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Taking the ego out of adventure / Geographical

I wrote this feature story for @geographical_magazine recently, asking what expectation we should have of modern explorers in the wake of the climate and environmental crisis.

I got to interview both Ernest Shakelton’s and Neil Armstrong’s biographers about what role historical explorers of land, sea and space felt they had to report on its problems as well as its beauty on their return to civilisation.

I then turned to today’s explorers with the help of my friends at @shefadvfilmfest to ask if modern explorers are bringing back stories about our troubled planet as much as selfies.

The conclusion was that planetary advocacy by today’s adventurers is still in a nascent state, but the public appetite is growing. I think we are going to see a lot more expeditions into the world’s wild places in the coming years that put the planet rather than the self at the centre of the story.

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#adventureactivism #enviroadventures#adventure #adventureforourplanet#enviornmentalism #freelancewriter

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Queremos Parque / Runner’s World

Runner’s World doubled-down with this double-page spread from our clandestine October 2020 expedition into the Río Colorado Basin this March. Over the last two years I have been working to help draw international attention to the Queremos Parque (We Want a Park) campaign that seeks to create a high-quality national park for Santiago’s  disenfranchised and concrete-crowded citizens. The possible imminent success of the campaign has been described as potentially the biggest conservation story in Chilean history.

 

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Democratise the mountains / Thomson Reuters Foundation

A feature story and photo package for Thompson Reuters Foundation today about the Chilean grassroots campaign Queremos Parque that is on the brink of convincing the government to create a 1,420km2 national park on the doorstep of the capital. 

The campaign’s plan is to create recreational opportunities in this rampantly unequal country for the majority who are geographically and economically excluded from accessing the national park system. Also Queremos Parque believes the park creation will protect the glaciers and Santiago’s water supply from the advance of the mining industry. 

You can read the article here

Storytelling and photography from an Earth Rise Productions expedition. 

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Investigation. Anglo American’s error undermines its promise of no glacier impacts for $3bn Chilean copper project / Desmog

For the last year I have been investigating a local glacier contamination story, with an impact that is experienced by Santiago’s 7million. 

When mining company Anglo American released a “Fake News” statement partly in response to my previous investigation into the CO2 emissions associated with their Los Bronces operations, they added that their glacier contamination was “less than 10% of the Swiss norm.”

I followed up with the Swiss Office for the Environment and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research. The finding was that the ambient limit values for glacier contamination that the mining company has been using to justify current operations and their future Los Bronces Integrado expansion – don’t apply to glaciers at all.

Following the publication of the article, the local mayor Cristóbal Lira announced an investigation into the compliance by Anglo American with its environmental commitments.

I would like to express deep thanks to the glaciologists, air pollution scientists, environmental lawyers, NGOs and members of Chilean civil society who supported this investigation.

You can read the article here as originally published by DeSmog; or here for Chilean investigative news site Interferencia, in Spanish.

 

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Coronavirus’ real impact on the climate / Geographical

Covid-19 has forced us to reduce destructive atmospheric behaviours and has reminded us that we are at the mercy of nature.

This March I discussed with climate behavioural psychologist Paul Hoggett how the current viral crisis could affect our response and engagement as a species with the climate crisis. 

Published by Geographical, the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society.

Click to open and read in new tab. 

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A Climate of Inequality / Patagon Journal

For video reporting (in Spanish) from the streets of Santiago during the October social crisis, click this link. 

In the 21st issue of Patagon Journal I wrote and provided the photography for the lead story, “A Climate of Inequality.”

On the eve of the October 18th 2019 social crisis in Chile I was in the coastal town of Quintero, in an area commonly referred to be Chileans as a zona de sacrifico (sacrifice zone). Quintero is very close to an industrial corridor where multiple coal power plants and a national copper smelter  have been linked to chronic and acute air pollution incidents. I was meeting the Durán family that day, who are being broken up as they struggle to relocate their son to safety after he began passing blood in his stool as a result of exposure to the contamination.

I travelled back on the bus to Santiago that night, following increasingly dramatic reports of rioting in the city, until I could see the burning barricades for myself out of the window. 

The social crisis over rampant inequality  in Chile has strong links to the environmental crisis according to the head of the Chilean for Climate Science and Resilience CR(2), Maisa Rojas. 

I picked up these nexus issue of social-enviro-climate justice in Chile, for the Climate of Inequality story. You can subscribe to the magazine and read it here