himalya, is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places in India, indeed in the world. I spent a few days there last week and took this photo on the night of the full moon. I attended the Woodstock School in Mussoorie from second form until my high school graduation in 1951, as my parents were missionaries in Burma. Woodstock, founded in 1854, is a coeducational residential international school. During last week’s visit, I spent some time with a dear friend who was one of my schoolmates in those long-ago years. I was glad to capture this photo of Mussoorie and its nighttime sky. We must keep special places like Mussoorie always safe and beautiful. … Read More


NUMBERS NOT SEEN FOR 100 YEARS Humpback whales have returned to New York Harbor and other New York waters in sizable numbers not seen in 100 years. (In the photo a humpback skyhops off Rockaway Peninsula with the Empire State Building and Manhattan skyline just behind.) Why have the whales come back to New York? Improved water quality (thanks to the Clean Water Act of 1972) has caused algae and zooplankton to multiply. This provides food for menhaden – a small fish that whales like to eat. Boats do sometimes bump into the whales in New York’s busy harbor, but nobody seems to mind very much – just watch out for the whales. Humpback  whales were taken off the Endangered … Read More

Population: Earth’s Most Important Challenge

From Seth Fearey to WarrenHall Crain re Kiran’s vision   The most important challenge, as I see it, is population.  You seem to agree.  I don’t know if I mentioned it to you, but my father worked for Population Action International for about 20 years after he retired from the Foreign Service.  PAI is the largest privately funded think tank in the US.  He was a bit late to the party….  he had five kids and he was very disappointed when I told him that I was not going to have any. I see population growth as based on two very profound forces.  First is our biological imperative.  We are programmed to reproduce.  Second is economics.  Children are still needed in much of … Read More