tagged w/ Conservation
Back in 2011, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) declared war on energy-efficient lightbulbs, calling “sustainability” the gateway into a dystopic, Big Brother-patrolled liberal hellscape.
By Tim McDonnell | April 30, 2013
When the lights went off during Beyoncé’s halftime set at the last Superbowl, conservative commentators from the Drudge Report to Michelle Malkin pointed blame (erroneously) at new power-saving measures at New Orleans’ Superdome. And one recent study found that giving Republican households feedback on their power use actually encourages them to use more energy.
Why do conservatives, who should have a natural inclination toward conservation, have a beef with energy efficiency? It could be tied to the political polarization of the climate change debate.
A study out Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined attitudes about energy efficiency in liberals and conservatives, and found that promoting energy-efficient products and services on the basis of their environmental benefits actually turned conservatives off from picking them. The researchers first quizzed participants on how much they value various benefits of energy efficiency, including reducing carbon emissions, reducing foreign oil dependence, and reducing how much consumers pay for energy; cutting emissions appealed to conservatives the least.
The study then presented participants with a real-world choice: With a fixed amount of money in their wallet, respondents had to “buy” either an old-school lightbulb or an efficient compact florescent bulb (CFL), the same kind Bachmann railed against. Both bulbs were labeled with basic hard data on their energy use, but without a translation of that into climate pros and cons. When the bulbs cost the same, and even when the CFL cost more, conservatives and liberals were equally likely to buy the efficient bulb. But slap a message on the CFL’s packaging that says “Protect the Environment,” and “we saw a significant drop-off in more politically moderates and conservatives choosing that option,” said study author Dena Gromet, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business…
Gromet said she never expected the green message to motivate conservatives, but was surprised to find that it could in fact repel them from making a purchase even while they found other aspects, like saving cash on their power bills, attractive. The reason, she thinks, is that given the political polarization of the climate change debate, environmental activism is so frowned upon by those on the right that they’ll do anything to keep themselves distanced from it.
“When we’re given an option where the choice is made to represent a value that we don’t identify with or that our ideological group doesn’t value,” she said, “this can turn the purchase into something undesirable. By making [the environment] part of the choice, even though they might see the economic benefit, they no longer want to put their money toward that option.”
Continued at linkBack in 2011, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) declared war on energy-efficient... more
What do you do during your day that doesn't require it? All life on Earth springs from water and so many abuse it. I believe water must then be declared a global human right to keep it out of the hands of those who would commoditize it at the expense of the poor. Water is part of the commons and therefore belongs to all of us and this Earth. Privatization and pollution now in a world of more extreme and frequent drought, flood and glacial melt due to intensifying effects of climate change will leave us not only water scarce, but food scarce. It is way beyond time to become cognizant of the role we all play in preserving water for us and future generations.What do you do during your day that doesn't require it? All life on Earth springs... more
Photo: A baby elephant mourning its poisoned mother
It was a shocking sight for the rangers of the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve: a baby elephant trying in vain to wake its mother with its trunk. She had been poisoned, along with 13 other animals. Their carcasses were found over the past four weeks on land controlled by Yayasan Sabah, the state wood and palm oil group. The elephants all belonged to the same herd, which had been staying at the edge of the rainforest reserve – in close proximity to a logging camp and oil palm plantations.
“The elephants ate rat poison. That’s how the plantation workers prevent the animals from eating the fruit of the oil palm”, suspects Laurentius Ambu, director of the local conservation authority. The Borneo pygmy elephant is a rare forest elephant subspecies, of which no more than 1,500 animals remain – almost all in Sabah.
Malaysia continues to rely on exporting tropical timber and palm oil. Policymakers are in the process of clearing the last remaining rainforest areas in the states of Sabah and Sarawak for plantations. And with those forests, Borneo is losing an incredible wealth of animal and plant species, including endangered rhinos, orangutans and proboscis monkeys.
Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman is driving the deforestation by personally granting permits to clear the rainforest and establish palm oil plantations. He is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the state-owned Yayasan Sabah Group. In late 2012, the company started to cut down another 70,000 hectares of rainforest for plantations, leaving no room for the forest elephants.
