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Female starlings prefer polluted males

Posted by Jim on February 28th, 2008

From United Press International:
“Welsh scientists have found brain and behavioral changes in wild birds after the birds forage on invertebrates contaminated with environmental pollutants. Katherine Buchanan and colleagues at Cardiff University studied male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) foraging at a sewage treatment works and analyzed the earthworms that constitute their prey. The researchers found birds exposed to environmentally relevant levels of synthetic and natural estrogen developed longer and more complex songs compared with males in a control group…The researchers also found female starlings prefer the song of males exposed to the mixture of endocrine disrupting chemicals, suggesting the potential for population level effects on reproductive success.”

This amazing study goes on to say that “the birds’ high vocal center — the area of the brain that controls male song complexity — became significantly enlarged in the contaminated birds.”

To paraphrase politics, “It’s the estrogen, stupid.” Maybe these birds are starting to croon more like Wayne Newton — instead of Barry White.

But who knows? Maybe the more “complex song” of the males is a lament that their beloved meals (worms) are now full of toxin. And the females are joining the pity party.

Do the animals know their world is deteriorating?

How could they not.

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Apocology Post: Responding to Transgression

Posted by Michael on February 27th, 2008

Here’s the problem: we have developed, over the last fifty years, a belief that we can transgress with impunity.

We can transgress countries (viz. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and countless minor incursions in between). We can transgress economies (viz. the World Bank, the IMF, the overdevelopment industry [see Confessions of an Economic Hit Man], and countless economic incursions). We can transgress privacy (viz. the credit system, “homeland security,” and grocery-store cards that give us a discount so they can track our every purchase).

We can transgress science (viz. the well-financed “oh gosh there’s doubt” about climate impacts of massive output of CO2, when there was little real doubt among real scientists). We can transgress representative government (viz. the bush administration’s executive hegemony, over the last six years).

But worst of all is that for fifty years and more — one could argue that it’s built into our DNA — we have believed that we could transgress Nature with impunity.

What I’ve been seeing, over the last few months of attending to the Apoc scenarios, to distill it for this site, has truly terrified me. We have imagined that we were kings of the world. We have imagined that we could do no wrong, that any business was good business, that the world would take whatever we could mete out.

We were wrong. We should have known better, but of course we didn’t want to know.

It’s been fun, these last decades. I’ve just turned 50, and have had five decades of relative opulance and luxury. We didn’t have to worry about carbon footprints, or climate collapse. We didn’t have to think about what we were doing to the rainforests by eating a Big Mac. We didn’t have to wonder if there’d be wildflowers, much less most grocery produce, in five years, if the bees die off.

We didn’t worry about the pthalates in plastic. About dead zones. About ocean acidification. About mercury in what fish are left. About untethered genetic modification for profit.

All we had to worry about was nuclear war, which was just a rumble in the distance.

We are now facing facts that make it clear that, to have a viable civilization in fifteen years, we have to make radical change, faster than any of us want.

We are stuck with this. We, my generation and all above and below it, must recognize that a dramatic restructuring of priorities, and of our willingness to transgress, is required. That’s a lot of what the PostApocology site is about — trying to make it clear how far we’ve transgressed, in so many ways.

If we don’t make dramatic change, then we will be restructured anyway, just less orderly, and with more violence.

Because the shit will hit the fan. Our transgressions have caught up with us. We have to start shifting today, if we are to have any hope of having a good tomorrow.

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Food riots, UN World Food Program, and Commodities Prices

Posted by Michael on February 26th, 2008

From Guardian (UK):
“WFP officials say the extraordinary increases in the global price of basic foods were caused by a “perfect storm” of factors: a rise in demand for animal feed from increasingly prosperous populations in India and China, the use of more land and agricultural produce for biofuels, and climate change…. Food riots have broken out in Morocco, Yemen, Mexico, Guinea, Mauritania, Senegal and Uzbekistan. Pakistan has reintroduced rationing for the first time in two decades. Russia has frozen the price of milk, bread, eggs and cooking oil for six months. Thailand is also planning a freeze on food staples. After protests around Indonesia, Jakarta has increased public food subsidies. India has banned the export of rice except the high-quality basmati variety.”

Let me encourage you to go read the Guardian piece. Had you heard about the food riots going on in poorer countries?

