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Articles by Jane Holtz Kay

Jane Holtz Kay, architecture/planning critic for The Nation and author of Lost Boston and Asphalt Nation, is currently writing Last Chance Landscape, a book on global warming.

Featured Article

Don’t let Beantown become a has-been town.

Buckle your seatbelts: it’s going to be a wet ‘n’ wild ride. That’s the prediction — or, rather, the certainty — that today’s global warming carries. Erratic and unpredictable weather is en route, and coastal areas are among the places destined to be hardest hit. So why are Americans paying so little heed?

As scientists and weather pundits survey the winds of change destined to bounce our thermostats and pivot our climate, the political will of the nation seems becalmed. With change now the constant, it is high time and high tide to contemplate the fate of the half of our population who live on the nation’s coasts.

Recently, an EPA-funded study predicted that massive coastal flooding could radically alter the landscape of Boston, my home city, by the end of this century. The Hub, which prides itself on the “if-you-don’t-like-it-wait-a-minute” changeability of its weather, is not alone: the East Coast’s problem is America’s predicament, and the world’s. Alas, few U.S. residents have yet to seriously co... Read more

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  • Gluttony at home is not necessary for victory abroad

    My grandmother, the family provider in World War II’s market of scarcity, pleaded — or was it flirted? — with the butcher for meat. My father, who couldn’t hit his hat with a hammer, volunteered for military service and wound up in Boston army ordinance helping “our boys” make munitions. On “the home front,” my […]