The Geologic Podcast Episode #565
5 hours ago
Juana Combata used to cross the valley almost every day with her family-- hanging on to the cable that links her community to the rest of the world. But one day in June of last year, things changed.
A piece of steel holding the plank holding Juana, her husband, and her 3-year-old son, broke, and they plummeted nearly 100 feet to the shore of the river, hitting the rocks below.
Her 3-year-old child died instantly.
Juana and her husband Edwin survived with some injuries.
"Nowadays I don't cross the cable that much, I'm afraid since I fell down. If I have to do it I go alone, I fell with my son, my husband... so now I just grab my baby and go alone with him."
Although Bolivia has a decent and growing National Parks (NP) system, threats in the form of habitat loss and general degradation due to human activities persist outside protected regions. This ecoregion is threatened because it is easier for local agrarianists to burn this habitat than true montane forest for growing cash crops. In some cases crops and logging have increased due to more intensified road-building efforts. Extensive forest clearance in the Bolivian Andean foothills to cultivate crops has endangered over 70 species of birds, especially in the Departments of La Paz and Cochabamb. Additionally, certain game species from this ecoregion are threatened by over-harvest for protein and/or the wild bird trade.
The [Van Allen] belts are a hazard for artificial satellites and moderately dangerous for human beings, difficult and expensive to shield against.
There is a proposal by the late Robert L. Forward called HiVolt which may be a way to drain at least the inner belt to 1% of its natural level within a year. The proposal involves deploying highly electrically charged tethers in orbit. The idea is that the electrons would be deflected by the large electrostatic fields and intersect the atmosphere and harmlessly dissipate.