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Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News
Natural history news and information for animals, plants, and habitats.  See more at http://garryrogers.com.
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I Didn't Care About Climate Change Until I Visited Greenland — Now I'm Freaking Out About It

I Didn't Care About Climate Change Until I Visited Greenland — Now I'm Freaking Out About It | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
I was speechless.  At the end of the Greenland journey, we all wanted to commit to doing something. No one person alone can convince governments to price carbon, or industries to move towards cleaner practices and reduce carbon pollution. The question is: can we do something that has a measurable positive impact? In my case, as an oceanographer and explorer, I will try to help protect as much as the sea as possible from fishing and pollution, so that ocean life can be more resilient against the effects of global warming. I leave it up to you to think about what you are willing to do.
Garry Rogers's insight:

Human impacts are so massive and pervasive that "reasonable" compromises have no effect.  This story is about greenhouse gasses and global warming.  Other stories about plastic in the oceans, pesticides on the land, and our bulging population’s growing need for building, burning, cutting, fishing, grazing, hunting, and plowing are also untouched by "reasonable" compromises.  We need to redefine our compromises to identify effective vs. acceptable solutions.  It is nonsense to let special interests such as the oil/coal industry define reasonable solutions.  After all, corporations can’t vote.

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Friends of the Earth Petition to Lowe's to Stop Pesticide Sales

Friends of the Earth Petition to Lowe's to Stop Pesticide Sales | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

Home Depot responded to our Valentine’s Day wishes, and we are now in dialogue with the company. This is a critical step in the right direction, and we are hopeful that they will be a leader in bee protection moving forward.

But we still have a lot of work to do. Lowe’s continues to give us the silent treatment. 

Moving forward, we need to increase the buzz to secure strong commitments from Home Depot and send Lowe’s a strong message that they can’t continue to sell bee-killing pesticides

Garry Rogers's insight:

FOE's petition will go to Lowe's CEO.

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Sentience in Plants: Plants Respond to Sound of Chewing Caterpillars

Sentience in Plants:  Plants Respond to Sound of Chewing Caterpillars | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
Previous studies have suggested that plant growth can be influenced by sound and that plants respond to wind and touch. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri, in a collaboration that brings together audio and chemical analysis, have determined that plants respond to the sounds that caterpillars make when eating plants and that the plants respond with more defenses.
Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  Plants don't share many of the traits we associate with intelligence in animals.  Like animals, however, they can act to defend against injury. They can move their leaves and stems, and they can produce repellant chemicals.

Scientists usually view plants as static forms that build defenses as natural selection acts on reproductive success.  The traits associated with plant growth, reproduction, and dispersal are sometimes called strategies, but not in the sense that foresight and planning are involved. Considering the limited sentience plants exhibit, this seems appropriate.  Still, it would be interesting to devise an IQ test for plants.  We could find out which ones are the most sagacious.

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Tell Congress to Protect Your Right to Know: Oppose the DARK Act; Don't Hide Food Contents

Tell Congress to Protect Your Right to Know: Oppose the DARK Act; Don't Hide Food Contents | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, along with allies like Monsanto and Dow, have teamed up with Koch-backed Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas to introduce a federal bill that would deny your right to know what is in your food.

This bill, (HR 4432), which has been called the “Denying Americans the Right-to-Know Act” (DARK Act), is on the march and has just gained 20 new Republican co-sponsors, bringing the total up to 25. That’s 25 members of Congress who stand with industry in an effort to keep consumers in the dark.
 
"This backwards bill would:

  • Prevent states from adopting their own GE labeling laws.

  • Block any attempt by states to make it illegal for food companies to put a “natural” label on products that contain GE ingredients.

  • Prevent the Food and Drug Administration from requiring companies to label GE ingredients and instead continue a failed “voluntary” labeling policy.