Call on Aman and the Malaysian government to put an immediate end to this crime against nature and to work toward protecting the rainforests and their residents.
https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/mailalert/905?ref=nl&mt=1519Photo: A baby elephant mourning its poisoned mother... more
Conservationists have converted a remote-controlled plane into a potent tool for conservation.
Using seed funding from the National Geographic Society, The Orangutan Conservancy, and the Denver Zoo, Lian Pin Koh, an ecologist at the ETH Zürich, and Serge Wich, a biologist at the University of Zürich and PanEco, have developed a conservation drone equipped with cameras, sensors and GPS. So far they have used the remote-controlled aircraft to map deforestation, count orangutans and other endangered species, and get a bird's eye view of hard-to-access forest areas in North Sumatra, Indonesia.
"The main goal of this project is to develop low-cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that every conservation biologist in the tropics can use for surveying forests and biodiversity," said Koh via email. "Drones are already being used for many purposes including the military, agriculture, and even in Hollywood for filming. But they are still not commonly used for conservation purposes."
The reason, says Koh, is the high cost of commercial systems, which can run $10,000-50,000. Koh's first drone cost less than $2,000 and can be carried in a backpack.
"The idea for developing this low-cost drone came to me during one of my field trips to Borneo in 2004," Koh told mongabay.com. "A very exhausting day of fieldwork made me wish for a remote control aircraft that I could send into the forest to do the work for me so that I could take a break the next day."
"The drone is almost fully autonomous, which means it can take-off and fly on autopilot," Koh explained. "The user pre-programs each mission on a laptop computer by clicking waypoints along a planned flight path on a Google Map. Based on this flight path and the onboard sensors (GPS, altitude sensor, airspeed sensor, etc), the drone will take off automatically, fly to every waypoint, and then return to the user. During the mission, the drone can take photographs or videos depending on the camera system installed."
For anyone who has spent hours tracking over rough terrain in the tropical rainforest, the appeal of a conservation drone is immediately obvious.
"This may offer a cost-effective way of counting wildlife over difficult terrain," Stuart Pimm, an ecologist at Duke University who runs the conservation non-profit Saving Species, told mongabay.com. "Having imagery of far higher resolution than from satellites is essential for such work and it offers a viable alternative in places where helicopter or plane costs are too high."
There are also scenarios where a drones can be an alternative to satellite imagery.
"Low-cost drones can be an effective alternative to satellite images for mapping the landscape," Koh told mongabay.com. "In fact, drones can perform better than satellite data in cases where an area needs to be mapped in real-time and repeatedly."
To date, Koh and Wich have used the drone in Aras Napal, close to the Gunung Leuser Conservation Area in Sumatra. During their four days of testing, the drone flew 30 missions — collecting hundreds of photos and hours of video — without a single crash. A mission, which typically lasts about 25 minutes, can cover 50 hectares.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0223-conservation_drone.html#Tt3J3JBMezsF7ULH.99Conservationists have converted a remote-controlled plane into a potent tool for... more
This story is part of a special National Geographic News series on global water issues.
Photo: Colorado River-National Geographic.
More information and photos at the linkThis story is part of a special National Geographic News series on global water... more
Has anyone had any experience with this programme or similar Biodiversity Research Programmes around the world? I was thinking of going to Honduras this year to help research which is trying to stop deforestation as there are soo many potentially endemic species, are there alternative programmes and are they really worth the travel and cost. They sure make it look worth it but i don't know if i could raise the funds. Would love to hear your views on this as there don't seem to be any articles here, at least about OpWall.Has anyone had any experience with this programme or similar Biodiversity Research... more
A crime against humanity specifically aimed at the poor goes virtually unnoticed in our consciousness. It is the privitization of the world's water supply at a time when such actions only seek to deprive millions of this life giving human right. To think that in only 45 years time half of this world will be water scarce is incomprehensible. However, this is where we are heading and if it is allowed to happen people will die.
Privitization, corruption, waste and climate change are now all factors that contribute to the increasing amount of people globally who do not have enough water to live day to day. And as temperatures continue to warm glacial melting will decrease the supply of water to billions of people.
