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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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Ecology & Environmental Sciences


Latest Popular


Astronomy Biology Chemistry Cosmology Deep Time Earth Science Ecology & Environmental Sciences Evolution Genetics History of Science Human Evolution Mathematics Physics Quantum Theory
Essay/Astronomy
Moonstruck

The lunar phases influence all sorts of creatures from corals to eagle owls. Does the Moon tug on human behaviour too?

Cameron Walker

Essay/Biology
Keep smiling

Is there any reason to think dolphins and humans have a special relationship? Sure, but it might not be a friendly one

Justin Gregg

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Scorched Earth, 2200AD

Climate change has done its worst, and now just 500 million humans remain on lifeboats in the north. How do they survive?

Linda Marsa

Essay/Biology
Rethinking extinction

The idea that we are edging up to a mass extinction is not just wrong – it’s a recipe for panic and paralysis

Stewart Brand

Essay/History
Do civilisations collapse?

The idea that the Maya or Easter Islanders experienced an apocalyptic end makes for good television but bad archaeology

Guy D Middleton

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Anthropocene fever

The Anthropocene idea has been embraced by Earth scientists and English professors alike. But how useful is it?

Jedediah Purdy

Essay/Astronomy
The end of night

An eternal electric day is creeping across the globe, but our brains and bodies cannot cope in a world without darkness

Rebecca Boyle

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Out of the deep

From Atlantis to Noah’s Ark, we have long been drawn to stories of submerged lands. What lies beneath the flood myths?

Edward Platt

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences
The gene that jumped

Genes that leap from one species to another are more common than we thought. Does this shake up the tree of life?

Ferris Jabr

Essay/Biology
The songs of the wolves

Wolves’ howls are eerie, beautiful and wild. But what are they actually saying to each other?

Holly Root-Gutteridge

Essay/Deep Time
The vanishing groves

A chronicle of climates past and a portent of climates to come – the telling rings of the bristlecone pine

Ross Andersen

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Accidental rewilding

In places once thick with farms and cities, human dispossession and war has cleared the ground for nature to return

George Monbiot

Essay/Agriculture
Cows might fly

When the land is all filled up, it’s time to get creative with it, as small countries like Switzerland already know

Veronique Greenwood

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Only connect

Buddhism and ecology both refuse to separate the human and natural worlds – and demand that we act accordingly

David P Barash

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Splat goes the theory

Local and organic is a romantic myth – the future of sustainable agriculture is all about smart technology and scaling up

Louise O Fresco

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences
A tale of three dogs

Coyotes, dingoes and wolves are all dogs, as intelligent and loyal as our familiars. Our treatment of them is unconscionable

Brandon Keim

Essay/Bioethics
Sound off

Human industry is now noisy enough to drown out whale songs. What would happen in the ocean if we went quiet?

Peter Brannen

Essay/Chemistry
American petro-topia

The genius and hubris of plastic has been absorbed by every living thing. Is it a curse or evolution’s next step?

Rebecca Altman

Essay/Childhood & Adolescence
The ecology of Pooh

Adults may feel exiled from the intensity and sweetness of childhood places. But perhaps there are surprising ways home

Liam Heneghan

Essay/Bioethics
Earth is not a garden

Some of the world’s most powerful conservationists are giving up on wilderness. They are making a big mistake

Brandon Keim

Essay/Nature & Environment
Ghosts and tiny treasures

We are quick to condemn a hunter posing with his prey, but all too slow to cultivate a chronic passion for wild things

Bryan Pfeiffer

Essay/Architecture & Landscape
Sakura

Heady with beauty, in cherry tree season Japan celebrates environmental values that Western greens have lost

Rebecca Giggs

Essay/Bioethics
Engineering the ocean

Once you know what plankton can do, you’ll understand why fertilising the ocean with iron is not such a crazy idea

David Biello

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences
This world is enough

For the first time in history we could end poverty while protecting the global environment. But do we have the will?

John Quiggin

Essay/Agriculture
Enter halophytes

We are running out of land for traditional agriculture. Time to figure out what saltwater plants can do for us

Mark Anderson

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Climate of doubt

Devastated by years of drought, California farmers hire dowsers to locate their water, exposing the power of belief

Lois Parshley