How Wolves Change Rivers
Check out this brilliant short film from Sustainable Human about the effects of reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone National Park, where they had been absent since the last one was killed in 1926 until their reintroduction in 1995.
While recent research suggests that the real story isn’t quite as neat and tidy as the one presented in the film (trophic cascades and food webs are incredibly complex! Who knew?!), it’s a great reminder of how every thread of an ecosystem plays an important part in weaving nature’s tapestry.
"When he first came to us, he wasn’t talking. He was about four years old, but we knew nothing else about him. Occasionally, he’d imitate the other children, but he’d express no thoughts of his own. He couldn’t tell us anything about his home, his family, or where he came from. To make matters worse, aid workers had further confused him by suggesting hometowns to him— which he had readily agreed to. So we started with a completely blank slate. We drew a house on a piece of paper, and we said: ‘Is this your home?’ And he said: ‘No! You forgot the gate!’ So we drew a gate. And he said: ‘But you forgot the tree!’ So we drew a tree.
Piece by piece, day by day, we filled in a picture of his home. He was still very reserved and traumatized, so the process took over a month. But we met in the safety of my office every day, and we figured it out. It was like putting together a puzzle. The saddest moment was when we drew his father. ‘You have to draw him laying down,’ the boy said. ‘I tried to get him to come with me, but he wouldn’t.’
When we eventually used the drawings to identify the boy’s hometown and find his mother, she confirmed our fears. The boy had disappeared after seeing his father get shot.”
(Juba, South Sudan)
Here’s the cool thing: Vigen points out that when we laugh at these correlations we are actually acting like scientists. He explains it better than I can in this video.
We’ve tried lots of strategies for getting salmon over dams to their spawning grounds — fish ladders, fish elevators, fish trucks … even fish helicopters. But all of those methods are expensive and none of them are efficient.
Enter the salmon cannon.
(This reminds me of the old joke: What did the fish say when it ran into a wall? “Dam.”
Maybe they’ll have to change the punchline to “Shoot.”)
Ever wonder why we read the comments when we know we should never, ever read the damn comments? BrainCraft has a bit of troll psychology to share with you, about why we have to look, why anonymity breeds horrible behavior, and what negative effects abusive comments may have on the content they exist beneath (like, I dunno, educational YouTube videos?)
But more than all that, this video is about specific abuse that Vanessa and other female creators receive on a daily basis. Sure, we all get trolls of some kind, but the worst comment I see on an OKTBS video isn’t even close to what female creators have to deal with.
Not only do abusive comments make YouTube a dangerous place for creators like Vanessa (or Emily, who made a similar video last year), it makes it a dangerous place for people who are there to learn. We can not and should not allow this to happen.
Positive environments are something that we must just demand and *POOF* the internet will become a safe place full of rainbows and unicorns and intellectually stimulating discourse. We must actively work to create positive environments wherever we go on the web. So if you see something, say something, and make sure that trollish behavior and hate speech are not welcome anywhere where you are online, especially places where we’re trying to educate, inspire, and learn.
Also, white bears.