It is heartbreaking to see this affecting the world's poor as it is. For the most part those who live in water scarce areas like Bolivia are not contributing to the conditions that are exacerbating climate change and its effects in these areas. As this film also brings out there is also a social stigma attached to the poor who do not have access to water. It is in essence a caste system set up to deny social access to those who cannot afford water when water should be accessible to all as a human right.
More at the linkA crime against humanity specifically aimed at the poor goes virtually unnoticed in... more
Tomorrow is the 19th annual National Public Lands Day, the “nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands.” More than 170,000 Americans will volunteer their time helping to restore and conserve their favorite places.
It’s a good time to reflect on why we have set aside more than 700 million acres of federal public lands that are managed by the government on behalf of all Americans. This is especially true considering that a number of politicians have demonstrated their ignorance of this national asset. Even Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told the Reno Gazette-Journal in February that he doesn’t know “what the purpose is” of public lands.
Public lands have a wide variety of purposes, from contributing to the economy to being an important part of our heritage. Here is our list of the top five purposes and benefits of public lands:
1. They provide a place for all Americans—not just the wealthy few—to play. America’s system of public lands leaves them open to everyone, no matter how rich or poor. And this is unique—as Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) wrote, “In most countries in the world, if you aren’t landed gentry, good luck hunting and fishing. Your best bet in many of those places is to pay a steep price to hunt and fish on someone else’s private land.” Public lands reflect many of our democratic ideals, such as equality and liberty.
2. They are part of our national heritage. Currently America boasts 397 national park units, 103 national monuments, and 757 wilderness areas. Each of these represents a time or place that is important to our history as an American people. From the newly created Chimney Rock National Monument that honors Native Americans, to Yellowstone National Park that echoes the spirit that drew us westward, to Fort Monroe National Monument that tells the story of slavery and the Civil War, our public lands are part of our collective memory as a nation.
3. They create economic development and jobs. America’s lands have for hundreds of years provided the natural resources that keep our economy moving. Today, public lands are the source of coal, oil, gas, timber, and other minerals, and their extraction provides economic benefits and jobs. Additionally, protecting public lands stimulates economic development by way of tourism and the active outdoor industry. A recent report from the Department of the Interior found that in 2011, the agency contributed $385 billion to the economy and supported 2 million jobs (this number does not include the contributions of the U.S. Forest Service).
4. They help provide clean air and clean water. Mountains, forests, and rivers are the source of many of the natural amenities on which we depend. Public lands provide these resources to a vast number of people—for example, more than 124 million Americans get their clean drinking water from national forests. And forests and grasslands filter carbon pollution from the air caused by burning fossil fuels and other industrial activity. Protecting these places from development and keeping them in tact will ensure that future generations are able to continue relying on them.
5. They are crucial to helping our country adapt to climate change. Public lands are important both on the mitigation and adaptation sides of climate change. Forests are extremely important to the long-term storage of carbon—the Forest Service reports that forests and wood products are responsible for sequestering 200 million tons of carbon every year, equivalent to “about 10 percent of annual emissions from fossil fuels.” Additionally, large tracts of intact lands will be critical to ensuring that species are able to migrate to more suitable habitats as global warming changes the landscape.
This is also an important time to be talking about public lands issues because they have made appearances in a number of elections this year. Other than Romney’s gaffe, public lands have played a role in the New Mexico and Montana Senate races, Utah’s governor race, and in a ballot initiative in Arizona. For the very existence of public lands to continue, it is important that we understand the positions that our candidates have on public lands issues, and what their visions are for them in the future.
By Jessica Goad on Sep 28, 2012 at 12:30 pmTomorrow is the 19th annual National Public Lands Day, the “nation’s... more
What makes this so sad, according to Ric O’ Barry, one of the capturers and trainers of dolphins for the original show Flipper, “there’s no connection between conservation and stupid dolphin tricks”. He also states that these animals suffer to such an extent from this treatment that they will often become violent to others, both human and non-human animals, along with themselves, even to the point of suicide.
http://veracitystew.com/?p=42021What makes this so sad, according to Ric O’ Barry, one of the capturers and... more
Our public lands, set aside for the American people and for generations to come are now seeing the influence of corporate money working to take them from us. This video series beginning on July 10 will explore three such instances in a fight to protect these lands from resource extraction. Uranium mining on the edges of the Grand Canyon, a proposed coal mine close to Bryce Canyon National Park and natural gas drilling in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Next Wednesday you can also watch a live stream of an event featuring a discussion of “The Status of American Conservation in 2012.”
