Top climate, environmental, and animal activism stories from around, in my opinion:
There was plenty of early industry backlash to EPA’s historic decision last week to veto the permit for Arch Coal’s planned mega-mine in Appalachia, as I wrote about last week. More recently, it has risen to a disturbing tenor….
Mercury is known to be an extremely toxic substance and mercury pollution is a major health, social, and economic problem. It is especially harmful to unborn babies, infants, and young children because it is a neurotoxin that can damage developing nervous systems. And just as we are getting to action to finally address this huge national problem, a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives is trying to undo over a decade of work….
At the beginning of this month when about 5,000 red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky in one night in Arkansas, biologists were called on to put a damper on public speculation about pesticides and secret military tests by reminding everyone how many birds there are and how many die. They often do so as a result of human activity, but in far more mundane and dispiriting ways than conspiracy buffs might imagine.
“Five billion birds die in the U.S. every year,” said Melanie Driscoll, a biologist and director of bird conservation for the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi Flyway for the National Audubon Society.
That’s from “Conspiracies Don’t Kill Birds. People, However, Do,” a NY Times story on the hot eco-topic du jour. The five billion number may seem high, but Birds Etcetera did a literature review in 20o2 that seems consistent with it. A 1997 Biodiversity and Conservation study, “How many birds are there?” found “different methods yield surprisingly consistent estimates of a global bird population of between 200 billion and 400 billion individuals.”…
We all know how beneficial composting can be for the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency even tells us so. But who knew worms could help out so much in the process?
Vermicomposting, or composting with worms, is full of benefits. For starters, it speeds up the composting process, as worms eat up to 50 percent of their body weight in food daily. Vermicompost also serves as a nutrient-rich fertilizer and, as demonstrated by South Africa’s Mount Nelson Hotel, vermicomposting can even play a part in the fight against climate change….
Green living can mean a number of different things. It can range from learning how to make homemade solar panels to using organic fertilizer in your yard and garden.
Green living also has to do with conserving water, energy costs and using those commercial cleaners that are full toxic chemicals that could hurt our animals and children.
Yet, we keep using those cleaners. But maybe the only reason we do this is because we aren’t aware of how many natural cleaning solutions we actually have inside our home….
Here’s Van Jones on the full costs of our culture of disposability…
In the annals of American manifest destiny, the chapter on American bison is typically gruesome. Once numbered in the tens of millions, over the course of one century the number was cut down to less than a hundred free-roaming animals. These remnant few took refuge in the first national park, Yellowstone, and have been there ever since….
Early February in Germany sees what is known as ‘Fox Week’; it is a week or more where hunters and blood sport enthusiasts throughout Germany attempt to kill as many foxes as they can simply for their own pleasure.
An organisation based in Germany, Schonzeit für Füchse (closed season for foxes) has now begun an international campaign to end this annual kill. Through the support of animal welfare organisations around the world it is hoped that pressure can be put on the German government to ensure that an annual closed season for foxes is enforced.
We have added our name to this campaign which now has the support of over 45 other organisations. You can find out more information about ‘fox week’ and how you can help from the group Serbian Animals Voice – please be warned that the site contains some shocking images of animal cruelty.
Last weeks result in the Fernie case is something of a milestone in the enforcement of the Hunting Act. It is worthwhile explaining in some detail what the court found….
Police have raided a dog fighting gang in Scotland seizing nine dogs. The joint operation between Grampian Police and the Scottish SPCA resulted in four men being cautioned under the Animal Health and Welfare Act….
North Carolina is chicken country: Its $3.8 billion dollars in farm income makes it the third poultry-producing state in the U.S. with more than 10 percent of national production. That’s a lot of bird.
But even in North Carolina there should be limits to the hell of factory farms.
This is the premise of the campaign by the Southern Nash Landowners Association on Change.org….
The Chuitna Watershed sits in the unique landscape to the west of Cook Inlet, just 55 miles from Anchorage. The watershed is home to numerous salmon runs that turn and trickle over rocks laid millions of years ago by the slow creep of glaciers.
The wild salmon of this region are a symbol of Alaska, a renewable resource that has sustained local families and tempted taste buds all around the world. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has identified the streams in the Chuitna Watershed as a vital salmon habitat.
But PacRim Coal Company doesn’t care about long term sustainability, local food sources, or the complex and critically important watershed. PacRim, a company based on the opposite side of the continent, wants to develop 60 square miles of ancient wild Alaskan salmon habitat into the state’s largest open-pit coal mine….
Kaoshiung, Taiwan, 24 Jan 2011 — Activists from the Greenpeace flagship the Rainbow Warrior today prevented the departure of fish carrier MV Lung Yuin, demanding that Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency (FA) properly investigate and as appropriate, prosecute the ship’s owners, who are in apparent breach of Taiwan’s laws. A Greenpeace activist chained himself to Lung Yuin’s anchor chain with a banner reading “FA, investigate Now.” Greenpeace activists on inflatable boats also displayed banners with the message “The Last Tuna” beside the Lung Yuin which is destined to collect tuna from the Pacific Ocean to be sold in Japan, Taiwan and the US….
Bardia National Park, Nepal – A wild tiger fitted with satellite-collar was successfully translocated from Nepal’s Chitwan National Park to Bardia National Park for the first time on Saturday….
When it comes to the research of climate scientist Michael Mann, the old adage “stop beating a dead horse” immediately springs to mind….
Between them, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) control 80 percent of the controversial Indonesian paper industry, which means that these two companies are some of the world’s leading forest destroyers. Both have active global advertising campaigns to attempt to cover up their destructive habits.
But one Silicon Valley blogger is determined to expose their dirty secrets….
And what can ClimateProgress do to help?
Many readers tell me of their interest in creating a genuine sustainable grassroots movement — with teeth. That’s not an easy thing, obviously, and would require a tremendous collective effort. But I think a higher fraction of climate hawks read CP than any other blog, and, as Hillel said :
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?”
[Strangely, I don’t think this made the incredible list of favorite quotes from last week’s Open Thread.]
UPDATE: In the comments section, Eban Goodstein reposts his Grist piece, “Time for Clean Energy Party?”
ClimateProgress is going to increase its content and presence on the web this year, including a Facebook strategy. So I welcome comments on how we can all work together to create a grassroots movement, and what CP in particular might do….
(Read over 150 comments to this post by clicking on the link in the title.)