Till kicked and torn and beaten out he lies
And leaves his hold and cackles, groans, and dies.
John Clare – The Badger
The lanes of Somerset and Gloucestershire are being haunted by people from all walks of life but they all have one thing in common – they want to bring a halt to the killing of badgers. Continue reading →
When midnight comes a host of dogs and men
Go out and track the badger to his den
John Clare – The Badger
One always knows that, when government Ministers resort to defending Ministry policy in the local press, they are losing the argument with Joe Public. So it came as no surprise to read in the Gloucester Echo the justifications for the highly unpopular badger cull as written by Owen Paterson, UK Minister for the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) – Continue reading →
With the ‘global war on terror’ dominating the headlines, when Western interests headed by Western security and armed forces are sweeping across vast swathes of the Middle East and North Africa, people are losing sight of a threat that will affect everyone, rich or poor, regardless of their religion, status or nationality. So caught up in its Crusade – and what else can we honestly call it when the countries we are invading, attacking with drones or interfering with behind the scenes are all entirely or partially Muslim – the West is blind to the crusade it should really be fighting, that of climate change and the destruction of the natural world upon which all humanity depends.
This is a non-commercial attempt from http://www.sanctuaryasia.com/ to highlight the fact that world leaders, irresponsible corporates and mindless ‘consumers’ are combining to destroy life on earth. It is dedicated to all who died fighting for the planet and those whose lives are on the line today. The cut was put together by Vivek Chauhan, a young film maker, together with naturalists working with the Sanctuary Asia network (http://www.sanctuaryasia.com/).
Trees transform, shield, shade and provide oxygen, fruit, and beauty. They offer many other gifts. Without trees, humans would not survive. Through the magical process of photosynthesis, tree leaves and other green plants release oxygen by transforming carbon dioxide and water.
As our human learning community walks into the woods here beyond the Dominican University of California, I invite you to experience the plant community. Continue reading →
As the world’s demand for fish and other seafood increases and the technology available to commercial fisherman becomes more sophisticated, the annual harvest from global seaports has grown tremendously in recent years. However, the rise of industrialized fishing has not come without consequences, and many environmentalists and oceanographers believe that the current demand for fish and the methods used to fulfill it are taking an irreparable toll on the world’s oceans, with some speculating that the seas could be literally fished-out by 2048 if current trends do not change.
The arid New Mexico desert is home to a cluster of unusual buildings called ‘Earthships’ — environmentally-sustainable, self-sufficient homes made using recycled and natural materials. Plus, the revival of the North Aral sea, thanks to more efficient irrigation to increase in the inflow of the Syr Darya river, endangered fish reintroduction programmes and the 13-kilometre Kok-Aral dam. Continue reading →
There is a particular plant which some have labeled a weed in which there is a private national optional war to eradicate. It is ubiquitous in many parts of the United States. There is a fervor by many Americans to purge it from their yards and lawns. Somehow through its very commonness it has become a threat, an unwholesome plant, and a scourge upon the modern lawn of green grass. Why does this plant which populates the common yard need eradication? Some homeowners have immense pride in their lawns and they consider this plant menacing and sinister. It is the baneful blight of the dandelion that has stirred the national ire of so many who lavish funds for its obliteration and annihilation on their grassy carpet.
In this visually dazzling talk, Jonathan Drori shows the extraordinary ways flowering plants — over a quarter million species — have evolved to attract insects to spread their pollen: growing ‘landing-strips’ to guide the insects in, shining in ultraviolet, building elaborate traps, and even mimicking other insects in heat.
We rather be ruined than changed.
We rather die in our dread,
than climb the cross of the moment,
and let our illusions
-W.H. Auden, excerpted from “The Age of Anxiety”
Not long ago we strolled along a beautiful white-sand beach in Orange Beach, Alabama, taking photos of freshly washed ashore black and brown tar balls. We watched little boys playing in the shallow surf, trying to catch minnows, as red oil boom bobbed in the waves just offshore behind them. This is the world we have all created.
Above all of this, an oil-spotting white blimp made slow rumbling passes up and down the beach.
Sidestepping this week’s oncoming hurricane, my wife and I just returned from the south Texas coast where we observed 116 soup spoon-sized hatchling sea turtles marching boldly into the Gulf. It was a heartrending turtle release full of beauty, promise and dread, an emblem of the fierce battle between life and death on the Gulf. Today’s scorecard favors the grim reaper as spreading oil pollution menaces both our largest shrimp-turtle-fish nursery and up to one-third of the world’s oceans.
The Obama administration’s recent declaration on bioweapons would simply be another run-of-the-mill example of our “change” president’s duplicity were it not such an unmitigated disaster.
Recapitulating sinister Cold War practices that informed American ruling class consensus when it came to secretly toying with nature’s most deadly pathogens, (a) because they could, (b) because it was, and is, highly profitable and (c) because they got with it, the profound failure by the administration to rein-in out-of-control corporate grifters, militarists and scientists thirsting after an endless flow of taxpayer dollars, have put us all on a potential glide path towards the abyss.