Public lands need to be protected.
Hands off.Our public lands, set aside for the American people and for generations to come are... more
Tom and Marcy Rothe ease their Ford Super Duty pickup down a Texas ranch road under a wide mackerel sky. Both Tom’s and Marcy’s families have run cattle here on the edge of the state’s Hill Country since the late 1800s, and the ranch, studded with rock, live oak and Ashe juniper, has a rough-hewn beauty. But the past year has been tough, and a headline-making drought killed many of the oaks in the region.
“You’re seeing it as bad as it can get,” Tom says from behind the wheel.
Still, a recent spate of wet weather has brought the first hints of green, and the rain serves as a reminder that the ranch’s importance extends far beyond its boundary fences.
Although the ranch lies an hour’s drive west of San Antonio, it is a critical component of the water supply for the city and its suburbs.
That’s because the TMR Ranch sits astride part of a swath of land known by just about everybody in west-central Texas as the recharge zone. This area is what keeps the Edwards Aquifer—the underground source of drinking water for more than 2 million people living in San Antonio and the surrounding region—from running dry. Rain falling across some 4,400 square miles, primarily in the Hill Country, drains toward the recharge zone, where cracks, fissures and sinkholes funnel water down into a 500-foot-thick, 3,600-square-mile honeycombed karst limestone aquifer lying just below the surface.
Not far from the TMR Ranch, an epic spot called the Seco Sinkhole can swallow so much water in a big rainstorm that it turns into a giant whirlpool. “It’s scary,” says Tom. “You get up close to it, and you think, ‘Man, it could just suck me right in.’”
Once the water swirls into the aquifer, it slowly flows south and east through faults and fractures toward San Antonio. There it fills people’s taps, waters gardens and feeds the Comal and San Marcos springs. Those springs, in turn, feed the Guadalupe River, which provides critical flows of fresh water into San Antonio Bay, a vital wintering spot for endangered whooping cranes and other birds on the Gulf Coast.
The water in the aquifer is so pure that rather than having to run it through an expensive water-treatment system, as most cities do, San Antonio simply gives it a shot of chlorine before piping it into homes. But the very characteristics that make the Edwards Aquifer a natural reservoir also make it extremely vulnerable to contamination. Development pressure on the outskirts of San Antonio has threatened to destroy the natural permeability of the landscape—reducing the amount of land available to catch rain and recharge the aquifer, and increasing the volume of pollutantsTom and Marcy Rothe ease their Ford Super Duty pickup down a Texas ranch road under a... more
Mexico and Central America look like they are covered in dried blood on maps projecting future soil moisture conditions.
The results from 19 different state-of-the-art climate models project extreme and persistent drought conditions (colored dark red-brown on the maps) for almost all of Mexico, the midwestern United States and most of Central America.
If climate change pushes the global average temperature to 2.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial era levels, as many experts now expect, these regions will be under severe and permanent drought conditions.
Future conditions are projected to be worse than Mexico's current drought or the U.S. Dust Bowl era of the 1930s that forced hundreds of thousands of people to migrate.
These are some of the conclusions of the study "Projections of Future Drought in the Continental United States and Mexico", which was published in the December 2011 issue of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Hydrometeorology and has gone largely unnoticed.
"Drought conditions will prevail no matter what precipitation rates are in the future," said co-author Michael Wehner, a climate scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a U.S. government research centre in California.
"Even in regions where rainfall increases, the soils will get drier. This is a very robust finding," Wehner told Tierramérica.
Without major reductions in carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, global temperatures will increase to at least 2.5 degrees of warming between 2050 and 2090, depending on rates of emissions of greenhouse gases, climate sensitivity and feedbacks.
The 19 models used in the study show that the increased heat will dry soils more than any additional rain can replenish soil moisture levels. Ever warmer air temperatures will cause greater evaporation, drying out soils.
Climate change is also altering precipitation patterns, so that more and more precipitation occurs in winter months. And it is more likely to occur in the form of very heavy rainfalls over short periods of time, Wehner said.
