Plastic Waste, A Global Concern

Plastic Waste, A Global Concern

Plastic pollution is a world catastrophe

Plastic Waste, A Global Concern

By William Jones

What is Plastic?

Plastic is a synthetic organic polymer made from petroleum.  Plastic is ideally suited for a wide variety of applications. Packaging, building and construction, household and sports equipment, vehicles, electronics, and agriculture; the uses are endless. It is cheap, lightweight, strong and malleable. Over 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year. Half of plastic products are designed for single-use; such as shopping bags, cups, and straws. While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become addicted to single-use or disposable plastic — with severe environmental consequences.

Oil, Natural Gas and Coal

More than 99% of plastics are produced from chemicals derived from oil, natural gas, and coal — all of which are dirty, non-renewable resources. If current trends continue, by 2050 the plastic industry could account for 20% of the world’s total oil consumption.

Worrying Trends

We produce about 300 million tonnes (metric tons) of plastic waste each year. That’s nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. We’re seeing  worrying trends. Since the 1950s, the rate of plastic production has grown faster than that of any other material. We’ve also seen a shift away from the production of durable plastic, and towards plastics that are meant to be thrown away after a single use. These single-use plastic products are everywhere. For many of us, they’ve become integral to our daily lives.

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The Vanishing Amazon Rainforest

The Vanishing Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon rainforest is in peril. Experts predict there will be no rainforest in 30 years.

The Vanishing Amazon Rainforest 

The clock is ticking. The emergency real. Experts believe that in 30 years the Amazon rainforest will likely be, just a memory. . .

By Megan Wallin 

Ongoing Threat

The Amazon rainforest has been under threat for decades. Despite its indisputable ecological value and unspeakable beauty we are at risk of losing this incredible natural resource.  Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has vowed to protect the forest and reduce harmful emissions. His words don’t match his actions. Unparalleled development continues, transforming forest into farmland or deforested deserts. The entire ecosystem has been disrupted, all for the price of temporary, but immediate profit.

A Ravaged Landscape

According to Reuters, Brazil’s ecological losses have increased 1.8 percent just during 2020, losing roughly 1,062 square kilometers of forest to greed and corruption. But logging isn’t the only issue to blame in this scenario. Farmland conversion, wildfires, droughts and pollution have ravaged the land. More than one billion acres of rainforest have been transformed into public, government or miscellaneous use since the year 1990.

Losing Value

The worth of an intact and thriving Amazon rainforest amounts to approximately a whopping $8.2 billion , but the forest is losing its value both economically and environmentally.  This world wonder spreads across Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. The Amazon rainforest extends over millions of miles, and provides a safe habitat for thousands of tropical animals. Furthermore, it is home to at least 500 tribal communities.

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Create a Back Yard Sanctuary

       

Creating a back yard sanctuary start with a bird feeder. feeder to your back yard.

To create a backyard sanctuary you might want to start by hanging a bird feeder.

                                                             

Create A Backyard Sanctuary

By D. S. Mitchell

Start With Bird Feeders

No matter how small your yard there are things that you can do that will turn your property into a wildlife sanctuary. With COVID-19 having many of us confined to our homes, it might be just the right time to get out in the yard and make a difference for a bevy of creatures. Biologists say habitat loss is the biggest threat to wildlife. Take some of your extra time and pent-up energy to build half a dozen bird feeders. If you are not good with hammer and nail, just order them on-line. One of the easiest things you can do is hang up bird feeders. Remember to place the feeders at different height levels, in different areas of the yard. Offer a variety of seeds in separate feeders. Don’t offer suet in warm weather.

Use Poisons Cautiously

Often people reach for rodenticides at the first signs of  mouse activity, without thinking of the potential danger to wildlife. A California study found rat poison in 90% of mountain lions and 88% of bobcats, and 25 other animal species, including the endangered northern spotted owl and the San Joaquin kit fox. For wildlife friendly alternatives visit www.saferodentcontrol.org.  Consider installing nesting boxes for barn owls. A family of barn owls can eat as many as 3,000 rodents a year. For information on the owl boxes please visit www.hungryowl.org.

Say No To Weedkillers

Stop using dangerous pesticides.

Stop using dangerous pesticides. Some stay in the soil for a decade. Weeds can be beautiful.

