This is Bunny, who got her name because when she was a tiny kitten—and she was a VERY tiny kitten— she resembled a “dust bunny,” one of those lumps of grey dust that you find under a heavy piece of furniture that you can’t easily get under to dust. Bunny matured to a whopping 6.5 pounds as an adult. Because she was so small, she was always at or near the bottom of the “peck order” of my multi-cat household.
National parks are one of the most important types of protected areas in China and it now has 10 pilot programmes in place across 12 provinces. They include a national park containing the headwaters of three major rivers in Asia on the Tibetan Plateau, one for giant pandas in the southwestern province of Sichuan and another one for Siberian tigers and Amur leopards in Jilin and Heilongjiang, in the northeast.
RICHARD REESE—We evolved our ability to sweat on African savannahs, where the humidity is typically low (“dry heat”). So, we can survive for a few hours of 120°F (49°C) in Death Valley, California. It’s a different story in super-humid Florida, where “a single day of 120-degree temperatures in Palm Beach would be a mass casualty event. Dead bodies would pile up in the morgues, victims of hyperthermia, or heatstroke — cooked, alive, in their own bodies.” Alas, the cooling powers of sweating have limits.
ANIMAL LIVESANIMAL MARTYRDOMCAPITALIST SICKNESSCLIMATE CHANGECULTURE & HISTORYENVIRONMENTAL STRUGGLESSAVING THE PLANETVIDEOSWILDLIFE/MARINE
Immensely beautiful, the still wild Chilean Patagonia faces mounting challenges as it becomes integrated into the rest of the nation
PATRICE GREANVILLE—In terms of sheer labor inputs, and engineering difficulties, the Carretera Austral is in a class comparable to the “near miraculous” projects recently seen in China. We wonder indeed how long it would take the Chinese to build this highway across impossible fjords, glaciers, ocean expanses, and all. With their advanced machinery, proven skills, and legendary tenacity, who knows, maybe they would get it done in less time than anyone in the West would expect. Ironically, the “Carretera Austral” Project was pushed against all naysayers by Augusto Pinochet (the road was originally called Carretera Austral Gen. Augusto Pinochet), and may eventually serve to whitewash the dictator’s innumerable crimes. Cynics claim Pinochet saw the project as a gigantic, bottomless pork barrel opportunity for his family and hangers-on. In any case, the ecological price of “developing” this fragile and precious environment is unquestionably bound to be high, perhaps prohibitive, even if the region is only kept as mostly a tourist reserve. The German documentary featured on this page suggests as much: the red tide (“marea roja”) that killed hundreds and possibly thousands of whales, a mind-boggling number for an animal whose numbers remain fragile in the global oceanic ecosystem, is a tragic reminder that the human footprint should not be extended thoughtlessly.
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VIRGINIA BELL—Animal agriculture produces carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and black carbon. Methane is up to 80 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2, and nitrous oxide is up to 300 times more potent, plus nitrous oxide degrades the ozone layer. BUT they have a much shorter lifespan than CO2, so reducing them would bring a fast significant impact on global warming. Because methane degrades into the less harmful CO2 after about 10-12 years, the IPCC has badly underestimated the impact of methane by using a timeframe of 100 years in its calculations, thereby seriously diluting the global warming damage that methane does each year compared to CO2.