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sydneyst
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 Posted: Thu Jun 27th, 2013 05:59 am

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PBS Special On Earth Systems
Terrific Views form NASA Satellites

http://video.pbs.org/video/2334144059




Last edited on Thu Jun 27th, 2013 06:04 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Mon Jan 21st, 2013 01:24 pm

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Musical Group, "Elephant Revival" Plays and Performs Beautifully

http://musicfog.com/

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 Posted: Thu Jan 17th, 2013 01:01 am

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The river that DID run red: Residents of Chinese city left baffled after Yangtze turns scarlet


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2199800/The-river-DID-run-red-Residents-Chinese-city-left-baffled-Yangtze-turns-scarlet.html

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 08:38 EST, 7 September 2012 | UPDATED: 08:39 EST, 7 September 2012


It is the last thing the residents of Chongqing would have expected to see.


But the Yangtze river, which runs through the city in south-western China, turned a bright shade of orange-red yesterday.

The waterway where the Yangtze met the Jialin River provided a fascinating contrast as the red started to filter into the other river.




Meeting point: A ship sails across the junction of the polluted Yangtze River (left) and the Jialin River in Chongqing, China, yesterday

Last edited on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 01:04 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Sat Dec 31st, 2011 11:08 am

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Destination Namibia Shows Successful Conservation Effort

Link between Species Recovery and Eco Tourism

 

see video:

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1180689651#!/





 

for more information about Namibian history, geography, public health and ecology plus beautiful pictures:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namibia

Last edited on Sat Dec 31st, 2011 11:26 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Tue Nov 1st, 2011 06:28 am

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Breaking a Long Silence on Population Control

  Leah Nash for The New York Times

By MIREYA NAVARRO

Published: October 31, 2011

Breaking a Long Silence on Population Control","description":"A campaign by the Center for Biological Diversity is intended to start a debate about how overpopulation crowds out species and hastens climate change

Kierán Suckling, executive director of the center, a membership-based nonprofit organization in Tucson, said he had an aha moment a few years ago. “All the species that we save from extinction will eventually be gobbled up if the human population keeps growing,” he said.

In the United States, the birth rate has fallen steadily since the baby boom, from 3.6 births per woman in 1960 to 2.0 today, or just under the replacement level, at which a population replaces itself from one generation to the next. Yet even at that rate, demographers estimate, the country will grow from 311 million people now to 478 million by the end of the century, because of both births and
immigration.

The highest birth rates — from five to more than six births per woman — are occurring in a handful of nations in Africa and Asia, including Nigeria and Yemen. Yet among large economies, the United States is second only to Australia in the amount of carbon dioxide it emits per capita, according to the latest figures from the federal Energy Information Administration.

“Every person you add to the country makes all these tremendous demands on the environment,” said Joel E. Cohen, chief of the Laboratory of Populations at Rockefeller University and Columbia University.

But experts are reluctant to suggest an ideal birth rate. “There isn’t any magic number,” Dr. Cohen said.

As recently as the 1970s, the subject of population control was less controversial, partly because the baby boom years had given rise to concerns about scarcity of resources, some population experts and environmentalists said. Then came China’s coercive one-child policy and a rise in social conservatism in the United States, combined with the country’s aversion to anything perceived as restricting individual freedoms, be it the right to bear arms or children.

Some groups also fear whipping up anti-immigrant sentiment and opposition to family planning. Immigration now accounts for about one-third of the growth rate in the United States.

“We see reluctance and fear to deal with this issue,” said Jose Miguel Guzman of the
United Nations Population Fund.

Groups contacted for this article generally declined to discuss the issue or did not return calls.

The Center for Biological Diversity’s condom campaign, begun on college campuses last year, now includes video ads in Times Square and lobbying in Washington for more family planning services. It is an aggressive strategy even for the center, which is best known for barraging federal agencies with lawsuits intended to protect species and ecosystems.

The
condom campaign is intended to raise awareness and help reduce unintended pregnancies. “Reproduction is always going to be a matter of free will,” said Randy Serraglio, the manager of the campaign. “This is about getting people to make the connection.”

A study published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed how slowing the country’s population growth rate to 1.5 births per woman from 2.0 could result in a 10 percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury and a 33 percent drop by the end of the century.

