Planet Outlook: Conversations
July 23, 2020
Dear readers of the Species in Peril e-letter:
As I write this e-note, tropical storm Gonzalo is forming in the Atlantic, gaining strength and may become the first hurricane of this year in the Atlantic of what is predicted to be “A Very Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season.” Gonzalo has already set a minor record by becoming the “earliest seventh named storm in the Atlantic,” CNN reports. This is not a typical year for hurricanes as “complicating this year's hurricane season are concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and how that might complicate potential evacuations,” NPR reports.
You may remember that, in the second issue of the Species in Peril e-letter we published an in-depth article on Cyclone Amphan and its devastating impacts on the people of Bangladesh and coastal India and on the ecology of Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest on Earth, in which I wrote:
“Amphan is the first major cyclone to make a landfall in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in a densely populated region, which raises many questions about impacts. At the same time, the responses we have seen so far from the people of Sundarbans and the governments of Bangladesh and India can serve as a guide for other nations that may encounter similar ecological and social challenges in the coming months as we have now entered the hurricane season for both the Atlantic and the Pacific that will not end until November 30.”
Just as cities, states / provinces, and nations were instituting lockdowns to reduce the spread of COVID-19—in April 2020, we launched the Species in Peril Project with an inaugural article that encouraged us to consider the coronavirus pandemic as a manifestation of biological annihilation which includes human caused species extinctions, die-offs and massacres.
While we are slowly but steadily developing the Species in Peril Project in the United States to foster conversations, creative production, public scholarship, and grassroots initiatives to bring attention to the escalating crisis of biological annihilation, the Outlook Magazine, one of India’s most widely read national news magazines is developing a new initiative, Planet Outlook, to foster conversations on the biodiversity crisis, the climate crisis, and other environmental concerns. The Editor of Planet Outlook, Ananda Banerjee recently conducted a set of interviews with writers, scholars, scientists and conservationists—each conversation lasting little over 30 minutes, providing ample depth. Ananda and his team plan to launch the website of Planet Outlook in the coming months.
For now, as a sneak preview, we are pleased to share a selection of four Planet Outlook conversations and announce the formation of Planet Outlook as a companion global initiative to the Species in Peril Project. Ananda is also a key member of the Species in Peril Project, a bridge between the two initiatives.