Category Archives: Endangered

Checking the Temperature of the Climate Change Debate

An Editorial.

The Debate

Or Lack Thereof

The arctic is heating; there is no debate.

In December, the North Pole was warmer than Western Texas, Southern California, and parts of the Sahara.

Wait… what?

Headlines read: “MAN vs. EARTH“; “These People Are Covering the Alps With Blankets“; “A Massive Amount of Death Is Plaguing the World’s Oceans“. Articles scream “That’s absolutely terrifying and incredibly rare. To create temperatures warm enough to melt ice to exist in the dead of winter—some 50 or 60 degrees warmer than normal—is unthinkable. 

The conversation of Climate Change today is of paramount importance: “I would say that [the UN’s annual climate change conference] is going to decide a thousand years of future in the oceans,” Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara who recently authored a major study on the human-caused destruction of ocean fauna told VICE news.

Yet, whilst a “growing contingent within the scientific community argues that because of human influence on the air, water, and soil we are no longer living in the Holocene epoch, which began about 11,700 years ago with the end of the Ice Age, but are now in the Anthropocene — The Age of Humans”—per VICE news, some refuse to accept the glaring truth. Yes, Man has fucked the planet so badly that it’s entering a new epoch and many—funded by oil giants such as Exxon—refute the evidence.

Man is desperate, but without the collective actions of us all, we will not have a planet that is full of harmony—we must save our arctic, save our forests and save our future.

The Human Charge

And What We Can Do

The WWF attributes the death to a “network of interrelated human behaviors”—namely overfishing, aquafarming, island- and ocean-based tourism, pollution, climate change, and offshore drilling in the oceans (read more about offshore arctic drilling here). As all of these factors accelerate—largely due to an increased standard of living rather than new human needs—the unprecedented levels of carnage in our oceans will not cease to exist (“29 percent of the world’s fish stocks are classified as overfished and 61 percent as ‘fully exploited,’ meaning they have no ability to produce greater harvests”).

However, the oceans are not a lost hope: “‘If you stop taking the pieces out of these ocean civilizations, they can begin to rebuild themselves,’ he told VICE News. ‘It’s never going to regrow itself the way it was 50 years ago […] but we have to do what we can to stop the carnage and allow these systems the space to regrow.'”

Marine species have declined by almost half over the last forty-five years, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Index, and leading marine scientists tell VICE News that the only hope of stopping mass death in the oceans is to radically and quickly transform human behavior.

[…]

Fish were the most threatened, in large part because of human overfishing: Over a third of fish consumed by humans measured by the Living Planet Index are under threat of extinction, with one family of tuna and mackerel falling 74 percent between 1970 and 2010.

Other animals that recorded massive and ongoing losses were sharks and rays, of which one in four species is threatened with extinction, and some species of turtles, which declined by 97 percent in the Eastern Pacific.

The mass death of larger animals is tied to the decimation of habitats that are critical to the ocean’s biosphere. The WWF also noted that coral reefs — which support 25 percent of all marine life — could go extinct by 2050, and global surface areas of seagrass and mangroves, which provide spawning grounds, nutrients, and shelter for many animals, have declined precipitously.”

Save The Arctic — a Greenpeace project — states, “If you want to change the world, start at the top” — so let’s look North:

“The Arctic Ocean is home to incredible wildlife, from majestic polar bears to blubbery walruses, mysterious narwhals and graceful seabirds. But the sea ice they depend on is vanishing at a terrifying speed.

Without ice to hunt, rest, and breed, the very survival of polar bears and other wildlife is under threat. Mother polar bears, weak and starving, have trouble reproducing. Their cubs must fight the odds to survive into adulthood.

Unless we make a global concentrated effort to prevent this, experts warn that polar bears could disappear completely from the Arctic in the next 100 years. Act now to protect their home,” the mission declares.

The Human Cost

Why We Care

“See, you can ignore [climate change], but the thing about truth is, it can be denied—not avoided. So I’m sorry future generations: I’m sorry our footprint became a sinkhole, and not a garden; I’m sorry that we paid so much attention to ISIS, and very little to how fast the ice is melting in the Arctic. […] We are not apart form nature, we are a part OF nature; and to betray nature is to betray us, to save nature is to save us.”

Dear future generations: sorry. Sorry that we watched as our arctic—yes, our arctic—literally melted away before our eyes. Sorry we ignored the warnings.

And now, there’s more:

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“It’s especially worrying because the Arctic is warming faster than nearly anywhere else on Earth. Now, along with melting sea ice and thawing permafrost, we have to add to our list of ‘feedback loop’ concerns that warming Arctic oceans may be releasing fonts of methane. That is, the warmer the ocean gets, the more methane gets spewed out of those stores on the continental shelf, and the warmer the ocean gets, ad infinitum,” writes Brian Merchant, per VICE news.

“We’re on a trajectory to an unmanageable heating scenario, and we need to get off it,” he said. “We’re fucked at a certain point, right? It just becomes unmanageable. The climate dragon is being poked, and eventually the dragon becomes pissed off enough to trash the place,” said Box, who is currently a professor of glaciology at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, and has been studying the Arctic for decades.

