From Fundación PROTEGER:
… with respect!
From Fundación PROTEGER:
… with respect!
Living in Nepal, every day I see Western tourists enjoying the marvels this ancient city has to offer: the ornate temples, the colorful cultural traditions, the food-stealing monkeys and most of all, its rich biodiversity. In South Nepal, there are several opportunities to go on jungle safaris. The popular way to do this is by riding elephants. It sounds quite exotic, doesn’t it?
Here’s what the tourists don’t know: The only time these elephants are allowed to walk is when they’re working. The rest of the time, they stand in one place with their legs chained, unable to move. This torment can last up to several days. It not only takes place at public tourist attractions, but also at privately owned resorts. Not only is this practice cruel, but it also creates health issues, as their foot pads get bruised and their nails cracked. Due to poor animal husbandry practices, eventually their feet can become infected and result in diseases like osteomyelitis, which is not only painful, but fatal if not properly cared for.
In many countries like Thailand, Nepal, India and Cambodia, working captive elephants are used in tourism, logging, entertainment and religious ceremonies. These majestic creatures suffer in so many different ways throughout their lives, starting with inhumane training methods to break their spirits when they are young, so that they can become easier to train. When the elephants are not helpful or compliant, they’re punished with verbal and physical abuse.
These are some things you should know about elephant rides or so-called jungle safaris:
Many of the elephants are blind and wounded.
Many suffer from tuberculosis, and even though treatment is given to them (generally), they rarely get a single day of sick leave to rest.
They are overworked. In Chitwan, Nepal, the elephants are forced to go on approximately six rides a day, including during hot midday hours, taking up to five or six people on their back every day of the week. The howdah, or seat, is a heavy structure of metal or wood that injures an elephant’s back. As large as elephants are, their spines are not strong enough to bear the weight of humans.
They are dehydrated and undernourished. Most of the elephants drink dirty water and lack access to fresh fodder.
Elephants are chained excessively when off work (at night or during the day) and often cannot move at all. This means they have to stand in their own excrement and urine, which causes infectious diseases like Osteomyelitis.
So think before you act like a mere tourist and don’t fall for these traps. Insist that they be treated kindly when you see some. To read more click this link!
The recent landmark Canadian Supreme Court decision granting land rights to the Tsilhqot’in First Nations for a long-contested 1,750-square-kilometer swath of British Columbia could be a conservation coup of historic proportions, with consequences for wilderness battles raging across the country.
“Aboriginal title confers the right to use and control the land and to reap the benefits flowing from it,” wrote Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin.
Countless contested land claims—including areas with proposed mines and oil pipelines—will now be called into question.
Past rulings have established a duty for government and industry to seek “consultation” from First Nations over proposed developments and resource extraction. No longer. The unanimous Supreme Court decision requires the consent of native title holders.
“We’ve pretty much blown the doors off the colonial notion of denying indigenous land rights,” said Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.
Past court rulings had distinguished between title claims based on permanent habitation by First Nations and land used only seasonally. The Supreme Court ruling does away with that distinction.
“This decision goes so much further than previous decisions and gives rights to the land—not in a token way, where you establish traditional use sites for ceremonial or burial places,” said Peter Wood, a campaign director for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society British Columbia. “This extends to the total usage of land required to maintain their traditional way of life. Essentially this says first rights of the land goes to First Nations. We’re still contemplating the repercussions, but it seems like a game changer.”
To read more click the link at the top!
The first generation of biotech crops has failed. And failed badly. Now the biotech industry is stepping up the chemical arms race in an effort to make up for the failure of Monsanto’s Roundup. Excessive use of Roundup by GMO farmers has led million of acres of U.S. farmland filled with Roundup resistant superweeds.
To combat this, Dow Chemical is petitioning the EPA and USDA to approve a new Enlist GMO “Agent Orange” corn and soy to tolerate 2,4-D, a main chemical component of the Vietnam era defoliant linked to birth defects, cancer, and hormone disruption, and glyphosate, the main chemical in Monsanto’s best selling weedkiller Roundup. On top of these horrific health problems, 2,4-D is widely known among farmers to be difficult to control during application, leading to drift onto neighboring farms, causing major crop damage and contaminating waterways.
These facts have greatly alarmed scientists and farmers alike, leading a former top Reagan USDA official to declare 2,4-D one of “the most dangerous chemicals out there.”
Tell the USDA to Dump Dow’s Dangerous New Enlist Agent Orange GMOs!
Today, in alliance with Oxfam New Zealand, Forest & Bird, 350 Aotearoa, Generation Zero and WWF, we are launching something really special.