Once the ground is dry, the sun’s energy goes into baking the soil, leading to a further increase in air temperature, as Beverly Law, a global climate change researcher at Oregon State University, told Tierramerica at the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in 2010 in Cancún.
Large areas of the Southern hemisphere, including major portions of Australia, Africa and South America, have been drying up in the past decade, according to a study by Law and colleagues, "Climate Change: Water Cycle Dries Out", published in the journal Nature in 2010.
Another 2010 study in Nature, "Drought Under Global Warming: A Review", examined future climate projections and also found severe drying of soils over much of the central United States, Mexico and Central America by 2060, but beginning well before then.
This study by Aiguo Dai, a scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in the U.S. state of Colorado, also projected that northeastern South America will experience similar drought conditions.
"If the projections in this study come even close to being realised, the consequences for society worldwide will be enormous," Dai said in 2010.
More at the linkMexico and Central America look like they are covered in dried blood on maps... more
GLOBAL warming isn’t a prediction. It is happening. That is why I was so troubled to read a recent interview with President Obama in Rolling Stone in which he said that Canada would exploit the oil in its vast tar sands reserves “regardless of what we do.”
If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climatehttp://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2012/05/10/opinion/0510OPEDselman.html
A 2005 shot of Brendan Margison surfing in front of the now-damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima. Photo: Aichner
AFTER A MONTH OF SHUT DOWN NUCLEAR REACTORS AT SAN O, THE HAZARDS OF NUCLEAR ENERGY SPELL POTENTIAL DISASTER IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIAA 2005 shot of Brendan Margison surfing in front of the now-damaged nuclear power... more
Loss of biodiversity appears to affect ecosystems as much as climate change, pollution and other major forms of environmental stress, according to results of a new study by an international research team.
The study is the first comprehensive effort to directly compare the effects of biological diversity loss to the anticipated effects of a host of other human-caused environmental changes.
The results, published in this week's issue of the journal Nature, highlight the need for stronger local, national and international efforts to protect biodiversity and the benefits it provides, according to the researchers, who are based at nine institutions in the United States, Canada and Sweden.
"This analysis establishes that reduced biodiversity affects ecosystems at levels comparable to those of global warming and air pollution," said Henry Gholz, program director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Environmental Biology, which funded the research directly and through the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.
"Some people have assumed that biodiversity effects are relatively minor compared to other environmental stressors," said biologist David Hooper of Western Washington University, the lead author of the paper.
"Our results show that future loss of species has the potential to reduce plant production just as much as global warming and pollution."
Studies over the last two decades demonstrated that more biologically diverse ecosystems are more productive.
As a result, there has been growing concern that the very high rates of modern extinctions--due to habitat loss, overharvesting and other human-caused environmental changes--could reduce nature's ability to provide goods and services such as food, clean water and a stable climate.
Until now, it's been unclear how biodiversity losses stack up against other human-caused environmental changes that affect ecosystem health and productivity.
"Loss of biological diversity due to species extinctions is going to have major effects on our planet, and we need to prepare ourselves to deal with them," said ecologist Bradley Cardinale of the University of Michigan, one of the paper's co-authors. "These extinctions may well rank as one of the top five drivers of global change."
More at the linkLoss of biodiversity appears to affect ecosystems as much as climate change, pollution... more
Climate scientists have been saying for years that one of the many downsides of a warming planet is that both droughts and torrential rains are both likely to get worse. That’s what climate models predict, and that’s what observers have noted, most recently in the IPCC’s report on extreme weather, released last month. It makes physical sense, too. A warmer atmosphere can absorb more water vapor, and what goes up must come down — and thanks to prevailing winds, it won’t come down in the same place.
The idea of changes to the so-called hydrologic cycle, in short, hangs together pretty well. According to a new paper just published in Science, however, the picture is flawed in one important and disturbing way. Based on measurements gathered around the world from 1950-2000, a team of researchers from Australia and the U.S. has concluded that the hydrologic cycle is indeed changing. Wet areas are getting wetter and dry areas are getting drier. But it’s happening about twice as fast as anyone thought, and that could mean big trouble for places like Australia, which has already been experiencing crushing drought in recent years.