People need to expand their world vision. Amazingly, people take extreme measures to eat organic, yet go full-bore on weed killers. It is clearly time to say no to weed killers. Before buying young starter plants, seed packets and saplings, read the fine print, making sure you do not buy chemically pre-treated products. Make sure there are no neonicotinoids on labels. Half of the plants sold in the U.S. and Canada are treated with neonicotinoids before shipment to stores.

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Mother Earth Is Begging For Help

Mother Earth, Protect Her

By D. S. Mitchell

No Planet B, For Me

Calamity Politics is pro-environment. I hope all our readers are pro-environment. Earth is the only planet I’m ever going to set foot on.  I see her as a nurturing, caring, loving place that needs reciprocal love and care. We need to get this right; for the grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren. I want to make climate change and environmental protection a priority. We  are in the middle of the Democratic 2020 primaries. Biden and Sanders are still battling it out. Recent primaries do appear to have Biden overwhelming the Vermont senator. Whoever wins the nomination must make Climate Change and environmental protection a top national issue.

Four More Years Could Seal Mom’s Fate

The Trump environmental wrecking crew is at the gates. As each day passes, I become more agitated. I am afraid that we will not be able to mount a sufficient defense against their heavy-handed onslaught against the environment. The agency that is most responsible for that protection, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has been decimated by Trump and his Fossil Fuel allies.

In the Courts

The Sierra Club’s donations are up. The World Wildlife Fund donations are also reportedly, up. I think we will need every environmental organization on the planet to stop the assault on the planet.  Hopefully their resistance will be both through lawsuits in the courts and active street protests against Trump’s dangerous agenda.  It is important to recognize that U.S. politics effect policy worldwide, not just nationwide. We are an example to the world. What we do, other countries do.

Embrace the Future

Clean energy is better for the economy and it is better for Mother Earth. Time to wrestle control of environmental policy and legislation from the fossil fuel industry and their army of lobbyists. The  remnants of the dirty Industrial Revolution must come to an end. Let’s look forward,  and embrace the future.  We are moving into the Technological Era.  Parts of the transition will be painful, acceptance is the first step.  If you are affected by a changing industry, change yourself, change your skills. Become part of the future, not a useless relic of the past.

From Australia to the Amazon

Whether it is the wild fires in California, or the Amazon; millions of animals are being killed or displaced  by wildfires. Many of the fires are set by humans as a quick means to clear land for cattle grazing or palm oil production. In Australia recent fires were also caused intentionally by man. The Australian fires have caused the death of an estimated one million animals. At the other extreme, the polar ice caps are melting at an incredible rate. This loss of ice is creating big trouble for animals who depend on the ice for hunting and nesting. These emergencies must be addressed quickly, we don’t have much time.

The Orange Whore

President Trump and environmental corruption are center stage in the 2020 election. Whoring with fossil fuel barons, erasing climate change regulations, abandoning the Paris Climate Agreement, increasing offshore oil leases, supporting coal mining has made it clear, Donald Trump is no friend of Mother Earth. He has revealed his true heart, and it is nothing more than a dollar sign.  Trump and the greedy fossil fuel abusers would kill Mom and dance at her funeral. It is up to us, to stop the war on our planet. Time to elect Democrats, from the state houses to the White House. Mom’s life is at stake.

Join the Resistance

 

Poachers Kill 20,000 Elephants Every Year

Poachers Kill 20,000 Elephants Every Year

ELEPHANT CATASTROPHE

By D.S. Mitchell

Every Ivory Trinket Represents A Dead Elephant.

Poachers kill 20,000 wild elephants every year. These heartless poachers don’t just shoot the poor animals;  instead the desperate creatures are often left injured and dying. Whether by gunshot wounds, poisoning, mutilation or snare traps 50 animals are killed daily. Make no mistake there is a war on elephants. Poachers will kill any elephant with tusks-even a mother nursing her baby.

Into Deadly Ambush

Sadly, often poachers will attack and injure baby elephants because the baby’s pitiful cries will then lure their mothers into a deadly ambush. These poacher’s will stop at nothing to get their hands on the ivory. The poachers use assault rifles and even poison arrows. Unimaginably, they even pour cyanide into elephant watering holes. All this needless suffering so the ivory can be carved into useless trinkets and jewelry to be sold in Asian markets, particularly in China.