It’s called Climate Voter and I want you to be amongst the first to take part: www.climatevoter.org.nz
Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time. Future generations will judge us on our response to it, perhaps more than anything else.
It’s the greatest challenge but also the greatest opportunity, because if we get this right we can ensure our grandchildren have a safer, cleaner and more secure future. But if we get it wrong we risk the quality of life for not only all humans but also every other life form on the planet.
The election in Sept 2014 is one of those moments when all of us here in New Zealand have a chance to make a difference. Through Climate Voter we aim to mobilise thousands of climate concerned citizens to make their voice heard.
Climate Voter is about demanding that All political parties must take climate change seriously.
You can be a Climate Voter. You can use your vote this election to support action on climate change.
SeaWorld could be in trouble because of “Granny,” the world’s oldest known living orca. The 103-year-old whale (also known as J2) was recently spotted off Canada’s western coast with her pod — her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But while the Granny sighting is thrilling for us, it’s problematic for SeaWorld.
First of all, SeaWorld has claimed that “no one knows for sure how long killer whales live,” when simple figures or even living and thriving examples — like Granny — can give us a pretty good idea. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation project estimates that whales born in captivity only live to 4.5 years old, on average; many of SeaWorld’s orcas die before they reach their 20s. Perhaps because of their reduced lifespans, the whales are forced to breed continuously and at perilously young ages, which could also diminish their overall health.
Another key aspect of an orca’s life — which is missing in captivity — is the ability to swim up to 100 miles per day. When Granny was spotted earlier this week, she had just finished an 800-mile trek from northern California along with her pod. According to animal welfare advocates, long-distance swimming is integral to orcas’ psychological health and well-being; SeaWorld, however, has gone on record claiming that orcas do not need to swim hundreds of miles regularly, ostensibly to defend the parks’ cruel practice of keeping massive, powerful orcas confined to cramped tanks.
To read more click the link at the top!
I have some fantastic news for you. Japanese whaling in the Antarctic Ocean has been ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice!
This is a remarkable end to a chapter in the battle to stop hundreds of whales being killed each year in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica in the name of “research”.
We want to thank you. This is your victory. Together, we’ve campaigned since 1987 to stop Japan’s annual “scientific” whaling expedition and expose it for what it really is – a cover for continued commercial hunting. And now one of the most respected courts in the world has agreed with us.
But this isn’t the end of the story. While this may stop Japan’s whaling efforts in the Southern Ocean, Japan could still try and find new excuses to continue this cull under another guise.
The fight must continue.
Defending our oceans means compelling governments to support a huge global network of marine reserves from Antarctica to the Arctic that will act as sanctuaries for the diverse, beautiful, weird and wonderful species all over the world.
The world’s oceans are under threat from overfishing, mining, drilling, pollution and climate change. A global network of ocean sanctuaries will breath life back into our oceans and create safe havens for all ocean creatures including whales.
There is still a whole lot to be done, but together we’ve shown that nothing is impossible. Millions of us working together can protect the last wildernesses on the planet. Be proud of what you’ve achieved today and I hope you’ll continue to be part of it.
For the oceans,
Nick and the whole crew at Greenpeace
According to Popular Mechanics, Henry Ford’s first Model-T was built to run on hemp gasoline and the CAR ITSELF WAS CONSTRUCTED FROM HEMP! On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, ‘grown from the soil,’ had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel. Imagine driving a car made from plant fibers and that used plant-based fuel for operation?
* This just about says it all! *
In a surprising move that is sure to send shock waves across the entire captive whale and dolphin industry, a California lawmaker will propose legislation to outlaw Shamu shows at SeaWorld San Diego.
State Assemblymember Richard Bloom, D–Santa Monica, will introduce Friday the Orca Welfare and Safety Act, which would make it illegal to “hold in captivity, or use, a wild-caught or captive-bred orca for performance or entertainment purposes.” The bill would also ban artificial insemination of captive killer whales in California and block the import of orcas or orca semen from other states.
Violators would face a fine up to $100,000 and/or six months in a county jail.
“There is no justification for the continued captive display of orcas for entertainment purposes,” Bloom declared in a written statement prior to a press conference to be held at the Santa Monica Pier. “These beautiful creatures are much too large and far too intelligent to be confined in small, concrete pens for their entire lives. It is time to end the practice of keeping orcas captive for human amusement.”
According to Bloom, the law would be “the most comprehensive protection law for captive orcas in the United States in over 40 years.”
Under the terms of the bill, all 10 orcas held in tanks at SeaWorld San Diego, the only California facility that has whales, “shall be rehabilitated and returned to the wild where possible.” If that is not possible, then the whales must be “transferred and held in a sea pen that is open to the public and not used for performance or entertainment purposes.”