Much of the blame has been put on the transfer of land and grains to the production of biofuel. But its impact has been outweighed by the sharp growth in demand from a new middle class in China and India for meat and other foods, which were previously viewed as luxuries.

“The fundamental cause is high income growth,” said Joachim von Braun, the head of the International Food Policy Research Institute. “I estimate this is half the story. The biofuels is another 30%. Then there are weather-induced erratic changes which caused irritation in world food markets. These things have eaten into world levels of grain storage.

“The lower the reserves, the more nervous the markets become, and the increased volatility is particularly detrimental to the poor who have small assets.”

Did you know that 1/3 of US corn production is going to biofuels already? And that our grain reserves (wheat, corn, soy) are at their lowest level since the 1970s?

The Guardian article has this astonishing content regarding food riots, food prices, and impacts:

Global impact: Where inflation bites deepest

1 United States The last time America’s grain silos were so empty was in the early seventies, when the Soviet Union bought much of the harvest. Washington is telling the World Food Programme it is facing a 40% increase in food commodity prices compared with last year, and higher fuel bills to transport it, so the US, the biggest single food aid contributor, will radically cut the amount it gives away.

2 Morocco 34 people jailed this month for taking part in riots over food prices.

3 Egypt The world’s largest importer of wheat has been hard hit by the global price rises, and most of the increase will be absorbed in increased subsidies. The government has also had to relax the rules on who is eligible for food aid, adding an extra 10.5 million people.

4 Eritrea It could be one of the states hardest hit in Africa because of its reliance on imports. The price rises will hit urban populations not previously thought vulnerable to a lack of food.

5 Zimbabwe With annual inflation of 100,000% and unemployment at 80%, price increases on staples can only worsen the severe food shortages.

6 Yemen Prices of bread and other staples have nearly doubled in the past four months, sparking riots in which at least a dozen people were killed.

7 Russia The government struck a deal with producers last year to freeze the price of milk, eggs, vegetable oil, bread and kefir (a fermented milk drink). The freeze was due to last until the end of January but was extended for another three months.

8 Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has asked the WFP to feed an extra 2.5 million people, who are now in danger of malnutrition as a result of a harsh winter and the effect of high world prices in a country that is heavily dependent on imports.

9 Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf announced this month that Pakistan would be going back to ration cards for the first time since the 1980s, after the sharp increase in the price of staples. These will help the poor (nearly half the population) buy subsidised flour, wheat, sugar, pulses and cooking fat from state-owned outlets.

10 India The government will spend 250bn rupees on food security. India is the world’s second biggest wheat producer but bought 5.5m tonnes in 2006, and 1.8m tonnes last year, driving up world prices. It has banned the export of all forms of rice other than luxury basmati.

11 China Unusually severe blizzards have dramatically cut agricultural production and sent prices for food staples soaring. The overall food inflation rate is 18.2%. The cost of pork has increased by more than half. The cost of food was rising fast even before the bad weather moved in, as an increasingly prosperous population began to demand as staples agricultural products previously seen as luxuries. The government has increased taxes and imposed quotas on food exports, while removing duties on food imports.

12 Thailand The government is planning to freeze prices of rice, cooking oil and noodles.

13 Malaysia and the Philippines Malaysia is planning strategic stockpiles of the country’s staples. Meanwhile the Philippines has made an unusual plea to Vietnam to guarantee its rice supplies. Imports were previously left to the global market.

14 Indonesia Food price rises have triggered protests and the government has had to increase its food subsidies by over a third to contain public anger.

There’s lots more to read — go read it. Why is it only non-US news sources that report on this stuff? Criminy — a 40% increase in food commodity prices over last year?

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Sea birds, pipefish, and koyaaniskatsi

Posted by Michael on February 26th, 2008


From Guardian (UK):
“The snake pipefish, virtually unknown around the UK in 2002, has undergone a massive, baffling and dangerous expansion since then, scientists have discovered…. Since 2000 sea birds have not been able to find sufficient food either to sustain their chicks or give them the energy to breed, a problem that is blamed on the dwindling populations of small fish and sand eels that sea birds eat, a phenomenon scientists have been unable to explain…. Now parent guillemots, terns and puffins are scooping pipefish from the sea for their chicks as substitutes for their normal fish food. But the pipefish body is rigid and bony and extremely hard for chicks to eat. Biologists have found dozens left uneaten in single nests while chicks have choked to death on their bodies.”

