Assisted Migration of the Fir Monarch

Assisted Migration of the Fir Monarch

So Say the Monarch, Assist the Fir and Persist Here

AwN | No matter what I do, I can't avoid it. I am forced to address global warming, even when I don't want to. I know that any of you that have read my blog before, already know that global warming isn't as interesting to me as what I feel are more pressing matters. Yet here I am again. This is an article about the monarch butterfly and the oyamel fir tree. I like the article and wish to present it to you because of the idea of "assisted migration". Far too often we are led to believe that humanity is only a destroyer, and not a creator. People are ridiculed for introducing species to new locations, and almost never praised, unless it is directly saving a human life. So I intuitively understand why the idea of assisted migration might be controversial and yet it irks me.

Scientists are trying to figure out a way to save the monarch butterly. So their idea is that they should introduce the fir trees that the monarch butterfly depends on at higher elevations, where they suspect the fir trees will thrive in approximately 10 years. I am going to sidestep the great hubris here and move on. I am not a person who believes that mankind should not influence his environment. That ship has sailed long ago. Mankind at this point, only influences his environment. All we do is alter our settings to make them easier for ourself and worse for pretty much everything else except rodents, raccoons, and dogs (slight jest). The fact that these alterations are not really good for the few thriving species is usually seen as a future or unreal problem altogether.

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The Good News, December 2015

The Good News, December 2015

It's not all bad...

It is easy to focus on the bad news when it comes to any news let alone the environment. I'd like to add an injection of good news every so often so here is some. First, there is the Paris Agreement, which contains a lot of vague non-binding language that might make some people happy, and certainly allows politicians to pat themselves on the back... wait, am I doing the negative thing again? Its hard not to get cynical when some of the victories seem so so mild. As usual Yale 360 put out a good piece on the Paris agreement, which you can find here. The Environmental Defense Fund put out this succint little emission victory notice, that may be construed as something positive. 2015 was a breakthrough year for the environment. Here's why.

The Senate has approved measures to reform chemical safety law which has been out of  date for half a century. A moment to celebrate: Senate passes bill to reform outdated chemical safety law. And finally the Dark Act rider promoted by Monsanto has been abandoned by Congress. Feel free to send me articles or news on social media for both the bad and the good. 

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China Indonesia, Plumes of Smog Monoxide

China Indonesia, Plumes of Smog Monoxide

China Indonesia, Plumes of Smog Monoxide

AwN | Considering the "air" is a main source of attention these days it seems as if there should be more widespread concern over the pollutants going into it, and yet it seems to me that the main focus of the public remains on simple CO2 concentration. I have said a hundred times that the global warming issue is not of great interest to me, and that doesn't really mean that I disbelieve in it. But I am continually disgruntled by the lack of attention to the environment as a whole in favor of this one issue. When I look at the modern world I see pollution of all sorts coming from all corners, and I see the affluent oversimplifying these issues in order to feel good about themselves and perhaps come out looking like heros. 

Yet I don't really see any sacrifice, as you might expect from heros, instead I see bargaining, and denial. Whether or not global warming is real, there are major problems with the combustion of fossil fuels, there are nearly just as many problems with clear cutting forests for agriculture, and especially lighting the debris on fire. Below are two articles dealing with the air quality. One is in Beijing, where most of the United States air pollution has been shipped, along with American manufacturing jobs. The second article is a lesser known but truly important issue of wildfires in Indonesia. Both issues border on "global warming" topics, but there is a more current problem. Selling people on the idea global warming is not always the easiest thing, and people are left ostracized and polarized. But if you talk about wildfires in Indonesia, nobody will contend that absurdly high levels of Carbon Monoxide is good for anyone, let alone all the forest destruction going on. Similarly, we are debating about potential global temperature rise over hundreds of years and meanwhile people are dying in China every day for the burning of coal. 

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Why Allow Whales to be Blasted with AirGuns

Why Allow Whales to be Blasted with AirGuns

Update: "Earlier this month Belize declared an official ban on oil exploration and drilling in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System and in seven World Heritage Sites. Hooray!...." Read More Belize Bans Seimic Surveys

Save Ocean Life From Oil Seekers with Airguns

AwN | This story has been making the rounds the past couple days or weeks and I have been hoping to get around to post it. I just found a petition you can sign here if you already know the story. Back in February 2014 the Obama administration in all of its genuine honesty about their global warming position allowed Air Guns to be used  in an area stretching from Delaware to Florida for the purpose of locating oil and gas. Just as the Obama administration recently gave its blessing to drill in the arctic for fossil fuels, they likewise gave their blessing to destroy ocean creatures with massive blasts of air. Sign the petition here. Contact President Obama through SaveBioGems here. (Frankly I wish "action" sites would pool their effort but there is probably some credibility in either of those links.