"GE labeling is important to Americans, with over 90% consistently supporting transparency in the marketplace through mandatory GE labeling. In 2013 and 2014 there were over 70 GE labeling bills and ballot initiatives introduced across 30 states, with laws being passed in Maine, Connecticut and Vermont. The DARK Act would shut down these efforts and replace them with an undemocratic, hollow “voluntary” labeling scheme. In the 13 years that FDA has allowed companies to voluntarily label GE foods, a total of zero companies have done so.  This is not the solution consumers have been demanding."

Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  Here's congress teaming with industry to block our right to know what's in our food.  And this time it's the Republicans. 


Pesticide-resistant GMO crops pose a serious threat.  Now that we know pesticides are killing pollinators and other essential elements of our Earth ecosystems, we need to be able to discourage pesticide use by avoiding the foods made from resistant GMO's.

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New York Mets Smitten with Meatless Meat

New York Mets Smitten with Meatless Meat | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

"According to recent reports by The Wall Street Journal, the superstar plant-based company Beyond Meat is reaching out to the New York Mets, in hopes of garnering the support of mainstream American consumers. The major league baseball team sampled Beyond Meat's new burger, and David Wright, third baseman and team captain, plans to sign on as a spokesman for the company.

"To anyone who doubts athletes can thrive on a plant-based diet, Wright says that for him the Standard American Diet was detrimental: "Six years ago I cut out red meat. ... It made me lethargic." Wright has never looked back on the decision to cut down on meat, and is now using his celebrity to support the movement of others toward a plant-based diet.

"Beyond Meat offered free samples to fans outside a recent Mets game, and received a glowing response. One baseball fan exclaimed, "I've tried make-believe meat before and didn't like it. ... But I like this." ...

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Why Animal Rights?

Why Animal Rights? | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. Many of us bought our beloved “pets” at pet shops, had guinea pigs, and kept beautiful birds in cages. We wore wool and silk, ate McDonald’s burgers, and fished. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?


"In his book Animal Liberation, Peter Singer states that the basic principle of equality does not require equal or identical treatment; it requires equal consideration. This is an important distinction when talking about animal rights. People often ask if animals should have rights, and quite simply, the answer is “Yes!” Animals surely deserve to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation.


"Jeremy Bentham, the founder of the reforming utilitarian school of moral philosophy, stated that when deciding on a being’s rights, “The question is not ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but ‘Can they suffer?’” In that passage, Bentham points to the capacity for suffering as the vital characteristic that gives a being the right to equal consideration. The capacity for suffering is not just another characteristic like the capacity for language or higher mathematics. All animals have the ability to suffer in the same way and to the same degree that humans do. They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness, and motherly love. Whenever we consider doing something that would interfere with their needs, we are morally obligated to take them into account."

 

Garry Rogers's insight:

PETA's Practical Guide to Animal Rights is a bargain at $8.49.  Go to this post's source (http://bit.ly/1k8f6es) to place your order.

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Great biodiversity cartoonists

Great biodiversity cartoonists | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

Anyone who reads CB.com knows that I like to inject a bit of humour into my (often gloomy) messages. Sniggering, chortling, groaning and outright guffawing are useful ways to deal with the depressing topics conservation scientists examine every day. This is why I started the ‘Cartoon of the Week’ series, and now I have a compendiumof quite a few biodiversity-related cartoons. Cartoons can also serve as wonderfully effective political tools if they manage to encapsulate the preposterousness of bad policies, navel-gazing politicians or Earth-buggering corporate tycoons. A good cartoon can be far more effective at transmitting a deep and complex message to a wide audience than most scientific articles.

Who are these gifted artists that bring together wit, humour and hard environmental truths into something that practically every scientist  wants to include in conference presentations? I am inspired by some of these people, as I’m sure are many of you, so I decided to put together a little list of some of today’s better biodiversity cartoonists.

...

Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  You will love these cartoons.

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Africa's oldest national park counts on sustainability

Africa's oldest national park counts on sustainability | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
People living in and around Africa's oldest wildlife reserve—threatened by armed groups and oil prospectors, are pinning their hopes on sustainable development projects for energy, agriculture and tourism.
Garry Rogers's insight:

Of course, no development can be sustainable without population control and nature conservation. Without these goals, "sustainability" is just another word for "smash and grab."

