National Geographic : 2007 Oct
LETTERS Unbelievable. Of course I am not talking about what was written in "The Big Thaw" but rather reacting to the persisting deniers and their justifications as to why human induced climate change is an alarmist's hoax. I am sure there are some harmless folks out there who still believe the Earth is flat. But apathy and disbelief about climate change are far from harmless; they affect governmental policy and our ability to take action. While it is difficult to predict precisely how global climate change will affect us, the real challenge today is to mobi lize the populace: How am I affecting climate change? What sacrifices am I able to make? And what should my government do about it? MICHAEL ALBERT Racine, Wisconsin Life at the Edge While I have never been to the Arctic, Paul Nicklen's pho tographs in "Life at the Edge" instantly transported me to this ice paradise. It was apparent to me that the Arctic is not a frigid, sleepy land far away but one teeming with the life and vitality of animals that have a story to tell. Perhaps these images will show others that the world is worth saving, even in places we have never been. JOHN D. TRYBUS Washington, D.C. Corrections, Clarifications June 2007: Visions of Earth The ruins in the first picture predate the Soviet era. A Passion for Order The photo on page 87 shows Musa ornata, a banana plant from Bangladesh. Instant Cities The correct spelling of the city on page 117 is Youzhu. China's Instant Cities Is this what Europe experi enced at the time of the indus trial revolution? If the Chinese are abandoning and building over their agricultural lands, how will they feed them selves? I cannot begin to imagine what environmental impact all this moving of mountains will have, and what about pollution? MARY LYNN GULLETTE Blue Bell, Pennsylvania I have been working with various Chinese companies that produce U.S. consumer goods for more than ten years now. Peter Hessler's article and Mark Leong's photographs hit the mark in conveying a sense of what is happening in China today. Most Americans have no idea-and maybe most really do not want to know-what is going on there. I know of no American who would trade places with the average Chinese factory worker. On the other hand, most Americans do not ques tion where their goods come from so long as the price is low. The Chinese are ener getic, driven, and hungry to improve their lives. They want their families to be happy, safe, and filled with hope that the future will be better. But their path is leading them straight into a danger ous future, in my opinion. It might be economic boom time now, but lying beneath the surface, a bomb ticks away quietly. And since we all live on the same planet, we all share in the responsibility to quickly and compassionately deal with this danger. JIM PENNY Arcata, California "FOR THE INCREASE AND DIFFUSION OF GEOGRAPHIC KNOWLEDGE" The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C., as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Since 1888 the Society has supported more than 8,000 explorations and research projects, adding to knowledge of earth, sea, and sky. JOHN M. FAHEY,JR., President and CEO EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENTS Terrence B. Adamson Linda Berkeley, President, Enterprises Terry D. Garcia, Mission Programs John Q. Griffin, President, Magazine Group Nina D. Hoffman, President, Books and School Publishing Group Betty Hudson, Communications Christopher A. Liedel, CFO BOARD OF TRUSTEES Gilbert M. Grosvenor, Chairman Reg Murphy, ViceChairman Joan Abrahamson, Michael R. Bonsignore, Roger A. Enrico, John M. Fahey, Jr., Daniel S. Goldin, John Jay Iselin, James C. Kautz, Maria E. 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Francis, Vice Chairman Keith Clarke, Steven M. Colman, Scott V. Edwards, Philip Gingerich, William L. Graf, Nancy Knowlton, Dan M. Martin, Scott E. Miller, Jan Nijman, Stuart L. Pimm, Elsa M. Redmond, Bruce D. Smith, Patricia C. Wright, Melinda A. Zeder EXPLORERS-IN-RESIDENCE Robert Ballard, Wade Davis, Jared Diamond, Sylvia Earle, J. Michael Fay, Zahi Hawass, Beverly Joubert, Dereck Joubert, Louise Leakey, Meave Leakey, Johan Reinhard, Paul Sereno, Spencer Wells MISSION PROGRAMS Vice Presidents: John M. Francis, Research, Conservation, and Exploration Jacqueline M. Hollister, Development Sarah Laskin, Public Programs Gregory A. McGruder, NG Live and the Museum Exhibits: Susan S. Norton Expeditions Council:Rebecca Martin Geography Bee: Mary Lee Elden Lectures: P.Andrew van Duym Human Resources:Thomas A. Sablo, Sr. VicePresident International: Robert W. Hernandez, Sr. Vice President Treasurer: H. Gregory Platts, Sr. Vice President NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VENTURES Dennis R. Patrick, Chairman Timothy T. Kelly, President and CEO Edward M. Prince, Jr., COO National Geographic Channel: David Haslingden, President Digital Media: Betsy Scolnik, President National Geographic Maps: Frances A. Marshall, President; Allen Carroll, Chief Cartographer Television: Michael Rosenfeld, President Contributions to the National Geographic Society are tax deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S.tax code. Copyright © 2007 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved. National Geographic and Yellow Border: Registered Trademarks ® Marcas Registradas. National Geographic assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Printed in U.S .A .