Mapping the World’s Forests: How Green is Our Globe?

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Forests cover 31% of the world’s land surface and absorb 15.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, making them an important buffer against climate change. Adam Symington’s maps show the ratio of the world’s surface covered with tree canopy to non-green areas. Asia is home to some of the richest and most biodiverse green canopies of the world, such as Russia’s boreal forests, China’s broad-leaved forests and Indonesia’s mangrove forests. Meanwhile, South America’s Amazon and Congolian rainforests are two of the remaining regions in the world that absorb more carbon than they emit. Read full article here

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The Priest in the Arena

The phrase “man in the arena” has been popularized in recent years, but a lesser known, more dangerous archetype is the “priest in the arena”. This figure is responsible for a process called theocratic capture, where an institution surrenders to a cult demanding unaccountable authority, fueled by claims to privileged knowledge. These cults often target powerful institutions and attempt to monopolize conversations with scaremongering tactics and hostile treatment of allies. It is important to identify and stop theocratic capture before it can gain control. Read full article here


Maps Distort How We See the World

Maps have a major impact on how we perceive the world, as they often distort reality. One example is the Mercator projection, which can make countries closer to the equator appear smaller than they actually are. Africa is an especially stark example, as it’s much larger than it appears on a map. This distortion can lead to a poor intuition for comparative region sizes, with Brazil being the most short-changed. It’s even big enough that its northernmost point is closer to Canada than its southernmost point! While international maps are chosen for good reasons, they can be deceitful. Read full article here

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