The seabirds are starving, because their normal food is disappearing, for reasons uncertain and no doubt complicated — warming waters, changes in phytoplankton, changes in currents, changes in other fish populations, toxins in the waters — and so the birds turn to what’s available: a bony, almost fatless relative of the seahorse.

The seabird populations are collapsing:

Sea bird numbers have been hit by a series of consecutive breeding failures in recent years, affecting skuas, guillemots, shags and others. The problem is starvation.

Why care about sea birds? Well, because they’re another canary in the coalmine, another example of koyaaniskatsi, life out of balance. “Sea birds breed fairly slowly and a number of bad years could have a long-term devastating impact,” said a professor studying the problem.

Bats, bees, amphibians, sea birds, turtles, tuna, right whales, sharks…. the list goes on.

We may be eating pipefish ourselves, all too soon.

Don’t forget to chew.

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Methane, permafrost, tundra, and the Wild Card.

Posted by Michael on February 25th, 2008

From Reuters: “More research [is] urgently needed into the possibility of a runaway release of methane, a powerful heat-trapping gas trapped in frozen soils in Siberia, Canada, Alaska and Nordic nations, it said in a 2008 yearbook issued at 154-nation talks in Monaco…. Vast amounts of methane entering the atmosphere “would lead to abrupt changes in the climate that would likely be irreversible,” UNEP said. “We must not cross that threshold.”

This isn’t actually new news. Take a look at Scientists warn thawing Siberia may trigger global meltdown, from WikiNews, from 2005.

We’ve known about this for two to three years and if we’d been paying attention, it would have been obvious: As frozen meat melts, it starts to rot. As frozen tundra melts, it starts to rot.

Rotting stuff puts out smells. Those smells include about a third methane, a mildly-noxious aroma. When mixed with sulfur, it make our farts stink.

But methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. So, as the formerly permanently-frozen top few feet of Siberia, Canada, Alaska, and Scandinavia begin to thaw, well, it’s going to rot. Meaning, it will put out methane. It will add a powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. This will mean that the greenhouse effect will be increased.

What does that mean? “The permafrost has been intact for 11,000 years and started melting 3 to 4 years ago, according to Kirpotin.” (from above WikiNews, in 2005).

This is a long-term stability now disrupted, by climate warming.

This means that the permafrost even farther north will keep on rotting and spewing a powerful greenhouse gas, warming us further and much faster than previously expected.

One domino falls. No big deal. Bats collapsing. Bees collapsing. Amphibians collapsing.

It’s only warming. What’s the big deal? I like my winters mild.

Ian Sample “Warming hits ‘tipping point’“. The Guardian, Aug 11 2005

Siberia’s rapid thaw causes alarm“. BBC News, Aug 11 2005

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Brazil, France, and Monsanto

Posted by Michael on February 25th, 2008

From AP News:
The French government on Saturday suspended the use of genetically modified corn crops in France while it awaits EU approval for a full ban. The order formalized France’s announcement Jan. 11 that it would suspend cultivation of Monsanto’s MON810, the seed for the only type of genetically modified corn now allowed in the country.

This good news regarding GM corn — increasingly recognized as something with limited utility, unexpected consequences, and uncertain dangers — is tempered by bad news from Brazil:

One of the varieties authorized was a pest-resistant crop called MON 810 by its maker, the US biotech company Monsanto, and marketed under the names Guardian and YieldGard.

It was officially banned in France last weekend amid concerns that it could have an effect on insects, a species of earthworm and micro-organisms. (from AFP: Brazil authorizes genetically modified crops)

Hard to locate much background on the politics, at least online, especially regarding the Brazilian choice. If anyone has background, do post, please.

The PostApocaDocs were relatively agnostic about GM corn, and GM in general — until we learned of “Gene Flow,” which is part of the dance of plants in nature.

One concern associated with genetic engineering is “gene flow”–that is, the movement of genes from one organism to another. As a part of their normal reproductive cycle, plants transmit their DNA to other compatible plants via pollen. Genes from fields of crop plants can be transmitted by pollination to plants in the same or other fields, or in some cases even to other closely-related non-crop plants. (from Cornell Public Information, Horizontal Gene Transfer)

We also paid attention to the way in which most GM experiments are undertaken — frequently a shotgun, random-chance way of literally shooting shards of DNA into cells, and then seeing what happens. This may explain some of the “unintended consequences.”

