About Exposing the Big Game

Jim Robertson

Alaska Is Already Irreparably Changed by Climate Disruption

The Extinction Chronicles

Recently, I was in Homer, Alaska, to talk about my book The End of Ice. Seconds after I had thanked those who brought me to the small University of Alaska campus there, overwhelmed with some mix of sadness, love and grief about my adopted state — and the planet generally — I wept.

I tried to speak but could only apologize and take a few moments to collect myself. It’s challenging for me, even now, to explain the wash of emotions and thoughts that suddenly swept over me as I stood at that podium on a warm, windy, rainy night on the southern Kenai Peninsula among a group ready to learn more about what was happening to our beloved Earth.

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America’s New Animal Cruelty Law Ignores 99% of Animal Cruelty

Ari Solomon    News

As an animal activist, I truly want to celebrate any step forward for animals. On one hand, it makes me very happy that President Trump signed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act into law yesterday. (And yes, it’s difficult for this diehard liberal to admit that Trump actually did something good, but even a broken clock is right twice a day).

The legislation, which passed the Senate unanimously – something truly remarkable in these divided times – expands on the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act and increases the punishment for instances of animal cruelty, making them felony crimes.

The new law was heralded by many in the animal protection movement. Kitty Block, the president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, had this to say: “PACT makes a statement about American values. Animals are deserving of protection at the highest level. The approval of this measure by the Congress and the president marks a new era in the codification of kindness to animals within federal law. For decades, a national anti-cruelty law was a dream for animal protectionists. Today, it is a reality.”

Now, like I said, I agree that this is a positive step. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that this new law completely ignores 99 percent of the animal cruelty that routinely takes place every single day in the United States.

According to The Washington Post, the PACT Act “outlines exemptions for humane euthanasia; slaughter for food; recreational activities such as hunting, trapping and fishing; medical and scientific research; ‘normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry, or other animal management practice’; and actions that are necessary ‘to protect the life or property of a person.’”

Of course animal cruelty to dogs and cats by private citizens should be dealt with severely. But what about the billions of animals tortured each year on America’s factory farms? Or how about the tens of thousands of animals, including dogs and cats, who are tested on and mistreated in laboratories?

Can we actually say we’re cracking down on animal cruelty when we still allow SeaWorld to keep cetaceans captive and force them to perform? Or permit insanely cruel practices like fur trapping and bow hunting?

My objective is not to trash Ms. Block or even President Trump on this issue (though Trump’s record on animals is pretty abysmal), but merely to point out that animal cruelty is still animal cruelty, even when it’s done for money or recreation or sport. In fact, we should take those cases of abuse even more seriously because they affect so many more animals. One sick fuck torturing his dog is abhorrent, but what about a business that tortures thousands in a laboratory or a puppy mill?

As society’s view of what constitutes animal cruelty evolves, so will our laws. But, in the meantime, it’s the animals who needlessly suffer day in and day out. Sadly, the PACT Act leaves the overwhelming majority of those animals no better off than they were before.

Main image: Anna Moneymaker / The New York Times 

https://veganista.co/2019/11/26/americas-new-animal-cruelty-law-ignores-99-of-animal-cruelty/

Family urges others to become educated about illegal traps after losing dog

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Posted: 6:41 PM, Dec 07, 2019
Updated: 11:12 AM, Dec 08, 2019

MISSOULA — Rachel Luger and Brian Dalpes experienced the unthinkable on December 1st, when their 17-month old dog Betsy got trapped in an illegal trap when they were out for their evening walk.

The trap was near the family’s routine walking path for Betsy, off Hiberta Road.

“We go down to this area all the time several times a week,” Dalpes said, “and we were just doing our walk and she was kind of behind me a little bit and around the bend in the trail and I just heard a commotion, and heard what sounded like an animal fighting.”

Dalpes went to investigate, and he saw the trap was caught on Betsy’s neck.

Dalpes succeeded in getting the trap of Betsy but the damage to Betsy’s airway was severe.

