Michelle Nijhuis

Award-winning journalist and pretty good mom Michelle Nijhuis writes about science and the environment from western Colorado. Follow her on Twitter.


“My Dirty Stream”: Pete Seeger’s anti-pollution legacy

The Hudson is much cleaner now than it was when Pete Seeger started sailing on it, and that's a story that should stick with us.


To the bat cave: Desperate measures in a time of ‘peak conservation’

The Nature Conservancy opened the world's first artificial cave for hibernating bats. Cool, right? Also, a little worrisome.


Save the median strip! Or, how to annoy E.O. Wilson

Emma Marris, author of "Rambunctious Garden," challenged noted conservationist E.O. Wilson by arguing that we should learn to value all types of nature -- human-altered places as well as pristine landscapes.


Kids’ books that take the SCARY out of science

Science writer Michelle Nijhuis goes in search of books that will inspire her toddler to think of science as a world of possibilities, not a frightening place where intimidating grown-ups have all the answers.

Climate Change

WWDSS? What would Dr. Seuss say about climate change?

Channeling the good doctor, one writer imagines what he might write about global warming, were he still with us. A little fun with the apocalypse, anyone?


Sinners, repent! How our natural self-bias got us into this mess

This interview originally appeared in the Last Word on Nothing. Dearest readers, we hope you had a gluttonous, slothful, greedy, and lustful holiday, with only the tiniest touches of wrath. My compatriots and I at the Last Word on Nothing are celebrating the season with a series of posts on the Seven Deadly Sins. I got things started with a conversation with conservation biologist Michael Soule, the founder of the Society for Conservation Biology and The Wildlands Network and a professor emeritus of environmental studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz. In recent years, in pursuit of an …

Stop crying: Environmental tales don’t have to be ‘The Lorax’

Cross-posted from the Last Word on Nothing. I’ve spent a lot of time this past year thinking and writing about extinction, which means I’ve also spent a lot of time drinking thinking about the tragic narrative in environmental journalism. There’s a lot of genuine tragedy on the environmental beat, and it doesn’t take a partisan to see it. There’s not a whole lot to like about water pollution, or crop failures, or mass extinction. A lot of these stories lend themselves to the Lorax narrative. You know how it goes: The Lorax speaks for the trees, the rest of us keep buying …

Green Home

Not one more winter in the tipi, honey

Going off the grid seems romantic at first, but unfortunately, women are often the first to encounter the worst realities of homesteading.


Why Poughkeepsie is a great place to wait for the end of the world

Towns like Poughkeepsie, New York may appear charmless, but they could be ideal places to live in a post-peak oil world.

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