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Tipping point: population growth, climate change and environmental damage pushing Earth toward calamitous, irreversible changes

*update* April 4, 2013 In Sign of Warming, 1,600 Years of Ice in Andes Melted in 25 Years

A coal power station in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

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Earth may be near tipping point, scientists warn
A group of international scientists is sounding a global alarm, warning that population growth, climate change and environmental destruction are pushing Earth toward calamitous — and irreversible — biological changes.

In a paper published in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature, 22 researchers from a variety of fields liken the human impact to global events eons ago that caused mass extinctions, permanently altering Earth's biosphere. "Humans are now forcing another such transition, with the potential to transform Earth rapidly and irreversibly into a state unknown in human experience," wrote the authors, who are from the U.S., Europe, Canada and South America.  read more »

Again ocean defenders are arrested: New Zealand's Bethune, Tokyo Two, Australian Trio, Dutch Erwin.. Now Canadian Paul Watson

Captain Paul Watson 'not here to watch them kill whales, I’m here to STOP them.'

For over 30 years, determined ocean defender Captain Paul Watson has saved many wildlife, from seals, whales, dolphins, to blue tuna... but his enemies are also determined, and very "powerful, most notably the government of Japan." "Save Captain Paul Watson from a politically-motivated extradition to Costa Rica where he will not receive a fair trial, nor is it likely that he would even survive jail to see the inside of a courtroom. The Taiwanese shark fin mafia in Costa Rica have made threats on Captain Watson’s life. Costa Rica is one of the world’s largest exporters of shark fins, a trade thought to be worth millions of dollars and controlled by the Taiwanese mafia. In January 2011, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and his TV crew were allegedly held at gunpoint and dowsed with gasoline during the filming of his documentary on the shark-finning trade in Costa Rica." Newly released video evidence from the documentary "Sharkwater" proves Capt. Watson's innocence, but he is still being extradited from Germany to Costa Rica tomorrow (Fri), May 18. Filmmaker Rob Stewart joins the global call to free Paul Watson.

Arrest of Capt. Watson lawful? A 10-year-old case: no one injured, no property damaged; "the charges were originally dropped once the authorities saw the footage (from Sharkwater Film by Rob Stewart)"?

Sharkwater Film by Rob Stewart Proof Sea Shepherd Captain Innocent -
Fact 1. The event happened in Year 2002, when Sea Shepherd tried to stop illegal shark-finning;
Fact 2. During the event in Year 2002, "no one was injured and no property damaged";  read more »

6th Annual Endangered Species Day: Friday, May 18, 2012; one in four of the world's mammals are threatened with extinction

Endangered Species Day, May 2012

top: a red kite, one of several species of Scottish birds of prey to have been found dead from poisoning; bottom: endangered species California Least Tern

endangered species: arctic fox and polar bear

endangered species: sea otters and turtles

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Endangered Animal Photos For Earth Day - On Earth Day, it is important to not only recognize cute animals, but also those whose species may be in peril. For many species across the globe, extinction is a legitimate threat. A 2008 IUCN study found that one in four of the world's mammals are threatened with extinction.

Several of the species seen at above link are what the World Wildlife Fund calls "flagship species." Protection of these species "influences and supports the survival of other species" and "offers opportunities to protect whole landscapes or marine areas," according to the organization.  read more »

Oceans of trash? >9 million volunteers remove 153 million lbs of trash from >312000 miles of coastline and waterways in 26 years

Ocean trash: enough food packaging to get takeout for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for the next 858 years

top ten items of garbage found in the oceans

ocean trash killing wildlife: fish, mammals, birds, reptiles, invertebrates, amphibians, corals & sponges

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New Data Shows What Trash is in Your Ocean and Waterways
New data released by the Ocean Conservancy highlights the need for humans to clean up their acts. The numbers, generated during the 2011 International Coastal Cleanup last September, are staggering.

With 598,076 volunteers around the world who picked up 9,184,428 pounds of trash from 20,776 miles of shorelines, rivers and lakes, it’s not surprising what is the most prolific item found – cigarette butts. If you are wondering how Ocean Conservancy knows down to the last one, how many butts there were, each volunteer is issued an inventory control sheet to keep tabs.

By now you are probably feeling a little ill, seeing just how much junk is floating around and landing on the world’s shores. But what about the damage being done to our wildlife? We know better — they don’t.

Stop Trash at the Source – You  read more »

"Deforest to prevent wildfire", "kill barred owl to save another species"...sounds like whalers blaming whales, not overfishing

to save the endangered spotted owl, the Obama administration is moving forward with a plan to shoot barred owls (pictured), a rival bird
northern spotted owl

Nature has nature’s law. We humans are just part of Nature. Forests, rather than dead land without trees, supply priceless necessities (shelter, food, oxygen, balanced weather, etc...) for humans... A good example - life in all forms is easily sustained in forests. Wildfires, if not caused by human error, are Nature’s call, and trees will come out the following spring. Sensitive birds (remember they have wings) know full well to fly away from harmful situations, particularly at the onset of smoke when the fire starts... yet unfortunately they can hardly survive without the environment for them to survive – forests... and sadly their speed is no faster than a hunter’s bullet. When mankind appreciates and takes care of Nature, Nature takes care of mankind. Philosophy and science are mostly stemmed from observing nature, and discovering nature’s laws, which make us wiser. As Einstein once said, “look into nature, and you will understand everything better”.

The golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, belongs to the family Accipitridae.

(quote)  read more »

Ruin of Nature. US new law "to slaughter or kill 50,000 native wild horses"; Canada closes slaughterhouse doors to US horses

wild horses in Montana's Pryor Mountains run through a field of wildflowers

a majestic and elegant brown arabian horse galloping freely

magnificent black stallion galloping on grass

white horse trotting on beach

horse trotting on green grass under blue sky

brown horse in gallop on the beach

horse rears on hind legs

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Washington Times - The week before US Thanksgiving 2011, President Obama quietly signed into law a spending bill that restores the American horse-slaughter industry
President Obama last month quietly signed into law a spending bill that restores the American horse-slaughter industry.

The ban on horse slaughtering had been imposed in 2006 when Congress defunded the government’s ability to inspect plants that butchered horses for consumption. Without inspections, the meat couldn’t be sold, and the industry withered.  read more »

Magnificent Planet. 2012 version of Nasa's 'Blue Marble' - Earth space images (composite), taken by new Suomi satellite: Jan 4

2012 version of Nasa's 'Blue Marble' space images: most high-resolution image of Earth ever, composite image taken by the new Suomi satellite on January 4

Nasa's shot shows how the image is assembled from the instruments aboard Suomi NPP

2011's Blue Marble: mesmerizing view of Earth is a montage of images taken by the Terra satellite orbiting 435miles above the planet's surface

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Last week, NASA released its 2012 version of the famous "Blue Marble" image. By using a planet-pointing satellite, Suomi NPP, the space agency created an extremely high-resolution photograph of our watery world.
The photo centered on the western hemisphere, highlighting North and Central America. It went viral and got even more hits on Flickr than the iconic "Situation Room" photo, taken at the time of the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

Now, responding to public demand, the agency has created a companion image: this time focusing its lens toward the East and showing Africa, Saudi Arabia and India.

The Suomi NPP satellite hugs the Earth too closely to get this kind of image in one shot. It’s in a polar orbit with an altitude of 824 kilometers, but the perspective of the Eastern hemisphere Blue Marble is from 12,743 kilometers away.

As such, Nasa Goddard oceanographer Norman Kuring used images from six different orbits of the satellite over an eight-hour time period on Jan. 23, then stitched the photos together to achieve the final composite.  read more »

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