Wednesday 28th of October 2020

far more important than trump and his supposed russian little helper...


"The situation has become so bad it would not be ethical not to use strong language," study leader Professor Gerardo Ceballos of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México told the Guardian.

For years, conservationists have been warning that the continued destruction of habitats could bring about an extinction similar to that which wiped out the dinosaurs.

According to one 2015 study published in Science Advances, even using the most conservative figures, the rate at which vertebrates are going extinct is higher now than it was in the last five mass extinctions. 

"Our analysis emphasizes that our global society has started to destroy species of other organisms at an accelerating rate, initiating a mass extinction episode unparalleled for 65 million years," the study reads.

Researchers found land mammals have lost 80 percent of their range and that thousands of species experiencing dwindling numbers aren’t classified as endangered, meaning they aren’t afforded the same protections that threatened species are. This and other findings led researchers to feel that the next extinction could be further along than previously thought.

"The resulting biological annihilation obviously will have serious ecological, economic and social consequences. Humanity will eventually pay a very high price for the decimation of the only assemblage of life that we know of in the universe," the scientists concluded. "All signs point to ever more powerful assaults on biodiversity in the next two decades, painting a dismal picture of the future of life, including human life."

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destroying the planet's other inhabitants...

Drought and overgrazing in northern Kenya have sent thousands of herders and their livestock into national parks and other protected areas, touching off a surge in wildlife killings that is devastating populations of one of East Africa's most majestic beasts: giraffes. Poachers are also hunting the animals for bush meat. Giraffes are an easy target, and several populations are already in serious decline, including two East African varieties, the Nubian and reticulated giraffes. In response to the threat, scientists are stepping up research on the animals' birth and survival rates, movements, and interactions with resources and landscapes, hoping to pinpoint risks and focus conservation efforts.

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32 threatened and endangered species are in the path of this juggernaut. Opposite the pristine forest are vast hectares of cane fields, flat lands which would easily accommodate a highway upgrade with minimal loss of wildlife. Instead, the RMS insisted on trashing the forests, claiming the cost of locating the highway along the cane fields would be “more expensive”.

With no economic value given to wildlife, their habitats, or native forests, the balance sheet only reflects the benefits to infrastructure and transport facilitation.   

The stark reality of this decision is now apparent. Section l0 is a perfect example of irresponsible government policy destined to wipe out not only koalas but other vulnerable species. Old Bagotville Road in Wardell is designated by the RMS asoneof four "koala hot spots" in Section l0. This old gravel road is a newly created link from two quarries purchased by RMS to haul some 384,000 cubic metres of rock and gravel to Back Channel Road and the highway upgrade site.

Large sections of the road are now fenced on either side with escape hutches and massive grids to prevent not only koalas but other wildlife from being hit by vehicles as they try crossing the road to access the nearby forest.

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we need to do something...

For many people, 2006's An Inconvenient Truth was the first they heard of climate change and a future world of rising sea levels, droughts, hurricanes, and extinctions. Now Al Gore is back AnInconvenient Sequel.

The first documentary was a catalyst for action on climate change, but part of what made it so popular was the underlying narrative of redemption. Gore had narrowly lost the 2000 election to George W Bush, quit politics, and forged a new path as a climate change activist. The success of An Inconvenient Truth was a personal triumph. He was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

In An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power we see what he's been up to since then. It follows Gore as meets scientists on glaciers and attends conferences to negotiate with world leaders. An Inconvenient Truth was mostly Gore's slideshow presentation, but the sequel is more highly produced, with behind-the-scenes access filmed over several years all over the world.

If the 2006 documentary was about convincing people climate change was real, the 2017 sequel is about convincing powerful people to take action.

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the root cause of the sixth mass extinction...

One should not need to be a scientist to know that human population growth and the accompanying increase in human consumption are the root cause of the sixth mass extinction we’re currently seeing. All you need to know is that every living being has evolved to have a set of habitat requirements.

An organism can’t live where the temperature is too hot or too cold. If it lives in water, it requires not only an appropriate temperature range, but also appropriate salinity, acidity and other chemical characteristics. If it is a butterfly, it must have access to plants suitable for its caterpillars to eat. A lion requires plant-eaters to catch and devour. A tree needs a certain amount of sunlight and access to soil nutrients and water. A falciparum malaria parasite can’t survive and reproduce without Anopheles mosquitos in its habitat and a human bloodstream to infest.

