#FEEL FREE FRIDAY ~ 44

So many people justify cruelty towards nonhuman animals with the argument that animals are considered property in law. In other words, they are simply products to be used, abused and traded. This is certainly the view of those involved with fur production.
The New Zealand Government, this year (2015), has formally recognised animals as sentient beings through its Animal Welfare Amendment Bill.  Sourced through Scoop.it from: emynow.wordpress.com

The Hidden Victims of California’s Drought | VICE News

“California is struggling through the fourth year of a historic drought. It has included the driest calendar year in the state’s history (2013), and the year with the lowest snowpack in the state’s history (2015). Because California is America’s largest agricultural producer, the world’s eighth largest economy, and home to fish and wildlife that are found nowhere else on Earth, California’s response to drought could very well impact the entire world — and be a test run for a future in which climate change likely makes droughts more frequent and more severe.

“Much of the focus of media coverage of California’s drought has focused on the agriculture sector, which uses about 80 percent of the water used by humans in California. Although many farms have installed drip irrigation and improved their water-use efficiency in recent decades, nearly 50 percent of all the irrigated acreage in California still uses inefficient flood-and-furrow irrigation, in which fields are covered by standing water. And despite the drought, Wall Street investment firms and other corporations have bought up farmland and planted hundreds of thousands of acres in recent years, often planting almond orchards or other permanent crops on land that has never before been irrigated, relying ever more heavily on over-drafted groundwater supplies.”  Sourced through Scoop.it from: news.vice.com

Fish and Wildlife faulted in red wolf shootings


“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act twice in the past two years when it gave private landowners permission to kill endangered red wolves near the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge…”  Sourced through Scoop.it from: telania.wordpress.com

Wildfires

Massive Wildfires in US Northwest Destroy Habitats, Threaten Wildlife A heavy toll may be exacted on elk, moose and other wildlife whose habitat has been destroyed by wildfires that have charred hundreds of thousands of acres (hectares) of forests…Sourced through Scoop.it from: elispiritweaver.wordpress.com

“Everything I was Dreaming of is Gone” — How Climate Change is Spurring a Global Refugee Crisis to Rapidly Worsen

“Over the past two weeks, news of the plight of a swelling wave of refugees fleeing to Europe has filled the mainstream media. We looked on in horror at reports of innocent human beings fleeing destabilized countries in the Middle East, of people suffocating while stuffed into the backs of trucks, of drowned children washed up on the shores of nations their families had hoped would care for them.

“It’s all a part of a growing global mass migration. A tragic dislocation and diaspora. But this time it’s not only birds, or polar bears, or fish, or walruses, or insects, or plants that are being forced to move by habitat and food loss, by toxified environments or by increasingly dangerous weather. It’s human beings too.

In the video we are rightfully compelled to compassion for a drowned boy and his family. A family suffering in a country ripped apart by conflict. A country fractured by insurgent forces that will use any form of brutality to gain and secure power. And in this very narrow frame we are provided with a perpetrator — ISIS — and an-all-too innocent victim. The call for warfare against the human monsters that make up ISIS is clear. But the conditions that created the monster in the first place, as happens all too often with climate change, are completely ignored.

Climate Change as Threat Multiplier in Syria

“Syria was never a stable country. At least not so long as colonial and. . . .”  Read more at: robertscribbler.com

Saving coral reefs depends more on protecting fish than safeguarding locations

A new study by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) has found that coral reef diversity ‘hotspots’ in the southwestern Indian Ocean rely more on the biomass of fish than where they are located, a conclusion that has major implications for management…

Sourced through Scoop.it from: phys.org

NM Game Commission: No “Game” for Wildlife

from Rosemary Lowe:

“At the NM Game Commission hearing on August 27th, Opponents of increased mountain lion and bear killing outnumbered the hunters, trappers, ranchers, at least 4 to 1. Yet, while some of the environmental/animal groups were allowed to speak, many of us individual citizens were not. It was obvious to many that the commission was changing the rules to fit their biased needs. Not only are numerous ranchers & hunters on this commission, but there are 2 Safari Club International members as well.

