Dan Morrison

African Pangolins in Chinese Soup Bowls

Why is it that the bad predictions so often come true? An article I wrote on the illegal trade in Asian pangolins for National Geographic News nearly five years ago ended on a portentous note. The endangered scaly anteaters, prized ...

River Erosion and Shooting Wars

BUXAR, India – For farmers living on the banks of the India’s signature river, the Ganges gives and the Ganges takes away. River erosion is an age-old worry for farmers living in the basins of the Ganges, Bramhaputra, and Meghna ...

India’s Massive Blackout, and the Environmental Danger to Come

An estimated 600 million Indians – more people than live in western Europe — were without electricity today, victims of a massive blackout that darkened most of the northern and eastern portions of the country. The Great Indian Outage, stretching from New Delhi ...

Mr. Sputum, Public Health Superhero, Fights TB in India

PATNA, India – Perched high on a rooftop amid the pollution and noise of a vibrant Indian city, a new kind of superhero listens for signs of the enemy. His ears tuned to an array of elaborately curved trumpets, Bulgam Bhai ...

India: A tale of cattle, turmeric, and guns

I recently returned from several weeks of research in Bihar, India’s poorest (and, with 103.8 million people, its third most-populous) state. My topics in this fascinating place included river erosion on the Ganges, public health, politics, and political violence. I ...

Egypt’s Undead Reach for the Presidency

In his 2003 book, The Zombie Survival Guide, author Max Brooks reports that one of the world’s first recorded zombie pandemics took place in the ancient city of Hierakonpolis, Egypt, around 3,000 BC. A 19th Century expedition to that desert site, ...

Kony 2012: A New Video, and Lessons Learned

Invisible Children has released a new film in its Kony2012 campaign, one that, unlike its predecessor, puts the focus on the countries in central Africa where the murderous Lord’s Resistance Army is currently operating. The filmmakers clearly hope to ...

No Backing Down: Scientist’s Ganges River Fast Reaches Day 43

[UPDATE, Friday, March 23: The Press Trust of India reports that GD Agrawal has decided to partially end his fast. The 80-year-old environmentalist will take liquids, but no solid food, pending an April 17 meeting of the National Ganges River Basin Authority. “...

Dying for the Ganges: A Scientist Turned Swami Risks All

[For more current news on GD Agrawal and his fast please click on this new post, published Thursday, March 22.] G.D. Agrawal is determined to die.  “At the moment I am quite resigned to my fate,” Agrawal, the 80-year-old dean ...

Kony 2012: A View from Northern Uganda

  The release this week of the video Kony 2012 and a viral social media campaign by the American NGO Invisible Children has jacked awareness of the vicious Ugandan rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army into the stratosphere. It’s ...

Two States: Mass Murder in South Sudan

An obscure indie-rock b-side kept running through my head last January as I hopped from city to city reporting on South Sudan’s freedom referendum. The song was Two States, by the band Pavement. The words were simple, the music ...

Bangladesh: Getting it Wrong, and Getting it Right

  The photo you see above is of an adorable stray cat that’s living like a squatter at Bangladesh’s biggest children’s hospital. The kitty could be called adorable, if a little standoffish. It’s also something of ...

India: The Cost of Bad Water

  Varanasi, India — A couple years ago, one of India’s leading industrial houses announced a revolutionary new household filter that would for the first time bring affordable, safe drinking water to millions of homes. The Tata Swach combines the ...