National Geographic November 2015, Part 2

And back we go into the climate change special issue.

How to Live With It

This isn’t really an article as such.  It’s just a collection of infographics or whatever on how water temperature, crop yields, surface temperature, weather, and our health are projected to change over the next decades.

Melting Away, by Tim Folger, photographs by Ciril Jazbec

Melting Away is about the changing cultures of the indigenous people of Greenland. Pretty much all of the agriculture in Greenland takes place in the south, so the thousands of people who live along the coasts stretching northwards still rely on hunting for their livelihoods.  As the ice shrinks, the migration patterns of their food animals is changing and making it more difficult to maintain their lifestyle.

Younger people are moving to the cities (for reference, Nuuk, the largest city in Greenland, has about half the population of the suburb that I grew up in), which means that the older way of life in the more central and northern areas of Greenland may be dying out.

As an aside, Greenland’s flag is awesome.  It may be my favorite flag ever. It’s simple and yet the off-center circle adds interest.

Greenland Flag
The flag of Greenland. Public Domain image created by Jeffrey Connell.

Two more articles to go, which I will probably post on or around March 20, and then on to September 2013.

National Geographic, March 2015

The Age of Disbelief, by Joel Achenbach, photographs by Richard Barnes

The cover of this issue of National Geographic calls The Age of Disbelief,  “The War on Science.”  That’s really oversimplifying this article.  In fact, there are so many ideas here that I’m having a difficult time figuring out where to start here.  I guess I can see where they were coming from on that “war on science” blurb.  Oversimplification is certainly tempting. Continue reading “National Geographic, March 2015”

National Geographic September 2014

I know that I should probably be doing October of 2014, since I’m sort of working my way outward from January of 2015.  This issue has an article on Nero in it, though, and I went to Rome in July of 2014, so I’m skipping ahead a bit.  Also, October of 2014 is probably somewhere in my son’s bedroom.  I’ll get to it once I find it. (note: I found it later, in between two Nature Conservancy magazines.)

The Evolution of Diet, by Ann Gibbons, photographs by Matthieu Paley

The Evolution of Diet talks about the “Paleo diet,” which posits that people should be eating a meat-based diet that limits, or eliminates, beans, grains, and dairy products. The theory is that the human genome hasn’t evolved in the last ten thousand or so years.  It starts out speaking kind of positively about the Paleo diet, arguing that the hunter-gatherers’ inclusion of meat in the diet is part of what allowed us to develop advanced brains.  However, as the article progresses, we get farther from this argument.  Gibbons quotes Amanda Henry, who has found evidence that humans have been eating grains and tubers for at least the last hundred thousand years.  Gibbons also quotes Sarah Tishkoff, who makes the point that humans did not stop evolving ten thousand years ago.  We are still evolving and many populations have evolved to digest lactose and starches that others have not.  Oneof the quotes that is highlighted is “The real hallmark of being human isn’t our taste for meat but our ability to adapt to many habitats and to create many healthy diets.” Continue reading “National Geographic September 2014”