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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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I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations

I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/28/arctic-researcher-donald-trump-deleting-my-citations

I’m stunned by this article. First of all, I had no idea the previous Canadian government destroyed 100 years of Arctic climate data. Secondly, we joke about Trump’s corruption, greedy business mind and being bought off by the Russians and huge corporations (does he think money is all that there is?), and his utter stupidity when tweeting about climate (“It’s freezing where I am so there cannot be global warming”), but this is real. This is systematic, deliberate climate change denial on behalf of big oil and other huge corporations because…money. 

How are we allowing this? How are people becoming so blindly led, so brainwashed, so indignant and angry at the wrong people, at each other, instead of at those who have the power to destroy anything they want and are doing so. These very people are our downfall – of everyone, planet-wide. They deny science and deny fact to protect profit and greed, at all of our expense and at the expense of our precious living planet. 

Maned wolf | Smithsonian’s National Zoo

More on the maned wolf, my new favourite animal. Genus Chrysostom.

https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/maned-wolf

10 Leggy Facts About the Maned Wolf

I may have found my spirit animal. Chrysocyon brachyurus, Maned Wolf. Magnificent Canidae, prehistoric carnivora lineage. I love them! Can I study them? 
http://m.mentalfloss.com/article.php?id=87334

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/

What we eat has bigger consequences for the planet than we ever thought – The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/04/21/what-we-eat-has-bigger-consequences-for-the-planet-than-we-ever-thought/?utm_term=.add651409e77

“The most ambitious of these scenarios proposed reducing animal-based protein consumption in all parts of the world where consumption (from any food source) exceeded 60 grams of protein and 2,500 calories daily — targeting 1.9 billion people worldwide in total. The proposed shift would bring these populations’ protein consumption down to exactly 60 grams daily by reducing only animal-based protein in the diet.”

Why we should all worry about the Amazon catching on fire this year – The Washington Post

Amazon fire seasons don’t just happen — the rain forest doesn’t just burn in a massive way on its own. But logging, slash-and-burn agriculture and other human-induced changes have altered the landscape. Thinning out the forest also dries it out — the forest canopy then cannot block sunlight, and the understory and ground leaf layer become hotter and drier. Then, the trees are more flammable and fires can also spread more easily.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/07/12/the-ultimate-forest-fire-whatll-happen-when-the-amazon-burns/