Category: ENVIRONMENTAL STRUGGLES

The Plight of Birds and the Hand of Man in the Sixth Great Extinction

ARSHAD KHAN—When the EU commissioned a State of Nature report, they expected bad news but not quite as dire a result.  Prepared by the European Environment Agency and sourced from EU-wide data, it found one in three bird species threatened and only a little over half secure.  It also drew a bleak picture of European habitats finding over half of those studied to be unfavorable.  Habitat loss, pesticides particularly neonicotinoids, even excessive hunting, notably in southern Europe, are all to blame.

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Very Little or No Hope

MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE—It’s not just endless war—the sheer horror of the slaughter US Empire exacts. It’s more. It’s oil seeping into our oceans. It’s radiation. It’s fracking. It’s factory farming. It’s what we inhale, absorb, ingest. This week, I saw new recommendations for colon cancer screening—colonoscopy at age 45 instead of 50. More and more young people, even teenagers, are being diagnosed with this disease. Is it diet? Is it a diet that’s marinated in pesticides?

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Cheatgrass and the Bovine Curtain

GEORGE WUERTHNER—Livestock production has a significant negative impact on sage grouse and sagebrush ecosystems. For instance, livestock consume the forbs which SG chicks feed upon. Cattle trampling and soil compaction is one of the causes of wetlands loss and damaged riparian areas utilized by grouse chicks. Livestock fencing has been shown to be a major cause of sage grouse mortality due to collisions. The presence of livestock has caused an increase in avian predators like ravens.

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Climate scientists warn about “methane time bomb”

MATTHEW MACEGAN—There is no reason to accept such a catastrophe fatalistically, however, as many climate scientists tend to do. The threat of nuclear war, combined with the growing crisis of global warming, raises ever more sharply the need to reorganize society along socialist lines in order to put an end to private ownership of the means of production and the system of rival capitalist nation-states, the main barriers to dealing with the global challenges that confront humanity.

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THE INFORMATION EXPLOSION

JOHN SCALES AVERY—Human nature seems to exhibit what might be called “tribalism”: altruism towards one’s own group; aggression towards outsiders. Today this tendency towards tribalism threatens both human civilization and the biosphere. Greed, in particular the greed of corporations and billionaire oligarchs, is driving human civilization and the biosphere towards disaster.

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Study finds alarming decline in biodiversity worldwide

Mass extinctions have happened five times previously during the existence of life on earth (see:  “The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert”). In each of those instances the causes were natural. The currently developing sixth mass extinction differs in that it is directly related to human activity. However, contrary to statements in the report and in numerous other pronouncements in the media and elsewhere, the cause is not human moral failure, overpopulation, or the need to eat less red meat.

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CHINA’S DETERMINED MARCH TOWARDS THE ECOLOGICAL CIVILIZATION (UPDATED)

ANDRE VLTCHEK—”No one supposes that a theistic ethic is the only way that people can be socialized with respect to action.  Earthly rulers have often considered their will as the grounds of law and ethics.  The deepest commitment should be to the ruler and hence to advance the ruler’s wishes.  But from the Christian point of view, true ethics must transcend obedience to political power.  Might does not make right.”

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