Dan Morrison

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 as a delicacy and folk remedy in China and parts of Southeast Asia, had been...

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 rivers in India and Bangladesh. Land that was yours one season can vanish, only to...

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 to Kolkata, comes just a day after 300 million people in northern...

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 strains to hear the ever-present danger and then pounces. When an Indian coughs, this...

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 met some extraordinary people along the way, including the journalist Nalin Verma. Raised in a...

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, he writes, unearthed a tomb whose every surface was etched with scratch marks, as...

It’s not enough for Indian boys and girls to fear that they won’t get a playmate or a spouse or a job because of their unsightly skin-tone. It’s not enough that ads should tell women they need their underarm deodorant to include skin-lightening cream if they want to go sleeveless. Now comes Clean and Dry...

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 make the most of the phenomenal reach of the first Kony2012 video, which has garnered more...

[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. “I will keep taking liquid but will not consume any solid food till...

[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 of India’s environmental engineers, tells me by phone from his hospital bed in the holy...

  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 also provoked a significant backlash from experts who say the film is simplistic, manipulative, and that...

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 jaunty and driven. Two states. We want two states. North and south. Two states. Forty million...

  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 a scourge: Cats shouldn’t be allowed to roam the open halls and wards of a hospital, certainly not one...

  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 inexpensive carbon of burnt rice husks with silver nano-particles to kill and remove deadly microbes...

  An 11-day hunger strike by the swami of a small ashram ended on Monday night when the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand banned stone and sand mining from the Ganges riverbed near the city of Haridwar pending an environmental impact statement. Officials slid the written order under the bolted door of a room of...