Exempt from the legislation are any orcas held for rehabilitation after a rescue or stranding, or for research purposes. But even these animals would have to be returned to the ocean or sent to a sea pen.
Hemp fabric was smashed down into thin sheets to make the world’s first paper. 75-90% of all paper in the world was made with hemp fiber until 1883. The Gutenberg Bible, Thomas Paine’s pamphlets, and the novels of Mark Twain were all printed on hemp paper. Both the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were drafted on hemp, and then copied onto parchment.
Both the long bast fiber and the short bast fiber (hurd or pulp) can be used to make paper. Fiber paper is thin, tough, brittle, and rough. Pulp paper is not as strong, but is easier to make, softer, thicker, and preferable for most everyday purposes.
In the next 20-30 years the paper demand is supposed to at least double due to the economic emergence of third world countries, and the ever-expanding worldwide population. There is no way to meet this demand without clear-cutting every tree in the entire world. Paper is big business, and 93% of the world’s paper is made of wood. Think about how much of a difference it would make if commercial industries like San Francisco hotels and Miami hotels were to adopt hemp toilet paper. That alone could make an enormous difference in the way the war on global warming is fought.
To read more click the link at the top!
With the loss of their land, the Penan fear they will lose their independence
In the damp, lush and humid rainforest of northern Sarawak, on Borneo, the indigenous Penan tribe who have lived on the island for centuries fight a daily battle against the logging juggernauts who want to raze their homes to the ground.
Living off the land and in tune with their natural environment, 12,000 of the hunter-gatherer Penan remain – some living nomadically, relying on the forest for their existence.
Having suffered decades of logging, plantation developments, massive dams and a government who have not protected their rights, the decimated Penan have finally decided to stand-up to the corporate giants by banding together to stand firm – and they have finally received recognition.
In October, Malaysia’s highest court, the Federal court passed down a ruling that the Penan who live in the Long Lamai region have a right to legally claim land as theirs, complete with protection from loggers or dam builders.
With veteran Malaysian land rights lawyer and politician Baru Bian representing them, the Penan are fighting against the logging firm Samling Global, who currently have the legal rights to the land.
It will mark the first time the Sarawak state government has to recognize the Penan’s rights to their land and mark the culmination of four-years of work since 18 Penan villages banded together to form the ‘Penan Peace Park’.
Have a look at this amazing video showing how one species can have a massive cascading effect on the entire ecosystem in which it lives… and even alter the geography of the area.
This may be one of the most important conservation concepts to come out of natural science in the last half century. The thing about this case study is that the same can be applied to apex predators around the world: lions in Africa, tigers in Asia, sharks, bears and wild dogs are all species sitting at the top of their respective food chains, creating stability amongst the species they prey on and maintaining the health of plants animals right down the trophic ladder.
Hempcrete is a mixture of hemp hurds (shives) and lime (possibly including natural hydraulic lime, sand, pozzolans or cement) used as a material for construction and insulation. It is marketed under names like Hempcrete, Canobiote, Canosmose, and Isochanvre. Hempcrete is easier to work with than traditional lime mixes and acts as an insulator and moisture regulator. It lacks the brittleness of concrete and consequently does not need expansion joints.
However, the typical compressive strength is around 1 MPa, around 1/20 that of residential grade concrete. Hempcrete walls must be used together with a frame of another material that supports the vertical load in building construction, as Hempcrete’s density is 15% that of traditional concrete. Like other plant products, the hemp crop absorbs CO2 gas as it grows, retaining the carbon and releasing the oxygen. 165 kg of carbon can be theoretically absorbed and locked up by 1 m3 of hempcrete wall over many decades.
I’ve sent a suggestion to Change.org via their site, and am curious what their response will, if any. This is the suggestion:
Is it not time that we got the people in charge of big corporations out of their ivory towers and into the limelight? Plaster their faces all over the web and hold them accountable for their misconduct? We need faces and names and emails, to be able to bombard them with concerns! The same with the shareholders: if anyone is content to pocket part of the profit of an organisation, they should be held partly responsible for the actions of said organisation. Please respond.
Ralphie A Burcke.
Request #207846 “Making big corporations non…” created.
Ralphie: “Maybe they should privatize air aswell!? People, are you starting to get the picture? Your government is not in charge, the big corporations are!”
From The Mind Unleashed:
Bayer has sued the European Commission to overturn a ban on the pesticides that are killing millions of bees around the world. A huge public push won this landmark ban only months ago — and we can’t sit back and let Big Pesticide overturn it while the bees vanish.
Bayer and Syngenta, two of the world’s largest chemical corporations, claim that the ban is “unjustified” and “disproportionate.” But clear scientific evidence shows their products are behind the massive bee die-off that puts our entire food chain in peril.
