Writers and photographers are available for interviews until June 15 (see specifics below).
- Writer Charles C. Mann and photographer Vincent J. Musi explore the oldest known temple, Göbekli Tepe, in BIRTH OF RELIGION. Mann is available for interviews.
- The beauty of Namibia’s protected lands is shown by photographer Frans Lanting and writer Alexandra Fuller in AFRICA’S SUPER PARK. Fuller is available for interviews.
- Writer Cynthia Gorney and photographer Stephanie Sinclair uncover the secret world of child weddings, from the ceremonies to the intimate thoughts of the young brides, in TOO YOUNG TO WED. Gorney and Sinclair are available for interviews.
- Writer Mel White and photographer David Liittschwager showcase intertidal zones and their many inhabitants in BRIMMING POOLS. White and Liittschwager are available for interviews.
- China’s struggle to find balance between growth and reducing global warming gases is documented by writer Bill McKibben and photographer Greg Girard in CAN CHINA GO GREEN? McKibben and Girard are available for interviews.
- Writer Tim Folger examines the elements found in many of today’s technologies in RARE EARTHS. Folger is available for interviews.
Birth of Religion (cover story), by Charles C. Mann, photographed by Vincent J. Musi (Page 34) On a remote hilltop in southern Turkey, the world’s oldest known temple, Göbekli Tepe, is changing ideas about how civilization was formed. Until recently the Neolithic Revolution was thought to have been the single event that shifted humans from a nomadic existence to an organized society based around agriculture. Klaus Schmidt, lead archaeologist at Göbekli Tepe, believes that hunter-gatherers built the massive temple some 11,600 years ago as a place to gather for worship, long before the rise of agriculture and other aspects of civilization. Schmidt tells author Charles Mann, “I think what we are learning is that civilization is a product of the human mind.” While the truth about the birth of civilization may never be known, discoveries like Göbekli Tepe help to shed light on whether the urge to worship sparked civilization.
Africa’s Super Park, by Alexandra Fuller, photographed by Frans Lanting (Page 60)In 1990 newly independent Namibia became one of the world’s first nations to write environmental protection into its constitution. Today, animals are thriving in this ecominded nation that not only treasures its land, but feels profoundly responsible for it. Alexandra Fuller tells the story of the young African democracy striving to be a leading example of land stewardship — and the challenges it faces. Photographer Frans Lanting captures life in Namibia’s protected areas.
Too Young to Wed, by Cynthia Gorney, photographed by Stephanie Sinclair (Page 78) In northern India, three girls prepare to say their marriage vows in the middle of the night. They are just 15, 13 and 5 years old. “The outsider’s impulse toward child bride rescue scenarios can be overwhelming: Snatch up the girl, punch out the nearby adults, and run. Just make it stop,” writes Cynthia Gorney as she examines the controversial practice of child weddings. In India it is illegal to marry before 18, but communities conspire to keep these arranged ceremonies secret. Once the bride reaches puberty, she is sent to live with her husband, and expected to bypass education to fulfill her duty as a wife in a malecentric society. Most girls comply, but the few who fight back become a beacon of hope to bringing the world closer to a time when child brides are no more.
Brimming Pools, by Mel White, photographed by David Liittschwager (Page 100) A worm that can shoot a harpoon out of its head, seaweed that releases acid and a starfish that employs an internal hydraulic system and suckerlike feet to pull apart mussel shells are among the unusual residents of intertidal zones. These strips of land that are covered and uncovered by tides every day are home to thousands of species adapting to one of the most unique life zones. Author Mel White explains how life on an intertidal zone matures at an incredible speed and helps biologists to understand larger ecological processes.
Can China Go Green?, by Bill McKibben, photographed by Greg Girard (Page 116) “You can clean the air without really cleaning the air,” writes author Bill McKibben as he looks at the complicated issues that China faces as it tries to “go green.” While China is leading the race in renewable energy technology, over the past decade it has become the world’s largest burner of coal and largest source of global warming gases, forcing people to question whether or not its green efforts are enough. As its consumer revolution takes off, it will be increasingly difficult, and vastly more important, for the Chinese to utilize alternative sources of energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The scale of this issue, though, is much larger than China alone, and will require global participation and change that are currently hard to come by.
Rare Earths, by Tim Folger (Page 136) Smart phones, computers, hybrid cars and nightvision goggles are just some of the products made with a pinch of rare earths — exotic elements that now come mostly from China. Demand is on the rise, and with China supplying 97 percent of the world’s rare earth needs, these scattered metals are becoming the focus of attention. Tim Folger asks, “With China holding tightly to its reserves, where will the rest of the world get the elements that have become so vital to modern technology?” The answer is not yet clear, but many countries, including the United States, have begun to search for domestic mining locations to shore up the supply.
June’s Department section looks at a red dye that comes from tiny insects; the return of Henry IV’s skull; the various scientific names for the same plant; interbreeding between polar and grizzly bears; how kangaroos move; the second career of leafcutter ants; a possible infinite source of energy from ocean waves; the introduction of portable micro-solar systems to rural East Africa; how people perceive accents; the total number of humans to ever walk the Earth; and the 10 most common passwords. Details can be found at blogs.ngm.com.
National Geographic magazine has a long tradition of combining on-the-ground reporting with award-winning photography to inform people about life on our planet. It has won 13 National Magazine Awards in the past five years: for Magazine of the Year and Single-Topic Issue in 2011; for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Essays and two inaugural Digital Media Awards for Best Photography and Best Community in 2010; for Photojournalism in 2009; for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Reporting in 2008; and for General Excellence and Photography in 2007.
The magazine is the official journal of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational and scientific organizations. Published in English and 33 local-language editions, the magazine has a global circulation of around 8 million. It is sent each month to National Geographic members and is available on newsstands for $5.99 a copy. Single copies can be ordered by calling (800) NGS-LINE, also the number to call for membership in the Society.