Another small collection of interesting, thought-provoking, and beautiful essays, articles and blog posts from around the internet I’ve found over the past few months that I want to share with you. This season, they’ve mainly been inspired by thoughts of Antarctica, the Arctic, and the coming winter.
A masterful travel piece about the Falkland Islands by Larissa MacFarquhar, diving deeply into changes that have occurred over the past 30 years or so. One of the best destination profiles I’ve ever read.
A slideshow of photographs from across the Antarctic continent, highlighting the human presence in the region.
A Condé Nast Traveler article from early in the summer looking at the prosepect of a 2020/21 Antarctic tourist season in the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, and the knock-on impacts of cancelling a 2020 summer season in the Arctic.
The uncertainty of a 2020/21 Antarctic tourist season in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic may be the necessary pause to spark conversations about the future of the industry. This piece by Bella Lack asks questions about other potential consequences of this season.
200 years ago people discovered Antarctica, and promptly began profiting by slaughtering some of its animals to near extinction
In the two centuries since its discovery, Antarctica has seen a range of commercial, scientific, and diplomatic activity. This blog post from The Conversation journal looks at the ways natural resources have been exploited over time, and the impact of changes.
In positive news, a whale survey expedition recorded 58 sightings of Blue Whales, and numerous accoustic detections, around South Georgia in 2020, where the marine mammals were all but wiped out by the whaling industry.
The Other Polar Place
An account of the expedition to hunt for the wreck of a Dundee whaling ship lost in the Canadian High Arctic by Matthew Ayre, sparked by a simple note in a historic ship’s logbook.
A longread essay by Andrea Pitzer detailing a research trip in the wake of 16th century polar explorer Willem Barents, and the unexpected wild pleasure of a voyage completely under sail.
A beautifully atmospheric piece by Bathsheba Demuth detailing the collision of Soviet ideology with the nomadic lives of Chukchi reindeer herders, tuned to the natural cycles of the tundra.
A captivating National Geographic photoessay by Jennifer Kingsley and Eric Guth that travels across the Arctic, meeting people living and working in the far north, and reframing the perception of the Arctic as a remote, isolated and uninhabited region.
Winter is coming
An examination of the mindset that helps residents in areas experiencing the polar night get through the darkness of winter by cultivating resilience and inner strength.
Who am I kidding? I’m going to be in Scotland this winter, and while there’s a chance of crisp, bright snow days, more than likely it’s going to be driech. So here’s a few beautiful paragraphs from great authors and poets to help me learn to appreciate the rain.