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The Growing Radicalization

The Growing Radicalization

The Radicalization of America

It seems to me there is somewhat of a fervor whipping up in America. It is a common flaw however for humans to over emphasize the modern predicament, and ascribe to it more meaning and intrigue than other points of history, all the while the reality is just that the earth is an intense and dangerous place when analyzed deeply. This is the kind of human error that is easily manipulatable by the global warming pundits. Its very easy and usually absurd to claim that each and every disaster is in some way more powerful than it could have ever been without global warming. Usually the anecdotal stupidity of those pundits is eventually overruled by some scientists who say its absurd to claim such and such disaster is because of global warming. This is a problem when analyzing our life and times. It is not always easy to decipher whether things are growing worse, better, or simply staying the same. So I offer the following with a touch of terpidation that I could be promoting the fear of radicalization when things are actually status quo. On the contrary though my hope is that people just relax and learn to be bipartisan and work with eachother.

That being said, it does seem to me that this country is getting to the point where differences are becoming so irreconcilable that both sides (remember, only two sides are allowed) are venturing further and further into extremism. Abroad, America has been fighting endless wars in countries that now have enormous populations of displaced people. These people are starting to join organizations en masse that were (in a way at least) the original source of the now ceaseless war. If the goal of the 'war on terror' was an invisible enemy that could be fought for ever, then half the wish was achieved. Now that the chickens are coming home to roost, we find that we have our endless war to fill the coffers and garner political support for either party, but we also no longer have an invisible enemy. 

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Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Text Released

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Text Released

Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement and the Stripping of Sovereignty and Oversight

AwN | The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a long discussed trade agreement that seeks to undermine national sovereignty in favor of corporate goals (money) and ethics (money). After five years of secret negotiations the full text of the deal has been released. The TPP would restrict nations' (people's) rights to control what is brought into their country, and the safety or ecological impact of that product. Corporations who abuse the landscape, animals, or people, and market hazardous materials internationally would benefit from less oversight and gain legal recourse in questionable situations to take whatever actions the corporation wants, at the expense of the everything else. 

On June 23rd 2015 the Senate of the United States of America approved fast tracking the TPP, which was negotiated in secret. A nation that prides itself on its freedom and justice, left its populace out of the discussion on the TPP and then decided to go ahead and 'fast track' the agreement, to leave less chance for public outcry to defeat the agreement. Obviously this is not the way honest freedom loving nations are run, but it is the way modern corporate America is run, and should tell you all which you need to know about the TPP from the start. 

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Pictures of the Ocean Life Overrun with your Trash

Pictures of the Ocean Life Overrun with your Trash

Ocean Trash

AwN | No one really wants to see this, but if we all just avert our eyes all the time maybe we will never get it. Maybe we will never take the steps to protect what we can't see. I know that life is hard and complex, but it will never sit ok with me that we, as a species, who thinks of itself as the greatest thing to ever happen, are so mindless and selfish in its day to day decisions. When comes the point that we take ownership of our actions and make real effort to change the way we live. It is not about forcing  others to do something, but doing something ourselves.

Scuba Divers’ Haunting Photos Show Devastating Impact of Ocean Trash on Marine Life

Ecowatch | Many of us know about the staggering levels of ocean pollution, but not all of us have seen a giant sponge sliced through by fishing line or have tugged back armfuls of trash lurking deep underwater.

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'Third Way' Technologies | Tim Flannery Interview

'Third Way' Technologies | Tim Flannery Interview

Can 'Third Way' Technology Help Solve Carbon Emissions' Problems?

AwN | Third Way technology is a term coined by Australian scientist author Tim Flannery to decribe atmospheric carbon reduction strategies that are not focused on energy generation, like solar, wind, hydro etc. I like Mr. Flannery's approach because the options he believes in are analagous to the natural carbon sequestration that makes the planet function originally. Likewise he questions the value and safety of the geonengineering options being pursued as short term solutions by governments today.

Of course the arguments hinge on the factuality of the dire nature of climate change, but I think pursuing mitigation strategies to carbon emissions does no harm. While I certainly question climate change in its various facets, and question people who unquestioningly accept it, in the end I have very little opinion or knowledge as to the factuality of it. Of course this is easy for me because I don't make policy, and I don't reap reward for the success or failure of either side. I merely want to assist people in thinking for themselves. With a more enlightened public there has to be a better chance of getting to the truth.

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