By Eugene Linden

A famous environmental author relives his studies of the way earth's a ways corners have yielded to or resisted modernity.

For 40 years Eugene Linden has explored worldwide environmental matters in books and for courses starting from National Geographic and Time to Foreign Affairs. Linden's assorted assignments have introduced him to ragged edges of the globe, the websites the place modernity, culture, and wildlands collide. A cash and concepts from the West have seeped into locations like Polynesia, the Amazon, and the Arctic, Linden has witnessed dramatic changes. Even within the Ndoki, celebrated because the such a lot pristine and remoted rainforest in Congo, the impression of the skin global now intrudes within the kind of dirt blowing in from the north and loggers encroaching from all different directions.

within the Ragged fringe of the World, Linden recounts his adventures at this slippery and fast-changing frontier-Vietnam in 1971 and 1994, New Guinea and Borneo, pygmy forests and Machu Picchu, the Arctic and Antartica, Cuba and halfway Island-charting onrushing social and environmental swap. An elegy for what has been misplaced and a party of these cultures resilient sufficient to keep up their vibrancy. Linden's new e-book captures the area at a turning aspect and provides an intimate examine creatures and cultures as they come across and check out to conform to globalization.

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Additional info for The Ragged Edge of the World: Encounters at the Frontier Where Modernity, Wildlands, and Indigenous Peoples Meet

Example text

Still, he talked about it as though it were just another creature of the forest, not a new discovery that had sent shock waves through zoology. Hearing this for myself, I was astonished that it took so long for science to discover these animals, evidence of which sat in plain sight over doors and in boxes in museums for decades. Vietnam has a world-class cadre of scientists, and there are thousands of field biologists around the world Vietnam 1994 21 whose careers would be made by the discovery of a new genus of large mam­ mal.

Chief Debessa was somewhat resigned to the persistence of such crimes. Since the theme of most cargo cults was that Europeans had come to pos­ sess their riches through trickery, theft was in effect a form of repossession, and that meme was far more widespread than the details of any particu­ lar cargo cult. Debessa was more worried about a rise in actual assaults, New Guinea: The Godsend of Cargo 41 particularly that the unsophisticated tribesmen would get ideas from the violent films that were often shown in the theater, and that showcased the firepower of modern weapons.

More­ over, the supersaturated climate provided ideal conditions for slick algae that added a treacherous coating to virtually every surface. In this very steep terrain this provided the opportunity for continual slips, slides and misery with the constant threat of exsanguinations by leeches and mosquitoes. The challenges of the terrain were one reason that all these wondrous creatures had survived in one of the most densely populated nations on earth despite forty years of civil war, and even local tribal hunters did not pursue game into the steep forests.

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