The Story of Melting Ice

Pennsylvania photographer James Balog is known for his works that explore the relationship between humans and nature. But his most known project, called Extreme Ice Survey, is a unique study of melting glaciers of our planet.

Balog employs time-lapse static cameras, installed in many different places in the world, in order to document the historical change of landscape, which is impossible to be fully grasped by the human eye – the melting of enormous bodies of dense ice, the glaciers, the process known as ice calving. His team has set up 43 time-lapse cameras at 18 glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, Canada, the Nepalese Himalaya (with cameras installed at Mountain Everest), and at the Rocky Mountains.

What they caught on film (or, rather, on large-capacity professional memory cards) since 2007, is both astonishing, and terrifying. James Balog and his team were able to prove that glaciers disappear at an alarming rate.

glaciers melting
Glacier calving in Alaska. Source:

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There Will Be No Other Planet

A dying seabird covered in oil. A sea turtle whose body is divided into two halves because of a plastic ring she could not escape from when she was young. A seal whose neck is slowly and painfully being cut in half by a piece of a copper wire that somehow got wrapped around. A sea bay full of toxic waste and a lake filled with dead fish, and other photos that colorfully exhibit what we, humans, are doing to this planet. Our pleasures, convenience, and comfort – the cornerstones of the modern livingĀ  – do not come out of thin air, and are taking its toll on the planet. Garbage left after making us pleased does not go anywhere, either.

A dead fish floats in water filled with blue-green algae at the East Lake in Wuhan, Hubei province August 20, 2012. (Photo by Reuters/Stringer)

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A couple of thoughts on this world, empathy, and Cecil The Lion

Dear friends,

There are a few thoughts that I would like to share with you today.

A lot of cruel things are happening in the world as we speak. Some say, they always did and they will always continue to happen. Perhaps it is true.

But I believe in progress of consciousness and spirit. Nature has given us the brain to develop not only our intelligence, but also our perceiving abilities. We have to teach ourselves and those who will come after us to perceive the surrounding world with sensitiveness and consideration, not just for our precious selves, but for everyone and everything that we share this planet with.

Cecil The Lion R.I.P.
Cecil The Lion R.I.P.

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Sixth Mass Extinction Of Species – Do We Care At All?

According to the latest findings, the number of animal species that went extinct as a result of a squandering human activity since the rise of industrial society is so enormously high it is possible to speak of a sixth mass extinction of species already underway and running in full speed.

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Remembering Barry Commoner

Barry Commoner, an American biologist, leading ecologist and one of the founders of the modern environmental movement, would’ve turned 98 today.

In his 1971 book, The Closing Circle, he was one of first thinkers to bring the idea of sustainability to a mass audience, suggesting an eco-socialist response to the poverty vs. population growth debate, and in 1990, he published Making Peace With the Planet, an analysis of the ongoing environmental crisis, pointing out that the way human society produces goods needs to be revised.

He formulated the so-called Four Laws of Ecology, which remain relevant even today and will still be relevant for a long time to come. Here they are:

  1. Everything is connected to everything else. There is one ecosphere for all living organisms and what affects one, affects all.
  2. Everything must go somewhere. There is no “waste” in nature and there is no “away” to which things can be thrown.
  3. Nature knows best. Humankind has fashioned technology to improve upon nature, but such change in a natural system is likely to be detrimental to that system. We need to be closer to nature, but we need to learn to co-exist with it, using natural resources sustainably.
  4. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Exploitation of nature will inevitably involve the conversion of resources from useful to useless forms.

Read more on Barry Commoner here:

Commoner’s biography on HowStuffWorks:

Jeff Hogan’s review of Michael Egan, “Barry Commoner and the Science of Survival: The Remaking of American Environmentalism” (MIT Press, 2007), online version:

CNN: “11 wildlife experiences that could vanish in your lifetime”

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s excellent that CNN writes about animal extinction and wildlife experiences that most probably, our grandchildren will not be able to witness.It’s great, because environmental topics have to get more mainstream media attention.

I only wish Sarah Reid would write her article not from the perspective of consumerism (“Watch them before they’re gone forever!”), but actually include a few lines on what should be done so that our grandchildren might live in the world that still has these 11 wildlife wonders.

11 wildlife experiences that could vanish in your lifetime
, by Sarah Reid (CNN)polar bear