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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 »

"Bored to death? It really could happen..." Nature gives life, shouldn't life aspire to / be inspired by Nature?

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Science Shows You Can Die of Boredom, Literally
Monthly magazines from Reader's Digest to Cosmopolitan are inundated with tips on how to sleep better, find happiness, and weave seriously sexy hair. Taking nothing away from being happy and blowing your romantic partner's mind on valentine's day, there are few things as valuable as staying alive...Try to withhold your skepticism for a moment as I share a brand new scientific discovery:

The more bored you are, the more likely you are to die prematurely

Over 7,500 London civil servants aged between 35 and 55 were interviewed in the late 1980's. Among other questions, they were asked if they felt bored at work during the past month. These same people were tracked down to find out who died by April 2009. What the researchers found was that civil servants who reported being very bored were 2.5 times more likely to die of a heart problem than those who hadn't reported being bored. You might be asking yourself, what the %$#@ does this mean? To put this into perspective, consider this fact by the American Heart Association: Smokers are two to four times likely to develop coronary heart disease than nonsmokers. People with a molotov cocktail of obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar (that is, all three at once) are twice as likely to have a heart attack and three times more likely to die earlier than the rest of the population. This means that death by boredom is right up there with the favorite targets of media fear mongering, public policy, and pharmaceutical companies. Nobody is talking about boredom while people whine and die quietly at workplaces around the world.  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 »

Hubble celebrates 22nd anniversary in orbit with stunning mosaic space image of several million stars 650 light-years across

an image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope shows young stars in the heart of the Tarantula nebula, named so by early astronomers because its glowing filaments resemble spider legs

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Happy Birthday, Hubble! A Stunning New Picture for a Special Day
Things didn't look too bright for the Hubble Space Telescope when it first went into orbit back in 1989: the $1.5 billion eye on the universe had gone into space with its light-gathering mirror polished to perfection, which was very good, but the mirror was also the wrong shape — which was very bad. It wasn't until 1993 that the shuttle Endeavour went aloft with a set of corrective optics — essentially space telescope glasses — that sharpened Hubble's blurry vision and allowed it to begin conducting the stargazing work it was built to do. Since that exercise in orbital optometry, Hubble has been sending home one astonishing photo after another — and one scientific breakthrough after another too.

This week the telescope celebrates its 22nd birthday in orbit, and the folks at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) are handing out party favors in the form of a dazzling new space image. Even by Hubble standards, it's pretty extraordinary.  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.

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