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Category archives for Energy

Close Call: Explorers Nearly Crushed By Flipping Iceberg

Frozen in time, Franz Josef Land is one of the last lingering remnants of the truly wild Arctic. The remote and nearly uninhabited 192-island archipelago is renowned for its biodiversity, which includes polar bears, walruses, bowhead whales, belugas, and narwhals. The intensifying impact of climate change, however, nearly turned this serene environment deadly for National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala and his crew.

Solving Humanity’s Grand Challenges Requires a Healthy Ocean

Human well-being and human rights are inextricably tied to the health of the ocean, yet ocean conservation work is often isolated. Last month, as the United National General Assembly focused on tackling the grand challenges represented by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both the ocean goal (aka Goal 14, “Life Under Water”) and me, as…

Malaysia’s Green Energy Path

The Asia-Pacific region will play a pivotal role in realizing the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. In this vein, I am presenting here select excerpts of an annotated interview with one of Malaysia’s leading technology advisors, Prof. G. Lalchand that was conducted by the Institution of Engineers of Malaysia (IEM). Malaysia is often…

U.S. Gov’t Pauses Dakota Access Pipeline Construction on Army Corps Land

While a federal judge earlier today denied the Standing Rock Sioux’s motion to stop work on the Dakota Access pipeline, the U.S. Departments of Justice, Interior, and the Army have put a halt on construction in the area, saying given the “important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations” the Army “will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe” until they have reviewed the issue.

Standing With Standing Rock and the Right to Clean Water

The Native Americans protesting pipeline construction under the Missouri River care—and shouldn’t we all.

‘Things Shouldn’t Be Like This’: Lingering Effects of Peru’s Jungle Oil Spills

On August 10, the fourth oil spill since the start of 2016 was reported in the Peruvian Amazon. More than 20 similar spills have crippled the region over the past five years.

Canada oks use of Corexit for oil spills—despite what we’ve learned in the Gulf

Co-authored by Erica Cirino After Shell Oil’s Brutus oil well platform 90 miles south of the Louisiana coast spewed more than 88,000 gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico this May, Shell contracted Clean Gulf Associates and Marine Spill Response Corporation to clean up its mess. The two companies deployed workers in boats…

From Miami to Australia—Dredging and industrial activities killing coral reefs

Co-authored by Erica Cirino In the Port of Miami, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ recent dredging project has buried as much as 81 percent of the area’s reef in silty sediment with up to 95 percent of the reef area surveyed no longer suitable habitat for corals, leaving its corals vulnerable to death, according…

If payers don’t sway players, what does funding tell you?

Several people have objected to the recent piece here by me and Greenpeace’s John Hocevar, so I am following up with this. That earlier piece explained a complaint by Greenpeace alleging that fisheries scientist Ray Hilborn has often not properly disclosed industry funding in his scientific publications. The people writing in to object to that piece…

Even in fish science, payers may sway players

Co-authored by John Hocevar Please see also the follow-up to this post, responding to some of the criticism and further explaining Carl’s perspective. The people of Seattle enjoy a closer-than-average relationship with the sea, fishing, and ocean science. Of course Seattle is home to a world famous fish market; after all, seafood, fish, and fishing are part of…

Solar Power: A Winter Journey

Solar power has long been touted as an answer to the energy needs of rural communities living off-grid across the developing world. Over recent years the technology has advanced rapidly in terms of efficiency and price, finally making it a genuinely viable option, at household level at least. For the very same reasons – including a…

A Pacific salmon hub is under threat

The Skeena River snakes out of fir-lined fjords on the misty northern coast of British Columbia, and washes over a thousand-acre sandbar. Flora Bank is a biological bottleneck over which millions of finger-length young salmon enter the sea each spring. Scientist Allen Gottesfeld calls Flora Bank the “Grand Central Station” for the watershed. All streams…

Saving Rüppell’s Vultures, One Breeding Cliff at a Time

Breeding cliff of critically endangered Rüppell’s Vultures in Kenya is threatened by development

Does Jakarta Have any Viable Options to Defend Itself From Ocean Inundation?

JAKARTA, Indonesia–Walking along the wall that protects north Jakarta from the sea, it is impossible to ignore the enormity–and immediacy–of water-related issues that this megacity faces. The city’s current plan of action, outlined by Wendy Koch in a recent article entitled, “Could a Titanic Seawall Save this Quickly Sinking City?,” is widely criticized as being…

Paris’s Shortcomings: We Need Conservation, Not Conversation

By the time the Paris Agreement reaches full power in 2020, we may have lost another 1.5 billion acres of tropical forest.