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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.

Living with Snow Leopard
Guest: Dr. Vidya Athreya, Director of Conservation Science, Wildlife Conservation Society-India.
Birds and People
Guest: Mark Cocker, naturalist, Guardian columnist, and author of Birds & People which includes contributions by more than 600 people from 81 countries.
India’s Wild Places: Then and Now
 Guest: Dr. M.K. Ranjitsinh, renowned wildlife conservationist & chief architect of India’s Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
Arctic Tales and Climate Change
Guest: Subhankar Banerjee, founder and director of Species in Peril project and editor of Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point which includes contributions by over 50 writers, artists, and conservationists.
The Species in Peril team is busy at the moment planning a Biodiversity Webinar that will start on September 14. In the next e-letter, we will include details of the webinar series, along with original articles and drawings.
In the meantime, as the coronavirus pandemic continues its course and infections rise rapidly in many countries, including the United States and India, and yet at the same time, many of us, students and teachers, look ahead to the start of the fall semester—I hope that you may consider incorporating materials (text and video) from the Species in Peril and the Planet Outlook initiatives into your syllabus if you will be teaching courses that address environmental concerns including the biodiversity and the climate crises.
Until next time, wishing everyone good health,

Subhankar Banerjee, editor, Species in Peril

Banner image from "Living with Snow Leopard", 2020, Planet Outlook. 

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