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JULY 2016 VOLUME 88 | NO 07 Publisher Graeme Gourlay Editor Paul Presley Art Editor Angela McCormick Reporters Chris Fitch, Laura Cole Editor-at-Large Geordie Torr Equipment Editor Paul Deegan Cartographer John Plumer Operations Director Simon Simmons Accounts Ramesh Parshotam Sales Manager Kevin Rawlins Editorial Advisory Board Chris Bonington, Ron Cooke, Nicholas Crane, Rita Gardner, Robin Hanbury-Tenison, Annabel Huxley, Vanessa Lawrence, Nick Middleton, David Rhind, Anthony Sattin, Nigel de N Winser Address Geographical, Suite 3.20, QWest, Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex TW8 0GP Telephone: 020 8332 8434 Fax: 020 8332 8438 Email: Advertising Department Telephone: 020 8332 8445 Fax: 020 8332 8438 Email: Subscriptions Geographical, Freepost (SCE 12967), Thatcham RG19 4BR Telephone: 01635 588 496 Fax: 01635 868 594 Email: Annual subscription rates UK: £54, EUROPE: £67, USA: £76, REST OF THE WORLD: £77 Newsstand sales and marketing Imagine, London Telephone: 0845 612 0092 Email: Newsstand distribution Fastmag, Circulation Department Telephone: 01582 475 333 Email: © Syon Geographical Ltd Registered No. 07457559 Printed by Precision Colour Printing, Telford, UK

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Geographical © is the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), and was founded by Michael Huxley in 1935. The publishers of Geographical pay a licence fee to the RGS IBG. This fee is assigned to a fund for the advancement of exploration and research and the promotion of geographical knowledge. The opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers or the Society. The publishers cannot be held responsible for loss of, or damage to, or the return of unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. Published monthly.

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ISSN: 0016 741X

04 | July 2016

Just the facts

This issue hits the newsstands just as people up and down the United Kingdom head into polling booths and decide whether or not to remain a part of the European Union. We’re not a political magazine. We don’t take a position. Throughout its 80-plus-year existence, Geographical has always strived to offer an unbiased look at the world, to present people, places and issues from an un iltered, uneditorialised point of view. It’s not always easy. Often it can be hard to look at stories of injustice or ill-treatment, or at ignorance-presented-as-policy and not want to shake a ist and cry ‘wrong, wrong, wrong!’ at all within earshot.

But as the barrage of spin and misinformation that has come out of both the ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ campaigns has shown over the last few months, once you nail your colours to a mast it then becomes increasingly di icult not to constantly feed only the narrative that best suits your goals. There’s plenty of actual truth out there, but good luck inding any of it among the scare stories and vested interests. What doesn’t help is that people often don’t like having their positions disputed. Once an opinion is formed, any attempt to argue against it, however backed by empirical data it may be, just meets a wall of refusal. As a rule, most people don’t want to be challenged, they just want their preconceived notions reinforced. As facts give way to ‘facts’, reasoned debate loses out to polarised viewpoints and ever-louder shouting matches.

But we hold out hope. Geographical has always found a home among those who are willing to remove themselves from the noise and look beyond the surface to get at the truth of a situation. So that’s the only narrative we will continue to feed, one of information over instruction. We’ll present the world to you un iltered, unvarnished, and unencumbered by political baggage. It’s up to you what you choose to do with it.


Author and journalist Jules Stewart divides his time between his homes in London and Pamplona. ‘I’ve always been astonished at how Pamplona manages to cope during those seven days and nights of mayhem,’ he says of the annual San Fermín festival (page 44). ‘When I investigated, I discovered an elaborate and highly effi cient system that keeps the city afloat against a tidal wave of rubbish.’

Peter Geoghegan travelled to Mongolia last summer thanks to the RGS IBG Journey of a Lifetime award (page 50) to get hands-on with the country’s national pastime. ‘For Mongolians, wrestling is more than a sport, it’s a millennia-old way of life,’ he says. ‘It was a privilege to live alongside the wrestlers, and while I did not become a champion, I did get an incredible insight into modern Mongolian life.’

‘My favourite kind of travel feature are stories of interrelations of people and landscape,’ says columnist and author Vitali Vitaliev. ‘Perhaps nowhere else in the world is this relationship more dramatic than in Iceland – the land of 130 volcanoes (page 56). This is a real-life tale of human practicality, resilience and open-mindedness in the face of a precarious and o en hostile environment.’

On the cover: Gravel Workmen, by Faisal Azim. One of the shortlisted entries for the 2016 Environmental Photographer of the Year award. See page 28 for more of this year’s submissions and keep an eye on for details of the winners.

July 2016 | UK £4.50

February 2016 | UK £4.50


Magazine oF the royal geographical society (with ibg)


+ POWER sHifT Germany’s green

Wrestling in Mongolia Cleaning up Pamplona Iceland’s volcanic legacy What is our natural climate?

energy gambit

Cover.indd 1

07/06/2016 12:45

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