Earth's sixth mass extinction event under way, scientists warn Read more

The human population has grown so large that roughly 40% of the Earth’s land surface is now farmed to feed people – and none too well at that. Largely due to persistent problems with distribution, almost 800 million people go to bed hungry, and between one and two billion suffer from malnutrition. As a consequence of its booming population, Homo sapiens has taken much of the most fertile land to grow plants for its own consumption. But guess what? That cropland is generally not rich in food plants suitable for the caterpillars of the 15,000 butterfly species with which we share the planet. Few butterflies require the wheat, corn or rice on which humans largely depend. From the viewpoint of most of the Earth’s wildlife, farming can be viewed as “habitat destruction”. And, unsurprisingly, few species of wildlife have evolved to live on highways, or in strip malls, office buildings, kitchens or sewers – unless you count Norway rats, house mice, European starlings and German roaches. Virtually everything humanity constructs provides an example of habitat destruction.

The more people there are, the more products of nature they demand to meet their needs and wants: timber, seafood, meat, gas, oil, metal ores, rare earths and rare animals to eat or to use for medicinal purposes. Human demands cause both habitat destruction and outright extermination of wildlife. So when you watch the expansion of the human enterprise; when you see buildings springing up; when you settle down to dinner at home or in a restaurant; you are observing (and often participating in) the sixth mass extinction.

The expanding human population not only outright destroys habitats, it also alters them to the detriment of wildlife (and often people themselves). The more people there are, the more greenhouse gases flow into the atmosphere, and the greater the impacts on wildlife that require specific temperature ranges.

And the more people there are, the more cities, roads, farm fields, fences and other barriers preventing wildlife from moving to areas of more favourable temperature or humidity in a rapidly changing climate. Less recognised, but perhaps even more dangerous to both people and wildlife, is the increasing toxification of the entire planet with synthetic chemicals. Growing populations want myriad more items of plastic that often leak toxic chemicals: more cosmetics, cleansing compounds, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives and industrial chemicals. Many of these novel chemicals mimic natural hormones, and in tiny quantities can alter the development of animals or human children, with potentially catastrophic consequences. As with climate disruption, this is one more case of human overpopulation threatening civilisation.

Where have all the insects gone? | Hugh Warwick Read more

So we don’t really need the evidence meticulously gathered and analysed by the scientific community showing the unusual and accelerating extermination of wildlife populations – and ultimately, species – to know that human population growth is a major and growing driver of the sixth mass extinction, just as it is with the related accelerating climate disruption. It will take a long time to humanely stop that growth and start the gradual shrinkage of the human population that is required if civilisation is to persist. All the more reason we should have started a half century ago, when the problem first came to public attention.


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it's not due to failure but collusion...

The federal government is allowing the huge spike in land clearing in Queensland to destroy threatened ecological communities, the habitat of threatened species and increase pollution on the Great Barrier Reef by failing to enforce environmental law, according to analysis by WWF.

Following the weakening of land clearing laws in Queensland in 2013, the rate of clearing there has tripled to almost 300,000 hectares each year.

WWF analysis found almost 10,000 properties have either cleared at least one hectare of land since 2013, or have notified the state government that they plan to. Combined, that will result in almost 1m hectares of land being cleared.

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No failure here. The Federal Government allows this to satisfy its junior partner, the nationals... It's collusion.

meanwhile, another record is aussieland...


“We had to make sure he was comfortable in the situation, as our top priority,” Ms Hansen said.

“But encouraging him over with some food and making him stand up nice and tall with cameras rolling is quite a difficult feat.

“It took us a number of months to be able to do it.

“We ended up using a really large ruler and encouraged him to put his head up against that ruler with cameras coming from all angles.”

It was worth the effort though.

World record holder

Forest has now been officially named by the Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest living giraffe, standing at 5.7 metres.

The 12-year-old giraffe is also still growing.

Ms Hansen said all giraffes continued to grow.

“We never know what height he might eventually end up at,” she said.

Forest arrived at Australia Zoo when he was only two years old and a “lot smaller”.

Ms Hansen has worked with him for nine years.

He is also quite popular on the lady front and has “three girlfriends” and is the father of 10 calves.

The Guinness World Records said in a media statement giraffes typically measure 4.6 metres to 5.5 metres.

Giraffe essential for species

Ms Hansen said Forest was essential to the regional breeding program.

“There are nine classified subspecies of giraffe which are vulnerable to extinction,” Ms Hansen said.

“We are thinking there might be four distinct species.

“Forest was born in the Auckland Zoo as part of the regional breeding program to make sure of genetic diversity.”

Forest was not likely to take the award lying down – Ms Hansen said giraffes seldom lay down, even when they were sleeping.

“They find lying down quite a nervous experience as it takes them time to get up,” she said.

“They sleep standing up … they have small sleeps for about 10 minutes.”


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