Dalpes and…

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Missoula family devastated by dog’s death in illegal in-town trap; urges education

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

BY JAURDYN JOHNSON/KPAXDECEMBER 8, 2019

image_print

(KPAX) Rachel Luger and Brian Dalpes experienced the unthinkable on December 1, when their 17-month-old dog, Betsy, was caught in an illegal trap while they were out for their evening walk.

The trap was near the family’s routine walking path for Betsy, off Hiberta Road in Orchard Homes.

“We go down to this area all the time several times a week,” Dalpes said, “and we were just doing our walk and she was kind of behind me a little bit and around the bend in the trail and I just heard a commotion, and heard what sounded like an animal fighting.”

Dalpes went to investigate, and he saw the trap was caught on Betsy’s neck.

Dalpes succeeded in getting the trap off Betsy, but the damage to Betsy’s airway was severe.

Dalpes and Luger brought Betsy to the vet and performed CPR on…

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PA: Florida man killed in hunting-related accident in Pennsylvania

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

https://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/public-safety/2019/12/08/hunter-killed-when-propane-heater-blind-explodes-wayne-county-pennsylvania/4373914002/

A Florida man hunting in Wayne County, Pennsylvania was accidentally killed when a propane heater exploded Saturday.

The incident occurred around 12:45 p.m. in a wooded area off Bridge Street in Texas Township, which is about a 45-minute drive northeast from Scranton.

Pennsylvania State Police at Honesdale said Gregory Scheer, 81, of Chiefland, Florida, was inside a hunting stand on the ground at the time, state police said.

Physical evidence and interviews conducted at the scene indicated that Scheer’s portable propane-powered heater possibly malfunctioned or was improperly connected, causing the attached propane bottle to explode.

Following the initial explosion and fire, two additional propane bottles that were nearby exploded as well, state police said.

Related: 73-year-old Lockwood man dies, friend charged, in hunting incident in Barton

Scheer was discovered deceased by his friends and the property owner, who was nearby and heard the blasts.

A state police fire marshal…

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Another Dog Trapped & Killed! Who’s Next?

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Trapping is well underway in Montana and with much more to come!

Among our worst fears is the trapping of our beloved companion animals. For another Montana family our nightmare is their realty.

Sweet Betsy, only 17 months old, was killed in a massive conibear trap illegally set along the Clark Fork river in city limits of Missoula.

Betsy’s family posted the following on facebook to warn others of the hidden unsuspecting dangers of trapping and the heartache they now suffer.

December 4 at 3:48 PM
“We have some very bad news, and I apologize to those who have to learn of this through facebook but we want to spread awareness. Our sweet Betsy dog was caught in an illegal trap on Sunday night and she did not survive. Bryan and I have lost our family member. We are horrified and brokenhearted. Betsy was only 17 months old. It…

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Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists

UNIVERSITY OF EXETER NEWS RELEASE 27-NOV-2019

 
Authors Timothy M. Lenton, Johan Rockström, Owen Gaffney, Stefan Rahmstorf, Katherine Richardson, Will Steffen & Hans Joachim Schellnhuber
 
 
Full press release

More than half of the climate tipping points identified a decade ago are now “active”, a group of leading scientists have warned.

This threatens the loss of the Amazon rainforest and the great ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, which are currently undergoing measurable and unprecedented changes much earlier than expected.

This “cascade” of changes sparked by global warming could threaten the existence of human civilisations.

Evidence is mounting that these events are more likely and more interconnected than was previously thought, leading to a possible domino effect.

In an article in the journal Nature <<https://www.nature.com/magazine-assets/d41586-019-03595-0/d41586-019-03595-0.pdf>>, the scientists call for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent key tipping points, warning of a worst-case scenario of a “hothouse”, less habitable planet.

“A decade ago we identified a suite of potential tipping points in the Earth system, now we see evidence that over half of them have been activated,” said lead author Professor Tim Lenton, director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter.

“The growing threat of rapid, irreversible changes means it is no longer responsible to wait and see. The situation is urgent and we need an emergency response.”

Co-author Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said: “It is not only human pressures on Earth that continue rising to unprecedented levels.

“It is also that as science advances, we must admit that we have underestimated the risks of unleashing irreversible changes, where the planet self-amplifies global warming.

“This is what we now start seeing, already at 1°C global warming.