In the end, we have concluded that until much better scientific understanding of GM crops on the consequences on human and non-human life, we should take the industries’ blandishments regarding the benefits with a pound of salt. And we should have much better oversight.

Shouldn’t we have the EPA paying close, close attention to human and environmental health, kind of like the FDA, for this sort of thing, independent of the multibillions involved?

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Bees, and the continuing collapse

Posted by Michael on February 24th, 2008

60 Minutes reprised their 6-month-old story on the bee collapse, something we’ve been following for longer than that. It spotlights David Hackenburg, a beekeeper for thirty years.

The scariest parts for me were two surprises:

Normally, if there weren’t soldier bees to protect a hive’s honey, all the honey would be poached by bees from other hives in short order. But, this beekeeper said, “The hives are like a ghost town. The honey’s there. The other bees won’t touch it.” He showed the honey, just sitting there.

Remember, honey is what bees make, to feed the larval bees. What’s in that honey the other bees won’t touch?

Quite possibly, a fairly recently popular insecticide, neonicotinoids, which is an artificial form of nicotine, that acts as a neurotoxin to insects, but ostensibly doesn’t harm humans. Or some GM pollen. Or some other insecticide reaching critical mass.

Is that what’s in the honey? Something is making the collapsed colonies’ honey not just toxic, but even disgusting to the other bees.

The second surprise was that Hackenburg had originally lost two thirds of his hives. In the followup, 6 months later, the poor man has lost half of his remaining hives.

This is deeply troubling. What other insects are also being affected? Broad-spectrum insecticides are like broad-spectrum antibiotics, killing off entire populations of beneficial biota as “collateral damage” in the hunt for a few terrorists.

We burn the village to save it. We wipe out 10,000 innocent for every one we wanted to see die. We cut off our hands to trim our fingernails.

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Valdez Wreck — in so many ways

Posted by Jim on February 24th, 2008

From Washington Post (US):
“When a federal jury in Alaska in 1994 ordered Exxon to pay $5 billion to thousands of people who had their lives disrupted by the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill, an appeal of the nation’s largest punitive damages award was inevitable. But almost no one could have predicted the incredible round of legal ping-pong that only this month lands at the Supreme Court.”

The title of this Feb. 23, 08 article is “Exxon Oil Spill Case May Get Closure”

“Closure”? The concept of closure cuts agains the grain of the rest of this story. There WILL NOT BE closure for the 6,000 claimants’ for the original lawsuit who are DEAD.

Well, maybe they got closure FIRST as death is the ultimate closure…

And what about the wildlife, dead; current ecosystem, damaged, what can the Justices in the Supreme Court do about that? One Justice in fact, Samuel Alito OWNS stock in Exxon Mobil — he’s recused himself from the case.

Closure, my ass.

While Rome burns, oil companies fiddle w/ the largest profit margins imaginable. Remember this story from Feb. 2007: “HOUSTON (AP) - Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. on Thursday posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company—$39.5 billion—even as earnings for the last quarter of 2006 declined 4 percent.” Here’s that full story on Exxon profit.

Then there’s the Feb. 2008 story: NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Exxon Mobil made history on Friday by reporting the highest quarterly and annual profits ever for a U.S. company, boosted in large part by soaring crude prices. Exxon, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, said fourth-quarter net income rose 14% to $11.66 billion, or $2.13 per share. The company earned $10.25 billion, or $1.76 per share, in the year-ago period.” Here’s the story on Exxon’s 2007 profit

Exxon Mobil — and other oil companies — Total, Chevron, Dutch Royal Shell, BP, etc. — all are making HUGE amounts of money while people like you and I are scratching our heads at the pump and when our bills come in the mail.

At least we’re not eating dirt like the Haitians, eh?

And we’re not the family members of a dead fisherman in Prince William Sound.

What politician will have the mettle to tax these oil giants’ profits? And who will hold these giants truly accountable for environmental damage done w/ oil spills and pipeline leaks. And when will we stop participating in this travesty by thoroughly revolutionizing how we interact with automobiles?

Jim

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Disease killing brown bats across the region… CT?