But the notion that curbing births is an effective way to control emissions is not an easy sell.

When Oregon State University released a study two years ago calculating the extra carbon dioxide emissions a person helps generate by choosing to have children, the researchers received hate mail labeling them “eugenicists” and “Nazis.”

The study, which also calculated the impact of a birth beyond the child’s lifetime “should the offspring reproduce,” said that each American child generated seven times as much carbon dioxide over time as one child in China, and 169 times as much as one in Bangladesh. Reducing car travel, recycling and making homes more energy efficient would have a fraction of the impact on emissions that reducing the birth rate would, it found.

Last edited on Tue Nov 1st, 2011 06:32 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Sat Jul 16th, 2011 07:23 am

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Loss of Large Predators Has Caused Widespread Disruption of Ecosystems

ScienceDaily (July 14, 2011) — The decline of large predators and other "apex consumers" at the top of the food chain has disrupted ecosystems all over the planet, according to a review of recent findings conducted by an international team of scientists and published in the July 15 issue of Science.

The study looked at research on a wide range of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems and concluded that "the loss of apex consumers is arguably humankind's most pervasive influence on the natural world."According to first author James Estes, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, large animals were once ubiquitous across the globe, and they shaped the structure and dynamics of ecosystems.

Their decline, largely caused by humans through hunting and habitat fragmentation, has had far-reaching and often surprising consequences, including changes in vegetation, wildfire frequency, infectious diseases, invasive species, water quality, and nutrient cycles.

The decline of apex consumers has been most pronounced among the big predators, such as wolves and lions on land, whales and sharks in the oceans, and large fish in freshwater ecosystems. But there have also been dramatic declines in populations of many large herbivores, such as elephants and bison. The loss of apex consumers from an ecosystem triggers an ecological phenomenon known as a "trophic cascade," a chain of effects moving down through lower levels of the food chain.

"The top-down effects of apex consumers in an ecosystem are fundamentally important, but it is a complicated phenomenon," Estes said. "They have diverse and powerful effects on the ways ecosystems work, and the loss of these large animals has widespread implications."

Estes and his coauthors cite a wide range of examples in their review, including the following:

  • The extirpation of wolves in Yellowstone National Park led to over-browsing of aspen and willows by elk, and restoration of wolves has allowed the vegetation to recover.
  • The reduction of lions and leopards in parts of Africa has led to population outbreaks and changes in behavior of olive baboons, increasing their contact with people and causing higher rates of intestinal parasites in both people and baboons.
  • A rinderpest epidemic decimated the populations of wildebeest and other ungulates in the Serengeti, resulting in more woody vegetation and increased extent and frequency of wildfires prior to rinderpest eradication in the 1960s.
  • Dramatic changes in coastal ecosystems have followed the collapse and recovery of sea otter populations; sea otters maintain coastal kelp forests by controlling populations of kelp-grazing sea urchins.
  • The decimation of sharks in an estuarine ecosystem caused an outbreak of cow-nosed rays and the collapse of shellfish populations.
Despite these and other well-known examples, the extent to which ecosystems are shaped by such interactions has not been widely appreciated. "There's been a tendency to see it as idiosyncratic and specific to particular species and ecosystems," Estes said.

One reason for this is that the top-down effects of apex predators are difficult to observe and study. "These interactions are invisible unless there is some perturbation that reveals them," Estes said. "With these large animals, it's impossible to do the kinds of experiments that would be needed to show their effects, so the evidence has been acquired as a result of natural changes and long-term records."

Estes has been studying coastal ecosystems in the North Pacific for several decades, doing pioneering work on the ecological roles of sea otters and killer whales. In 2008, he and coauthor John Terborgh of Duke University organized a conference on trophic cascades, which brought together scientists studying a wide range of ecosystems. The recognition that similar top-down effects have been observed in many different systems was a catalyst for the new paper.

The study's findings have profound implications for conservation. "To the extent that conservation aims toward restoring functional ecosystems, the reestablishment of large animals and their ecological effects is fundamental," Estes said. "This has huge implications for the scale at which conservation can be done. You can't restore large apex consumers on an acre of land. These animals roam over large areas, so it's going to require large-scale approaches."