More than 3,000 robotic profiling floats provide crucial information on upper layers of the world's ocean currents. Credit: Alicia Navidad/CSIRO.
The reason for this disconnect between expectation and reality is that the easiest place to collect rainfall data is on land, where scientists and rain gauges are located. About 71 percent of the world is covered in ocean, however. “Most of the action, however, takes place over the sea,” lead author Paul Durack, a postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, said in a telephone interview. In order to get a more comprehensive look at how water is exchanged between the surface and the atmosphere, that’s where Durack and his colleagues went to look.
Nobody has rainfall data from the ocean, so Durack and his collaborators looked instead at salinity — that is, saltiness — in ocean waters. The reasoning is straightforward enough. When water evaporates from the surface of the ocean, it leaves the salt behind. That makes increased saltiness a good proxy for drought. When fresh water rains back down on the ocean, it dilutes the seawater, so decreased saltiness is the equivalent of a land-based flood.
Fortunately, as the scientists make clear, research ships have been taking salinity measurements for decades in most of the planet’s ocean basins, so it’s possible to see where and how fast salinity has been changing. And it turns out that the saltiness has been increasing, especially in the waters surrounding Australia, southern Africa and western South America — all places where drought has increased as well.
The climate models weren’t really wrong, Durack hastened to add. “They’re accurately capturing the spatial patterns in hydrologic changes, and they’ve got the basic physics right. They’re just providing very conservative estimates of how big the changes are, and now we’re starting to understand that.”
More at the linkClimate scientists have been saying for years that one of the many downsides of a... more
Still reeling from last year's devastating drought that led to at least $10 billion in agricultural losses across Texas and the South, the nation is enduring another unusually parched year.
A mostly dry, mild winter has put nearly 61% of the lower 48 states in "abnormally dry" or drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly federal tracking of drought. That's the highest percentage of dry or drought conditions since September 2007, when 61.5% of the country was listed in those categories.
Only two states — Ohio and Alaska — are entirely free of abnormally dry or drought conditions, according to the Drought Monitor.
The drought is expanding into some areas where dryness is rare, such as New England.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, stream levels are at near-record or record lows in much of New England. The Drought Monitor lists all of Vermont as "abnormally dry," just six months after the state's wettest August on record that stemmed mainly from disastrous flooding by the remnants of Hurricane Irene.
The rest of the East is also very dry. "Georgia is one area we'll really have to watch," says meteorologist David Miskus of the Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Md. More than 63% of the state is now in the worst two levels of drought, the highest percentage of any state.
Wildfires and brush fires have been common along the East Coast from New England to Florida in recent weeks because of wind and the unusual dryness.
The Southwest and Southeast had a very dry winter, but the southern Plains, including eastern Texas, had a much wetter winter than expected, Miskus says. The rain eased drought conditions in eastern Texas. The state dropped from 100% in the four categories of drought in late September to 64% this week. Much of western Texas remains in extreme to exceptional drought.
Trouble also looms for water-dependent California. The state Department of Water Resources announced last week that water content in California's mountain snowpack is 45% below normal.Still reeling from last year's devastating drought that led to at least $10... more
A report surfaced Thursday which was discussed by the US State Dept. on World Water Day regarding what they say is a greater chance for conflict/terrorism in the 21st century due to water scarcity. Funny, I have been writing about this for years. Seems many of us are ahead of the curve on many issues. However, my views on the coming wars were based on them primarily coming also as a result of militarization of water as a political/economic weapon and a way to subjugate poor people through privatization, which is already occurring and the fact that US AID is part of this spells it all out.
As we have seen very recently in places like Iraq that is exactly what happened. The U.S. invaded Iraq thus facilitating the entrance of companies such as Bechtel to come in order to privatize the water system (they eventually pulled out.) Monsanto was also given access in order to push their GMO seeds on the farmers. Therefore, when I read a report put out by intelligence agencies or the military/government regarding this I don't see it as a report of warning for the people. I see it as a blueprint for them to use in the facilitation of their concentration of more power and control over the populace. Obviously, they know what is causing and contributing to much of the scarity of water in our world yet these same governments do nothing policywise to actually improve the lives of the poor being most affected by it before the worst of it hits.
