Stories from “What Would Nature Do?” the new issue of @yesmagazine, a YES! green gift guide, and more.
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  Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions         November 2012 

The “What Would Nature Do?” issue of YES! Magazine

  What Would Nature Do?, the Winter 2012 issue of YES! Magazine
just $15 + FREE issue



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Dear Reader,

Nature has figured out some amazing stuff over billions of years of evolutionary experimentation. Spiders make super-tough fibers out of bugs, not toxic chemicals—and they do it at room temperature. Termites build nests with tunnels that cool the colony—without air conditioning and electricity.

This issue of YES! is about what we could learn if we followed those kinds of natural models instead of pretending we can conquer nature by modifying genes, spraying toxic substances on plants and soil, and burning ever greater amounts of climate-polluting fossil fuel.

It would take some humility to try nature’s solutions. We have convinced ourselves that we humans know best. But sometimes, nature’s original idea is the better one.

And it’s not just about how we manufacture things. We become different people when we spend time in the forest, as Indian author and activist Vandana Shiva did in her youth. We form deep bonds with a place, becoming acclimated to a unique combination of terrain, flora, and fauna. This isn’t an anti-technology vision, though. Through high technology and art we can extend our senses, and better appreciate the natural wonders that are hidden from us.

I hope you will find the articles in this issue of YES! as delightful as I do.
See what’s inside the issue, and if you’re not already a subscriber, make this issue the first in your subscription with this introductory $15 offer.

Sarah van GelderBest,
Sarah signature
Sarah van Gelder
Executive Editor, YES! Magazine

  More from the New Issue of YES! Magazine  

Portrait of Janine Benyus. Photo by Paul Dunn for YES! Magazine.From Soap to Cities, Designing From Nature Could Solve Our Biggest Challenges
by Sven Eberlein

Imagine this assignment, says Bill McDonough in a recent TED talk: Design something that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, converts nitrogen into ammonia, distills water, stores solar energy as fuel, builds complex sugars, creates microclimates, changes color with the seasons, and self-replicates. Sound impossible? Well, nature’s already completed this one. It’s called a plant. And the fact that it does these things safely and efficiently is inspiring engineers and designers to reconceive the ways we manufacture such basics as soap bottles, raincoats, and wall-to-wall carpeting.

Biomimicry and Cradle to Cradle, the two fields of inquiry that frame this emerging discipline, stem from the work of biologist Janine Benyus, architect William McDonough, and chemist Michael Braungart, who realized that the very models they considered key to making safer, more environmentally friendly products were sitting right before us, in the natural world.


  Just the Facts  

To Save Our Ecosystems, Stop Overloading Them
by Madeline Ostrander and Doug Pibel

Just the Facts 64
Left alone, natural systems keep nitrogen, carbon, and other key ingredients of life balanced.


  What’s New Online  

Smoking photo by M.L. Ullate
Still from Resilience Circles video
Barack Obama Fair-shutterstock-555.jpg

Why U.S. Attorneys and FBI Brass Support Washington’s Marijuana Law
by Mark Cooke

The state of Washington is expecting to generate more than $2 billion every five years from taxation of legal marijuana sales to adults. And that’s not counting the savings from no longer arresting people for possession.
Want to Fight Climate Change? Start by Turning to Your Neighbors
by Chuck Collins

History is full of cases where the people got active on the big problems of their day by forming affinity groups of 10 to 20 individuals. These groups provide energy, organization, and even psychological support.
Five Things to Watch for in Obama’s Second Term
by Fran Korten

The devil’s in the details, but so are the angels. Here are five things on Obama’s agenda you’ll want to keep an eye on—and get active in, too.
Occupy’s New Offshoot Set to Cancel Millions in Medical Debts
by Fabien Tepper

Medical debt is the cause of 62 percent of bankruptcies, say organizers of Strike Debt, which threw last night’s offbeat fundraiser for their new “Rolling Jubilee.” Ordinary people donated enough money to collectively buy an estimated $5.9 million in debt in order to cancel it.

  Did you miss…  

YES! Email Newsletter archive Audience Favorites:

:: Could California’s Climate Scheme Hurt Mexican Farmers?
A California proposal would offset the state’s climate-altering emissions by paying for forest conservation in Chiapas. Could there be unintended consequences in a region with a history of human rights abuse and land grabs?

:: Your Body is a Body of Water
A storyteller asks what you’d do if you knew your body was part of the water web.

:: Next Leaders in the Climate Movement: Insurance Companies?
Insurance companies are likely to pay out billions in claims due to events caused by climate change—which makes them well-poised to lead the way to a low-carbon economy.

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  How to Get More YES!  

Give YES! Throughout The Year. 2-for-1 Gift Subscriptions.
to friends and family.
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New. The YES! Bookshelf. Browse New Books.
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  Green Gift Guide  

plant ornament shutterstockYES! Magazine’s Green Gift Guide
Our guide to gifts that are thoughtful, fun, creative, and sustainable: Tips, how-tos, books, and more for earth-friendly celebrating this year and beyond.

  Thanksgiving Meditation  

Child in Snow photo by Natasha MileshinaI Am Grateful That Thorns Have Roses: 11 Reasons to Remember Thankfulness
Studies show that gratitude has an inverse correlation with depression—the more grateful you are, the happier you are. Eleven thinkers, throughout the ages, on why being thankful matters.

  Letter from the Editor  

Soul of Autumn photo by Vladimir KonovalovTo Change Our Direction, It’s Time to Follow Nature’s Lead
by Sarah van Gelder
It takes humility to recognize that what we’ve called progress isn’t always for the better. Sometimes nature’s original idea has more promise.

  Web Picks  


Music picks for Winter
YES! Music for Winter
Anna Ternheim, Jerry Jeff Walker, and other inspiration while putting together the Winter 2013 issue.

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