Eugene Linden
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Latest Musing

Pet Peeves: Absurd Sci Fi Films Division

            Settle into my seat on a flight from Heathrow to JFK. Scan through movie options. Banshees of Inn...

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Books


Fire & Flood
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Deep Past
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Articles by Category
endangered animals
rapid climate change
global deforestation
fragging

Books
The Ragged Edge of the World



Winds of Change
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Afterword to the softbound edition.


The Octopus and the Orangutan
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The Future In Plain Sight
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The Parrot's Lament
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Silent Partners
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Affluence and Discontent
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The Alms Race
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Apes, Men, & Language
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ragged-edge-of-the-world

 the ragged edge of the worldThe Ragged Edge of the World

 
A species nearing extinction, a tribe losing the last traces of an accumulation of centuries of knowledge,  a tract of forest virtually untouched since prehistoric times facing the first incursions of humansóhow can we begin to assess the cost of the increasing disappearance of so much of our natural and cultural legacy? While these losses occasionally garner headlines, the pressures on earthís remaining wildlands and tribal peoples are unremitting and mounting.
 
For forty years Eugene Linden has explored environmental issues in a series of critically acclaimed books and in articles for publications ranging from National Geographic and Time to Foreign Affairs. His diverse assignments have frequently taken him to the very sites where tradition, wildlands and the various forces of modernity collide. In The Ragged Edge of the World, he recounts his adventures at this volatile frontier, where he has witnessed the dramatic transformations that follow in the wake of money, development and ideas as they make their way into the worldís last wild places.
 
Linden tells this story through encounters at this movable frontier. He takes us from Vietnam where exciting new species are being discovered near the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail to New Guinea and Borneo; from pygmy forests to Machu Picchu; from the Antarctic, where the entire ecosystem is changing, to the Ndoki, long celebrated as the most pristine rainforest in the Congo, which, even though it now has protection, suffers impacts from the outside world as dust, a portent of an ominous drying, blows in from the north. Even in the face of so much harm, however, many efforts at preservation have succeeded, and Linden charts the pioneering projects the protection of Midway Atollís vast albatross colony and Cubaís vigilant guardianship of its spectacularly beautiful landscape.
 
An elegy for what has been lost and a celebration of those cultures resilient enough to maintain their vibrancy and integrity, The Ragged Edge of the World captures the world at a turning point with a compelling immediacy that brings alive the people, animals and landscapes on the front lines, as change continues its remorseless march.

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Short Take

Summer Evenings in July

 

I go out to my porch, drink in hand, as the gloaming fades. I sit on a very comfortable rocking chair, given -- maybe loaned; it’s unclear -- by a friend.

My cat, Noodles, joins me, settling on the couch facing me. He tends to his grooming, and I wait for the fireflies to appear.

There are less every year and this is disquieting on an otherwise perfect night. I want them to be fruitful and multiply -- if possible by the millions.

That would be a sign that, perhaps, all is well.

It’s warm, and to my west is a wall of green, dominated by a very tall Linden. Hello, fellow Linden!

As the warm air stills around me, emotions rise. I feel – I’m sure the Germans have a long word for it, but I’m too lazy to search on google – I feel…

Something deep and strong; something like love for the world.

It gives me hope for another day.



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