Therefore as the video above illustrates, this is an ongoing unsustainable cycle perpetuated by water waste...our waste and the waste of industry, agriculture and a world for the most part that does not connect the dots between consumption and waste being twice the rate of replenishment. Add to that a growing population and you see where this is going. The solution to this seems simple, but based on human nature is very complex. In another civilization where greed and selfishness would not come into play conservation would be such a no brainer that the inhabitants would more than likely not find themselves in this predicament of survival. However, we are human and we are here. The question now is, do we have the moral will it will take on an unprecedented scale to conserve this precious resource while doing all in our power to fight the forces who have already predicted our fate? If we wish to survive, we have no other choice.
More at the linkhttp://www.policymic.com/articles/5872/water-wars-caused-by-scarcity-and-control-will-t... more
This Thursday, March 22, is World Water Day as designated by the UN and celebrated annually since 1993. This year's theme is Water And Food Security. This video presents a primer on this important topic and crisis. Throughout the week up to March 22, I will be posting different sources of information, facts and an entry on March 22 in dedication of water/food. March 22 is a day to bring awareness of water in corrolation to our use of it and the crisis we face. Join Water Is Life this week in bringing awareness and celebrating what gives us life 365 days a year.This Thursday, March 22, is World Water Day as designated by the UN and celebrated... more
From the rainforests of central Africa to the Australian outback, indigenous people armed with GPS devices are surveying their territories and producing maps they can use to protect them from logging and other outside development.
by fred pearce
Deep in the African rainforest and three days from home, a tribal hunter, punting down a backwater, puts aside his spear and takes out a GPS handset. He doesn’t need the Global Positioning System to know where he is. He is intimate with every inch of his tribe’s forests. But he taps an icon on the screen to identify the burial ground, sacred grove, or wildlife-rich swamp he is passing, then puts the handset back in his hunting bag, and carries on. The data on the handset will later be uploaded onto remote sensing maps created by Google Earth. Now his knowledge can be shared with the world.
These days, across the rainforests of central Africa and in South America, Southeast Asia, and other parts of the world, the new weapon of choice for defending community lands against outsiders is digital mapping technology. The aim is to produce maps that governments cannot ignore and that will help inhabitants to claim legal ownership of their lands and to fight back against ministers and officials intent on handing over their forests to loggers, mining companies, and other outside exploiters.
In a largely unheralded technological revolution, thousands of forest dwellers have been trained in how to combine their old ways of marking and remembering territory, in which a boundary might be “the big tree by the river two days’ walk away,” with digitized mapping techniques. “It is becoming a powerful tool of advocacy,” says Georges Thierry Handja, the Cameroonian technical advisor for the Rainforest Foundation UK, a Western NGO active in the field.
The Rainforest Foundation/Mapping for RightsVillagers navigate a river in northeast Gabon as part of mapping program supported by the Rainforest Foundation UK.Consider events in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire. There, in the aftermath of a long civil war, the government is currently zoning its forests — which cover as much as 316 million acres, an area nearly the size of France, Germany and Spain combined — in preparation for their mass allocation to logging companies. Old European timber conglomerates want to reactivate their concessions, some dating back almost to the brutal days more than a century ago when the entire country was run by King Leopold of Belgium. Logging newcomers from Malaysia and China also want a slice of the action.
Faced with the threat of losing their lands, both Bantu farmers and indigenous hunters in the western province of Bandundu, a center of rubber harvesting in Leopold’s time, have been mapping their forests. Each community has produced an initial sketch map of their area. Then more than 400 volunteers from 200 remote villages, all trained by Handja and his colleagues to use GPS handsets, have traveled for days by boat or on foot to record the precise locations of important points on their sketch maps — not least the boundaries of their territories.
“When communities are involved in mapping their lands,” Handja says, “they can play an important part in the conservation, management and development of forests.” The Bandundu mapping project, supported by the British government through the Rainforest Foundation, was last year’s runner up in the Buckminster Fuller Challenge awards for “socially responsible design in solving the world’s complex problems.”
More at the linkFrom the rainforests of central Africa to the Australian outback, indigenous people... more