Wildlife Advocacy in Sci-Fi Stories and Articles
GarryRogers NatCon News
Nature Conservation News and information for animals, plants, and nature. See more at http://garryrogers.com.
Curated by Garry Rogers
In 1958, the vast semi-arid to arid Syrian steppe was made into a free access (unrestricted) commons by the Syrian national government. This overturned the sustainable type of grazing practiced by the Bedouins for centuries. The tribes and clans of the steppe had developed systems of limiting exploitation of the steppe beyond the grazing that would be sustainable. They even had large rest and restoration areas set by tribal custom and decision.
Turning the whole thing into a commons led exactly to what we should expect, “the tragedy of the commons.” After almost 50 years of this degradation came the 2006–10 drought. Then came the collapse of the economy and great destabilization of society in the rural interior. The rebellion against the Syrian government had its origins there
GR: Grazing mismanagement of Earth's arid lands has eroded the soil, introduced invasive weeds, reduced productivity, and reduced biodiversity in a process known as desertification. Add climate change droughts and floods exacerbated by climate change, and it is no surprise that people are unhappy.
There are no more than 20,000 SOUTHERN white rhinos left in Africa. However, poaching has taken a quicker toll on the NORTHERN whites. With the recent passing of Nola, the northern white rhino at the San Diego Zoo, there are now only 3 Northern white rhinos left on the planet.
The remaining three are under constant guard at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.
Want to know what chemicals energy companies use in their hydraulic fracking operations? Turns out it’s getting harder and harder to answer that question.
According to a new study published in the journal Energy Policy, fracking companies have become less forthcoming since 2013 about the chemicals used in their operations, citing “the use of proprietary compounds” as grounds for limiting their disclosure.
Between the official arrival of El Niño in March and NOAA’s November update, the scope of the long-awaited global phenomenon is becoming clear: the 2015 El Niño is already setting records and is on track to becoming the strongest event ever recorded.The official classification will wait for three months of data, but model estimates suggest the 2015 event will grow even stronger and could top the high mark set by the 1997-98 event.
Governments urge us both to consume more and to conserve more. We must extract more fossil fuel from the ground, but burn less of it. We should reduce, reuse and recycle the stuff that enters our homes, and at the same time increase, discard and replace it. How else can the consumer economy grow? We should eat less meat to protect the living planet, and eat more meat to boost the farming industry. These policies are irreconcilable. The new analyses suggest that economic growth is the problem, regardless of whether the word sustainable is bolted to the front of it.
It’s not just that we don’t address this contradiction; scarcely anyone dares even name it. It’s as if the issue is too big, too frightening to contemplate. We seem unable to face the fact that our utopia is also our dystopia; that production appears to be indistinguishable from destruction.
GR: In my home state, Arizona, the government asks us to conserve water while, at the same time, the government invites more people and businesses to move here.
Kids should be outside for an hour or two every day between school and dinner. That doesn’t mean parents have to drive them someplace. Unorganized playtime is fine. Give them the freedom to find their own games and make up their own rules. Teachers should make a point of giving regular homework assignments in the real world: Describe five trees where you live. Follow a squirrel for 45 minutes, and take field notes on what it’s doing. Count how many birds you can find on your street.
The rest of us need to walk away at regular intervals (and especially at dinner time) from our alluring but soul-sucking lives online. According to a Nielsen report release earlier this year, Americans over 18 average 11 hours a day on electronic media. Given that most of us are awake 16 or 17 hours a day and presumably spend part of our waking hours in school or at work, adults are not providing a great example. Think of it as an addiction because that’s exactly what your Internet suppliers have designed it to be. Facebook, Twitter, and the rest mean to keep us compulsively clicking, in the words of Nir Eyal, web consultant and author of the book Hooked: How to Build Habit-forming Products, so we end up doing so “over and over, in the same basic cycle. Forever and ever.”
GR: Excellent family advice. One might add that if your neighborhood isn't safe enough for children to be out doors, you are in the wrong place to raise a family.
US Solar energy adoption rates continued to soar in 2015, jumping to 40 percent of all new installed energy capacity for the first half of the year. These great gains have occurred despite broad based assaults on public policies supporting the rapid adoption of this critical renewable energy source. Image source: US Solar Market Summary.
GR: This is an excellent review of critical national programs under attack by energy-industry conservatives. Recommended.
By mid November of 2015, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels as measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory had again risen above 400 parts per million. Over the past two weeks, these levels maintained. And even though we may see a few days during which CO2 levels drop below that key threshold during late November and, perhaps, early December, those days could well be the last.
From the article: "Atmospheric CO2 levels remaining at 400 parts per million for any significant period will push the Earth climate to warm by between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius. It will push for sea levels to rise by at least 75 feet. In other words, a world at 400 parts per million is a world radically changed. A world that human beings have never seen before. And as a cautionary note, the total forcing from all greenhouse gasses currently emitted by humans is now in the range of 485 parts per million of CO2 equivalent. A level well beyond the current 400 parts per million threshold and one that likely equates to around 4 degrees Celsius worth of long term warming."
