keeping wild areas free of roads is a remarkably cost-efficient way of protecting biodiversity and keeping the planet cool
GarryRogers NatCon News
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Curated by Garry Rogers
keeping wild areas free of roads is a remarkably cost-efficient way of protecting biodiversity and keeping the planet cool
As roads increase, biodiversity declines, and Earth warms. The "Road-Free" initiative might have lost steam, but you can help. Go to http://roadfree.org and register to show your support.
Conservationist urge boat speed limits as report reveals whales suffering propeller lacerations, blunt trauma and severed spines
Wildlife speed limits have been set at numerous locations on land and sea. A good example is the one for North Atlantic Right Whale off the U. S. east coast (http://bit.ly/1odZ7xY).
"The "Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014" is harmful to wildlife and natural areas in many ways, and would force local land managers to give priority to trapping, hunting, fishing and shooting over all the other ways that Americans and their families enjoy Federal lands, such as hiking, biking, bird watching and kayaking. We all should be able to experience our public lands free from the dangers posed by the tiny minority of those who hunt animals. We also should be free to have those lands and wildlife protected from the dangers of lead poisoning (from lead bullets) -- an issue this bill expressly forbids scientists from even considering.
"Take action to protect wildlife habitat by calling your U.S. Senator today. It only takes a couple minutes, but your calls and phone messages have a powerful impact with legislators. You can simply say....
For more than three decades, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has been fighting to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system.
Our leaders should not risk harming Earth ecosystems. Without formal courses in ecology, they are susceptible to false arguments. When we allow special interests to supply experts and offer campaign support, nonsense receives equal time. Errors are inevitable. We have to take the action called for in this article, but we must recognize we are treating symptoms. Let's also look for ways to call for better nature education.
Here is the link to sign the Siberian Wolf petition to the Parliament of Latvia Stop killing wolves.
GR: Herders and farmers see wolves as economic threats; hunters see them as competitors. Neither group is interested in stable Earth ecosystems. Perhaps Latvians need a better education like, uh, like…. Hmm, does any country require natural history and ecology courses in its school curricula?
URGENT !!! STOP COREY KNOWLTON NOW !!! HE HAS BEEN GRANTED PERMISSION FROM NAMIBIA ; UNITED STAES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE / USFWS IS PENDING, TO IMPORT THE BLACK RHINO. THERE ARE LESS THAN 1,750 LEFT IN NAMIBIA, THE HUNT IS IMMINENT.
THE BLACK RHNIO , ONLY 1,750 IN NAMIBIA, TAG WAS BOUGHT IN JANUARY 2014, SINCE THEN IT HAS CAUSED A GLOBAL OUTCRY. THE WORLD IS HORRIFIED !! THE DEAL WAS DONE AT DALLAS SAFARI CLUB
COREY KNOWLTON, HAS MASSACRED 120 RARE ANIMALS IN THE WORLD IN THE LAST 10 YEARS , AND HE PAID $350 THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR THE RIGHTS TO KILL A CRITICALLY ENDANGE ...
The same thing goes on here in the U. S. This year the Arizona Game and Fish Department had to advertize to sell all the hunting permits it needed to sell. Some of those permits are for animals that are doomed by approaching development. They are going to become extinct anyway, so why not let hunters pay to kill a few. The Department needs the money.
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.
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.
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
FOE's petition will go to Lowe's CEO.
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..."
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.
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.
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.
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."
Every day the air, the rivers, and the barges carry our garbage out to sea. Plastic might be the least harmful.
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:
"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."
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.
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.
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?
"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." ...
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
As Ed Sibylline says, "No pipeline, no problem!"
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."
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.
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.
GR: Express yourself. Sign the Humane Society's petition.
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.
GR: You will love these cartoons.
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."
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.
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."
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."
The Emperor is typical of many species thought stable just a few years ago and now believed to be at risk.
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."
Squandering Earth ecosystems for jobs and growth is smash and grab burglary on a grand scale.
When the White House signed an order on pollinator health last week, it included all pollinators -- not just honeybees.
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.
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...
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.