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Deep-Sea Mining and the Race to the Bottom of the Ocean
He points to electric cars: the batteries for a single vehicle require 187 pounds of copper, 123 pounds of nickel, and 15 pounds each of manganese and cobalt. On a planet with 1 billion cars, the conversion to electric vehicles would require several times more metal than all existing land-based supplies—and harvesting that metal from existing sources already takes a human toll.
nature  research  environment  ocean  science  mining  deep  sea  resource  extraction 
yesterday by markhgn
Can Farming Make Space for Nature? | The New Yorker
In 2001, Bacon contracted out the farming work at Raveningham and put Fiennes in charge of the estate. The baronet summarizes Fiennes’s environmental approach to agriculture as “farming badly.” Fiennes prefers to speak about making space for nature. In 2002, Fiennes took a hundred and forty acres that had been drained in the sixties, to plant crops, and used earthmovers to turn the area back into wetlands, which he used to graze cattle. Birds that had been absent—lapwing, snipe, and marsh harriers—came rushing back. The marshes now have higher breeding rates than surrounding nature reserves. “I want more edge. Everything is about edge,” he told me once. “Whatever it is—mower, mouth, footpath, deer trail . . . I put my footprint on the ground, I create an edge.” Fiennes planted twenty-five miles of hedges across the estate and thinned the woodlands, bringing in light. He replanted trees according to marks on old maps and brought back sheep to graze the lawn for the first time in a hundred years.

It is a form of order that he craves. “Nature is random, but it is wonderfully organized,” Fiennes said. “You start throwing any sort of regular management theme and it starts to react.” One of his greatest pleasures is to realign a field. Fiennes looks for wet patches, changes in soil, and corners where a combine harvester or a boom spray can’t reach—and turns the land over to plants that will benefit birds and insects. Raveningham’s fields came to contain triangles and rectangles of wildflowers where Fiennes ruled that crops would be unproductive. He did this by compulsive observation. “Why aren’t the cattle going here? And why is the crow sitting on that post but not that one? And the fox is walking up this path,” Fiennes said. “You can just feel how it is all working with one another.”
environment  farming  agriculture  nature 
yesterday by dwalbert
Experience: I was swallowed by a hippo | Life and style | The Guardian
Two years later I led an expedition down the Zambezi and as we drifted past the stretch where the attack had taken place, a huge hippo lurched out of the water next to my canoe. I screamed so loudly that those with me said they'd never heard anything like it. He dived back under and was never seen again. I'd bet my life savings it was the same hippo, determined to have the final word.

2 days ago by lundun
Mark O'Connell, "Splendid isolation," The Guardian
"My relationship with time had always been characterised by a certain baleful anxiety, but as I approached the start of the decade in which I would have no choice but to think of myself as middle-aged, this anxiety intensified. I was always in the middle of some calculation or quantification with respect to time, and such thoughts were always predicated on an understanding of it as a precious and limited resource. What time was it right now? How much time was left for me to do the thing I was doing, and when would I have to stop doing it to do the next thing?

This resource being as limited as it was, should I not be doing something better with it, something more urgent or interesting or authentic? At some point in my late 30s, I recognised the paradoxical source of this anxiety: that every single thing in life took much longer than I expected it to, except for life itself, which went much faster, and would be over before I knew where I was.

Much of this had to do with being a parent. Having two young children had radically altered my relationship with the days and hours of my life. Almost every moment was accounted for in a way that it had never been before. But it was also the sheer velocity of change, the state of growth and flux in which my children existed, and the constant small adjustments that were necessary to accommodate these changes."

"And with this new phase of parenthood, I began to think how strange it was, given how precious those early years now seemed to me, that I spent so little time thinking about my own childhood, the lost civilisation on which my adult self now stood."

"A word he used a lot in talking about his work, and in describing the experience and value of the nature solo, was 're-enchantment.'"

"When you’re actually in it, the reality of the solo is, at least at first, one of total boredom. I cannot stress enough how little there is to do when you have confined yourself to the inside of a small circle of stones and sticks in a forest. But it is an instructive kind of boredom, insofar as boredom is the raw and unmediated experience of time."

"Then it occurred to me that there was something about the not knowing that was somehow right. Not having a human name to give the tree, a category in which to put it, made the tree more real and present to me than it otherwise would have, or so I allowed myself to believe."

"In these moments, I find myself thinking of the place itself as somehow conscious of my presence. To be alone in a forest, and to be thinking of the forest as somehow aware of you: I will acknowledge that this sounds like the very substance of nightmare, but, in fact, it is a strangely beautiful and quietly moving experience, and I think it must be what people mean when they talk about intuiting the presence of God."

"And I thought with a pang of how I was always hurrying him – to get dressed, to get out the door for school, to finish his dinner, to get ready for bed – and of how heedlessly I was inflicting upon him my own anxious awareness of time as an oppressive force."
MarkOConnell  TheGuardian  isolation  time  nature  NatureWriting  solitude  parenting  2020  2020-01  2020Faves 
2 days ago by briansholis
The 'doomsday vault' that could save the kangaroo and koala from extinction - CNET
Incredible feats of genetic engineering and frozen biobanks could prevent Australia's iconic marsupials from disappearing for good.
nature  science 
3 days ago by noiseguy

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