Posted by Michael on February 24th, 2008

We’ve been watching this the last week. The bat syndrome continues.

Please remember, the evidence indicates this is hibernation interruption, not “white nose syndrome,” fungal infection, pneumonia, or other specific malady, in terms of the active agent. Those are symptoms (and/not) cause.

The bats are waking up hungry, literally starving, way too early. They also probably went to sleep, way too late. Now the emaciated-bat syndrome is being seen even more regionally.

From Republican-American (CT):
A mysterious disease has killed hibernating bats in New York and Vermont, is spreading into Massachusetts, and may already be in Connecticut…. Biologists have now identified sick bats in Chester, Mass., 40 miles north of Connecticut’s Barkhamsted Reservoir, and will be looking for them here in March.

Looking for them “here” in March??

We need to understand this now, not in a week. Mobilize! We need to know what this means, ASAP.

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2004: Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us

Posted by Michael on February 23rd, 2008

From Guardian (UK):
“Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters…. A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world…. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism…

I remember hearing a little something about this then, but you may remember February of 2004 the war in Iraq was beginning to be seen as a debacle.

Bob Watson, chief scientist for the World Bank and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, added that the Pentagon’s dire warnings could no longer be ignored.

‘Can Bush ignore the Pentagon? It’s going be hard to blow off this sort of document. Its hugely embarrassing. After all, Bush’s single highest priority is national defence. The Pentagon is no wacko, liberal group, generally speaking it is conservative. If climate change is a threat to national security and the economy, then he has to act. There are two groups the Bush Administration tend to listen to, the oil lobby and the Pentagon,’ added Watson.

Seems clear who he listened to.

One last depressing bit:

So dramatic are the report’s scenarios, Watson said, that they may prove vital in the US elections. Democratic frontrunner John Kerry is known to accept climate change as a real problem. Scientists disillusioned with Bush’s stance are threatening to make sure Kerry uses the Pentagon report in his campaign.

ah, if only.

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Palm oil, commodities, and profit

Posted by Michael on February 23rd, 2008

From The International News (Pakistan):
“Malaysian palm oil futures jumped more than 2 per cent to a new peak for the sixth straight session on Thursday on tight global vegetable oil supplies and crude oil’s record over $101…. Palm oil has climbed nearly 21 per cent this year, driven by increased Chinese and European demand, a flood of funds into commodity markets and Jakarta’s plans to hike export taxes for palm oil.

What?? How can we allow palm oil to be profitable?

Palm oil is forecast to be the world’s most produced and internationally traded edible oil by 2012. Malaysia and Indonesia account for 83 percent of production and 89 percent of global exports. Oil palm is grown as an industrial plantation crop, often (especially in Indonesia) on newly cleared rainforest or peat-swamp forests rather than on already degraded land or disused agricultural land. Since the 1970s, the area planted with oil palm in Indonesia has grown over 30-fold to almost 12,000 square miles. In Malaysia, the area devoted to oil palm has increased 12-fold to 13,500 square miles.

That’s right, and it’s even really bad for us.

Palm oil is used around the world in such foods as margarine, shortening, baked goods, and candies. Biomedical research indicates that palm oil, which is high in saturated fat and low in polyunsaturated fat, promotes heart disease. Though less harmful than partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, it is far more conducive to heart disease than such heart-protective liquid oils as olive, soy, and canola. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, World Health Organization, and other health authorities have urged reduced consumption of oils like palm oil.
quotes from the Center for Science in the Public Interest

So it kills us, it kills the rain forest, it’s threatening the orangutan…. it’s bad! So why the $%@#$ are we accepting it being profitable? Why are we allowing this to happen?

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This is insane!

Posted by Michael on February 22nd, 2008

From United Press International:
“A U.S. climatologist said there was no consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed for a new ice age. Thomas Peterson of the National Climatic Data Center said a survey of scientific journals of the era showed that only seven supported global cooling, 44 predicted warming and 20 others were neutral, USA Today reported Thursday… The study, which will be published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, said a review of the literature suggests that greenhouse warming even then dominated scientists’ thinking.

This is insane. It makes me wonder if even back in the 70s, certain industry magnates were manipulating science — and exaggerating the “purveyors of global cooling…” Anybody know anything about that? All conspiracy theories welcome here!

