What are some other species we should be paying closer attention to as far as our impact on their habitats?
The polar regions are being affected greatly, and penguins in Antarctica have experienced a couple of mass mortality events. Coral reefs are also under great stress and last year we lost 30% of all reefs. Plastic and pollutants in our oceans are having a very serious impact on whales and other marine mammals and then there is the trade of ivory. Not only elephants and rhinos being greatly impacted, other ivory-bearing wildlife, like narwhals are also being killed for their tusks in the Arctic. The list goes on and on. One that we can have an immediate and positive impact on is wild fish. Tuna, wild salmon, and sharks should be at the top of our list of concerns. CM
Hey I'm glad you give us an opportunity to interact with you!
I'm trying to reflect on what makes people react in different cultures.
To your knowledge, what subjects engage western people most?
I'm not going to beat around the bush: it's obvious a lot of people feel more empathy towards a dog being beaten to death or maybe a polar bear starving than watching millions of people suffering, even if the causes are similar (war, unsustainable consumption etc)
In your experience, are polar bears the best way to make people talk about environmental change/damage in the west? You're in a much better position to know!
Hi. I actually find that it is easier to create an emotional connection with the stories of people. In general, however, building empathy requires that we put ourselves "in the shoes" of another being and we tend to care about the fate of fellow humans because we understand suffering on the same human scale. Charismatic wildlife, like polar bears, generally get a better reaction than insects or non-fuzzy critters. Our job is to create that type of empathy for entire ecosystems that support not just wildlife, but the welfare of humans as well. Tough job! Thanks for your questions. CM
Did you try ayahuasca while shooting the most recent jaguar story for the magazine?
NO!!!!! I did not try ayahuasca.
I saw the bad that all the ayahuasca healing lodges have done around Iquitos - selling of jaguar parts - though the chinese are buying the canines. Tourist involved in the "healing" are buying jag skin wrist bands - jaguar teeth necklaces - etc. Where do you think these items come from - jaguars are now being killed way too often and this needs to be stopped. My job is to tell the story visually, about jaguars. Chip the writer was able to write a better story taking it - but we went to a real jaguar shaman - many are fueling the trade - are not locals with connections to the cat and culture.
Are there any historical findings asides the bible that show Jesus as a supernatural being or proves him as the son of God. Need this to clarify God being a jealous God and the trinity and also how Jesus is called God by some christians. Is christianity monotheistic or polytheistic according to history?
Thats a question of faith, not history
Until now, the earliest evidence found in what's believed to be the tomb of Jesus Christ dated back only about 1,000 years. These new results fall in line with historical accounts that the tomb was discovered by the Romans and enshrined around 326.
FYI, the writer of the story (our archaeology pro) will be here for an AMA tomorrow at 12 if you have questions!
How are your searches financed and how/what is the payout when you have success? I assume there are investors in these endeavors and I can’t imagine many people give out money without receiving something in return. Also, do you get any sort of royalties or anything when your work is used in any sort of commercial venture?
No I've never mounted an expedition for profit so I have never had "investors" Years ago when I made the decision that making lots of money would never be my goal in life. My God is not money, it's pursuing the truth where ever it takes me.
When I was a kid I used to spend hours staring at my step-father's issues of Nat. Geo. that featured artist renditions of the Bismarck and the Titanic shipwrecks you discovered. They were truly captivating paintings. Have you seen those paintings and would you say they accurately depict what the wrecks would look like if we could see them in their entirety?
I own the original oil paintings of those images done by Ken Marschall. Truly a gifted maritime artist. Several of those paintings are now on display at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley California which has an amazing exhibit telling the true story behind our discovery of the Titanic and its link to the cold war and the loss of the Thresher and the Scorpion. In fact I will be giving a talk there on December 12th Hope you come!
Hi Brent! Do you have specific communities you have established around the world, or mainly the places you travel for assignments, of people you trust and that can help you? You must have to work under the radar a lot and I’m wondering how you manage those uncertain human factors...
I'm fortunate to have built good relations in a number of places, my contacts are really essential. I do prefer to work quietly and to do that I keep only a very small circle of people around me when we are shooting. I think if you treat people with respect and really make an effort to dignify and understand their jobs, you can make friendships based on mutual respect
Hi Brent, how do you choose your projects and do you have advice for creative people who also want to make an impact? Thanks!
I choose my projects based on what I think is the greatest need. I am also asked to do projects which I feel I should do. Its a mix. As for creatives, I would say use any channel you can to get the word out. If you work for an agency, see if they can do some pro bono work on these issues. Try to help NGO's that deserve it. People like the EIA and the IAPF, but do your research first as to who is really effective. Creatives can be really valuable in raising public awareness, the biggest issue is ignorance on all sides
Larry, the runt of his group, was being constantly attacked by the other tortoises. When he was finally rescued, he became fast friends with Cricket. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/10/golden-retriever-and-rescued-tortoise-are-friends/
Are the poisons that they use on the animals dangerous to the humans who try to help conservation efforts? I was not aware that poachers used poison so I look forward to your stories.
Yes! very dangerous. In africa they generally use carbomate poisons such as aldicarb and furudan - both are nematicides (insecticides) a teaspoon would kill several people. Awful and terrible - we have an article coming out in March in NGM called Poisoning Africa - look out for it
I read that NG photographers take hundreds of pictures and only get selected one or two. Is that true? How long do you usually have to wait at a place to get the perfect picture sometimes?
No its not true - we take thousands of photos and only get one selected! People often say - well if you take that many surely you'll get some good ones. Well the truth is I dont care how many I take to get the good ones I just want the good ones. It doesn't actually work out either that if you shoot tons you'll get good ones. It also depends on what you're shooting. Sometimes I'll take 20 photos on a shoot and others times thousands - i took 5000 photos of chickens a few weeks ago over a weekend - i had to to get the action I needed and its only by doing that that we got the shot the magazine needed. Anyway hope that helps.