National Geographic : 2007 May
LETTERS A tree is a plant, no more, no less. It is no problem at all to reconcile harvesting trees with loving the forest. Ask any forester. As to Brazil, the surest way to continue the destruction of the Amazonian forest (or any tropical timber) is to attempt to conserve it all, irrespective of the needs and wants of all the people who live there and who do not really fancy being "conserved" to satisfy the emo tional needs of some Americans thousands of miles distant. LEONARD M. GUSS Woodinville, Washington More research would have shown that the region's prob lems began long before the beginning of soybean produc tion. Nevertheless, the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries (ABIOVE) is aware of its responsibilities and has dedicated resources to the question of sustainable development. CARLO LOVATELLI President, ABIOVE Sao Paulo, Brazil Dubai, the Sudden City I wish the piece on the explo sive growth of Dubai had told us how the shopping center's faux ski slope is being cooled. Corrections, Clarifications January 2007: Wildlife: Losing Ground The pronghorn antelope migration is the longest of any land mammal in the lower 48 states. Geography: What's in a Name The most popular U.S. baby names in 1915 were John and Mary. Arctic Dreams & Nightmares (page 148) Vasodilators improve blood circulation; they do not thin blood. With the temperature at 110°F outside, one can only imagine the greenhouse gases being created by this weird consumer treat-machine-made snow, "a small white miracle in the desert of Arabia." This is no miracle. It's a poster child for global warming. BRUCE E. JOHANSEN Omaha, Nebraska Giant synthetic islands shaped like palm trees, covered in fash ion boutiques and hotels, the Eighth Wonder of the World? They are the benchmark of ugliness. Also, think of the car bon footprint: gigantic. DYLAN HUMPHRIES Bristol, England Workers underpaid or not paid at all for long periods, laboring for 12 hours a day and unable to return home, living in slum conditions. Most of the world would call that slavery. One might wonder just how well those buildings are constructed under those conditions. PETE HARDING Gardnerville, Nevada Arctic Dreams & Nightmares I found a curious connection between "Arctic Dreams & Nightmares" and "A Survivor's Story," by John Dau. The men in these stories overcame amazing difficulties to survive. However, whereas the Arctic explorers sought out their hell, the lost boys were swept into theirs by Sudan's civil war. These similar yet vastly different stories speak about the sepa rateness of our human experi ence. They make me wonder, Who are our true heroes? PAULIINA SWARTZ West Newbury, Massachusetts "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, Martha E. Church, Roger A. Enrico, John M. Fahey, Jr., Daniel S. Goldin, John Jay Iselin, James C. Kautz, J. Willard Marriott, Jr., Floretta Dukes McKenzie, George Munoz, Patrick F. Noonan, Nathaniel R Reed, Rozanne L. Ridgway, James R. Sasser, B. Francis Saul II, Gerd Schulte-Hillen TRUSTEES EMERITUS Joe L. Allbritton, William L. Allen, Thomas E. Bolger, Frank Borman, Lewis M. Branscomb, Robert L. Breeden, Michael Collins, Lloyd H. Elliott, George M. Elsey, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, William K. Reilly, Robert C. Seamans, Jr. COUNCIL OF ADVISORS Roger A. Enrico, Chairman Darlene T. Anderson, Michael R. Bonsignore, Howard G. Buffett, Craig D. Campbell, Jean N. Case, Juliet C. Folger, Robert B. Haas, Robert A. Hefner III, David H. Koch, lara Lee, Bruce L. Ludwig, Sally Engelhard Pingree, W. Russell Ramsey, Catherine B. Reynolds, Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Edward P.Roski, Jr., Victoria P Sant, B. Francis Saul II, Michele Sofisti, Ted Waitt, Garry A. Weber, Tracy R. Wolstencroft RESEARCH AND EXPLORATION COMMITTEE Peter H. Raven, Chairman John M. 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 Exhibits: Susan S. Norton Expeditions Council:Rebecca Martin Geography Bee: Mary Lee Elden Lectures: P.Andrew van Duym, Gregory A. McGruder 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, International; Laureen Ong, President, U.S . Digital Media: Chris McAndrews, President National Geographic Maps: FrancesA. 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 .