The paper's coauthors include 24 scientists from various institutions in six countries. Support for the study was provided by the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science, Defenders of Wildlife, White Oak Plantation, U.S. National Science Foundation, NSERC Canada, and NordForsk.

Last edited on Sat Jul 16th, 2011 07:24 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Fri Jan 7th, 2011 07:37 pm

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CBS Airs Threat to Great Wildlife Migration in Kenya

Development and climate change threaten myriad species at Mara River

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/02/60minutes/main5359753.shtml

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 Posted: Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 07:05 pm

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Earth Day 2010
Center for Biological Diversity


Make Earth Day About Overpopulation -- as Created in 1970


When Senator Gaylord Nelson launched the first Earth Day in 1970, one of his main concerns was the growing human population. Over the past 40 years since then, the world's population has increased from 3.7 billion to 6.8 billion, with the U.S. population jumping by more than half. Yet as overpopulation has become more and more of a problem, it's become less and less often talked about -- even on Earth Day, which should be a head-on confrontation of this, the mother of all major threats to Mother Earth.


This Earth Day -- today -- the Center for Biological Diversity is changing that dynamic in a big way. We're using the opportunity to distribute a quarter of a million of our edgy, conversation-provoking Endangered Species Condoms across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico in one of the biggest overpopulation campaigns in U.S. history. Our condoms -- in packages featuring six different endangered species with funny lines like, "Wrap with care, save the polar bear" -- have already generated a huge international buzz among the public and the media. Today is our chance to make that buzz deafening -- and you can help by spreading the word.

So this Earth Day, as you're doing everything you can to combat the rampant threats to species and habitat, from climate change to overfishing to habitat destruction, remember -- and remind others -- that no matter what we do to combat those threats, we can't keep them from dooming nature if our population keeps growing beyond the Earth's capacity. And keep an eye out for some of our 250,000 condoms being distributed by thousands of volunteers at a community event, university, or pub near you.

Check out our Endangered Species Condoms Project Web site now, where you can also sign up to be a condom distributor. Then read our press release and learn more about overpopulation.

Last edited on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 07:06 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Sat Feb 13th, 2010 05:58 pm

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Happy 201 Birthday Charles


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Last edited on Mon Feb 15th, 2010 08:24 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Thu Feb 4th, 2010 10:46 pm

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It's Global Population Speak Out Month

from: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org



excerpts:

This Tuesday, as part of our ambitious campaign to fight overpopulation, the Center for Biological Diversity announced participation in the second annual Global Population Speak Out, a month-long effort to publicize the crisis of unsustainable human population growth. The Speak Out is a critical way to raise awareness about overpopulation, which is driving every major cause of mass extinction -- but which very few conservation groups confront.

 
 Check out Overpopulation Web page, and make your own pledge to speak out this month on overpopulation.

Last edited on Sat Jul 16th, 2011 04:22 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Tue Feb 2nd, 2010 12:44 pm

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Gay Bradshaw's Blog Talks About Animal Consciousness

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/bear-in-mind/200910/the-world-trans-species-psychology
 



Gay also talks about elephants and octopi in her blog and articles for Psychology Today. 


See  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/bear-in-mind/201001/perfect-in-herself

 

Last edited on Mon Feb 15th, 2010 08:25 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Mon Dec 21st, 2009 01:02 pm

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Science News Reviews 2009 Enviro Headlines

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/50951/title/2009_Science_News_of_the_Year_Environment

The following stories were listed:



Routine Tree Deaths Double. linked to climate change. 

Plastics concerns. Animal studies link bisphenol A to heart arrhythmias and permananet gene damage.  Canda shows that some foodware products labeled BPA free contain detectable amounts.

Exxon Valdez Lives On. Oil still tains Alaska beaches.
(SN Online: 3/23/09
).

Warming winters
Some half of North American bird species are wintering in more northerly climes — evidence, some scientists say, of global warming’s biological impacts (SN Online: 2/10/09). Another study blames climate change for the recent failure of birds in the Netherlands to nest twice per season (SN Online: 2/24/09).

Rot and release

Decomposition of dead trees following hurricanes and tropical storms returns more than 90 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere annually (SN Online: 4/27/09).

Not so green

Substituting plant-based biofuels for fossil fuels will not diminish global greenhouse gas emissions if those biofuels are grown at the expense of tropical forests, a study finds (SN: 3/14/09, p. 17).

