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    OXFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND: Didcot B station, which in 2003 was voted Britain’s 3rd worst eyesore, is gas fed and supplies electricity to over 1.5 million people. In Britain, 5.8% of the energy supply comes from nuclear, 1.8% from renewable sources, and 92.4% from fossil fuels.

    Photo by Toby Smith, from Light After Dark.

    In recent years, poachers in Africa have decimated the mature bull elephant population. A particularly poignant loss came this week when it was reported that Satao, a beloved elephant of Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park, had been killed by poachers. Satao was a recognizable fixture of the park, and one of the few remaining ‘tuskers’ - elephants with a set of tusks weighing approximately 100 pounds or more. The depletion of the tuskers has created a negative effect on the elephant gene pool, as weaker DNA is being passed on to new generations.

    See more images from God’s Ivory, by Brent Stirton

    Image: Some of the last of the great elephant tuskers, in Tsavo National Park, Kenya. Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images

    Virunga National Park, in Democratic Republic of the Congo, is Africa’s oldest national park, and home to many rare and endangered species. It has also seen its share of violence and destruction lately, including the killing of several mountain gorillas and the shooting of the park’s director. However, some good news came last week when the World Wildlife Fund reported that Soco International was ending operations in the park, thus removing any potential environmental threats from oil exploration. Read More

    Image: Rangers patrol Virunga National Park after increased militia activity in 2008. Photo by Brent Stirton, from Gorillas of the Congo.

    Brent Stirton, who has previously received accolades for stories about war, health, and human rights, has been named Wildlife Photographer of the Year by the Natural History Museum London. His work on God’s Ivory, which explores the illegal ivory trade and its connection to religious iconography, embodies Stirton’s penchant for complex stories. “I work in the area of sustainability and diminishing resources,” he explains, “and I increasingly see a connection between all of these in terms of conflict, human drama, and migration. It’s all interconnected.”

    Video: God’s Ivory, story by Bryan Christy and Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images. Produced by Andrew Hida

    'A career in the oil sands may sound good to some people, but really it is the death of their culture because it’s taking the new generation to work toward a completely different way of life. And it’s a way of life that embraces the destruction of their land.

    These people who have hunted this land for a hundred years can read their environment like a book. They know when something’s wrong. They open up an animal, they can see the health of that animal by how it looks. The industry and the government don’t really take that knowledge seriously.’

    Our friend and former Reportage Emerging Talent Ian Willms’s work from the the First Nations land in Alberta, Canada, was featured on NYT Lens blog yesterday. Read more - An Indigenous Way of Life Threatened by Oil Sands in Canada

    'The Renewables Project is a unique photographic vision of the hydroelectric landscapes of Scotland mid-winter. Nocturnal icy vistas combine with brutalist structures in this award-winning series of large-format images.’

    Toby Smith will be showing more from this project, and also images from Light After Dark, at The Hospital Club in London this weekend. Read more on the Getty Images blog.

    Oil has often brought tumultuous change to the region under which it is discovered. Geologists and oil companies have long known that the Bakken oil field under North Dakota existed, but, until the development of efficient fracking technology, there was no cost-effective way of extracting it. That has changed, and so has Williston, ND. The deluge of oil workers arriving in town has caused a spike in crime and a severe housing shortage. Rental prices rival those in Manhattan, and workers sleep in their cars or in the local church. Despite this, the lure of high-paying jobs will likely continue to draw hordes to Williston.

    See more from Charles Ommanney’s ‘The Promised Land’ here.

    NIGER - Tuareg Nomad women dance at a baptism in the desert. This group has been in the region for the rainy season, taking advantage of easy water and good grasses for the animals. MNJ rebels are fighting the Niger government because they feel that the traditional grazing lands and water rights of the Tuareg are threatened by the Uranium industry. KENYA:Pokot tribesman attacked a Samburu village in a dispute over cattle grazing rights at a time of drought in the region. 50 cattle were shot and over 300 died later from lack of grazing access

    Today is World Water Day

    The world’s most abundant resource is also one of its most problematic. Climate change has brought a noticeable rise in drought and desertification. 258 million people in African have no access to clean water, and what is available often introduces a wide spectrum of disease or conflict into communities.

    These problems bring with them a host of political, tribal, and gender issues. Community-based solutions exist; what is lacking are solutions at a global level.

    See more from Brent Stirton's 'Water is Personal' here.

    LAS CHUNAS, CHACO, ARGENTINA: Juan Carlos Cardoso, 23, has suffered from Cerebral Palsy and a type of Spina Bifida since birth; his mother Carmen takes care of him. In Argentina, there is no national law regulating herbicides, and fumigations in the agricultural fields have been denounced as the cause of an increasing number of birth defects and a 30% spike in cancer cases.

    Chaco native Katherina Pardo, 21, recalls that when she was a student and a plane passed overhead, some of the children would pass out. “We just took it as something normal, at a certain time of the year, at the time of the fumigations. People would begin to feel sick; there would be headaches and fainting. I always blamed the drinking water.” 

    From Stories of a Wounded Land, by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala.

    OWANDO, REPUBLIC OF CONGO - MAY 12, 2011: A local volunteer with the Congolese Red Cross prepares cassava cuttings tolerant to mosaic disease, a plant virus which limits production of the important food crop, that will be distributed to the local population. (Photo by Jonathan Torgovnik/Reportage by Getty Images for ICRC)

    Jonathan Torgovnik has been named a Canon Explorer.

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