October 12, 2019

Hello friends,

Welcome to the new (and...improved?) Silica Magazine newsletter, a public outlet for all of the beautiful, devastating, and flat out weird stuff we run into while trawling the internet for all that happens within and between us and the natural world. Also, updates on whatever it is we're up to!

whatever it is we’re up to...

First off, a huge thanks to those who made it to our pitch party last weekend! Hearing voices new and old kicking around inspired ideas about dirt amidst mud wrestling projections and confused bar goers was just...**chef's kiss**

And now, digging into a few of our favorite dirty reads:

Can Dirt Save the Earth?
by Moises Velasquez-Manoff for The New York Times; April 18, 2018Wondering why we chose dirt of all things for this issue's theme? This comprehensive and meticulously researched article is a perfect place to start. It demonstrates how soil, when properly considered and cared for (hint: biodiversity, #morelife) can actually sequester carbon from the atmosphere and produce far greater crop yields than monoculture farming!

To Combat Climate Change, Start From the Ground Up (With Dirt)by Wendy MacNaughton for The New York Times; May 2, 2019
A cute version of the above article~

The Day the Dinosaurs Died
by Douglas Preston for The New Yorker; March 29, 2019
Reads kind of like an archaeologic CSI? Following a young archaeologists groundbreaking discovery, this wonderfully transportive story demonstrates the baffling amount we can learn from learning to read the forensic evidence imprinted in the earth—from glass rain to apocalyptic floods to what any surviving creatures ate after the great extinction.

Revealed: The 20 Firms Behind a Third of All Carbon Emissionsby Matthew Taylor and Jonathan Watts for The Guardian; October 9, 2019Because what's dirtier than money? (this lil pig, sure. but we love her without condition). This roundup is a part of their ongoing series The Polluters, which I highly recommend clicking through.

First as Tragedy, Then as Fascism
by Alex Amend for The Baffler; September 26, 2019
Fascism! Dirty like money but never needed! As our climate crisis becomes less and less deniable, the far right have adopted nativist ecological theories to bolster a response that's xenophobic and anti-immigrant. The slope is a slippery one; this article is a sharp reminder of why our cultural understanding of the natural world matters.

Also, this weekend is NYC's 4th Annual Soil Festival!
This four day event explores how urban soil can optimize biodiversity, carbon storage, and ecological productivity through food systems, green infrastructure, climate resiliency work, and rehabilitation of our environment and ecosystems.  


One of the nicest moments of the pitch party was a friend describing to me the smell of dirt after a monsoon in Taiwan—that it smelled the way a beet tastes; sour, soft, with a yielding depth. Will leave you with that meditation, to conjure for yourself the smell of a particular earth~*

Tell us what you smell.