Archive | May, 2012

Who’s afraid?

29 May

By Elizabeth Miller

Wyoming’s open hunting season on wolves could kill Colorado’s chances of getting a pack of its own

Almost 40 years passed before anyone thought to miss the gray wolf. Wolves, along with grizzlies, had been deliberately eradicated in western states in the name of protecting people and their livestock. The last wolf in Colorado was killed in the 1930s. By the time they were added to the list of endangered species protected by the Endangered Species Act in 1974, they existed only in a small corner of northeastern Minnesota.

 In the decades that followed, humans would undertake concentrated efforts to undo the damage of their ancestors, reintroducing gray wolves in Idaho and at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming in 1995 and 1996. But the move has been met with polarized responses: for every conservation group that would have howled in celebration, there was a hunter or a rancher loading a round into the chamber.

Although Colorado residents have long expressed positive feelings toward having wolves returned to the state, Colorado’s Wildlife Commission has come down on the opposite side, leaving Colorado out of deliberate reintroduction efforts. Were wolves to return to Colorado, they’d have to arrive on their own, migrating from the reestablished packs in neighboring states. And as Wyoming once again puts forward a wolf management plan which, if approved, would deprive wolves in that state of the protections of the Endangered Species Act, that path becomes more harrowing, and the likelihood of wolves gaining a foothold in the southern Rocky Mountains decreases.

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Earth First! Journal collective representin’ from Exarchia to Baltimore

29 May

Click on the poster to get a closer glimpse of the event in Greece…

An editor from the Earth First! Journal will be presenting a slide show of  ecological resistance movements in the U.S. and around the world, this weekend at gatherings in Athens, Greece (Friday) and Baltimore, Maryland (Sunday). The theme of the presentation “No System but the Ecosystem” intends to explore the overlapping struggles for social freedom and wild nature. Come check it out, if you happen to be in either neighborhood… Or, even better, invite us to come to your local bioregion!

Climate Change Led to Collapse of Ancient Indus Civilization, study finds

29 May

A new study combining the latest archaeological evidence with state-of-the-art geoscience technologies provides evidence that climate change was a key ingredient in the collapse of the great Indus or Harappan Civilization almost 4000 years ago. The study also resolves a long-standing debate over the source and fate of the Sarasvati, the sacred river of Hindu mythology.

Once extending more than 1 million square kilometers across the plains of the Indus River from the Arabian Sea to the Ganges, over what is now Pakistan, northwest India and eastern Afghanistan, the Indus civilization was the largest—but least known—of the first great urban cultures that also included Egypt and Mesopotamia. Like their contemporaries, the Harappans, named for one of their largest cities, lived next to rivers owing their livelihoods to the fertility of annually watered lands.

“We reconstructed the dynamic landscape of the plain where the Indus civilization developed 5200 years ago, built its cities, and slowly disintegrated between 3900 and 3000 years ago,” said Liviu Giosan, a geologist with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and lead author of the study published the week of May 28 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Until now, speculations abounded about the links between this mysterious ancient culture and its life-giving mighty rivers.”

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Apocalypse Soon: Has Civilization Passed the Environmental Point of No Return?

28 May

by Madhusree Mukerjee / Scientific American

Although there is an urban legend that the world will end this year based on a misinterpretation of the Mayan calendar, some researchers think a 40-year-old computer program that predicts a collapse of socioeconomic order and massive drop in human population in this century may be on target…

Remember how Wile E. Coyote, in his obsessive pursuit of the Road Runner, would fall off a cliff? The hapless predator ran straight out off the edge, stopped in midair as only an animated character could, looked beneath him in an eye-popping moment of truth, and plummeted straight down into a puff of dust. Splat! Four decades ago, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer model called World3 warned of such a possible course for human civilization in the 21st century. In Limits to Growth, a bitterly disputed 1972 book that explicated these findings, researchers argued that the global industrial system has so much inertia that it cannot readily correct course in response to signals of planetary stress. But unless economic growth skidded to a halt before reaching the edge, they warned, society was headed for overshoot—and a splat that could kill billions. Continue reading

Post G-8 Wrap up: How the US Sold Africa to Multinationals Like Monsanto, Cargill, DuPont, PepsiCo and Others

27 May

By Jill Richardson, AlterNET

Driving through Ngong Hills, not far from Nairobi, Kenya, the corn on one side of the road is stunted and diseased. The farmer will not harvest a crop this year. On the other side of the road, the farmer gave up growing corn and erected a greenhouse, probably for growing a high-value crop like tomatoes. Though it’s an expensive investment, agriculture consultants now recommend them. Just up the road, at a home run by Kenya Children of Hope, an organization that helps rehabilitate street children and reunite them with their families, one finds another failed corn crop and another greenhouse. The director, Charity, is frustrated because the two acres must feed the rescued children and earn money for the organization. After two tomato crops failed in the new greenhouse, her consultant recommended using a banned, toxic pesticide called carbofuran.

Will Obama’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition help farmers like Charity? The New Alliance was announced in conjunction with the G8 meeting last Friday. Under the scheme, some 45 corporations, including Monsanto, Syngenta, Yara International, Cargill, DuPont, and PepsiCo, have pledged a total of $3.5 billion in investment in Africa. The full list of corporations and commitments has just been released, and one of the most notable is Yara International’s promise to build a $2 billion fertilizer plant in Africa. Syngenta pledged to build a $1 billion business in Africa over the next decade. These promises are not charity; they are business.

