Trophic Avalanche:  Our Final Ride?

JOHN R HALL—In the early days of Yellowstone National Park, wolves and other mammals of prey lacked any kind of government protection from hunters.  Wolves kill livestock and compete with hunters for game animals, so they have been traditionally vilified, victimized, and eliminated.  Seven decades without one of the most voracious predators in the ecosystem resulted in explosions of antelope, deer and elk populations, overgrazing of grasslands and elimination of vast stands of aspens, willows, and cottonwoods.  This process cascaded down through the food chain, resulting in drastic reductions in species of birds and mammals of all descriptions.  Receding grasslands and forests resulted in meandering rivers and a transformation of the landscape.



ANDRE VLTCHEK—hat has been done to Indonesian-controlled Papua by Indonesian companies and by Western multi-national mining conglomerates is indescribable. Apart from committing genocide against the local population, the entire half of this tremendous island, which used to be inhabited by hundreds of local tribes, is now being ‘exposed’, forced open, and literally raped. Of course, as an anti-Communist warrior and obedient pro-business client state, Indonesia is almost never criticized by the West. The genocides it has been committing since 1965 are either sponsored or at least supported from Washington, London and Canberra.


Ecuador Endangered

JOHN SEED—The tropical Andes of Ecuador are at the top of the world list of biodiversity hotspots in terms of vertebrate species, endemic vertebrates, and endemic plants. Ecuador has more orchid and hummingbird species than Brazil, which is 32 times larger, and more diversity than the entire USA.


Junk Planet: Is Earth the Largest Garbage Dump in the Universe?

ROBERT J BURROWES—Well, for a start, even recycled rubbish is not always recycled, and even when it is, the environmental cost is usually high.

In fact, the various costs of dealing with rubbish is now so severe that China, a long-time recipient of waste from various parts of the world, no longer wants it. See ‘China No Longer Wants Your Trash. Here’s Why That’s Potentially Disastrous’.

Of course there are also special events that encourage us to dump extra rubbish into the Earth’s biosphere. Ever thought about what happens following special celebrations like Christmas? See ‘The Environmental Christmas Hangover’ or the waste discharged from cruise ships? See ‘16 Things Cruise Lines Never Tell You’.


High Schools Across China Are Now Offering Animal Welfare Courses!

We hope this monumental step by the Chinese Ministry of Education serves as an example for other countries across Asia and around the world. Animals Asia has pushed efforts in the ending of bear bile farms, the exploitation of wild animals, and the consumption of dog and cat meat in Asia. This step in engaging young minds and hearts in the fight to end cruelty towards animals is one that will likely make one of the biggest impacts in the country.