Economy Ethics

Why a market model is destroying the safeguards of the professions

Photo courtesy T Grace Emori / CDC Author: Lisa Herzog / Edited by Sally Davies The young doctor was desperate. ‘I need to talk to my patients,’ she said, ‘and give them time to ask questions. Some of them are foreign-born and struggle with the language, and all of them are in distress! But I […]

Poaching Wildlife Conservation Wildlife Trafficking

We asked people in Vietnam why they use rhino horn. Here’s what they said

Cover Photo: Malaysia’s wildlife department seized 50 African rhino horns destined for Vietnam last year.  EPA-EFE/FAZRY ISMAIL Authors: Vu Hoai Nam Dang, University of Copenhagen and Martin Reinhardt Nielsen, University of Copenhagen Vietnam is one of the world’s largest consumers of rhino horn, contributing to the continued poaching of rhinos in the wild. Last year in Africa […]

Biodiversity Ecology

In praise of parasites

They worm into snails and infect the brains of fish. They’ve also found their way into Kevin Lafferty’s heart. He sees them as beautiful examples of sophisticated evolution, and as keys to ecosystem balance. By Kenneth R. Weiss This article originally appeared in Knowable Magazine, an independent journalistic endeavor from Annual Reviews, and is republished here under […]

Animal Behavior Climate Change Environment

Termites actively help save soils during droughts, study finds

Author: Shreya Dasgupta Researchers studying the effects of termites in an old-growth tropical forest in Malaysian Borneo found that both termite numbers and activity increased during the El Niño drought of 2015-2016, resulting in higher leaf litter decomposition and soil moisture compared to a test plot where the termite population had been artificially suppressed. These improvements […]

Conservation Spotlight Indigenous Communities Wildlife Conservation

Engaging communities to protect orangutans: Interview with Liana Chua

Author: James Fair Conservation efforts have traditionally focused too much on wildlife and not enough on human communities, says social anthropologist Liana Chua. When it comes to orangutans, Chua says indigenous communities in Borneo are unlikely to share the concerns and priorities of international conservation organizations. Killing of orangutans by humans is a major threat to […]

Climate Change Ethics Poverty

An Indian perspective on the Poland climate meeting: Not much help for the world’s poor and vulnerable

Top Photo: Bamboo structures on the Brahmaputra river in Majuli, northeastern India, intended to help prevent land erosion in a region experiencing erratic weather patterns and bursts of intense rainfall. AP Photo/Anupam Nath Author: Arun Agrawal, University of Michigan The international climate change conference that concluded in Katowice, Poland on Dec. 15 had limited ambitions and expectations […]

Conservation Spotlight Wildlife Conservation Wildlife Rehabilitation

We train Colombian woolly monkeys to be wild again – and maybe save them from extinction

Woolly monkeys are hard to miss in Colombia’s jungles. Now, they face extinction. Top Photo Credit: Mónica Ramírez Authors: Mónica Alejandra Ramírez, Universidad de los Andes ; Manuel Lequerica Tamara, University of Sydney, and Pablo Stevenson, Universidad de los Andes Colombia’s Andes Mountains used to be loaded with wildlife, including South America’s sole bear species, […]

Climate Change Environment

Climate change linked to specific 2017 extreme weather events

This article originally appeared at Mongabay.com and is republished here under CC BY-ND 4.0 license. According to the seventh annual special report by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) probing the causal links between rising global temperatures and extreme weather events, issued last month, climate change made the Northern Great Plains drought of 2017 some […]

Anthropology Indigenous Communities Legal Personhood

What if nature, like corporations, had the rights and protections of a person?

Top photo: The forest around Lake Waikaremoana in New Zealand has been given legal status of a person because of its cultural significance. Paul Nelhams/flickr, CC BY-SA Author: Chip Colwell, University of Colorado Denver In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has solidified the concept of corporate personhood. Following rulings in such cases as Hobby […]

Agriculture Environment Food Production

Healthy soil is the real key to feeding the world

Top photo: Planting a diverse blend of crops and cover crops, and not tilling, helps promote soil health. Photo credit: Catherine Ulitsky, USDA/Flickr, CC BY Author: David R. Montgomery, University of Washington One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn’t necessarily. After […]