Friday, May 06, 2016

Speciesism, The Myth of Human Superiority, Barry Lopez, E.O. Wilson, Wolves, Grizzly Bears, etc.

Attempts to rationalize the killing of wild wolves, grizzly bears, bison, coyotes  because of human attitudes and behavior does not adequately consider how we are systematically practicing "predator speciesism," an important ecological term rarely discussed in our contemporary media.  The term speciesism can also be applied to human recent contributions to the catastrophic earth wide extinction of other animals and plant species.

These topics are of great concern to me and I am trying to reconcile how to engage productively in discussions and actions that will affect changes that I really believe are needed. 

I recently read this article about Barry Lopez talking about his work dedicated to inspiring a sense of community between humanity and the natural world. 
http://www.thestylus.net/news/view.php/1019842/Barry-Lopez-speaks-on-the-need-for-commu



Clearly, Lopez's concerns can be related to the this important issue discussed in  "The Myth of Human Supremacy," a book by Derrik Jensen. 
http://www.derrickjensen.org/work/books-dvds-cds/#myth-of-human-supremacy



Furthermore, E.O. Wilson is promoting the idea of "Half-Earth, devoting half of the surface of earth to nature" and also notes that politicians are not talking about the extinction catastrophe and asks the question - "In a logical living ecosystem do all flora and fauna, including humans, have equal rights to life? 
https://aeon.co/essays/half-of-the-earth-must-be-preserved-for-nature-conservation
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/can-world-really-set-aside-half-planet-wildlife-180952379/


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Surpise - Republican Focus Group finds Bernie Sanders has highest favorability rating.

Bernie Sanders is seen by voters as being honest, trustworthy, authentic and genuine.  People are not voting on policy but on persona or personality which matters most. To Republican strategist Frank Luntz's surprise the  focus group had a consensus that Bernie Sanders could be the "third party candidate" who could beat Trump, Clinton and others still in the race.  Bernie Sander's integrity is galvanizing the base of both democrats and republicans and national polls indicate that he has the most favorable rating.  

Watch the YouTube interview below.

Holy Moly! - A political revolution and a new "Peoples Party."

Robert Reich speculates on the emergence of a new "Peoples Party."

And Holy Moly -  In Boise,  Bernie Sanders on March 21, 2016 talked about "A Future to Believe In"  and asked us to be involved in a "Political Revolution."   Bernie has listened to women, young people, latinos, African, and Native Americans.  Saying what politicians hardly ever admit -  "First Americans have been lied to, cheated, treaties broken, yet we owe so much to First Americans.  They have taught us respect for environment and that we as people got to live as a part of nature - not destroy nature."  "Climate change is caused by human activity and it is real.  The future is bleak if we do not have the guts to tell the fossil fuel industry that their short term profits are not more important than the future of this planet."

"Everybody here knows that real change has never taken place from the top on down, it has always taken place from the bottom on up!  Please don't expect the status quo as being something that has to go on forever -  We can make change if we have a vision of where we want this country to go.  If we stand together as black and white and latino and asian American and native Americans and gay and straight, as men and women, if we stand together there is nothing we cannot accomplish."  Don't tell Bernie that we can' t solve our current health care, economic, environmental and other big problems.

I intend to post here as well as, or instead of on Facebook.

I have fallen into the practice of responding, sharing and posting my thoughts on Facebook, and sometimes on Google Plus, Twitter, etc.

However, I am not interested in the way Facebook handles my incoming feeds or my outgoing posts.

As time permits, I intend to repost some of my most personal posts from Facebook in the past over to this blog.  I also have numerous notes that I have archived for posting over the past few years that I will try to prepare for posting here.

The next post here will be about my Facebook post today regarding Robert Reich's idea for a new "Peoples Party" and Bernie Sanders promotion of a "political revolution."

Friday, January 08, 2016

Rugged Individualism and Government Subsidies

In this good article, posted in The Wildlife News on January 7, 2016  George Wuerthner points out government subsidy dollars ranchers and the rest of us benefit from that should be obvious to any curious person. The problem may be that many are not open to discussing the pros and cons of these subsidies, especially as they relate to the past, current and future degradation of local, regional and global ecosystems.

