Posts tagged history.
“Roosevelt—listed in the manifest not with any ex-presidential status, but instead simply as bwana, Swahili for master—would chronicle the experience in African Game Trails (“the African wanderings of an American Hunter-Naturalist”).
The $100,000 trip, financed by the Smithsonian, Andrew Carnegie, and Roosevelt himself, would have cost about $2.34 million today, but the size of the quarry was so vast it was nearly priceless.”
An account of Teddy Roosevelt’s hunting trip. Also worth clicking is PBS’s profile of Roosevelt’s contribution to land and animal conservation in America.
Christopher Alberts, the Senior Vice President of Communications for the National Geographic Channels, told me that they have “one of the best policies there is”, but refused to send it to me or tell me anything about it.
Why are these factual networks, whose survival depends on building trust with their audiences, so reluctant to clarify their ethics policies with respect to wildlife?
What does it mean for conservation if high-rating shows on leading channels are portraying wildlife in a negative, seemingly misleading way to millions of viewers worldwide? And why are so few people saying anything about it?
The Guradian’s Adam Welz eviscerates NatGeo, Discovery, Animal Planet, and the History Channel’s horrific violence against animals, including shooting bears, wolves, wolverines, crocodiles, snakes, and many other animals in full view of the camera.
Welz’s piece struck a cord with me this weekend. This is not education, it’s promotion of fear of nature for ratings and money. It’s exploitation to the vilest degree. I believe these channels have to answer for this bizarre blood lust.
Lately, these shows have also filmed killing of wolverines, lynx, grizzly bears, rattle snakes, and crocodiles for no reason other than ratings. The wolf, above, was no threat to Tanana. The show exploits viewer’s naivete about guns by shooting this animal with an AR-15 semi-automatic gun. That’s not how Alaskans hunt, they use hunting rifles, not assault weapons that look good on camera. In fact, Alaskan outdoorsmen and women are appalled at this blatant exploitation of both the animal and the audience. There is no need for this.
My point is that we are at a critical time in human history. Species are going extinct at a rapid pace, science education is under attack from aging politicians, and young people are generally experiencing nature less and less.
I am genuinely worried about the future of this country’s environmental leadership. Federal conservation programs, which have taken decades to create, are weakening. The ethic of conservationism (a conservative ethos) is dwindling. Young people are being pulled in the direction of technology, and away from grandeur, away from fresh air and nature.
It seems to me that one important aspect of this messy new milieu are education based TV companies who heretofore have been untouched by healthy criticism.
I think it’s time to analyze the impact of these shows. I believe that the Discovery Channel et al are not contributing to a healthy planet nor are they assisting educating viewers. It seems to me they are mastering fear for short term gain and profits. If I am correct, and I believe I am, these companies need to stop and focus on their mission, which is non-fiction, education-based media - not sensationalism or harm.
I hope you agree with me.
These channels are failing the spirit of conservationism and education. They are failing inspiring awe in young people. Failing much needed inspiration in a very confused and conflicted world.
These shows are failing their core values, their main purpose, which is leadership in environmentalism and cultural education. Far worse, they are failing millions of young people - millions - who look up to them.
Please join me in asking Discovery, Animal Planet, and the History Channels to stop, apologize, and correct.
City leaders in Oxford, Ala. have approved the destruction of a 1,500-year-old Native American ceremonial mound and are using the dirt as fill for a new Sam’s Club.
Oxford’s Mayor Leon Smith — whose campaign has financial connections to firms involved in the $2.6 million no-bid project — insists the mound is not man-made and was used only to “send smoke signals.”
Great read and video of the researchers in Mongolia.
Eight hundred years ago, relatively small armies of mounted warriors suddenly exploded outward from the cold, arid high-elevation grasslands of Mongolia and reshaped world geography, culture and history in ways that still resound today. How did they do it?
Tree-ring scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory have worked in Mongolia since 1995. In 2010, Lamont researcher Neil Pederson and Amy Hessl of West Virginia University were seeking old trees for a study of wildfire history. High in the Khangai Mountains, north of the steppe where the long-disappeared Mongol capital of Karakorum once lay, they explored a nearly solid-rock plain of hardened lava left by a volcanic eruption some 8,000 years ago. Growing out of fissures and thin soils were thousands of gnarled, stunted larches and Siberian pines–a tree-ring scientist’s treasure. Annual rings of many species reflect rainfall or temperature in predictable ways. These can be read like books; and trees in the driest, harshest sites like this are exquisitely sensitive to rain, live to extraordinary ages, and leave trunks that may stand for centuries after they die. They are truly ancient manuscripts, writ with a fine hand.Pederson and Hessl analyzed 17 trees to chart a yearly record of rainfall back to 658 AD. They saw that from 1211-1230—the exact time of the Mongols’ rise—central Mongolia saw one of its wettest periods ever. That time also was unusually warm, as shown by a 2001 paper from other Lamont researchers.