“I may escape a lot of this,” Box said, “but my daughter might not. She’s 3 years old.”

Enough said.

In The News

(Photo : Flickr: Torrey Wiley)

    24 sponsors and counting—including mayors of two cities, Québec City and Montréal; the Quebec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change; the Canadian Steamship Lines and other companies within Quebec and Canada in general—have signed on to the “Sponsor a Beluga” campaign for beluga whales.  This will help pay for research of these “canaries of the sea,” so-named because they chirp and are very socially active.

“Beluga whales, those Arctic-dwelling canaries of the sea with their intricate series of chirps, are part of a fundraising campaign in eastern Canada. The St. Lawrence Beluga Project and the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM) in late 2014 relaunched that campaign, Adopt a Beluga, to bring in funds for research on the animals in the St. Lawrence Estuary in Quebec. So far, 24 of the small cetaceans have been sponsored, according to a release.”

Read the article in its entirety here (http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/20162/20160223/threatened-belugas-adopt-beluga-campaign-finds-sponsors.htm)!

Donate here to help save our earth and its inhabitants—every dollar counts (wwf.worldwildlife.org/goto/savethenarwhal)!

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Save The Arctic

Save The Arctic — a Greenpeace project — states, “If you want to change the world, start at the top” — so let’s look North:

“The Arctic Ocean is home to incredible wildlife, from majestic polar bears to blubbery walruses, mysterious narwhals and graceful seabirds. But the sea ice they depend on is vanishing at a terrifying speed.

Without ice to hunt, rest, and breed, the very survival of polar bears and other wildlife is under threat. Mother polar bears, weak and starving, have trouble reproducing. Their cubs must fight the odds to survive into adulthood.

Unless we make a global concentrated effort to prevent this, experts warn that polar bears could disappear completely from the Arctic in the next 100 years. Act now to protect their home,” the mission declares.

Join the movement here and show the world you will do what it takes to save OUR arctic (https://www.savethearctic.org)!

Donate here to help save our earth and its inhabitants—every dollar counts (wwf.worldwildlife.org/goto/savethenarwhal)!

Donate to my page

The Ocean Cleanup

“About The Ocean Cleanup: The Ocean Cleanup develops technologies to extract, prevent, and intercept plastic pollution. The Ocean Cleanup’s goal is to fuel the world’s fight against oceanic plastic pollution by initiating the largest cleanup in history.”

(https://youtu.be/6IjaZ2g-21E)

Join the largest cleanup in history here (http://www.theoceancleanup.com/?gclid=CNCFvIrAnsoCFUNgfgodiDoMRw)!

Donate here to help save our earth and its inhabitants—every dollar counts (wwf.worldwildlife.org/goto/savethenarwhal)!

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In The News

Inside Canada’s Anti-Pipeline Resistance Camp — A Gallery

Photos by RAFAL GERZAK for VICE News

The Unist´ot´en Camp is located on unceded traditional Wet’suwet’en Territories in northern British Columbia and stands amid a high-profile oil and gas pipeline corridor. Over the summer, energy-industry helicopters had been landing there—without permission—to continue their survey work as heavy machinery cleared trees for a TransCanada pipeline right-of-way toward the Wedzin Kwah (Morice River). The purpose of this camp is to protect the land from several proposed pipelines that would run from the tar sands in Alberta and extracted shale gas projects in the Peace River Region out to the West Coast,” Gerzak writes.

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View the original VICE News article, gallery, and captions in its entirety here (http://www.vice.com/read/my-time-at-canadas-anti-pipeline-resistance-camp).

Donate here to help save our earth and its inhabitants—every dollar counts (wwf.worldwildlife.org/goto/savethenarwhal)!

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In The News

(Photocredit: EniScuola)

“This oil company teaches kids about how environmental disasters can be good for tourism,” writes Michael Segalov of VICE News.

Though there’s a tendency for multinational energy corporations to invest in good causes (see: oil gargantuan BP’s longstanding deal with the Tate Galleries or Shell’s controversial climate change exhibition at the London Science Museum), Eni, Italy’s largest energy company, per Segalov, has taken a more skewed approach at reaching the masses.

According to Segalov, the energy behemoth runs an education program aiming to teach children about science called Eniscuola, or Eni schools. These programs are aimed not only for use at home, but also for teachers in the classroom.

Educational materials from Eni include pieces of work designed for teachers explain how manmade objects like oil rigs and mining platforms have a positive impact on the environment and wildlife, basically arguing that Eni’s fossil fuel gluttony is basically doing us all a favor. A section translated from Italian as ‘life platform’ (‘vita in piattaforma‘) ‘aims to inform students on the richness of biodiversity in the Adriatic Sea, and the habitats that are created around the mining platforms‘” (per Segalov).

Unfortunately, Eni neglects to mention the harmful–often catastrophic–effects of offshore oil rigs and mining platforms in their controversial claims (see: the WWF, ORDC, and Ocean Conservation Research Center’s “Don’t Be A Buckethead” initiative).

Read more of Eni’s controversial claims from the original article here (http://www.vice.com/read/oil-company-educating-kids-about-climate-change-457).