From Russia with soot

Forest fires and agricultural burning in Asia, not industrial pollutants, may cause the plumes of Arctic haze that often waft over northern Alaska and the Arctic Ocean in spring (SN: 3/14/09, p. 13).

Growing bald spot

The world-renowned ice cap atop Mount Kilimanjaro could disappear by 2022, new research suggests (SN: 12/5/09, p. 11).

Child’s play

A boy’s exposure to phthalates in the womb can subtly demasculinize his play during childhood And a study links prenatal exposure to bisphenol A with subtle, gender-specific alterations in behavior among 2-year-olds

Ozone-layer slayer
Nitrous oxide pollution — largely from deforestation, animal wastes and the decomposition of plant material — has become one of the leading threats to Earth’s protective stratospheric ozone layer (SN Online: 8/27/09).

Emissions trump efficiency

The rapid growth of China’s export-driven economy earlier this decade fueled a dramatic increase in carbon dioxide emissions that overwhelmed the country’s substantial improvements in energy efficiency (SN Online: 3/6/09).

Clearing the air

A decline in European aerosols, including fog and haze, over the past three decades has cleared the air but has also fueled 10 to 20 percent of the continent’s warming over the same interval (SN: 2/14/09, p. 9).

Clouded climate picture

A new simulation considers chemical interactions between atmospheric aerosols — the suspended particles that can contribute to haze over some cities (Los Angeles shown) — and various gases. The model gives scientists and policy makers better estimates of the climate-altering effects of greenhouse gases, scientists report (SN: 11/21/09, p. 5).

Leaden IQs and hearts

School-age lead exposure can harm IQ more than earlier exposures — and diminish brain volume

Foamy fallout
The chemical building blocks of foamed polystyrene have been found in the ocean, and laboratory experiments show that the foam degrades into small bits (SN: 9/12/09, p. 9).

Exhausted at sea

Emissions from ocean-going ships substantially boost acid rain on shore and may account for more than a quarter of ground-level ozone in some coastal areas, a study reveals (SN Online: 3/27/09).

Toxic gossip

Certain metal nanoparticles can indirectly damage DNA, essentially by provoking nearby tissue to relay a toxic message to vulnerable bystander cells (SN Online: 11/5/09).

Nonstick pollution

Drinking water may expose people to a persistent chemical used in nonstick products at levels approaching those triggering adverse effects in lab animals


Last edited on Mon Feb 15th, 2010 08:26 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2009 02:14 pm

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Sending Out an SOS for the Rain Forests:
Watch the Sting Video with Your Frog



link to Team Earth site:  http://www.teamearth.com/blog/entry/answering_an_sos_from_sting?utm_source=20090930email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20090930

Convened by Conservation International, Team Earth will unite businesses, non-profit organizations, scientists, educators, individuals and children in an international collective action campaign to address the most pressing environmental issues facing humanity.

Sydney's Community Contract Project would be a great addition because it mobilizes people in their own neighborhoods to reduce their own waste streams.  Contact Sydney for more information. 

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Last edited on Thu Oct 1st, 2009 02:46 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Fri Sep 11th, 2009 01:42 pm

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Holy Cow! Grazing Returns to Harvard Yard



(Carrie Branovan for The New York Times/ File)
see video: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/09/11/at_harvard_a_centuries_old_right_redeemed/

also see Boston.com article

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/08/30/sacred_cow_in_harvard_yard/?s_campaign=8315%5D
 
Harvey Cox, retiring Harvard Professor has reclaimed a Harvard Tradition.  As Hollis Professor of Divinity he discovered his chair was endowed with the right to graze cattle in Harvard Yard.  He is exercising that right by bringing his Guernsey, Faith (aka Pride) to one of the most storied commons in the United States.   Well, he did it for one day--September 10.

“I’m reclaiming a tradition that almost got lost,’’ he said last week on the porch of his summer house in Woods Hole. “Why can’t we have cows grazing in Harvard Yard? People started saying to me, ‘Why don’t you do it?’ I finally said to myself, ‘I’m going to do it.’ ’’

Last edited on Fri Sep 11th, 2009 06:40 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 04:31 pm

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Michael Moore's Radical Idea:
What to Do with GM

see: http://www.michaelmoore.com/


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