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The 2004 CBC Massey Lectures, "A Short History of Progress" | Ideas with Paul Kennedy | CBC Radio

The 2004 CBC Massey Lectures, "A Short History of Progress" | Ideas with Paul Kennedy | CBC Radio | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Each time history repeats itself, so it's said, the price goes up.

 

In A Short History of Progress Ronald Wright argues that our modern predicament is as old as civilization, a 10,000-year experiment we have participated in but seldom controlled. Only by understanding the patterns of triumph and disaster that humanity has repeated around the world since the Stone Age, can we recognize the experiment's inherent dangers, and, with luck and wisdom, shape its outcome.


Via pdeppisch
Mariaschnee's insight:

Ronald Wright argues that we keep spoiling our nest and destroying the land to grow food.  He is a good speaker, every entertainng, and maintains that we are fishing everywhere, logging everywhere, mining everywhere, destrying farmland everywhere.  I happen to agree.

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pdeppisch's curator insight, December 21, 2012 9:39 AM

Ronald Wright argues that we keep spoiling our nest and destroying the land to grow food.  He is a good speaker, every entertainng, and maintains that we are fishing everywhere, logging everywhere, mining everywhere, destrying farmland everywhere.  I happen to agree.

Gaia Diary
“The more we nurture the planet, the better and more natural a life we'll have.”  Chris d'Lacey, Icefire
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Carl Sagan - Pale Blue Dot

It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery. But is it not stirring to understand how the world actually works — that white light is made of colors, that color is the way we perceive the wavelengths of light, that transparent air reflects light, that in so doing it discriminates among the waves, and that the sky is blue for the same reason that the sunset is red? It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it
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Mapping Methods Prove Helpful in Protecting Coral Reefs

Mapping Methods Prove Helpful in Protecting Coral Reefs | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
“You can’t model, protect or preserve a ‘what’ if you don’t know what ‘what’ is and ‘where’ it is.” This is Curt Storlazzi’s philosophy in a nutshell when it comes to understanding the characteristics of coral reefs. A researcher and geological oceanographer with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Storlazzi is a part of a team of research scientists, operational scientists, electronics technicians, mechanical technicians, underwater camera system designers and safety officers work collectively to better understand the coral reefs of the U.S. and safeguard them. . . .
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Kenya’s green pencils

Kenya’s green pencils | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
How many great plans start out as ideas sketched in graphite? Globally, we get through 14 billion pencils each year. Now, Kenyan entrepreneurs are producing eco-friendly pencils from recycled newspaper.
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Roads are driving rapid evolutionary change in our environment

Roads are driving rapid evolutionary change in our environment | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Roads are causing rapid evolutionary change in wild populations of plants and animals according to a Concepts and Questions paper published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. The Dartmouth-led study looks at the evolutionary changes that are being caused by the way roads slice and dice our planet.
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Study identifies new pathway for Greenland meltwater to reach ocean

Study identifies new pathway for Greenland meltwater to reach ocean | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Cracks in the Greenland Ice Sheet let one of its aquifers drain to the ocean, new NASA research finds. The aquifers, discovered only recently, are unusual in that they trap large amounts of liquid water within the ice sheet
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Canadian glaciers now major contributor to sea level change, UCI study shows

Canadian glaciers now major contributor to sea level change, UCI study shows | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Ice loss from Canada's Arctic glaciers has transformed them into a major contributor to sea level change, new research by University of California, Irvine glaciologists has found. From 2005 to 2015, surface melt off ice caps and glaciers of the Queen Elizabeth Islands grew by an astonishing 900 percent.
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New shark of the Caribbean

New shark of the Caribbean | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Marine wildlife researchers have found a new species of shark in the waters off the coast of the central American state of Belize. The WWF says the revelation serves as a conservation message. 
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How pitcher plants evolved to become flesh-eaters

How pitcher plants evolved to become flesh-eaters | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Carnivorous plants around the world all developed their killer habit in surprisingly similar fashion, according to a genetic study of distantly related pitcher plants from Australia, Asia and America.
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Where to Find the World's Deepest Snow (Hint: Not the Poles)

Where to Find the World's Deepest Snow (Hint: Not the Poles) | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
In this week's Maphead, Ken Jennings explores some of the deepest snow in the world, with a road running right through it.
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New study helps explain how #garbage #patches form in the world's #oceans

New study helps explain how #garbage #patches form in the world's #oceans | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A new study on how ocean currents transport floating marine debris is helping to explain how garbage patches form in the world's oceans. Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and colleagues developed a mathematical model that simulates the motion of small spherical objects floating at the ocean surface.
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Drought identified as key to severity of West Nile virus epidemics

Drought identified as key to severity of West Nile virus epidemics | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A study led by UC Santa Cruz researchers has found that drought dramatically increases the severity of West Nile virus epidemics in the United States, although populations affected by large outbreaks acquire immunity that limits the size of subsequent epidemics.
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Carnivores more seriously threatened by roads than previously acknowledged 

Carnivores more seriously threatened by roads than previously acknowledged  | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
The effects of roads on carnivores have obviously been underestimated in worldwide species conservation. This is the conclusion of the first comprehensive global study on this topic, which has been published in the scientific journal Global Ecology and Biogeography by an international research team from Germany and Portugal. The protection status of several species that are severely affected by roads cut through their habitat should be reconsidered, the researchers say.
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Ancient undersea landslide discovered in Australia - BBC News

Ancient undersea landslide discovered in Australia - BBC News | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Scientists say the collapse next to the Great Barrier Reef dates back more than 300,000 years.
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Honeybees let out a ‘whoop’ when they bump into each other

Honeybees let out a ‘whoop’ when they bump into each other | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A vibrational pulse that was thought to be a “stop” signal between bees may actually be a startled response when they collide
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Three-way dance between herbivores, plants and microbes unveiled

Three-way dance between herbivores, plants and microbes unveiled | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
What looks like a caterpillar chewing on a leaf or a beetle consuming fruit is likely a three-way battle that benefits most, if not all of the players involved, according to a Penn State entomologist.

