Life in Denmark

An impossibly quaint (where are the gnomes?) thatched roof village at the northern end of the island of Samso. It's a major tourist trap, even for Danes, in summer.

The world descended on Copenhagen these past two weeks—and ordinary Danes don’t like it. Beyond the snarled traffic and foreigners gazing mutely into their palms to try to figure out what coins are worth, there’s all the protesters disrupting orderly Danish Christmas lunches.

Yes, these are traditional opportunities for Danes to get drunk in the early afternoon. But there is a silver lining, according to my sources, since all the police in Denmark are in Copenhagen you can be pretty secure driving drunk in the rest of the country.

I suppose that’s a consolation for all the other inconveniences.

Did I mention drunk Danes stole my Earth Journalism Award?

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I am an award-winning journalist writing primarily about the environment and energy. I am working on a book about whether the planet has entered a new geologic age as a result of people's impacts and, if so, what we should do about this Anthropocene. I’ve been writing for Scientific American since 2005 and have written on subjects ranging from astronomy to zoology for both the Web site and magazine. I’ve been reporting on the environment and energy since 1999 — long enough to be cynical but not long enough to be depressed. I am the author of a children’s book on bullet trains and write for publications ranging from the L.A. Review of Books to The New Republic, speak on news radio and shows such as WNYC’s The Takeaway, NHPR’s Word of Mouth, and PRI’s The World as well as host the duPont-Columbia award winning documentary “Beyond the Light Switch” for PBS. I also happen to think Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species is a surprisingly good read.