A journalist looks back on his efforts to cover the first Earth Day.
eco matters Archives - State of the Planet
A new study shows that some of Yellowstone National Park’s forests may be at a climate tipping point, and could be replaced by grassland by the middle of this century.
The forested Kanha Tiger Reserve, in the highlands of central India, is home to an abundance of rare wildlife. It also used to be home to thousands of people—that is, until they were moved out by the government to make way for endangered creatures.
In the small town of Kolasib, we stayed in Hotel Cloud 9. I had been told since I was a child that I was always off on Cloud 9 and now I was actually here. However, the electricity wasn’t for the first few hours, so showers were cold, but the dinner was hot.
Leaving Hiron Point, we headed east through the Sundarbans to Kotka. At Kotka the students had walks through the forest seeing deer, wild boar and monkeys, while a smaller group also sampled near a set of 300 year old salt making kilns for OSL dating. We managed to finish while the tide inundated the site. We ended our day with a visit to an island that has recently emerged from the slain which the succession from bare sand to mangrove is visible.
We visited Polder 32, an embanked island in the delta that was flooded for almost two years when the embankment failed in several places during Cyclone Aila. In addition to the problem of increased subsidence due to the embankment, the area struggles for fresh water. Then we sailed to Hiron Point, a forest station in the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest. We serviced equipment we have here while our armed guards watch for tigers.
After traveling by boat for two days, including crossing the Sundarban Mangrove Forest, we finally arrived in Khulna. We drove to the site of our compaction meter and separated into teams servicing the instruments, investigating agricultural practices, measuring arsenic in the well water and taking sediment samples for dating. We had finally started our work in rural Bangladesh.
With the roads in Bangladesh hazardous to drive because of the ongoing political unrest, our undergraduate sustainable development class managed to proceed with our class trip over Spring Break by doing all travel by boat.
On July 1, single-use styrofoam products will cease to be in circulation in New York City due to a new regulation. The ban, which will be implemented in all five boroughs, will require that no manufacturer or business sell, give or use any single-use styrofoam product including coffee cups, foam trays and packing materials like packing peanuts.