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Canada Is Warming At Double The Global Average

Canada Is Warming At Double The Global Average | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
Canada has been warming at roughly double the global average over the last six decades, setting the stage for dramatic changes to the economy, environment and our very way of life. But government and business have been slow to react and Canada still has no national plan to address climate change.


"As Prime Minister Stephen Harper said recently: "No matter what they say, no country is going to take actions that are going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country. We are just a little more frank about that."


"It's not that we don't seek to deal with climate change, but we seek to deal with it in a way that will protect and enhance our ability to create jobs and growth, not destroy jobs and growth."

Garry Rogers's insight:

Squandering Earth ecosystems for jobs and growth is smash and grab burglary on a grand scale.

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Petition: Pigs Want Out

Petition: Pigs Want Out | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
For those who still eat meat it should become more and more important to know where their food comes from. And for those who no longer support this violence against innocent creatures it is still a...
Garry Rogers's insight:

It is important to teach children that cruelty to animals is wrong. We have laws for adults who did not receive the lesson.  The laws protecting animals are not as severe as the ones that punish child abusers, but they are there and they should be enforced. PETA is handling the petition.

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My Yardbirds

My Yardbirds | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
Photos of birds around my home on Coldwater Farm.
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Undercover Exposé--Pigs Suffer and Die at Top Breeder

Undercover Exposé--Pigs Suffer and Die at Top Breeder | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

"This video was captured by a PETA investigator at a leading supplier to other pig meat companies of pig semen and the sows who are artificially inseminated to produce more pigs to be slaughtered. It is the first-ever undercover look at the very beginning of the lives of animals who become bacon, pork chops, and sausages.

Nothing More Than Numbers
These clever and sensitive animals, who animal behaviorists have found are smarter than dogs, are identified by having a tag punched through their ears and become just another number inside the factory. Here are just a few of their stories:

  • One pig, known simply as 112688, struggled to stand and had to drag his hind legs across the filthy floor. Day after day, this pig lay barely moving. He was not even put out of his misery. Instead, he was loaded onto a truck and hauled to slaughter.
  • Pigs 112105 and 113436 sustained injuries that...."
Garry Rogers's insight:

They're going to die anyway, right?

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Petition - Ban Trapping!

Petition - Ban Trapping! | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

This petition represents an appeal by concerned taxpayers, citizens, tourists and visitors to the United States, to ban trapping on public lands in the United States and to outlaw the participation of young children in the killing of fur bearing animals. We believe that not only are the lives of children physically endangered by exposure to traps and wild animals, but they are placed in emotional and psychological jeopardy when taught to kill and treat living, sentient beings as unfeeling, inanimate objects. Trapping has been banned in over 85 countries in the world. But in the United States despite the fact that most Americans oppose its use, it is still largely protected by law with the exception of 8 states that have prohibited or greatly reduced its use.

Garry Rogers's insight:

Please sign the petition.

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Kenya Calls for Tougher Penalties for Wildlife Trophy Exporters

Kenya Calls for Tougher Penalties for Wildlife Trophy Exporters | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
Kenya's Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Kioko Kamula on Monday (June 30th) called on the judiciary to impose hefty prison sentences on foreigners found exporting rhino horns and elephant ivory from the country.
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New tests find bee-killing pesticides in 51% of “bee-friendly” plants from garden centers across U.S. and Canada

New tests find bee-killing pesticides in 51% of “bee-friendly” plants from garden centers  across U.S. and Canada | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

Washington, D.C. – "Many “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) have been pre-treated with pesticides shown to harm and kill bees, according to a study released today by Friends of the Earth and allies.

"The study, Gardeners Beware 2014, shows that 36 out of 71 (51 percent) of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contain neonicotinoid..."

