AUTHOR PROFILE

Christina De La Rocha

After 20 years of working as a biogeochemist/oceanographer, Christina De La Rocha had a mid-life crisis, flew the coop of her career, landed in Germany, and decided to learn how to write. So far she’s published a couple of short stories in Analog and one book of popular science (Silica Stories) and, rural life being what it is, now spends more time with birds than with people.

See more of her work at her blog, Germanium Geranium.

Silica Stories

Silica Stories

Do you know silica, the tetrahedra of silicon and oxygen constituting the crystals of New Agers and the desiccant in a box of new shoes? It's no mere mundane mineral. As chemically reacting silicate rocks, silica set off the chain of events known as the origin of life. As biomineralized opal, it is the cell wall, skeleton, spicules, and scales of organisms ornamenting numerous lobes of the tree of life. Cryptocrystalline silica made into stone tools helped drive the evolution of our hands and our capability for complex grammar, music, and mathematics. As quartz crystals, silica is impressively electric and ubiquitous in modern technology (think sonar, radios, telephones, ultrasound, and cheap but precise watches). Silica is inescapable when we take a drink or mow the lawn and it has already started to save the Earth from the carbon dioxide we're spewing into the atmosphere. This book tells these scientific tales and more, to give dear, modest silica its due.


A Windfarm at Sunset
Changing Tack

A storm of our own design bears down upon us.
Now, the time has more than come for us to ask, not what the world can do for us, but what we can do for the world.

How To Go Carbon Neutral

If we hope to avoid the impending climatic disaster, carbon neutrality should be the goal of everyone, but is net-zero carbon emissions truly achievable?

Will The European Union Transcend Its Migration Crisis or Fall Apart?

If the European Union does not cooperatively rise to the challenges posed by incoming migrants before climate change sends ever greater waves of refugees, it risks rending itself asunder, turning Europe back into a continent of warring nations.

A bug's eye view of an organic wheat farm.
What Does Organic Mean Anyway?

We explore the agricultural usage of the term ‘organic’, and the difference between conventional and organic farming.

Fuming Over Fumigation

When a nearby farm is sprayed, we have to shut all our windows and doors to keep the fumes out of the house, but there’s nothing we can do to save the bees.

Eat Weird Plants To Protect The Earth’s Ecosystems

Of the roughly 400,000 plant species known to currently exist on Earth, roughly 30,000 are edible to humans. Of that 30,000, we have cultivated 7,000 at one time or another.

An Open Letter to the U.S. Government

It may turn out to be too little, too late, or it may buy us the time we need to switch over to net zero emissions economies in time to spare the world exceptionally catastrophic climate change.