Author Archives: Emmett Duffy

About Emmett Duffy

I am a Natural Patriot and an ecologist with expertise in biodiversity and its importance to human society. My day job is Professor of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

Enter the Sea Monster

Dear Friends, Perhaps you’ve noticed my distraction lately, that I haven’t seemed to pay as much attention to the NP as I used to, perhaps even that the magic seems gone. Well I can’t live the lie any longer–I’ve been … Continue reading

Posted in et cetera, Oceans | Leave a comment

Safety in numbers . . . of species

[Hot off the presses, from Eurekalert. Also covered in Science Daily and various other venues. ] Will loss of plant diversity compromise Earth’s life-support systems? Meta-analysis and reflections on two decades of biodiversity research provide some answers and reveal new … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Science, Sustainability | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Dharma

[Henceforth, the series formerly know as Friday poetry shall be called Friday Soul, in recognition of the fact that I may at some stage elect to feature something other than poetry. But don't be alarmed, I don't see the general … Continue reading

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How not to end world hunger

Food prices are rising. Again. And the scramble is on to figure out who to blame: climate change?  Biofuels? Good old capitalist greed? Just this morning the New York Times published a discussion panel on the issue: “Is the world … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Who pays for overfishing? Poor people in Africa (and elsewhere)

[Based in part on my evaluation for the Faculty of 1000, accessible only by subscription I'm afraid] The pervasive detrimental impacts of overfishing on marine life and ecosystems have been widely publicized in recent years, ratcheting up calls for stricter … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Oceans, Science, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Make of yourself a light

[Editor's note: I can't get enough of Mary Oliver. There are few poets, writers, or artists of any kind that so consistently make me catch my breath, that give me the sensation of suddenly falling away into a new world.] … Continue reading

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Empathy, Enmity, and the Future of Civilization

[The alternate post title that I really wanted to use: "My brief reign as one of the world's leading intellectuals"] It smelled a little off from the beginning, I’ll admit. But, as I say, I’m not immune to flattery. So … Continue reading

Posted in Books and media, Politics, Science, Sustainability | Tagged | 5 Comments

Friday poetry: To the New Year

[Editor's note: Admittedly we're well into the new year, but it's a new year for the Natural Patriot. We've heard from this volume by W.S. Merwin before, about which a reviewer has commented "Each of the 100-plus poems in Merwin's … Continue reading

Posted in Biophilia, Poetry | 1 Comment

The future of marine fish

[This article was an invited piece for the American Institute of Biological Sciences' Action Bioscience online site. I had occasion to mull its content afresh recently after a visit to the University of British Columbia's Fisheries Centre, whose "Sea Around … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Oceans, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Turning pollution into fuel

To ease into the groove of the revived Natural Patriot, I’m starting with the easy stuff: some of the arguably noteworthy developments that transpired during the touch-and-go months of social-networking coma. First up: the latest on our algal biofuel project, … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Sustainability | Tagged , , | 5 Comments