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Huge beef recall issued

Posted by Michael on February 22nd, 2008
From Los Angeles Times: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the largest beef recall in its history Sunday, calling for the destruction of 143 million pounds of raw and frozen beef produced by a Chino slaughterhouse that has been accused of inhumane practices. However, the USDA said the vast majority of the meat involved in the recall — including 37 million pounds that went mostly to schools — probably has been eaten already. Officials emphasized that danger to consumers was minimal.”

What sorts of things should we be doing to decrease this? Some ideas:

  • Become more vegetarian?
  • Stronger regulation?
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Bats as the canaries in the coal mine

Posted by Michael on February 20th, 2008

Something about the bat die-offs is really freaking me out. It’s the “90-97%” death rate, in colonies of thousands. It’s happening in caves in NY and Vermont. First noticed last winter in an isolated instance, it’s being found with increasing frequency in caves in the Northeast.

Why is this affecting me so much? Perhaps because I fell in love with bats years ago, working on a reference work on mammals — the many faces of bats are so astonishing. Perhaps it’s because they eat half their weight in insects every night, an amazing feat of evening echolocation that keeps farmers’ fields free from certain moths and thus their voracious larvae, removes a thousand mosquitos a night per bat. Or it’s that the cause of death is starvation, because their hibernation systems aren’t working right, and they’re agitatedly using up their fat stores too fast; they’re found as gaunt sacks of bones, outside the caves, as well as inside.

Or it’s because they’re such a joy to watch in the twilight sky, and I’ll miss them.

But in the end I’m freaked mostly by what I was thinking on the way into work: the fungal growth around the bats’ noses are indicative of weak immune systems, as well as lack of colonial grooming. What would make an entire colony’s immune systems weak? Well, perhaps some of the biome-breach realities that we’ve been seeing, where chemicals move up the food chain, disrupt endocrine systems, and cause strange immune system responses.

Picture this: some delectable insect that apple growers (let’s say) keep at bay with chemicals — a fly, a moth, or something like that — has evolved a resistance to that chemical. That means that the fly doesn’t drop to the ground dead (like it used to do), but rather flies around, perhaps ill, but not dead. It becomes ideal bat-food — a slow-moving prey without its wits about it.

Now, the top predator of the winged areas is ingesting thousands of these insects, nightly. Like swordfish, and tuna, and killer whales in the ocean, the chemicals concentrate in the predator (or scavenger). This may have been going on for the last couple years, and just now has built up to toxic levels.

Or, the late winter (as one bat-watcher noted) in the region resulted in the bats flying too late in the year, after the insects had disappeared; they went to bed hungry, and are waking up too early, hungry, emaciated, and ill.

I dearly hope that there’s a specific cause that can be identified, rather than remain the mystery that the bee colony collapse disorder is currently.

I fear we are reaching tipping points of toxicity in our biospheres, and it scares the hell out of me.

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Paper or plastic?

Posted by Jim on February 17th, 2008

Paper or plastic? We know what to answer of course –ANYTHING but plastic — but lately I’ve been discussing this choice w/ the cashiers who give me the option. “Geez,” I say, “those plastic bag are awful. They’re killing the earth. Why do we even have them?”

Yesterday I was in the local thrift store and the cashier — a toothless woman in her 60s — and I had this discussion. When I said “plastic bags are awful” her reply was “Why don’t we go back to paper, like we used to?”

Couldn’t argue w/ her –in fact I’d found a comrade. Of course opting for paper is its own problem, albeit not as troubling as plastic.

Target is a different story altogether. Now I haven’t tried calling corporate and demanding they switch over the paper, but somebody has, because now on their plastic bags is printed a list of things you can do “Reuse your Target Bag”

1. Tiny Trash Can Liner

2. Doggy Duty

3. Water Balloon

4. Road Trip Rubbish

5. Soggy Laundry

You get the idea. At least they’re thinking about this, but do any of these solutions do anything but DELAY the inevitable throwing away?

That rhymed, but I didn’t mean it to.

I mean, you can go to Target and walk away w/ five or ten such bags — how you gonna reuse them all?

You’re not. So why take ANY away?

That’s the best solution. Take your own cloth bag/s to Target — tell them to keep their bloody plastic to themselves.

Jim

Topical, non-ad link:
Carbon Conscious Consumer

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