This past summer, 37 million bees were discovered dead on a single Canadian farm. And unless we act now, the bees will keep dying. We have to show Bayer now that we won’t tolerate it putting its profits ahead of our planet’s health. If this giant corporation manages to bully Europe into submission, it would spell disaster for the bees.
The dangerous chemical Bayer makes is a neonicotinoid, or neonic. Neonics are soaked into seeds, spreading through the plant and killing insects stopping by for a snack. These pesticides can easily be replaced by other chemicals which don’t have such a devastating effect on the food chain. But companies like Bayer and Syngenta make a fortune from selling neonics — so they’ll do everything they can to protect their profits.
The EU banned these bee-killers this past May, after a massive public campaign and a clear scientific finding from the European Food Safety Authority that neonics pose huge risks to bee populations. Bayer fought against the ban every step of the way, using tactics taken from Big Tobacco — pouring millions into lobbying and fake science to stop decision-makers from taking action.
From Recycled art Foundation:
Super Typhoon Haiyan, called Yolanda in the Philippines, struck the Philippines in the early morning hours of November 8, 2013. It is likely one of the strongest tropical cyclones to make landfall in recorded history. It made landfall producing sustained winds at 195 miles per hour (mph) with gusts as high as 225 mph.
Super Typhoon Haiyan is no doubt the single most extraordinary storm I have ever seen during the satellite era. We might never know exactly how powerful the storm was, but looking at the satellite imagery, it was possibly the scariest thing I have ever seen. In this post, I’ll share some of that incredible satellite imagery, plus some video from the Philippines.
CNN is reporting that at least three people have died from Haiyan. Unfortunately, I expect that number to grow as search and rescue procedures begins. I have seen pictures of storm surge flooding towns and strong winds blowing debris into the air. This storm struck as a Category 5 storm, which is defined as:
“Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.” – National Hurricane Center
To read or see more click link at the top!
Ralphie: “Another higher being has fallen victim to the folly of Man!”
July 29, 2013, a sperm whale was stranded on Tershelling, a northern island in the Netherlands. A rescue attempt was attempted, but unfortunately the whale died. A young adult at 13.5 meters was taken for a necropsy at the port of Harlington. The sperm whale had plastic in its stomach, an increasing common phenomenon say researchers at the Biodiversity Centre Naturalis. In March of this year, a 10 meter long sperm whale washed up on Spain’s South Coast. This whale had swallowed 59 different plastic items totaling over 37 pounds. Most of this plastic consisted of transparent sheeting used to build greenhouses in Almeria and Grenada for the purpose of tomatoes for the European market. The rest was plastic bags, nine meters of rope, two stretches of hosepipe, two small flower pots, and a plastic spray canister. Cause of death was intestinal blockage.
These are not uncommon incidents. In 1989, a stranded sperm whale in the Lavezzi Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea died of a stomach obstruction after accidentally ingesting plastic bags and 100 feet of plastic sheeting. In 1990, a sperm whale examined for pathology in Iceland died of an obstruction of the gut with plastic marine debris. In August of 2008, a sperm whale washed up in Point Reyes, California with 450 pounds of fishing net, rope, and plastic bags in its stomach. The California Marine Mammal Stranding Database tells of another sperm whale stranded in 2008 with stomach contents that included an extensive amount of netting from discarded fishing gear.
The sperm whale that stranded in the Netherlands had a large part of its lower jaw missing. Among hundreds of thousands of sperm whales that whalers harpoon, regularly encountered are sperm whales with broken or deformed lower jaws. Most of these whales have full stomachs and are healthy right before being slaughtered. This, and the fact squids are found in their stomachs whole and seldom show bite marks, lead to a theory that the lower jaw plays no significant role in catching of prey and that these sperm whales instead suck their food in. If this theory is true, sperm whales are just as vulnerable as baleen whales to the ingestion of marine debris.
To read more click the link at the top!
Brilliant, right? It’s kind of mind-boggling that nobody thought of doing this before, especially since those glowing plastic toys have been around for decades.
The new coating, coincidentally called “StarPath,” is a water-resistant, spray-on treatment that absorbs UV light during the day, and emits a blue glow during the night. This is possible thanks to the inclusion of a phosphorescent compound, but it’s apparently a bit more sophisticated than the stuff that’s used in toys.
Kodjo Afate Gnikou, a resourceful inventor from Togo in West Africa, has made a $100 3D printer which he constructed from parts he scrounged from broken scanners, computers, printers and other e-waste. The fully functional DIY printer cost a fraction of those currently on the market, and saves environmentally damaging waste from reaching landfill sites.