Martha Honey is co-founder and executive director of the Washington, D.C.-headquartered Center for Responsible Travel. The author of multiple volumes about tourism in the Caribbean, she writes about ecotourism, cruise and resort tourism, coastal and marine tourism, climate change, and certification issues. She previously served as a journalist ...
The One-Armed Geologist Whose Daring Colorado River Descent Made the Grand Canyon Famous
John Wesley Powell's Expedition Opened the West. He Then Devoted His Life to Protecting It
In May 1869, ten men climbed into four small, wooden rowboats to attempt what no one had dared before: descend the Colorado River through the unknown ...
How a 16th-Century Bolivian Silver Mine Invented Modern Capitalism
Potosí’s Coins Ruled the Globe But Their Costs Included Violence and Environmental Destruction
Gold has always attracted special attention for its color, malleability, and resistance to oxidation, but silver has long held a close second place. Its relative abundance in ...
New at Zócalo
A Disquieting Look at Life Around the Caspian Sea
Photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews Captures the Geography of the Land and the Practices That Connect People to It
The Caspian Sea is the world’s largest inland body of water, nestled between Europe and Asia, and surrounded by five countries: Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan. Through history, the area has been under the sway of the Persians, the Mongols, the Ottomans, and the Russians.
For five years, from 2010-2015, British photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews traveled throughout this part of the world, chronicling its people, politics, and geography. Her photos detail not only the elements of its famous geology—which include oil and uranium—but also the practices that connect residents to a land they see as by turns mystical, practical, religious, and therapeutic. In her photos, Azeris seek healing by sitting in baths of crude oil in the town of Naftalan, Azerbaijan, while two Kazakh sisters walk through a field of rock towards an underground mosque. ...
Yosemite Is Not for Claustrophobes
As It Accommodates Millions of Visitors a Year, California’s Signature National Park Feels Less Like an Escape
The Yosemite National Park shuttle bus to Mariposa Grove wasn’t running. And the road up to the grove is no longer open to private cars. Would my three sons, ages 10, 8, and 5—aka the Three Stooges—agree to a 2 1/2 mile uphill hike to see Yosemite’s signature sequoias?
While I have been going to Yosemite since I was a kid, this month I made my first trip as a father. And I wondered if my city slicker boys could handle a visit to the Sierra wilderness. The Three Stooges are aggressive urbanites who haunt coffee shops, ride the Los Angeles Metro Rail, and are hard to coax outside for any adventure more ambitious than our local playground.
I shouldn’t have worried. Today’s Yosemite has been changed so much by record crowds, and the limits put in place to try to control them, that it no longer feels like a place apart. Indeed, as California has become a state with the highest urban ...
Making the California Legislature 50 Percent Female Should Be Easy
The Gender Quotas Used in European Countries Offer a Straightforward Path to Parity—and More Democracy
Why California’s Pensions Only Deepen Inequality
The Golden State's Promise to Retirees Puts at Risk the Other Promises It Makes to Its Citizens
Build a Bullet Train? California Can't Even Build a One-Mile Rail Tunnel in San Francisco
The Golden State Is Bad at Big Projects, and Even Worse at the Little Ones