The contrasting conditions of the resurgent Föritz and the depleted forests of Albania are a microcosm of the planet. We are living in the Anthropocene, a time when human activity, more than anything else, shapes the earth’s climate and ecosystems. Our hunting, fishing, deforestation, overgrazing, and pollution have created a period of mass extinction the likes of which haven’t occurred since the dinosaurs. E. O. Wilson, the preeminent biologist and conservationist, predicts we could lose half of all species on the earth by the end of this century.
I don’t think I was the only one who had trouble holding it together. We had come all this way and cashed in so much good fortune for the outside chance that we might see those eight Emperor penguins pick their way across the ice. And we did. In a world that can seem purpose-built […]