Donate here to help save our earth and its inhabitants—every dollar counts (wwf.worldwildlife.org/goto/savethenarwhal)!

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Video

Man vs Earth

In 3 seconds we have destroyed this world we ought to hold so precious—a world that, scientifically, is one in one billion, trillion, trillion.

Donate here to help save our earth and its inhabitants—every dollar counts (wwf.worldwildlife.org/goto/savethenarwhal)!

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In The News

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(Photograph via U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders Facebook Page)

The scientific community is telling us if we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, the planet that we’re going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be habitable. That is a major crisis.”

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Save the Earth, its climate, and those who dwell on it by donating here—every dollar counts (http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/goto/savethenarwhal)!

In The News

shell-abandons-controversial-arctic-drilling-campaign-after-spending-an-estimated-7-billion-1443460601

(Photocredit: Jim Paulin/AP)

Shall ices Arctic drilling campaign:

“The Arctic’s rapidly warming climate has created an opening for oil companies to get at the vast stores of hydrocarbons estimated to lie underneath the sea floor, even as scientists warn that those fossil fuels are driving climate change,” writes Matt Smith for VICE News. “But the price of crude has plunged from more than $100 a barrel to less than $50 in the past year and a half, making it harder for more difficult plays to break even.”

Royal Dutch Shell has ditched its hard-fought push to find oil and natural gas off the remote Alaskan coast ‘for the foreseeable future,’ saying this summer’s drilling turned up weak prospects at high cost.

[…]

The announcement came as a happy surprise to environmentalists, who harried Shell in court and on the water in an unsuccessful attempt to halt the project. They argued that the region’s harsh conditions would raise the risk of a major spill, which would be all but impossible to clean up.

[…]

The company said it will cap the 6,800-foot well it drilled this summer and walk away, writing off an estimated $4.1 billion in the process. The entire effort is publicly estimated to have cost the company at least $7 billion since 2008, when it obtained leases on the seabed about 75 miles northwest of the Alaskan shore.

Greenpeace, whose activists boarded one of Shell’s drill ships in the Pacific and blockaded one of its icebreakers in Portland, Oregon, exulted in the decision Monday. Greenpeace spokesman Travis Nichols said the depth of public opposition to the project ‘caught them flat-footed,’ and the results should boost efforts to protect the Arctic.

‘Shell sunk $7 billion into this. They bullied regulators and ran roughshod over public opinion, doubling down on this huge bet, and they busted,’ Nichols said. ‘I think that’s going to be a big warning sign to other oil companies.’

Read more here (https://news.vice.com/article/shell-abandons-controversial-arctic-drilling-campaign-after-spending-an-estimated-7-billion)!

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Save the Earth, its climate, and those who dwell on it by donating here—every dollar counts (http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/goto/savethenarwhal)!

In The News

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(Photocredit: Simon Oberli)

“Photographs of the glacier from last year compared to ones taken in 2007 are dramatic,” writes Marie Doezema for VICE News. “What was once a sprawling and thick mass of ice now appears scrawny. One state of matter has changed to another: Where once there was glacier, now there is lake.

And how would one preserve a glacier?

…Blankets (!!), of course:

The lifespan of a glacier is centuries-long; the twilight years, however, can go remarkably quickly. Such is the case for Switzerland’s Rhone Glacier, only 10 percent of which is expected to remain by the end of the century. Some local residents, alarmed by the melting, have resorted to palliative care methods.

For the past eight years, owners of the land that is home to an ice cave, carved into the Rhone glacier each year since 1870, have been covering the ice with blankets. The blankets, which protect the ice from the sun’s radiation during the hot summer months, have been shown to reduce melting between 50 and 70 percent, said David Volken, a glaciologist working with the Swiss Environment Ministry.

[…]

The primary cause of the increased rate of melting is rising temperatures, and while an increase in two to four degrees Fahrenheit might not be a tangible and dramatic difference to a human, glaciers are particularly sensitive. 

‘We don’t feel it, but the tongue of the glacier does,’ said Nussbaumer, adding that annual mass changes in glaciers are a ‘direct climatic signal.’

‘The only thing we can do is limit emissions and decrease temperatures,’ Nussbaumer said. In terms of glacier survival, the options are between bad and worse. ‘Depending what we do now, in 150 years we will have between zero to 10 percent of glacier mass left.’ 

[…]

Glaciers, because of their sensitivity to both short-term and long-term fluctuations in temperature, are a good indication of larger trends in climate change, said Nussbaumer. ‘Everyone can observe the changes.’

Beyond the local impact of reduced tourism and the loss of a natural phenomenon that has become part of Switzerland’s heritage and national identity, the melting glaciers will have very practical impacts on the country. Nussbaumer said these could include diminished sources of fresh water used for irrigation, drinking, and hydroelectric power, as well as a destabilization of the ground left behind, which can result in erosion and debris flow. On a global level, the melting of glaciers contributes to rising sea levels.

Read more here (https://news.vice.com/article/these-people-are-covering-the-alps-with-blankets)!

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Save the Earth, its climate, and those who dwell on it by donating here—every dollar counts (http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/goto/savethenarwhal)!