Humans, the fifth planetary force

How Earth Made Us’ is a ground-breaking BBC series that tells ‘the incredible story of the natural forces that have shaped our history’. Now available on YouTube, it is well worth watching, offering fantastic imagery and though-provoking commentary. Presented by Professor Iain Stewart, the series examines the influence of four fundamental elements – Water, Deep Earth, Wind and Fire – on human history. The fifth and final episode, called the Human Planet, presents humans as a natural force in their own right.

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In awe of the Amazon: air, water and earth

When flying over the Amazon in a six seater plane, the clouds have right of way. Weaving a way between and around them takes an experienced pilot. Such a guide delivered us safely to Noel Kempff Mercado National Park on the border of Bolivia and Brazil, only accessible by plane or boat. One of the largest and most intact Parks in the Amazon Basin, it is worth the effort.

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Paying a visit to elemental ecology

Nearly 50 years ago, Professor Bill Jackson published the paper ‘Fire, air, water, earth – An elemental ecology of Tasmania’. With a title like that, one could say he was ahead of his time.

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