Alex Shoumatoff Quotes
Alexander "Alex" Shoumatoff (born November 4, 1946) is an American writer known for his literary journalism, nature and environmental writing, and books and magazine pieces about political and environmental situations and world affairs. He was a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine from 1978 to 1987, a founding contributing editor of Outside magazine and Condé Nast Traveler, and was the senior-most contributing editor to Vanity Fair since its re-inception in 1986 through 2015 before he pseudo retired. He is known for reporting from the most remote corners of the world
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Before you rip off three feet of toilet paper, consider that each year 500,000 acres of virgin boreal forest in northern Alberta and Ontario are being clear-cut to make the stuff. These forests are home to some 500 First Nation communities, as well as caribou and bears, moose and wolves, and, in the summertime, billions of songbirds.
According to the U.N., more than 2.7 billion people will face severe water shortages by 2025. Many social scientists predict that the next big wars will be over water. Nevertheless, the average American family blissfully consumes 300 gallons a day, when you add in watering the lawn and washing dishes, clothes, and cars.
Even as global warming increases the frequency of El Nino and the Atlantic event, their effects are being amplified by the annual loss of an area of rain forest the size of New Jersey. Less rain falls, and the water runs into the rivers instead of being sucked up by the fungus filaments and tree roots.
Most of the Amazon basin is as flat as a pancake and laced with extravagantly meandering waterways. One school of thought holds that more than 145 million years ago, when Africa and South America were joined, the Amazon's main stem was connected to the Niger River and actually flowed in the opposite direction, toward the Pacific Ocean.
Elephants are highly emotional. Whatever they are feeling, they let it out immediately, and the histrionics are over and forgotten in a moment, lasting no longer than the cloud formations that are constantly coming apart and re-forming overhead. There is no guile in pachyderms.
If the world were an orange with 18 segments meeting at the top (the North Pole), roughly 8 of them would be in Russia, Canada would have 4, Denmark 2, and Norway, Sweden, and the U.S. just one apiece. Only a sliver of Alaska, on the Beaufort Sea, lies above the Arctic Circle.
There is a lot of interest among the descendants of Holocaust victims in getting back artworks that were looted by the Nazis, for getting at least some form of compensation and closure for the horrors visited upon their families.
The Awa are a distinctive-looking, diminutive forest people, smaller than any of the dozen other Amazon tribespeople I have met. Reduced size is adaptive in a rain forest. You can move around more easily and unobtrusively. Not only humans but other species are smaller in rain forests.
'Ecological sensitivity' is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Donald Trump. He doesn't even believe in global warming. But this is because he is a city boy.
In 1990, my wife and I were married in her village in southwestern Uganda. The festivities went on for three days, and all the while a couple of dozen gray-crowned cranes, with regal bonnets of sun-shot yellow feathers, were pecking and padding around in the adjacent savanna.
The usual way of growing cotton is highly petrochemical-intensive, requiring 110 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer per acre. Some of the fertilizer is broken down by soil bacteria into nitrate, a toxic and highly soluble chemical that can leach into groundwater or get washed into lakes, creating oxygenless dead zones.
The plumbing and pluvial dynamics of the Amazon, the largest freshwater system on Earth, are still far from understood. This is partly because it is a semi-open system. Moisture flows in and out unpredictably. A lot of nonlinear feedback loops and 'remote influences' - continental, transcontinental, oceanic, meteorological - come into play.
No golfer's journey is complete without a pilgrimage to St. Andrews, the mecca of the game. This is where it all began, back in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The global climate is a complex interactive system, with all kinds of nonlinear feedback loops.