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ActivismAnimal CrueltyAnimalsEndangered SpeciesGlobal WarmingOceansPolicies & Politics

Global Warming, Environmental, and Animal News

Here are some top global warming and environmental stories from the last day or so:

Global Warming Politics

Anti-Koch Rally (or Rallies)

A great video on the Koch Brother Billionaire Bash protests and Uncloak Koch Rally from the other 98%:

More on Schmitt

We covered a couple pieces going into depth on astronaut Harrison Schmitt’s lies (or just ignorance,.. not sure which it is at this point). There’s more on this story, including Schmitt’s idea that the environmental movement has been taken over by communists:

If you care about your children’s future, if you believe other species have a right to exist, if you believe that clean air, clean water, and a livable planet are the minimum that we can pass along to our heirs, then you are now, and have always been, a communist.

That’s the message from New Mexico’s new chairman of Natural Resources, former Apollo Astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt.

Schmitt is the new head New Mexico’s Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Dept.

There’s been a lot of discussion about Schmitt’s pseudo-science going on lately. For a lot more (over half a dozen recent stories), including a response to some of his claims by scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data center, check out: Harrison Schmitt: Environmentalism is Communism.

Teaching Kids Anti-Science

There isn’t scientific controversy over the findings of thousands of climate scientists. However, there is political controversy (as we all know). Apparently, New Mexico thinks that should allow science teachers to teach whatever they want in their classrooms with regards to climate change, evolution, and more. True? Unfortunately…

Coming to your School?: New Mexico Bill Promotes Anti-Science Education

Koch Billionaires, “Taking Care” of America

Seriously, the fact sheet in this article on how the Koch brothers have bought the Energy and Commerce Committee are are attacking the U.S., despite the preferences and opinions of the majority of U.S. citizens, health professionals, and other business leaders: House Energy and Commerce “Committee from Koch” to conduct global warming witch trial.

There’s more on the Koch Brothers recent Congressional purchases on Mother Jones as well.

Oh, and one of the Koch Brother’s most important new puppets, Fred Upton (some good pieces on him yesterday as well), heard “there was a report a couple of weeks ago that in fact you look at this last year, it was the warmest year in the last decade, I think was the numbers that came out.” Wow, he’s informed. It was confirmed by numerous data sets that 2010 was tied for the hottest year on record (meaning, hottest year in over a century).  Yes, this “highly informed” House Energy and Commerce Chair does not accept that global warming is man-made (a complete flip from just two years ago). And he doesn’t even know that 2010 was tied for the hottest year on record!

Animals

21-69%

“That’s the percentage of non-target animals which are caught in snares as estimated by the Independent Working Group on Snares (2005). According to this report it would be extremely difficult to reduce this to less than forty percent. Forty percent of all the animals killed will not be the intended victim!”

Whole Foods New Animal Welfare Label

Last week, Whole Foods announced that it was going to be participating in Global Animal Partnership’s (GAP) animal welfare certification. The GAP certification rates animal products based on steps that producers can take to ensure that their animals are living humane lives, such as enhanced access to pasture.

Lane Jost did an excellent Q&A with Whole Foods’ global animal production and welfare coordinator over at our sister site, The Inspired Economist. It’s definitely worth checking out.

While I’m glad to see Whole Foods taking animal welfare more seriously, you do have to wonder: is there really such a thing as humane meat? One way to be absolutely certain that your food is cruelty free is to ditch the meat all together! Want to learn more? Check out our Eating Vegan column for tips and recipes.

Endangered Sea Turtles Saved From Capture in Hawaii Swordfish Fishery

“Fewer rare sea turtles will die on the swordfish industry’s longlines in Hawaii under an agreement between environmental groups and the government. The agreement settles a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s plans that would have dramatically increase the number of turtles that could be killed. The Turtle Island Restoration Network, Center for Biological Diversity and KAHEA sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for allowing 46 imperiled Pacific loggerhead turtles to be hooked last year. The new court-ordered settlement caps the number at 17 per year. Meanwhile the National Marine Fisheries Service is weighing whether loggerheads need more protection under the Endangered Species Act.”

Farm Staff Caught Abusing Ducks (Free Range Ducks Supposedly Living Good Lives)

A recent undercover investigation by Hillside Animal Sanctuary and Sky News has revealed shocking, sadistic cruelty meted out to free-range ducks who were being caught for slaughter. Catchers were seen picking ducks up by their necks and swinging them back and forth – using them to herd the other ducks into crates. One was so badly injured by this treatment that the farm worker wrung her neck.

The secretly filmed footage was taken at Hall Farm in Hingham, Norfolk, which supplies Waitrose with a free-range, ‘high welfare’ product. In addition to the suffering inflicted by the catchers, investigators found sick, dead and decomposing birds amongst the living.

Seriously, these were “free-range” ducks, living, quality, “high welfare” lives.

Stop the Corvid Cull

The Songbird Survival Trust – several of whose most prominent figures own shoots or have strong shooting connections – has called for a cull on corvids (magpies, crows, jackdaws etc). This is despite there being evidence that these birds do not cause the deaths of songbirds as the Trust claims….

Some ways to help:

  • Sign this petition
  • Write to Defra to oppose the cull:
    Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR
  • Contact the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust on 020 7290 0110
 or email to politely voice your objection.
  • Attend the demonstration outside the GWCT’s office in London:
    Meet: 12pm, Saturday 19th February
    Contact on the day: Paul
    Tel number on the day: 0799 981 2994
    Address: 26 Mortimer St, W1W 7RB

Environment

Coral Reef Alliance Partners with Coral Reef CSI

The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is now the home of the international Coral Reef CSI program. This new partnership, announced by CORAL today, will expand the field of coral reef forensic investigation in coral reef locations around the world, offering more protection to these valuable and fragile ecosystems.

“The Coral Reef CSI program is filling an important niche, as few marine protected areas have field investigators armed with the knowledge and tools necessary to hold responsible parties accountable for injuries to managed coral reef resources,” said Rick MacPherson, Interim Executive Director and Conservation Programs Director at the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL). “The program is a natural fit for CORAL because it is closely aligned with our own community-focused approach to reducing local reef threats in order to create and sustain healthy coral reef communities.”

More at the Coral Reef Alliance.

Giant Indonesian Palm Oil Company Announces Plan to Halt Forest Destruction

Here’s some great news. But Greenpeace is still cautious about implementation and is going to keep its eye on things:

Responding to news today that the palm oil arm of Sinar Mas, Golden Agri-Resources, has announced a plan to halt the destruction of Indonesia’s forests previously caused by their operations, Bustar Maitar, head of Greenpeace’s campaign to protect Indonesian forests, said:

“This could be good news for the forests, endangered species like the orang-utan and for the Indonesian economy.

“On paper, the new commitments from Golden Agri are a major step towards ending their involvement in deforestation. And if they do make these changes, large areas of forests will be saved. But now they’ve actually got to implement these plans, and we’re watching closely to make sure this happens….”

Federal Judge Says “No” to Plan for Motor Vehicle Use in Salmon-Challis National Forest

Earthjustice reports on this significant environmental win:

“Citing evidence that the US Forest Service failed to comply with environmental laws, a federal judge agreed with conservationists and struck down the Salmon-Challis National Forest’s Travel Management Plan. The travel plan would have allowed motorized use on hundreds of miles of trails—causing damage to forest resources like clean water, wetlands and wildlife.”

Photo Credit: Common_Cause




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