Infrastructure

Shoring Up N. Carolina Islands: A Losing Battle?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 10, 2003   View Article

When Hurricane Isabel roared onto the Outer Banks of North Carolina two months ago, stilted homes bowed to their knees, power lines snapped, sand piled over roadways, and residents in the hamlet of Hatteras sat isolated from the rest of the world.

Storm waters locked up in the estuarine side of the islands desperate for escape punched a new inlet between Hatteras and Frisco, washing sand, vegetation, and U.S. Highway 12 out to sea.

Around the World, Parks Underfunded, Studies Say

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 12, 2003   View Article

The world’s parks and protected areas are underfunded and, as a result, lack the basic maintenance and infrastructure required to keep wildlife free from poachers and forests clear of illegal logging, according to a study presented today at the World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa.

The study was produced by an international panel of conservationists, scientists, economists, and government officials.

Monumental Quilt Honors 9/11 Victims

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 10, 2003   View Article

She watched Flight 175 ram the north tower of the World Trade Center and, like most TV viewers, sat stunned. Minutes later, the smoldering south tower collapsed. Then word came that Flight 77 had struck the Pentagon. Then the north tower crumbled. In Pennsylvania, dust settled around the crater left by Flight 93.

Jeannie Ammermann said the tragic events of September 11, 2001, changed her life forever. The next day, fidgety, she sat at her desk at a real estate office in Naples, Florida, and jotted down ideas of what she could do for the victims’ families.

“Supercities” Vulnerable to Killer Quakes, Expert Warns

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 2, 2003   View Article

Unless protective measures are taken, once every century or so when the Earth trembles in a violent release of pent up tension, buildings will tumble, streets will buckle, and pipelines will snap, leaving upwards of a million people crushed beneath the debris.

That is the conclusion of Roger Bilham, a geological scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder who studied the potential impact of earthquakes on the world’s rapidly expanding urban populations in the 21st century.

Book Report: Nature Returns to America’s Cities

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 23, 2001   View Article

The concrete jungle isn’t just for people anymore. Thirty years of good environmental stewardship combined with wildlife’s innate ability to adapt has given rise to a resurgence of nature in America’s urban centers.

In New York City, raccoons have walked through the front door and into the kitchen to raid the refrigerator. In southern California, mountain lions have been seen cooling off under garden sprinklers and breaking into homes near Disneyland. In Chicago, beavers gnaw and fell trees and snarl traffic.

New Mapping Tool Shows Impacts of Development Across the Globe

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 19, 2001   View Article

Step back and take in the big picture. Thousands of scientific studies assess the environmental impacts of a single road, or oil well, or mountain lodge, but the conclusions of these studies are generally disconnected. That is beginning to change.

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has developed a global mapping technique, called GLOBIO, that combines these myriad conclusions into a comprehensive picture of the cumulative toll that infrastructure development is having on the planet.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach