I recently revisited the story of the "loneliest whale in the world", a topic I first wrote about in 2012, in an article for The Washington Post Magazine. The other day, I was interviewed about the article, and about this whale specifically and whales more generally, by Tyrel Ventura and Tabetha Wallace on "Watching the Hawks" on RT America. It turned out to be one of the most enjoyable interviews I've done in a long time. Read More
Man, I find myself dreaming of, and reminiscing about, Kenya every day. It was such a fantastic trip, and provided so many wonderful memories. I sure do wish I was back there now. I have at least printed up some photographs for my walls, and also used a service called Shutterfly to produce some coffee table books. Dang, but it sure was expensive, but I figure it was worth it. It's great to just flip through the pages and find myself transported back to those incredible couple of weeks. Read More
Just returned from two weeks on safari in Kenya. It was incredible. Everything I dreamed it might be and then some. We visited Amboseli, Lake Nakuru, Mt Kenya, Samburu/Shaba/Buffalo Springs and the Masai Mara. Elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, wildebeest, hyenas, lions, and even some rhinos, a cheetah and a leopard. The accommodations were wonderful and most importantly the company was fantastic. One day, I'll sit down and write about it in more detail. For now, I'm still basking in the glow of it all. Read More
Man, I need to stop buying things. But in January, I am going on the vacation of a lifetime, on safari in Kenya, and I figure I'll kick myself if I come back without enough beautiful photographs to hang on several walls. And when you're in for several thousand dollars, you might as well be in for several hundred more. Read More
When you're wrong, you're wrong. Being far from the only person to have called the election incorrectly is no great solace. Read More
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The good news is that, one week from now, Hillary Rodham Clinton will be elected President of the United States. The better news is that Donald Trump won't be. It is hard to imagine that there has been a more venal, vacuous and vile major party nominee since Reconstruction, although George Wallace surely at least runs him close. Not that Clinton is in any way an inspirational figure in the mold of Barack Obama; she comes across as calculating and cynical, a cookie-cutter emblem of all that is wrong as politics as usual (although there is, of course, much to be said for the country electing its first female head of state). Yet there is, and has been throughout this campaign, a false equivalency. The choice is not between two equally flawed candidates; it is between a flawed candidate and a feces-throwing chimp. There really is no choice to be made.
The bad news is that a combination of her continued self-inflicted wounds, the media's obsession with the easy reporting of those wounds, and its normalization of a Republican nominee who has so many failings that would be disqualifying of any other candidacy, means that the margin of victory will not be as large as it should be. At one point a week or so ago, I dared to dream that maybe Arizona and even Georgia or perhaps Texas might be in play; now I suspect Clinton will fall short of 300 electoral votes. That will embolden the Trump wing of the Republican Party, and unless the Democrats also take the Senate, means that the Clinton presidency will be four (and almost certainly only four) years of unrelenting obstruction. What happens on November 9 and thereafter may prove to be of even greater concern than what has passed over the last 18 months or so. Read More
There is nowhere like the Ross Sea region in Antarctica. The stunning vistas remain seared in my memory, almost 25 years after I first saw them and 15 years since I was there last. In the last couple of weeks, they have been the focus of good news and bad. The bad - the truly tragic - was the death in a snowmobile accident of Gordon Hamilton, one of the best climate science communicators, and one of the nicest people, I have met. I met and worked with him in Greenland in 2009, and his death has robbed the world of a truly positive force for good. This piece by Justin Gillis in the New York Times is a wonderful tribute.
Had Gordon lived just one week more, he would have been able to enjoy the good news that came out of Antarctica as, after many years of effort on the part of some dogged and determined campaigners, the Convention on Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living resources (CCAMLR) set aside a large part of the Ross Sea as a Marine Protected Area. The agreement was imperfect, as I spell out here , but it was a tremendous step forward in the protection of this most special place. Read More