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Showing posts from August, 2013

NOAA Stops Importation of Belugas into States

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Whale Porn B. McPherson The American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) has foiled an attempt to bring 18 captive beluga whales into the USA to be exhibits at amusement parks. According to Sea ShepherdSociety, the federal regulatory agency requested and received 9 000 comments on the proposed importation and 76 000 signatures opposing the proposal.
If permitted, the whales would have been brought to the US by  the Georgia Aquarium located in Atlanta. From there they would have been distributed to SeaWorlds in Florida, Texas and California as well as the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
The source of the white, Arctic based whales was off the Russian Arctic in the Sea of Okhotsk between 2006 and 2011. They have been moved to the Black Sea except for two that were transported to Japan and held at Taiji, better known as The Cove. If they remain there, it is likely that these intelligent animals will witness the gruesome slaughter of the dolphins.
Last century many aquaria so…

Chinese Villagers Protest Theft of Drinking Water, Face Jail Time

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China is an extreme example of water pollution. No water, no life
B. McPherson Villagers in the central province of Shaanxi discovered that local officials secretly installed pipes to siphon off their clean well water, forcing them to purchase water of a lesser quality.
A protester explained to RFA: He said the standoff was sparked when villagers discovered in early August that officials had secretly installed a pipeline to extract water from a well they rely on for drinking water, and villagers had cut it in protest. Radio Free Asia
The protest and rally outside the local government offices was tame by Western standards. People converged on the space outside the offices holding banners, one of which read “Dismiss the Worthless Party Secretary”. However in the PRC even such mild objections to injustices can land a protester a lengthy jail sentence. Unconfirmed reports are that some of the villagers have been handed seven year sentences.
Water is quickly becoming the issue in China. The…

Water Crisis Has Florida vs Georgia in Supreme Court

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No water no life B. McPherson Growing cities, agriculture, industry are all taking their toll on limited resources. Florida, Georgia and Alabama are locked in a decades long fight over water. Florida has now filed court action with the US Supreme Court over water use in Lake Sidney Lanier. Florida is claiming a foul in Atlanta’s continuing use of the lake water for the growing metropolis.
Lake Lanier was created in the ‘40s by damming the Chattahoochie River. It has become the largest lake in Georgia. The lake started filling in 1956. Since 1990 the three states have been squabble over water usage. In 2007 water usage by the Atlanta region had drawn the lake level down to record levels. It was not until 2008 that Georgia settled on their first water use plan.
At stake is the health of the oyster industry in Florida’s Apalachicola Bay which supplies the US with 10% of its fresh oysters. At least it did until recently. Starting in 2007 a steep decline led to a drastically reduced oyster…

Air Pollution Causes Cancer Garbage Incineration Ups Death Rate

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Metro Vancouver is looking to locate a garbage burner away from the city. Will your town fall for the promises? A new study published in this month’s Lancet Oncology confirms what many of us have suspected – dirty air causes lung cancer. Our lungs are the interface where oxygen passes into our bodies and carbon dioxide passes out. Other substances can move across the lungs’ membranes as well. Many things are suspended in the air besides oxygen and some of them can harm you.Lancet’s study specifically looked at particulate matter in nine European countries.
Particle sizes ranged from large – soot to the very tiny – less than 10 microns(less than 10/1000 of a metre). We have many sources of particulate matter in our air. Wood, coal smoke, pollen, dirt, bacteria, viruses. Our bodies are very good at dealing with these unwanted bits. We usually simply breathe them out again or our immune cells destroy them. We cope less well with ultrafine particles. It makes good sense to keep the air …

Arctic Land Animals Lose Habitat Along With Sea Ice

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B. McPherson Ice caps are Earth's air conditioners
Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is thinning and disappearing quickly. Each summer the ice retreats sooner and farther. The alarm has been sounded for those mammals that use the ice as haul out sites – seals, polar bears – but little attention has been given to the land animals that inhabit the Arctic tundra.
A new article published by Science and authored by Eric Post of the University of Penn State and Jedediah Brodie of the University of British Columbia as well as other contributors points out how the retreat of sea ice and the warming of the tundra will have a profound impact on the land based animals and plants as well. The land animals use frozen ocean sections as bridges. Warming of the tundra, melting the permafrost may create open swamps and lakes, thwarting the migration of animals like the caribou. The loss of these pathways means an increasing isolation of populations.
A rare but increasing phenomenon being seen of late is…