It appears that the only difference between the behavior of Exxon and the tobacco industry is that cigarette companies didn’t publish their research linking smoking and adverse health effects. Exxon’s scientists have published research in scientific journals on the human causes and dangers of global warming. However, in both cases, the industries funded an extensive multi-pronged campaign to misinform the public about the expert scientific consensus and the dangers associated with their products.
It remains to be seen whether the investigations into the actions of Exxon and the rest of the fossil fuel industry will yield the same results as the investigations into the tobacco industry racketeering.
You can join the Union of Concerned Scientists in calling on companies to adopt strong palm oil sourcing policies today and work with their suppliers to increase standards or buy from producers who are willing to commit to deforestation-free and peat-free policies. Take action now!
According to Fern's report, "the EU is one of the largest importers of products resulting from illegal deforestation [and in] 2012 imported €6bn of soy, beef, leather and palm oil which were grown or reared on land illegally cleared of forests in the tropics - almost a quarter of the total world trade".
To get a better idea of what this represents, the document says that "one football pitch of forest was illegally felled every two minutes in the period 2000-12 in order to supply the EU with these commodities".
While it is easy to spot products containing beef or soy, the same cannot be said for palm oil, which according to the world wildlife foundation can be found in lipstick, chocolate, shampoo and pizza dough, among others.
In Brazil, it was found that "90 per cent of the deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon during 2000-09 was illegal".
It doesn't sound like deforestation is slowing.
hina has a knack for world-changing policy shifts, whether it’s devaluing its currency, launching a national carbon cap-and-trade system or, most recently, changing its decades-old restriction on how many children its citizens can have.
The country’s decision to ease its one-child decree has raised some serious questions about sustainability. Right now, China consumes about half the cement, steel, aluminum and pork produced in the world. If it allows its citizens to have more children – and presumably use more resources – what will that mean for humanity’s collective wellbeing and its pressing quest for sustainability?
GR: We can't afford China's one-child policy. So....
Mini nuclear power plants could be trucked into a town near you to provide your hot water, or shipped to any country that wants to plug them into their electricity grid from the dock. That is the aim of those developing “small modular reactors” and, from the US to China to Poland, they want the UK to be at the centre of the nascent industry. The UK government says it is “fully enthused” about the technology.
With UN climate change summit in Paris imminent, the question of how to keep the lights on affordably, while cutting emissions, is pressing.
GR: Nuclear energy is dangerous and it produces wastes that remain deadly for tens of thousands of years. This article is propaganda coming from investors interests who want to centralize energy production and keep distributed systems such as "rooftop solar" out of the hands of consumers. You can't get wealthy with a resource that is free and unlimited.
Agricultural subsidies worth at least $486 billion per year dwarf the $8.7 billion total committed to avoiding deforestation in tropical countries, a new working paper by the Overseas Development Institute finds.
GR: Eight billion of the 486 was probably spent on countering efforts to stop deforestation.
Experts highlight threat to lesser-known apes and mokeys from large-scale habitat destruction and illegal wildlife trade More than half the world’s primates, including apes, lemurs and monkeys, are facing extinction, international experts warned on...
What we really need is to see Homo sapiens added to the list.
Source Wildlife Defence League November 19, 2015Government Stoops to New Low in BC Wolf Cull Commentary by Wildlife Defence League Shocking new information has revealed that Liberal gove...
GR: Sorry to say this is not shocking; it's just another example of government acting against nature in favor of financial interests.
In a world with a burgeoning demand for meat, milk and eggs, regulatory policies around the use of biotechnologies in agriculture need to be based on the safety and attributes of those foods rather than on the methods used to produce them, says a...
GR: Forget about feeding more people; we need to be concentrating our efforts on producing GMO humans with limited reproductive ability.
New analysis reveals a strong correlation between precolonial institutions in Africa and current levels of deforestation.
GR: It's certainly true in the U. S. that century-old institutions are still the leading cause of deforestation.
Colorado State University's Diana Wall and coauthors make the case to integrate soil biodiversity research into human health studies in a paper published online in Nature November 23.
This research adds to doubts of human abilities to survive for very long on another planet or on this one if the ecosystems are replaced by concrete.
(Phys.org)—Justin Farrell, a sociologist with the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies at Yale University, has conducted a study looking into the question of why there is so much polarity regarding the opinions of Americans regarding global...
No surprise here either. As the harsh climate and ecosystem impacts of the crimes unfold over the next few years we might see feeble attempts to extract payments and punishments. Until money's influence is removed from government, however, the attempts will fail.
As the Paris climate summit approaches, a new study shows in detail that it is technologically and economically feasible for the United States to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the international goal of limiting global warming...
Yes. This has been blocked by the energy industry and its politician stooges for decades.
The global population is expected to increase by two to three billion people by 2050, a projection raising serious concerns about sustainable development, biodiversity and food security.
Nitrogen use is one of the leading causes of fresh-water pollution. It is one of many reasons that the growing human population and demand for food is not sustainable.