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Photo by David Manning/Athens Banner-Herald, via Associated Press - The role of the opossum in suppressing populations of ticks that carry Lyme disease is highlighted in a new study on the ways biodiversity discourages the spread of disease.

Biodiversity in ecosystems, the scientists report in the Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature, dampens a pathogen’s ability to spread among humans. A study by a group of biologists, ecologists and medical researchers casts new light on a phenomenon farmers have known for years: the less genetic variety in a crop or a herd, the greater the risk that disease will decimate it…(more) The Less Biodiversity, the More Disease – NYTimes.com.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P03nNeYiJo&feature=related


Link to  40 Min Movie HERE “Beyond the Brink”

Beyond the Brink is a young filmmaker’s take on the climate change debate. 18-year-old Ross Harrison spent a year chasing up experts, studying the news and filming to create a short documentary that answers the ever-pressing questions, are we really causing climate change, and who cares?

The result is a 40 minute film the knowns and the unknowns of the science, about the risks, and about being hopeful for the future too. Interviews with Sir David Attenborough, Mark Lynas, David Shukman, Prof Dieter Helm, the UK Youth Climate Coalition, and Ross’ grandparents among others, offer fresh perspectives on a subject that saturates the media, divides the public, and yet is still meaningless to many.

At a time when the hype is blowing over and people feel put off by scandals, Beyond the Brink seeks to lay out how things really stand now. Beyond the Brink is a not-for-profit production available for free for anyone to watch and use. Please let us know if you intend to screen it.

JUST A BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE OF VIEWING EARTH FROM ANOTHER POV

High above the earth hover satellites; their eyes trained on the surface, capturing images from a perspective few humans will ever experience.

Breathtaking Satellite Photos Showcase the Fragile Earth as Art : TreeHugger.

Wondering what this Biodiversity Stuff is all about?

Here’s a great 3 Minute animation that may put you in the picture

“Awesome: Biodiversity Visualized! 3 min video from our friends at Vancouver Film School” – The TEEB Study / UNEP @TEEB

Relationships among organisms, or mutualisms, might be more important to global ecosystem health than previously thought, argues a research team involving UA professor Judith Bronstein

IMAGE: By harassing bees and other flower visitors, invasive Argentine ants prevent insects from pollinating the flowers of this Californian cactus (Ferocactus viridescens), which is now endangered. 

Click here for more information.

 

The authors present evidence that human impacts may be forcing these mutualist systems down unprecedented evolutionary paths.

“With global climate change, evolutionary change can happen very rapidly, over a few years,” said Judith Bronstein, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the UA’s College of Science and senior author on the paper. “That can be a good thing or a bad thing, we don’t know, but people need to start looking at those effects.” … more

via From bees to coral reefs: How humans impact partnerships in the natural world.

We are a nation disengaging ourselves from one of our greatest assets – the great outdoors. Time to reconnect.

Britain’s Natural Trust reaches out through their Outdoor Nation project 

 

to explore with people whether we are really losing touch with the outdoors and whether it matters.

Why have Britons lost touch with the natural world? | Fiona Reynolds | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.

Healthy Parks Healthy People

explores and promotes the links between nature and human health http://www.hphpcentral.com/

HPHP Central is a place to access and share the latest international research, innovations and programs that focus on the health benefits of human contact with the natural world.

Reed frog (Hyperolius sp.) in a water lily in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Photograph: Frans Lanting/Corbis

Around the world the picture is as bad or worse: the International Union for the Conservation of Nature believes one in five mammals, one in three amphibians and one in seven birds are extinct or globally threatened, and other species groups still being assessed are showing similar patterns.

Simon Stuart, a senior IUCN scientist, has warned that for the first time since the dinosaurs humans are driving plants and animals to extinction faster than new species can evolve.  (read rest of article….

UK Economic report into biodiversity crisis reveals price of consuming the planet | Environment | The Guardian.

Toxic Pesticide Spraying of Crops

COCHABAMBA, Bolivia — A fundamental critique of capitalism as the source of climate change pervaded the People’s World Conference on Climate Change, from the opening speech of Bolivian President Evo Morales

The main cause of climate change is capitalism. As people who inhabit Mother Earth, we have the right to say that the cause is capitalism, to protest limitless growth. … More than 800 million people live on less than $2 per day. Until we change the capitalist system, our measures to address climate change are limited.” (read rest of article…

Bolivia ‘people’s conference’ calls for system change, not climate change | Grist.

With nearly $800 billion in drugs sold worldwide, pharmaceuticals are increasingly being released into the environment

The “green pharmacy” movement seeks to reduce the ecological impact of these drugs, which have caused mass bird die-offs and spawned antibiotic-resistant pathogens.  by sonia shah As Pharmaceutical Use Soars, Drugs Taint Water and Wildlife by Sonia Shah: Yale Environment 360.