Regarding the "past" and "current" times it is also sobering to read about the U.S. Government, land speculators, ranchers, towns, etc., history of  greed for land and power that decimated the Native American tribes as the United States was being developed from the time of the first European settlements and also via the concept of "Manifest Destiny" and Western expansion and interventionism in the 19th century.

I try to imagine what America and our world would be like if the Native American cultures and attitudes about land and wildlife, had been recognized as equal to the early European "invaders."  Personally, I believe future generations will condemn this embarrassing history.

 I found an "Indian Country Today Media Network site with this animated map that illustrates the amount of land still recognized as being "Indian Lands" in 1784 and how that land was lost progressively through the 1800's to the present time.  It should be noted that the original cultures of the Native Americans today has been almost totally destroyed even if tribes still have rights to small reservation lands.  In partnership with Indians, we might have learned valuable lessons about how to treat the land, wildlife, plants and our fellow humans.
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The same Indian Country Today page noted above also provides the two maps below:

What the U.S. Indian Lands looked like before European Contact:
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What the U.S. Indian Lands look like today.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

'Carbon Fee and Dividend' to mediate Human Caused Climate Change

Dr. James Hansen and others have advocated since 2008 for a "Carbon Fee and  Dividend" as a viable way to mediate human caused climate change. In my opinion Americans and global citizens should be made more aware of this concept, that it should be discussed widely and implemented as soon as possible.

Photo above by 350.org honoring Dr. Hansen for his leadership.

Dr. Hanson is writing a two part essay on this topic November 28 and 29, 2015, just before the Climate Talks in Paris starting December 1.  Here is a link to the first one on November 28.

"...fossil fuels appear cheapest to the consumer only because they do not incorporate their costs to society, including the effects of air pollution, water pollution and climate change. Economies are more efficient if energy prices are honest, including external costs in the price."

"A consequence of this fundamental truth is that climate change can be addressed at no net cost, indeed with economic gain, provided that true costs are added into the price gradually. A simple transparent way to do this is to collect an across-the-board (oil, gas, coal) carbon fee at domestic mines and ports of entry."

"If the funds collected are given in equal amount to all legal residents, the fee is revenue neutral and spurs the economy. This is a conservative approach, because it allows the market to assist change and it does not provide a dime to make government bigger."

Another article By Dr. Hansen provides a shorter summary on this topic titled:  "Environment and Development Challenges: The Imperative of a Carbon Fee and Dividend"


"This chapter discusses the importance of a carbon fee and dividend in minimizing the impacts of climate change on humanity and nature. Before outlining the policies needed to produce a rapid phase-out of fossil fuel emissions, it enumerates the fundamental flaws of the Kyoto Protocol from the standpoint of climate science... Specifically, it proposes a flat (across-the-board) rising fee (tax) on carbon emissions. It also explains how such an approach may be implemented both nationally and internationally."
   

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Internet Provides Networked Scientific Research Publishing.

I have been impressed by the Scientific Method for many years and now watch the Internet for information about scientific studies that are reputable, repeatable and peer reviewed.

This is an interesting article by Oliver Dumon with the title "

How the Internet Changed Science Research and Academic Publishing, Creating the New Research Economy

Dumon notes that "A more significant advancement in the past five years has been the emergence of "networked science" -- the concept that scientific content cannot, and should not, exist in a vacuum. Articles by different authors are now linked to banks of data sets, reference books, videos, presentations and audio tracks. Scientists and engineers representing a wide variety of cross-disciplines can debate research findings in online forums, and society will ultimately benefit from the resulting scientific discourse that will open up limitless new avenues for search and discovery."

Clearly transparency of data and fact checking is important, as some people try to negate important scientific evidence with studies that are not reputable, repeatable and peer reviewed.

Many important ecosystem issues I am deeply concerned about are subject to this negativistic effort to downgrade repeatable scientific evidence.  Human caused global warming is one example and there are many others.