Bloodthirsty 'factual' Discovery, NatGeo, History Channel, Animal Planet TV shows demonise wildlife ›
Journalist Adam Welz blows the lid off of how major US TV networks are depicting killing animals for profit. Wolves, grizzly bears, lynx cats, and other animals are being trapped, shot with AK-47s, and painted as dangerous threats on national networks NatGeo, Discovery, and other “reality TV” shows. Click through for more.
There is a storm brewing.
The first successful English colony in America was at Jamestown, Va., a swampy island in the Chesapeake Bay. The colony endured for almost a century, and remnants of the place still exist. You can go there and see the ruins. You can walk where Capt. John Smith and Pocahontas walked.
But Jamestown is now threatened by rising sea levels that scientists say could submerge the island by century’s end.
Well worth clicking through. I once argued with a history prof that thousands of historic sites were at risk from climate change. She thought it was too extreme…
Belizean police are investigating a construction company that has destroyed most of one of the largest Mayan pyramids in the Caribbean nation to make gravel to dump on village roads, according to reports from the Caribbean.
Archaeologists and a local TV station witnessed the destruction Friday as bulldozers and excavators continued to demolish the 60-foot-tall main temple at Nohmul — “great mound” — one of the tallest structures in northern Belize, along the Mexican border in the Yucatan Peninsula.
“We can’t salvage what has happened out here,” John Morris, of the Institute of Archaeology, told 7 News Belize. “It is an incredible display of ignorance. I am appalled.” A news crew was threatened by a man with a machete as dump trucks hauled away rock and limestone from the temple, which has been “whittled down to a narrow core,” the TV station said.
A Caterpillar excavator was photographed tearing down what was left of the limestone-rich ruins. “It’s like being punched in the stomach, it’s just so horrendous,” Jamie Awe, head of the institute, told the Associated Press. “These guys knew that this was an ancient structure. It’s just bloody laziness.”
The pre-Colombian site is about 2,500 years old and consists of twin ceremonial clusters surrounded by 10 plazas and connected by a raised causeway. Mayans used stone tools to quarry the rock and build the complex by hand. An estimated 40,000 people are believed to have lived there between 500 and 250 BC.
More of these incidents to come in the years ahead as population growth outweighs the need to protect resources.
Considering how humans’ affect the climate, land use, oceans, species, and habitats, many scientists think the earth has entered a new period in historic time. But what are the criteria for a new epoch, one defined by humans? A few scientists and a journalist discuss the issue.
Have humans had such a dramatic impact on the globe that we’ve created a new geological era? That’s what some scientists think. They’ve proposed that the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th century marked the end of the Holocene (a period that began with the last ice age 11,700 years ago) and the beginning of the Anthropocene, the “Age of Man.” Not everyone agrees. In fact, some say the Anthropocene began 11,500 years ago and completely overlaps with the Holocene. And still others say the Anthropocene has yet to begin.
Who’s right? What are the implications for science and the planet?
April 22, 1970: Earth Day is Created
On this day in 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson accomplished his goal of creating Earth Day, a day dedicated to increasing awareness of environmental issues.
During the first Earth Day, Senator Nelson spoke to the Denver public and said:
“Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human being and all living creatures.”
Today, the American public will perform an array of actions to help our environment, whether it’s through cleaning up local neighborhoods or promoting environmental protection.
Celebrate Earth Day with this exclusive PBS’ Our Planet collection!
Image: Cleanup Along Bank of Chattahoochee River, 1972 (National Archives).
On April 12, 2013, Sally Jewell was sworn in as the 51st Secretary of the Interior.
In nominating Jewell, President Obama said, “She is an expert on the energy and climate issues that are going to shape our future. She is committed to building our nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country. She knows the link between conservation and good jobs. She knows that there’s no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress; that in fact, those two things need to go hand in hand.”
As Secretary of the Interior, Jewell leads an agency with more than 70,000 employees. Interior serves as steward for approximately 20 percent of the nation’s lands, including national parks, national wildlife refuges, and other public lands; oversees the responsible development of conventional and renewable energy supplies on public lands and waters; is the largest supplier and manager of water in the 17 Western states; and upholds trust responsibilities to the 566 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.
Prior to her confirmation, Jewell served in the private sector, most recently as President and Chief Executive Officer of Recreation Equipment, Inc. (REI).
If you enjoy the coast, know about your local heritage – or want to explore it further, you could make a real contribution to a national project which is being run by The SCAPE Trust and the University of St Andrews.
The Scotland’s Coastal Heritage at Risk project is looking for volunteers who can visit threatened coastal archaeological and historical sites in their local areas to take photographs, record their current condition and contribute information to a national database of coastal archaeological sites.
Of the 1,000 archaeological sites around Scotland short-listed as the highest priority for action because of their importance and risk of loss as a result of erosion, nearly a quarter are in Orkney. Read more.
Would love to be in Scotland to help out.
memeengine asked: psst, your question to Carl Zimmer via yaleuniversity tumblr_blog was featured in the video. So was mine, to my surprise! There's a link on their blog, and in my most recent post. Congrats!
Wow, he did indeed answer our questions. Very cool! Thank you! m