The Earth has Entered a New Geological Period. Human Influence Now Dominates the State of the Planet Compounding Uncertainty for the Future

llustration: Mike Pick

In 2000, Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen and his colleague Eugene Stoermer appeared in the news bulletin of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. In it, Crutzen and Stoermer made the case that the Holocene, the geological epoch that had held sway on Earth for the past 12,000 years, was at an end. In its place, with a start date pegged to the late 18th century commercialization of James Watt’s steam engine, was the Anthropocene, an epoch defined by the influence of humanity’s collective actions. Crutzen was an apt messenger—his Nobel came from work clarifying how the activities of a small number of people had inadvertently initiated a chain reaction that grievously damaged the globe’s protective layer of atmospheric ozone. (Read the rest of this article… Embracing the Anthropocene § SEEDMAGAZINE.COM.

Global Climate Change Cause Is Collapse of Nature

We are in the midst of the greatest mass extinction since the untimely demise of the dinosaurs. Fully half of the world’s species of plants and animals — from cuddly tigers to freakish blob fish — will be gone by the close of this century. The bewildering variety of ecosystems that sustain these living things are also being degraded or destroyed. What scientists have blandly labeled the “biodiversity crisis” actually amounts to the collapse of nature, and we are the prime culprit. (More… Conservation Goes Buck Wild, Again | Environment | Change.org.

Today we have the simultaneous events of income deflation and food inflation; two high-speed express trains coming down that tracks at each other, a financial crisis colliding with staggering crop losses, which are cutting deeply into available planetary food reserves. Prices of food are again beginning to soar again just as millions are losing the ability to afford a reasonable diet, though little of this is being observed or reported. But soon even the blind will see. (read on….)

International Medical Veritas Association » Blog Archive » Agricultural Apocalypse 2010.

In recent years, whenever natural disasters have struck, in what is increasingly becoming a globally interconnected and interdependent world, human beings have come together as an extended family in an outpouring of compassion and concern. For these brief moments of time, we leave behind the many differences that divide us to act as a species. We become Homo empathicus.

Yet, when faced with similar tragedies that are a result of human-induced behavior, rather than precipitated by natural disasters, we are often unable to muster the same collective empathic response. (read on)

Jeremy Rifkin: The Earthquake That Triggered A Global Empathic Response: What The Haitian Crisis Tells Us About Human Nature.

Office in the middle of the forest | Pictures.

Talk about environment friendly place for firms and offices. On the other hand imagine all the fresh air and peace you can get while working, no traffic, no air pollution, etc. You can surely expand your mind, creativity and motivation while working in these circumstances.

Genetically modified foods are being approved before we understand their long-term health effects.

In gearing up for the 2010 release of its super-genetically modified corn called “SmartStax,” agricultural-biotechnology giant Monsanto is using an advertising slogan that asks, “Wouldn’t it be better?” But can we do better than nature, which has taken millennia to develop the plants we use for food?

via Better than Nature? – David Suzuki — THE MARK.

How do we convince our inner caveman to be greener? By the time we wake up to the threat posed by climate change, it could well be too late. And if we’re not going to make rational decisions about the future, others may have to help us to do so. London Times, United Kingdom

Climate change may be real, but its still not easy being green – Times Online.

“Dreaming the future can create the future. We stand at the threshold of a singular opportunity in the human experiment: To re-imagine how to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations. It’s a revolution from the heart of nature — and the human heart.

“We also stand at the brink of worldwide ecological and civilizational collapse. We face a reckoning from the treacherous breach in our relationship with nature. We’ve been acting like a rock star trashing a hotel room, and it’s the morning after. But this hotel is planet Earth. The guest rules are non-negotiable. If we don’t change our ways fast, management may vote us off the island. (More.,..)

Kenny Ausubel: Dreaming the Future Can Create the Future.

Water is Now seen as a Commodity rather than a Basic Right

While some may assume that technologies often make women’s lives easier, it is rare they there are panacea for poverty, especially since water is increasingly scarce and expensive..

6.7 billion people along with wildlife, ecosystems, agriculture and industries share the less than 1% of the world’s freshwater that is potable and accessible for use. And this small amount is rapidly depleting due to climate change; increased contamination; and escalating need by people, farms and industries for daily use.

The increasing scarcity and privatization of water means a number of things for women. First, as private companies gain ownership rights to freshwater sources, women who could previously walk to them to obtain water are now being restricted from or even charged money for doing so. [3] Second, companies who purchase sources bottle the water to be sold rather than allowing local access to it, as it’s more profitable to do so. Even when companies build and make available taps to local municipalities, they sell it at costs that are prohibitively expensive, especially for poor women. [4] And since there is no substitute for water and water is absolutely necessary, without regulations, corporations can charge what they want for it, and people have no choice but to pay, if they can. (more)

via Women Need Water Rights, Not Just Technologies / Library / Issues and Analysis / Home – AWID.

It’s not only what vehicle we drive or how we heat our homes that determines our carbon footprint.

via Eat responsibly | David Suzuki Foundation.

 

EAT RESPONSIBLY

 

 

A chance to Become Human AgainPeople should use the climate change crisis as an opportunity to become human again, setting aside the addictive and self-destructive behaviour that has damaged their souls, the Archbishop of Canterbury said today.

