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When nature says ‘Enough!’: the river that appeared overnight in Argentina

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/01/argentina-new-river-soya-beans

Until the early 1990s, the Morro basin was a patchwork of water-absorbing forests and grasslands, but they are mostly gone, replaced by maize and soya beans.

It may be a good move to cut down on cattle ranching worldwide (to prevent deforestation, to cut back on carbon and methane production, to limit the ongoing human health crisis caused by increasing meat consumption, to avoid further water pollution from farm runoff, to limit predator persecution, and to spare countless animals the endless cycle of slaughter), but an irony here is that soya beans, the hero of every vegan and vegetarian, come at a terrible price. Deforestation and clearing for cattle ranching has been replaced with deforestation in favour of this detrimental monoculture of soya bean farming.

If course, it is true that the humble soya bean is the new answer to reducing or cutting out meat consumption, but the majority of this soya and maize is being grown to become feed for the animal agriculture industry, something the attached article completely fails to mention. Animal agriculture is literally eating up our planet in countless ways.

Less than a third of Argentina’s rainforest remains. Losing that much established forest means losing deep networks of tree roots which naturally absorb large amounts of water from underground aquifers. The result is a huge new river appearing on land as has happened in Argentina. Why is this a surprise now? There are myriad experts in these fields worldwide who would have known this was a likely outcome as a result of mass deforestation. Why aren’t scientists involved in such massive economic and environmental processes and decisions?

Brazil has been in the grip of terrible deforestation for decades. With a changing climate, increased precipitation and otherwise poor substrate, deforestation in these countries inevitably means more landslides and more flooding, and perhaps more new rivers. We are drastically altering the landscape of the planet, destroying habitats and disrupting entire ecosystems.

Countless wildlife have lost their homes during this shift to soya bean plantations and deforestation, something that cannot ever be undone. When are governments of countries with such invaluable habitats going to quit putting profit before protecting and preserving their and the world’s most precious and vulnerable natural heritage? Rainforests are incredibly diverse, most are quite ancient, and they are so important to the world in terms of carbon sinks and wildlife biodiversity – they must be protected.

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In 30 years asian-pacific fish will be gone and then we’re next

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2164774-in-30-years-asian-pacific-fish-will-be-gone-and-then-were-next/

Turns out there aren’t plenty of fish in the sea.

Recent evidence suggests humans evolved their big brains not on a diet of red meat after all, but on a diet of fish. Yes, fish is a great source of protein for all animals. Yes, unaffected by microplastics, pollutants and heavy metals, fish is good for us, ‘us’ being the ever-increasing human population of 7.6 billion and rising (and let’s face it, fish is no longer safe to eat).

Plenty of marine conservation organisations, such as Sea Shepherd, have been saying for decades that while we allow industrial trawlers and fleets of thousands of unregulated fishing boats to ravage the oceans with trawler nets and insidious ghost nets, fish stocks will collapse and there will be devastating implications for all marine life and human populations that rely on fish as a source of protein. Even some marine conservation orgs hadn’t fully understood the role that overfishing plays in the decimation of the oceans – and its impact on local human populations – and are still not condemning overfishing or advising their relatively affluent members to cut out fish from their diets as an effective way of ending their contribution to the terrifying problem of global overfishing.

Anyone can stop contributing to ending overfishing by not eating fish, wherever you are in the world, and by writing to relevant businesses and governmental departments (and your MP), and by boycotting companies which contribute to global (and local) overfishing.

Wolf trapping – A diary of moving from East London to Montana

A fascinating read. I will never, ever understand hunters of any kind. Their logic and ethics are utterly skewed. 

But I learn that Jim Posewitz is that uniquely Western American who has made it his life’s work to improve ‘the image of hunting with an emphasis on fair chase ethics’ and has focused ‘on putting hunters at the forefront of our nation’s conservation ethic.’ He’s exactly the sort of person I find impossible to understand. Is it just semantics? When he talks of conservation, does he mean the conservation of a way of life based on when the trapper ruled and the West was won by guys who slept under the stars dreaming of the dead wolves at their feet the next morning? As Rick Bass says about hunters in his book The Ninemile Wolves, ‘there’s nothing harder to stereotype than a “hunter”.’ I would add that this is also true of trappers: they claim to love the wilderness, they call themselves sportsmen, outdoorsmen, and yet they are happy inflicting pain on animals in return for the price of their fur. Most hunters eat their prey, whereas trappers do it for money.”

https://missoulabound.wordpress.com/tag/wolf-trapping/

Humboldt – the greatest Ecologist we’ve never heard of?

Born in 1769, Humboldt observed deforestation and its effects in the Amazon rainforests 200 years ago and wrote about them; he was possibly the first person to express concern for the negative effects of anthropogenic activity on the natural environment. He wrote of nature as a “living whole” and a web or tapestry – all life as connected – a new concept at that time. 

Humboldt wrote about soil erosion as a result of deforestation, and of climate change. He describes concern for human destruction of the entire planet – even suggesting we would take that destruction to other, distant planets – and of human greed and violence. 

Humboldt evidently influenced Charles Darwin himself. Was he the first ecologist? A fascinating listen.

http://bbc.in/2gkKcrq

Beavers back for good – partners welcome return of the Eurasian beaver – Scottish Wildlife Trust

Wonderful news.

The two lead partners in the Scottish Beaver Trial – the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) – have warmly welcomed today’s (21 November 2016) announcement from the Scottish Government that the Eurasian beaver is to be formally recognised as a native species, 400 years after being hunted to extinction in the UK.”

http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/article/beavers-back-for-good/