The Dire End of the Bandit 6

Pirates, those outlaws of the high seas, have held a blurred fascination for generations. They share the allure of an in-between realm with horseback bandits, a place free of everyday rules and constricted spaces. Who doesn’t fantasize, from time to time at least, about being outside the drudgery of convention? Just exactly who the pirates…

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Forest Vs. Trees

Humankind owes its origins to forests. In return, we have been reshaping them for our own uses ever since we learned to use tools and fire. I’ve told the story before of how an Indonesian palm oil trader once explained to me, many years ago, that I needn’t worry about deforestation in Indonesia. Why? Because…

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Yoke of Gold

The history of gold – that is, the history of gold extracted from the planet surface – is inextricably linked with human history. Gold has always been as much a shining harness as a coveted bauble. It has so many qualities we would like to think we ourselves possess: It’s rare but not lonely and…

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Serious Buffoonery

A gathering of orangutans is called a buffoonery. A buffoonery of orangutans implies some very high amusement, and indeed, I imagine if enough of the ginger apes were to get together, hilarity and hijinks might ensue. But as most people know by now, orangutans don’t have much to laugh about. Between deforestation and the illegal…

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The Proverbial Drop

The recent Warsaw Climate Change Conference ended with a couple of modest successes, the main one being that the conversation will continue between nations as to what to do about man-made impact on the climate. An initiative to support efforts at slowing deforestation received funding to the tune of $280 million from three countries. Developed…

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Input and Loss

At the UNFCCC COP19 in Warsaw this week, a new programme was launched under the auspices of the World Bank: The BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL). The initial funding amount is set at $280 million USD. Norway has pledged up to $135 million to the initiative, Britain $120 million and the United…

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Global Forest Map

A gorgeous new tool for assessing gain and loss in global forests was released this week by University of Maryland researchers, the result of a five year, broad-based collaborative project. The interactive map of Global Forest Change is powered by Google’s computing cloud will offer a means to establish forestry baselines around the world, with…

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Trash Tsunami

This certainly isn’t the case for all beaches and surf areas surrounding Java, but…photographer Zak Noyle was shooting Indonesian surfer Dede Surinaya in a remote, mostly uninhabited bay and this is what they found. This shot was taken in the formerly pristine waters off of Java, Indonesia. According to several sources, the 17,000 islands of Indonesia…

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