Dr Rowan Williams, head of the Church of England and leader of the worldwide Anglican communion, told an audience at Southwark Cathedral that people had allowed themselves to become “addicted to fantasies about prosperity and growth, dreams of wealth without risk and profit without cost”.

The consequences of such a lifestyle meant the human soul was “one of the foremost casualties of environmental degradation”.

Dr Rowan Williams says climate crisis a chance to become human again | UK news | The Guardian.

Yabbering While Planet Earth Burns

The climate crisis is not a negotiable issue and politicians must start paying attention to science.

CAN we expect decent climate policy when most of the decision-making elite are ignorant of the real scientific imperatives, or believe they can negotiate with the laws of physics and chemistry? The answer is bleak, judging by the lead-up talks to the climate summit in Copenhagen in December.

Illusions on the edge of a precipice.

NEW UNITED NATIONS REPORT: The economic turmoil sweeping the globe has lead to a sharp spike in hunger affecting the world’s poorest, uncovering a fragile global food system requiring urgent reform, according to a report issued today by two United Nations agencies.The combination of the food and economic crises have pushed more people into hunger, with the number of hungry expected to top 1 billion this year, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Faroe Islands, Denmark

Faroe Islands, autonomous province of Denmark

define slaughter1

dolphin slaughterdk101

Enough

is

Enough!

More than 23,000 Dolphins brutally slaughtered is Enough!

By the thousands they are herded into the little cove in Taigi, Japan where there is no escape. In this video you will see and hear the terror of the dolphins as they try to flee only to be driven to shore where the brutal massacre begins.  Cutting them to pieces while they are still alive, babies and mothers, being stabbed and punctured over and over again, the screams of death by the dolphins are horrifying. What century are we living in?

September 1st — Every Year —

 VIDEO:

Don’t Let This Happen Again”

VIEW RIC O’BARRY’S WEBSITE : SAVE JAPAN’S DOLPHINS

Japan Annual Dolphin Slaughter

Japan Annual Dolphin Slaughter

August 24, 2013 Digital Journey
RIC O-BARRY TO RETURN TO THE COVE BACKED BY MORE THAN 100 WORLD-WIDE EVENTS

August 25, 2013 Cove Blue for Jiyu
SAVING JAPAN’S DOLPHINS – SEPTEMBER 1 – OVER 100 EVENTS WORLDWIDE

THE ANNUAL DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER IN TAIJI, JAPAN

Japan Dolphins Day 2013

Each year from September 1 to around the end of March, hundreds of dolphins are slaughtered in Japan. Fishermen round them up using sound barriers to disorient and herd the frantic pods out of their normal migrations into hidden lagoons like the one featured in The Cove.

In some cases, individual dolphins which are deemed as being ‘show quality’ (and, often, who look like Flipper, the iconic dolphin from the 1960’s television series), are selected by trainers and sold for upwards of $150,000 USD to marine mammal parks around the world, where they will remain in captivity performing as circus acts for the rest of their lives.

The remaining dolphins are then inhumanely killed. The butchered dolphins are used for food, while the Japanese government intentionally shelters people from the dangers of eating their contaminated flesh. Consumers of dolphin meat run the risk of mercury poisoning due to high levels of the toxin within the animals. Adding to this danger, much of the pricier whale meat they purchase is actually mislabeled toxic dolphin meat. While the Japanese government defends dolphin hunting as part of their cultural heritage, this tradition has serious health effects on its own people.

The more lucrative captive dolphin industry is the driving economic force behind the dolphin slaughter in Taiji. In the U.S. alone, dolphinariums represent an $8.4 billion industry. A dead dolphin fetches a mere $600, as compared with the hundreds of thousands that can be made from live ones. International law provides no protections against the killing of dolphins, and other slaughters occur in places outside of Japan. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) affords no protections for 71 (out of 80, known) cetacean species, including all dolphins and porpoises, which is why Japan and other countries can legally kill them by the tens of thousands.

Sea Creatures Belong in the Ocean. Orcas, Whales, Dolphins Do Not Belong in Cramped Aquarium Tanks 

THE COVE - THE MOVIE

The Movie. Recently Released and Winner of the Sundance Film Festival exposes long existing Japanese Dolphin Slaughter.

WATCH

” THE COVE”

 

 

VIDEOS

For The Dolphins: The Taiji Massacres Continue [Graphic]

Taiji, Japan, dolphin hunt and slaughter (2:59) BBC TV

Matt Damon Narrates the Story of Dolphin Slaughter in Japan

 

AND IF YOU THINK THIS IS ONLY HAPPENING IN JAPAN – THINK AGAIN

August 2, 2013 Environmental Investigation Agency …..

“NEW RULES BUT SAME OLD CRUELTY IN FAROE ISLANDS”

VIDEO

“THE ANNUAL FAROE ISLAND DOLPHIN/PILOT WHALE SLAUGHTER”

Read the rest of this entry »

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