Orphans Left To Wander Helpless

Elephants are highly social and deeply emotional creatures. After the poachers kill their mothers, the young orphans are left, to wander helplessly in the bush, until they die, or are rescued by humanitarians.  In one recent case a young orphan elephant was found missing part of her trunk and her tail, likely the victim of a lion attack since she had no protection without her mother. In fact, if the slaughter is not stopped soon certain elephant populations risk extinction.

Orphans Cry For Their Mothers

After a baby elephant is orphaned they will often sit, weeping for hours, tears rolling down their cheeks. Some will wake up in the middle of the night, squealing in terror from nightmares.  Although physically healthy some will refuse to eat or drink because they have been so traumatized by the loss of their mother they die of what seems to be a broken heart.

Groups Work To Stop The Slaughter

More than 50 elephants are slaughtered every day from poaching, hunting and other clashes with humans. There are groups working to protect elephants but it is a huge undertaking. On the front lines are several international wildlife preservation groups, such as IFAW (International Fund for Wildlife),  African Wildlife Foundation and World Wild Life Fund. These groups are using a multi-phase approaches, changing laws and educating the public to end the ivory trade forever.

Building A Neighborhood Watch

Every year multiple game wardens and rangers are murdered by poachers because they tried to stop the killing. One recent project in Africa, known as tenBoma is showing some early success. tenBoma is basically “neighborhood watch.” In Kenya tenBoma is a traditional philosophy that encourages each community to work together to protect the entire region.

A Protective Shield

This same philosophy is being used by activist groups to engage local communities, the people, the police, the scouts and rangers-to share information on suspected poacher movements and other dangerous activity, especially around known elephant migration routes.  The goal of such projects is to form a protective shield around wild places where elephants live.

Miles And Miles Away

So many of us, live thousands of miles from the center of this tragedy.  The distance between the epicenter of the disaster does not need to stop people from helping end the ivory trade, protect elephants and lovingly raise traumatized orphaned baby elephants. Hopefully, hearing the need and seeing the pain created by poachers will encourage people to give generously and repeatedly to organizations devoted to saving these incredible animals. I’ve listed three highly respected organizations fighting to save the elephants. Please donate if you can.

TO DONATE:

International Fund For Animal Welfare: www.ifaw.org

World Wildlife Fund: www.worldwildlifefund.org

African Wildlife Foundation: www.awf.org

 

 

5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP SAVE THE BEES

5 Ways To Help Save The Bees

By D. S. Mitchell

Environmental Movement

In September 1962 Rachel Carson published one of the most important books on the environment ever published. Certainly, it can be described as the foundation of the mid-20th century environmental movement. Fundamentally, Ms Carson documented the harmful effects of the “indiscriminate” use of pesticides.

Future Generations Will Not Forgive Our Failures

In her ground breaking nonfiction book, Silent Spring she  said: “It is not my contention that chemical insecticides must never be used. I do contend that we have put poisonous and biologically potent chemicals indiscriminately into the hands of persons largely or wholly ignorant of their potentials for harm. …we have allowed these chemicals to be used with little or no advance investigation of their effect on soil, water, wildlife, and man himself. Future generations are unlikely to condone our lack of prudent concern for the integrity of the natural world that supports all life.”

Field Work

Ms Carson graduated from John Hopkins University in 1932 with a Master’s Degree in Zoology.  Ms Carson worked as a field scientist for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service for fifteen years. After World War II, the government touted the value of many toxic chemicals that had been developed during the war. The prime reason behind the government support of these chemicals was the hope to maximize farm production.

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Senseless Killing: Trophy Hunting

SENSELESS KILLING                               

By Anna Hessel

The Senseless Death of One Lion

In the summer of 2015, Minnesota dentist Dr. Walter Palmer, having reportedly paid $50,000 in US dollars to hunter-guide Theo Bronkhorst as the price for an innocent lion’s head, shot and killed a majestic creature named Cecil.  Palmer first shot Cecil with bow and arrow, then tracked the wounded king of the jungle for about a 40-hour period, finally killing him with a rifle on July 1st near Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

A Song Too Late

Public outrage at this prompted many celebrities and politicians, among others, to publicly condemn the murder of this animal.  Musicians composed songs of tribute in Cecil’s honor, while artists worldwide such as Aaron Blaise, a former animator for Disney, created works to celebrate his life and mourn his death.

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