Halfway through my three-week, 417-mile journey down the “most endangered” river in America, the water began flowing backward and the mud started talking.
It spoke in baritone gurgles, like Barry White trapped in a bong.
You know what this is, John?
No, Barry White mud.
This is QUICKSAND
The iconic monarch of the North Woods is dying at an alarming rate.
Is it climate change, a brain-piercing parasite, or is something else to blame?
Five years ago this week, the BBC started broadcasting one of the most extraordinary documentaries ever to grace television: Planet Earth
. The culmination of five years of field work
, it employed the most cutting-edge of techniques
in order to capture life in all its forms, from sweeping spaceborne vistas to shockingly intimate close-ups
-- including many sights
rarely glimpsed by human eyes. Visually spectacular
, it showcased footage shot in 204 locations in 62 countries
, thoroughly documenting every biome from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the lifegiving waters of the Okavango Delta
, a rich narrative tapestry backed by a stirring orchestral score
from the BBC Concert Orchestra. Unfortunately, the series underwent some editorial changes
for rebroadcast overseas. But now fans outside the UK can rejoice -- all eleven chapters of this epic story are available on YouTube in their original form: uncut, in glorious 1080p HD, and with the original narration by renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough
. Click inside for the full listing (and kiss the rest of your week goodbye). [more inside]
A mysterious black blob of something is floating along the Alaskan coast... and it's biological.
According to the Coast Guard, "It's definitely not an oil product of any kind." The strange goop even has a taste for flesh... "[S]omeone turned in what was left of a dead goose -- just bones and feathers..."
explores the pressures faced by wildlife and habitat. Featuring video content like the Plight of the Snow Leopard
, or a feature about manatees, Can Gentle Survive?
, by conservation organizations worldwide. Limited at present to about 30 programs, but growing as more groups come on board.
Northern Divide Grizzly Bear Project
― the grizzly bear has had a threatened status
for more than 30 years now. Several zones have been established in the northwestern U.S. and Canada to monitor recovery. Kate Kendall
of the USGS led a project to investigate recovery through DNA monitoring
of the bears. Since the funds dried up, Kate and her team have used remote cameras to capture some interesting footage of bears
and other wildlife.
Are golf courses bad or good for the environment? Chances are the answer you give depends on whether you are actively involved with the game. Representing anti-golf we have the Organic Consumers Association
, the Journal of Pesticide Reform
(pdf), and the Global Anti-Golf Movement
. Speaking on behalf of golf course management the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews
(pdf) and the United States Golf Association
. A group of leading golf and environmental organizations have jointly developed Environmental Principles for Golf Courses in the United States
The Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly
was thought to be extinct in 1982, after its primary (and federally protected) habitat was (allegedly) destroyed by the City of Ranchos Palos Verdes
. But in 1994, butterfly enthusiasts
discovered that it had apparently survived LA's best efforts to destroy it. It even spawned a PC app (that anyone can download
) aimed at tracking insect populations. These days, it's doing better
the new urban jungle
. . . is a growing movement led by cities like San Francisco
, New York
, and Leiden
to restore active and vibrant natural systems in urban areas. Far from the eden-like depictions of nature of yesteryear, i.e. the garden of earthly delights
(nonetheless, still attracting some dynamic new christian converts
), the movement has morphed into today's backyard and grassroots environmental movement which is more and more a picture of hybridity, compromise, mixed-use, and ultimately, taking nature out of the walled islands of zoos, aquaria, national parks and other thick-walled institutions and offering a different kind of everyday "unmediated"
community experience with the new urban wilderness
The Snow Leopard
is a magnificent animal (and the cubs
,) but also a very endangered one. A recent study by TRAFFIC
, Fading Footprints: The Killing and Trade of Snow Leopards
(PDF), describes the threat faced by the species, including in Afghanistan
. The International Snow Leopard Trust has released the Snow Leopard Survival Strategy
(PDF) to try to aid the species.
The Wildlife Conservatory Society
has just released a new map of the Human Footprint
on Earth. With this map (pdf)
you can see just how much wild space isn't left. For a closer look at each continent look here
So what do we do about it? Terraform the moon?
Or maybe Mars?
Or is our best bet for keeping Earth habitable simply to go electric?
And just to clarify, I'm talking about the impact of humanity on the earth's natural resources, not the supposed giants humans that walked
Where have all the bees gone?
Wild bee populations appear to be declining (members of a local naturalists' mailing list I subscribe to report seeing substantially fewer bumblebees in recent years), and domestic honeybees are susceptible to mites. Since one third of our crops require pollination, this is not just an environmental concern but also a very real threat to our food supply. Find out what's being done about it. Fascinating stuff, if a little frightening.