World's Most Interesting Places: Vol. 4 | 60 Minutes Full Episodes

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World's Most Interesting Places: Vol. 4 | 60 Minutes Full Episodes

Pleistocene Park (00:00:11)

  • Russian geophysicist Sergey Zov warned decades ago that the melting permafrost in the Arctic contained enough greenhouse gas to pose a threat to the climate.
  • Zov's key discovery was that Siberian permafrost held far more carbon than anyone knew, and his theory has since been supported by scientific research.
  • Scientists estimate that there is more greenhouse gas in permafrost than in all of the world's remaining oil, natural gas, and coal.
  • Nikita Zop grew up in Siberia and returned to study a vast subsidence of permafrost called the Duani Yard.
  • The Zops have a theory to cool the permafrost by returning part of Siberia to its Ice Age appearance, known as the Pine Era.
  • They believe that knocking down trees and restocking big grazers will cool the permafrost even in a warming world.
  • The Zops are working with Harvard geneticist George Church to recreate a cold-resistant elephant similar to the woolly mammoth that once roamed the area.
  • Early data from Pine Park suggests that cutting down heat-trapping trees leads to colder permafrost, supporting their theory.

The Green River Drift (00:14:00)

  • The Green River Drift is a historic 70-mile cattle drive in Wyoming, USA, that has been running for 125 years.
  • Ranchers push thousands of cows along the same route their ancestors pioneered, taking about 13 days and moving over 7,000 head of cattle.
  • Despite challenges like heat, dust, predators, and a small profit margin, ranchers remain passionate about the tradition.
  • The cattle drive involves moving cattle to higher elevations in the summer and back to the valley in the winter, with ranchers paying the federal government to graze their cattle on US Forest Service land.
  • Range riders, mostly women, monitor the cattle during the summer, watching for predators like wolves and grizzly bears.
  • The cattle drive is on the National Register of Historic Places, and ranchers are working to preserve it despite challenges like declining beef consumption and predator threats.
  • Ranchers like Albert Summers are setting up conservation easements to ensure their land remains undeveloped and accessible for public recreation.
  • The cowboy way of life is struggling financially, but ranchers like Jeanie Lockwood and her family, Albert Summers, and Britney Hazeltine find richness in their lifestyle and connection to the land.

Ultra Deep (00:27:58)

  • The Moab Khotsong gold mine in South Africa is one of the deepest mines in the world, extending nearly 2 miles beneath the surface. Miners work in challenging conditions to extract gold from narrow veins.
  • Scientists, led by Princeton geoscientist Tullis Onstott and Belgian biologist Gaetan Borgonie, are searching for "extreme life" that can survive in the harsh conditions deep underground.
  • The discovery of ancient salt and water deposits, as well as creatures like the "Maisto" worms found in a 5,000-year-old water pocket, suggests the possibility of an ancient ocean and potential for life that has never been exposed to the surface.
  • South Africa's gold mines have a complex history, including the use of underpaid black miners in dangerous conditions during the apartheid era. Gold mining has been central to South African politics and the country's history, with legislation dispossessing black people of land to create cheap labor for the mines.
  • The mining industry in South Africa has undergone significant changes, with improved safety measures, increased diversity in the workforce, and better pay for previously marginalized groups. However, the ultra-deep gold mines are facing challenges due to the high costs of extraction, and only three out of the original eleven mines remain in operation.

An Island Off an Island (00:41:44)

  • Fogo Island, a remote Canadian island, faced economic decline due to the collapse of its fishing industry.
  • Local entrepreneur Zita Cobb returned to Fogo Island and initiated an economic experiment to revitalize the community.
  • The centerpiece of Cobb's plan was the construction of a $40 million luxury inn, the Fogo Island Inn, designed to attract tourists and serve as an economic engine for the island.
  • The fishing industry's decline caused hardship for families like Cobb's, leading her father to burn his boat as a symbolic gesture of pain and anger.
  • Cobb, a former Silicon Valley executive, returned to her hometown and established the Fogo Island Inn, a charitable trust that reinvests its profits into the island.
  • The inn has created jobs for over 300 islanders and positively impacted the local economy.
  • Shorefast, a charitable trust, provides seed money for new businesses on the island.
  • Despite the fishing industry's resurgence, some younger islanders are leaving to pursue other careers.
  • Fogo Island's population has stabilized, and there's hope for an uptick in the next census.
  • The island's growth has led to increased housing costs, making it difficult for locals to afford homes.
  • Local business leader Z Cobb prioritizes the community's well-being over unchecked growth and market share.
  • The island's economy is being diversified to reduce dependence on traditional industries like fishing.
  • Despite challenges, the island's residents remain optimistic and value their traditional way of life.

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