“Anyone surprised that the “vote” was unanimous in favor of more killing?

“We cannot help wildlife by changing these game department’s names, or funding structure, or by continuing to accept their barbaric “game management policies” as something worthy of support.

“Game agencies were started in the early 1900’s. Aldo Leopold (a long-time wolf killer), literally wrote the textbook on game management. Yes, he was “sorry” for killing one wolf too many, but he was responsible for the atrocious model of today’s “modern game management” which views wild animals as “commodities and resources.”

“Terms such as “harvest” and “game quotas” are designed to artificially maintain wild species for trophy/trapping–-keeping just enough of them for human exploitation/killing.

“The NM Game Dept comes up with pseudo-statistics to rationalize their use of wildlife. Some so-called wildlife groups are collaborating with the enemies of wildlife – the hunting, trapping and livestock industries– to establish a so-called sustainable level of wildlife killing. The wildlife of New Mexico have enough to contend with, without wildlife organizations joining the killing machine.

“The World Wildlife Living Planet Report says: “Populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles measured for the report have declined by 52 per cent since 1970; and freshwater species have suffered a 76 per cent decline – an average loss almost double that of land and marine species.”

“We are developing a campaign against trophy hunting, and the state game departments which support it, on our EARTH for Animals website.”  Sourced through Scoop.it from: exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com

GR:  Continuing to follow the old ways even after more than half of all the animals are gone is probably ignorance rather than some sort of animal hatred.

Record-Breaking Wildfires, Greenland Melting and Earth’s Hottest Month Ever

GarryRogers:

Humans have some advantages over other animal species, but like the animals, we can’t control our urge to reproduce and our desire for the security of material wealth. Sentient but not sapient, sensitive but not wise, our advantages have let us to eliminate competition, disease, and danger. Thus, nothing can stop our booming population and our world-destroying “environmental footprint.”  (ACD = anthropogenic climate disruption)

Originally posted on Exposing the Big Game:

The following article from Truthout.org covers all that I was going to go over in Part 2 of Global Warming: the Future is Now, so here’s this instead:

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Dahr Jamail | The World on Fire:

The US is now officially in the worst wildfire season in its history, as almost 7.5 million acres across the country have burned up since spring.

Articles about ACD’s impacts are now being published in more mainstream outlets, carrying titles that include verbiage like “the point of no return,” and it is high time for that, given what we are witnessing.

A recently published study by the UK-US Taskforce on Extreme Weather and Global Food System Reliance revealed that “major shocks” to worldwide food production will become at least three times more likely within the next 25 years due to increasingly extreme weather events generated by ACD. One of the coauthors of the report…

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Biodiversity below ground is just as important as above ground

Although most of the world’s biodiversity is below ground, surprisingly little is known about how it affects ecosystems or how it will be affected by climate change.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: phys.org

Diversity on the ground surface is also a critical and usually overlooked element of ecosystem function.

World on track for warming ‘far above’ 2C target: analysts

Inadequate national targets for curbing climate-altering greenhouse gases meant emissions would be “far above” the level required to stave off disastrous global warming, analysts warned Wednesday.

Instead of the UN-targeted ceiling of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) of average warming over pre-Industrial Revolution levels, the world was on track for 2.9-3.1 C by 2100, according to the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a tool developed by a consortium of four research organisations.

“The climate targets so far submitted to the UN by governments collectively lead to global emissions far above the levels needed to hold warming to below 2 C,” said a CAT statement.

So far, 56 governments have submitted pledges, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs, to a UN roster that will form the backbone of a universal climate-rescue pact to be signed in Paris in December.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: phys.org

Unfortunate, but no surprise.  When the U. S. President says that we must act now and then gives Shell oil permission to drill in the Arctic, it is easy to see that our political/social institutions are not sufficiently mature to deal with threats.  We have ruined our beautiful planet, and we will not stop our depredations until hopes of recovery in a far distant future begin to wain.