"Plants are subject to attack by an onslaught of microbes and herbivores, yet are able to specifically perceive the threat and mount appropriate defenses," said Gary W. Felton, professor and head of entomology. "But, herbivores can evade plant defenses by using symbiotic bacteria that deceive the plant into perceiving an herbivore threat as microbial, suppressing the plant's defenses against herbivores."

Felton's research looked at two crop pests—tomato fruit worms and the Colorado potato beetle—plant reactions to the pests, and the microbes that they carry. He presented his findings today (Feb 18) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston. This broad look at herbivore-plant interactions takes into account the entire phytobiome—the plants, their environment, their predators and the organisms that colonize them.
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A Kittiwake Perches on a Glassy Iceberg | National Geographic Your Shot Photo of the Day

A Kittiwake Perches on a Glassy Iceberg | National Geographic Your Shot Photo of the Day | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A kittiwake seabird looks for food from a glassy iceberg in this National Geographic Your Shot Photo of the Day.
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Honey bee genetics sheds light on bee origins

Honey bee genetics sheds light on bee origins | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Where do honey bees come from? A new study from researchers at UC Davis and UC Berkeley clears some of the fog around honey bee origins. The work could be useful in breeding bees resistant to disease or pesticides.
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Forest 'islands' offer refuge to wintering birds

Forest 'islands' offer refuge to wintering birds | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
The polar vortex of 2013 and 2014 brought the coldest winter many parts of the Midwest had experienced in decades. In Dane County, Wisconsin, it was the coldest it had been in 35 years.

By coincidence, that same winter, University of Wisconsin–Madison graduate student Christopher Latimer was gathering data in fragments of forests and woodlots throughout the county. He wanted to know whether these forest "islands" created their own unique climates—microclimates—and what that could mean for overwintering birds like the black-capped chickadee.

In a recent study in the journal Ecography, Latimer and his co-author and advisor, UW–Madison forest and wildlife ecology Professor Ben Zuckerberg, show that these forest refuges may mean the difference between life and death for chickadees and their overwintering songbird kin.

"All our predictions about climate change, from shifting temperatures to altered precipitation, play out over small-scale differences in microclimate, and they can be just as big as global climate," Zuckerberg says.
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Monitoring birds by drone

Monitoring birds by drone | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Forget delivering packages or taking aerial photographs -- drones can even count small birds! A new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances tests this new approach to wildlife monitoring and concludes that despite some drawbacks, the method has the potential to become an important tool for ecologists and land managers.
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Aerial Photos of Iceland That Look Like Abstract Paintings

Aerial Photos of Iceland That Look Like Abstract Paintings | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it

"Andre Ermolaev is a Russian photographer who takes incredible aerial and landscape photographs. In his series entitled Iceland. River., Andre shows us the beautiful environment of Iceland from above.

The rivers and streams shown, which are carrying sediment from volcanoes and glaciers give the photos the incredible colours and textures. The photographs could easily be mistaken for abstract landscape paintings."

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Can You Identify These Cities From Their Light Signatures?

Can You Identify These Cities From Their Light Signatures? | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
The light that a city emits is like its glowing fingerprint. From the orderly grid of Manhattan, to the sprawling, snaking streets…
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The Break in the Larsen Ice Shelf Is Bad for the Planet, But Huge for Science

The Break in the Larsen Ice Shelf Is Bad for the Planet, But Huge for Science | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A big chunk of Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf is about to break off into a new iceberg. This group of scientists is ready to capture every gruesome detail.
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Banned chemicals from the '70s found in the deepest reaches of the ocean

Banned chemicals from the '70s found in the deepest reaches of the ocean | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Crustaceans from the deepest ocean trenches found to contain ten times the level of industrial pollution than the average earthworm, scientists have shown.
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Arcella gandalfi

Arcella gandalfi | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Brazilian researchers have identified a species of thecamoeba with a carapace that resembles the wizard's hat worn by Gandalf, one of the most important characters in The Lord of the Rings, a series of novels by J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973). The new species are named Arcella gandalfi as a tribute to Tolkien's wizard.
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Growing Deltas in Atchafalaya Bay

Growing Deltas in Atchafalaya Bay | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
While the sea overtakes much of the delta plain of the Mississippi River, sediment from the Atchafalaya River is building two new deltas to the west.
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Vegetation resilient to salvage logging after severe wildfire

Vegetation resilient to salvage logging after severe wildfire | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Nearly a decade after being logged, vegetation in forested areas severely burned by California's Cone Fire in 2002 was relatively similar to areas untouched by logging equipment. The findings of a US Forest Service study shed light on how vegetation responds to severe wildfire and whether further disturbances from logging affect regrowth.
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Christian Allié's curator insight, February 5, 12:24 PM
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[...]
Additional findings include: Researchers did not find a difference in the abundance of native versus weedy non-native plants between logged and unlogged sites.
A common concern in post-fire logging is that logging equipment may serve as a source or transport for unwanted plant species. Researchers observed plant species which weren't dependent on fire-stimulated germination to be less affected by post-fire logging.
Many of these species emerge from deeply buried roots or bulbs, leading researchers to believe they were better protected from ground disturbances caused by logging machinery.
Researchers did observe, however, substantial changes in the plant community during the course of the six-year study. For example, the amount of weedy non-native plants across all research sites increased, suggesting that the plant community responded more strongly to environmental changes caused by high-intensity wildfire than disturbances from logging. [...]