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Mountain Lion Shot, Killed in Santa Monica Shopping Mall

27 May

The mountain lion lies cornered in an office courtyard in Santa Monica. (AFP/Getty Images, Santa…)

by Angel Jennings, Los Angeles Times

In the end, the mountain lion was probably looking for a place to call his own.

Scientists believe the male mountain lion roamed his way down the Santa Monica Mountains early Tuesday, likely following a runoff channel. When daylight broke, he found himself in the middle of the city and scared.

The lion was 3, and experts said that was the age to carve out his own territory.

“These young guys are looking for a home of their own,” said Jeff Sikich, a biologist with the National Park Service. “At this age, they are testing their boundaries and establishing their home range away from other males.”

Officials on Wednesday were studying hair and tissue sample and preparing genetic analysis that could help shed more light on his origins as a debate raged over whether police should have killed the lion.

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Four chickens liberated from Oregon egg farm

25 May

This week, Bite Back received an anonymous communique from the Animal Liberation Front claiming responsibility for the liberation of four chickens from an Oregon factory farm. The ALF communique stated this was the same farm from which six hens were liberated in January.

The communique reads, in full:

“During the second week of May 2012, two activists entered an egg farm located in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. 4 hens were removed from the premises and placed in good homes where they will live out the rest of their natural lives. This is the same farm where 6 hens were liberated last January.

This action was done to save these individual animals from the torture and misery intrinsic to industrialized egg production, as well as to demonstrate that although we may not be able to free every animal, we can free some. This was done in full solidarity with the anarchists and animal liberationists facing state repression here on the west coast and abroad.

Freeing the prisoners.
ALF

**We are intentionally omitting the name, address, and specifics of the farm targeted. The relatively small number of animals taken will most likely, once again, go unnoticed by the farmer and will hopefully allow us to take advantage of the non-existent security on this farm for future raids and investigations.”

27 BISON, INCLUDING NEWBORNS, CAPTURED NEAR YELLOWSTONE

24 May

Cross Posted from Buffalo Field Campaign

27 wild American buffalo (bison), members of America’s only continuously wild population, were captured this morning near West Yellowstone. The operation was led by the Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) and took place at the MDOL’s Duck Creek bison trap, located on private land adjacent to the western edge of Yellowstone National Park. 12 newborn calves, 12 mothers, and three two-year-olds were relocated in the operation.

Other state and federal agencies participating in todays capture operation include the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (MFWP), the National Park Service, the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the Gallatin County Sheriffs Office.

The buffalo were sorted by age inside the trap–with newborns being separated from their mothers–loaded onto livestock trailers, transported into Yellowstone National Park, and released at Fountain Flats early this afternoon. It is unknown whether any animals suffered injuries as a result of confinement and transportation.

 

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Earth First! Cascadia Bioregional Rendezvous

24 May

June 20th – 25th in a forest near Portland, OR

Cascadia is known for dense forests of giant trees, cold rushing waters, thriving biodiversity, and for biocentric resistance!

This summer we will gather to celebrate, strengthen, and expand the movement to defend the wild from the constant assaults of the dominant culture.

Join us for woods craft, games and stealth activities, workshops on action planning and campaigning, and ways to plug into active resistance against coal exports, forest destruction, the killing of wolves.  Stay for the naked pyramids and rowdy fires, quiet story-time and sing-a-longs, and a Summer Solstice Revel on June 20th.

Bring your skills and knowledge and come prepared for primitive and self-sufficient camping, to contribute to camp maintenance, and to respect the wild place we will be camping.  Come if you can’t make it to the national rondy or catch a ride or a rider to the national rondy back east.

For more information and rideshare check us out on Facebook or at our website cascadia2012.com.

See you in the woods!

– Lumen and the rest of the EF! Cascadia Bioregional Rendezvous planning crew

Top 10 new species of 2011

24 May

By Thomas H. Maugh II / Los Angeles Times May 23, 2012

Top 10 lists are standard fodder for media: the 10 best dressed, the 10 best-looking, the 10 most wanted, etc. But the International Institute for Species Exploration, headquartered at Arizona State University, has a new take on such lists. For the last five years, the institute has been issuing a top 10 list of the quirkiest, most bizarre and just plain interesting new species discovered the previous year. This year’s list was released Wednesday, on the 305th birthday of Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, who created the modern system of plant and animal names and classifications.

Scientists have so far discovered and named nearly 2 million species, but researchers estimate that there are at least 8 million species living on Earth, and some say the number could run as high as 100 million — although most think the max is somewhere around 12 million. Every year, about 15,000 to 20,000 new ones are classified. This year’s list includes a sneezingmonkey, a venomous jellyfish, an underworld worm and a fungus named for a TV cartoon. “The top 10 is intended to bring attention to the biodiversity crisis and unsung species explorers and museums who continue a 250-year tradition of discovering and describing the millions of kinds of plants, animals and microbes with whom we share this planet,” said entomologist Quentin Wheeler, who directs the institute.

And, drum roll please, this year’s top 10 list:

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