Garry Rogers's insight:

The dangers of pesticides are pervasive and worth repeating. Weed managers spray millions of gallons of pesticides on crops, along roads, and in parks.  The U. S. Bureau of Land Management uses pesticides throughout the public lands of the 17 western U. S. states.  The farm upstream from my home has weed-free zones that are probably maintained by pesticides.  Bees serving as pollinators on the farm catch a full dose. Bees in yards and gardens downstream from the farm receive small doses that washed off the farm into the stream and into the groundwater.  When home gardeners respond to the massive pesticide marketing efforts and use pesticides around their homes, they easily reach lethal levels.

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World’s oceans filling with plastic

World’s oceans filling with plastic | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
At least 88 percent of the surface of the world’s open oceans is polluted by plastic debris, says a new scientific report. The findings raise large concerns of the safety of marine life and how this ocean litter may affect food chains.

"Those little pieces of plastic, known as microplastics, can last hundreds of years and were detected in 88 percent of the ocean surface sampled during the Malaspina Expedition 2010," lead researcher and the author of the study Andres Cozar from the University of Cadiz, told AFP."

"The results of the study “Plastic debris in the open ocean” are based on 3,070 total ocean samples collected around the world by Spain’s Malaspina science expedition in 2010. They have been recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), an official journal of the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS)."

"Ocean currents carry plastic objects which split into smaller and smaller fragments due to solar radiation," says Cozar. "These micro plastics have an influence on the behavior and the food chain of marine organisms."

"Cozar added that most of the impacts taking place due to plastic pollution in the oceans “are not yet known."


Garry Rogers's insight:

Every day the air, the rivers, and the barges carry our garbage out to sea.  Plastic might be the least harmful.

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Hot Arctic Water, High Pressure Domes Pushing Sea Ice Toward New Record Lows

Hot Arctic Water, High Pressure Domes Pushing Sea Ice Toward New Record Lows | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

It doesn't take much to shove Arctic sea ice toward new record low values these days. Human caused climate change has made it easy for all kinds of weather systems to bully the ice.


In the case of the past seven days, three moderate strength high pressure cells churned away over the central Arctic, bringing with them clear skies, air temperatures in the range of average for 1979-2000 above the 70 North Latitude line, and a clockwise circulation favoring sea ice compaction and warm water upwelling at the ice edge.

The highs measured in the range of 1020 to 1025 hPa barometric pressure. Moderate-strength weather conditions that during a typical year of the last century would have been almost completely non-noteworthy. Today, instead, we have sea ice extent testing new record lows in the Japanese Space Agency’s monitor.

Garry Rogers's insight:

On the chart, the red line for 2014 intersects the 2011 & 2012 as it reaches July. Will it fall below them as the year progresses?

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Pipeline proponents consider explosives in ocean to scare whales from potential oil slicks (Canada)

Pipeline proponents consider explosives in ocean to scare whales from potential oil slicks (Canada) | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
June 29th, 2014 (Stanley Tromp). The proponents of two controversial pipelines to British Columbia’s coast say they would consider deploying underwater firecrackers, helicopters and clanging pipes, among other methods, to ensure whales don’t swim toward any disastrous oil spill that might result from increased tanker traffic carrying bitumen to Asia.


“NOAA [National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration] identified oil spills as an acute extinction threat to the southern resident killer whales,” the U.S. department says in its request for information from the pipeline project."


“I am unaware that any whale hazing techniques have been, or will be, scientifically tested on actual whales,” Mr. Noviello said

Garry Rogers's insight:

As Ed Sibylline says, "No pipeline, no problem!"

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Keep Large Constrictor Snakes Out of the Pet Trade

Keep Large Constrictor Snakes Out of the Pet Trade | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

In 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed listing nine large constrictor snakes as injurious under the Lacey Act, which would significantly reduce the trade of these species as pets. However, in January 2012, only four of the nine species were listed. USFWS is still considering the remaining five species of snakes for listing and is soliciting public comments on the matter.

Large constrictor snakes have become established in parts of Florida and are consuming native wildlife, including endangered and threatened species. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey concluded that all nine species of these large constrictor snakes present a “high” or “medium” risk of becoming invasive.

Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  Express yourself.  Sign the Humane Society's petition.

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How should "Flathead National Forest 2.0" look? | Conservation

How should "Flathead National Forest 2.0" look? | Conservation | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
Montana's Flathead Forest is one of the most biologically diverse areas of our country, but it needs some work to become more effective for conservation.

"In the northwestern corner of Montana just next to Glacier National Park sits the 2.4 million acre Flathead National Forest. It’s a part of the massive and biodiverse “Crown of the Continent” ecosystem, and is part of a broader collection of protected areas stretching all the way down to Yellowstone. It’s home to more than one thousand native plant species, 70 mammals, and 260 birds. It’s home to iconic American megafauna, like grizzly bears and grey wolves, along with mountain lions, wolverines, lynx, and fishers.

"Starting in the 1930s, concerned citizens and government officials have worked to protect this region, and while it remains mostly unaffected by development, it is starting to suffer the effects of climate change. As glaciers disappear from nearby Glacier National Park, the region will see warmer winters and summers, decreasing snowpack, earlier spring melts, reduced stream flows, and a longer, more severe wildfire season. The animals there will increasingly need more space to roam as their food sources and habitats change with the climate."

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Emperor penguin population to slide due Antarctic climate change

Emperor penguin population to slide due Antarctic climate change | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

OSLO, June 29 (Reuters) - "Global warming will cut Antarctica's 600,000-strong emperor penguin population by at least a fifth by 2100 as the sea ice on which the birds breed becomes less secure, a study said on Sunday.

"The report urged governments to list the birds as endangered, even though populations in 45 known colonies were likely to rise slightly by 2050 before declining. Such a listing could impose restrictions on tourism and fishing companies."

Garry Rogers's insight:

The Emperor is typical of many species thought stable just a few years ago and now believed to be at risk.

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Don’t Forget Butterflies! Our Pollination Crisis Is About More Than Honeybees

Don’t Forget Butterflies! Our Pollination Crisis Is About More Than Honeybees | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
When the White House signed an order on pollinator health last week, it included all pollinators -- not just honeybees.
Garry Rogers's insight:

Dropping pesticides and interspersing food plants with crops will help pollinators, but there are other things to consider.  Construction, farming, logging, livestock grazing, invasive species, and toxic pollutants (including greenhouse gasses) are eliminating habitat much faster than farmers are recovering it.  Until humans control their population and correct the ways they use resources, pollinators and other species will continue to decline. 

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Friday 5: Good Week

Friday 5: Good Week | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
This last week was a great one for me bug-wise!  I did several insect themed citizen science programs and presentations with a variety of groups, from leading lessons for a summer camp for middle s...
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Temperatures over Greenland Fast Approaching 400,000 Year High, Risk 15-19 Feet of Additional Sea Level Rise

Temperatures over Greenland Fast Approaching 400,000 Year High, Risk 15-19 Feet of Additional Sea Level Rise | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
It's getting hot over Greenland. Not the kind of hot we think of as each summer rolls along. But the kind of hot that melts massive two-mile-high slabs of ice. How hot? Within a decade or two, Gree...
Garry Rogers's insight:

Worst case now is sea-level rise between 19 and 44 feet within 20 years.

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Late June 2014: Arctic in Hot Water as Sea Ice Thins and Tundra Fires Erupt

Late June 2014: Arctic in Hot Water as Sea Ice Thins and Tundra Fires Erupt | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

"Atmospheric warming due to human-caused climate change. It's the general measure we've used to track a devastating and ongoing heat amplification due to a terrible greenhouse gas emission. But if we were to look for where the greatest amount of that heat has accumulated, it would be in the world’s oceans. For from its air-contacting surface to its depths thousands of meters below, the World Ocean has captured 93.4% of the total heat forcing humans have already unleashed. The remainder is almost evenly divided between the atmosphere, the continents, and the ice."

Garry Rogers's insight:

Don't miss these informative discussions of global-warming events around the world.

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