“Scientifically, this provides strong evidence for declaring a state of planetary emergency, to unleash world action that accelerates the path towards a world that can continue evolving on a stable planet.”

In the commentary, the authors propose a formal way to calculate a planetary emergency as risk multiplied by urgency.

Tipping point risks are now much higher than earlier estimates, while urgency relates to how fast it takes to act to reduce risk.

Exiting the fossil fuel economy is unlikely before 2050, but with temperature already at 1.1°C above pre-industrial temperature, it is likely Earth will cross the 1.5°C guardrail by 2040. The authors conclude this alone defines an emergency.

Nine active tipping points:

  1. Arctic sea ice
  2. Greenland ice sheet
  3. Boreal forests
  4. Permafrost
  5. Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation
  6. Amazon rainforest
  7. Warm-water corals
  8. West Antarctic Ice Sheet
  9. Parts of East Antarctica

The collapse of major ice sheets on Greenland, West Antarctica and part of East Antarctica would commit the world to around 10 metres of irreversible sea-level rise.

Reducing emissions could slow this process, allowing more time for low-lying populations to move.

The rainforests, permafrost and boreal forests are examples of biosphere tipping points that if crossed result in the release of additional greenhouse gases amplifying warming.

Despite most countries having signed the Paris Agreement, pledging to keep global warming well below 2°C, current national emissions pledges – even if they are met – would lead to 3°C of warming.

Although future tipping points and the interplay between them is difficult to predict, the scientists argue: “If damaging tipping cascades can occur and a global tipping cannot be ruled out, then this is an existential threat to civilization.

“No amount of economic cost-benefit analysis is going to help us. We need to change our approach to the climate problem.”

Professor Lenton added: “We might already have crossed the threshold for a cascade of inter-related tipping points.

“However, the rate at which they progress, and therefore the risk they pose, can be reduced by cutting our emissions.”

Though global temperatures have fluctuated over millions of years, the authors say humans are now “forcing the system”, with atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and global temperature increasing at rates that are an order of magnitude higher than at the end of the last ice age.

Domino effect could heat up Earth by 5 degrees Celsius — despite Paris climate deal

The Extinction Chronicles

https://www.dw.com/en/domino-effect-could-heat-up-earth-by-5-degrees-celsius-despite-paris-climate-deal/a-44968248

Even if the Paris agreement is successfully implemented, the planet could still heat up by 5 degrees Celsius, scientists warn. This “hothouse” climate would make parts of the world uninhabitable.

    
Man walking with dog on cracked, dried earth of Alcora Lake in Spain (picture-alliance/AP Photo/F. Bustamante)

A joint study by international climate scientists from Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Australia presents a bleak prognosis: Even if the goals of the Paris climate agreement are achieved and global warming is limited to maxiumum 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial levels, the climate system could still pass a devastating tipping point.

“Human emissions of greenhouse gas are not the sole determinant of temperature on Earth,” said Will Steffen, lead author of the study and climate researcher at the Australian National University and the Swedish research institute Stockholm Resilience Centre.

“Our study suggests that human-induced global warming of 2 degrees Celsius may trigger other Earth system processes, often called ‘feedbacks,’ that can drive further warming — even…

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Lawsuit Launched to Protect Minnesota’s Rare Lynx From Trapping

State-permitted Fur Trapping Leads to Illegal Killings, Captures of Wild Cat

MINNEAPOLIS- The Center for Biological Diversity today
<https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/w/documents/31/Lynx_MN_Sec_9_–_NOI_12_
3_2019_to_send.pdf> notified the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
of plans to sue the agency for permitting trapping that harms Canada lynx,
in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

In the past decade, state and federal agencies have documented captures of
16 lynx in traps set for other wildlife in Minnesota, six of which resulted
in death. As few as 50 of the rare cats may remain in the state.

“It’s outrageous that Minnesota’s lynx keep needlessly suffering and
dying in indiscriminate traps,” said Collette Adkins, the Center’s
carnivore conservation director. “The state needs to step up and implement
sensible changes to prevent the tragic deaths of these highly imperiled
cats. Minnesota’s rare animals shouldn’t be strangled in neck snares.”

Trapping of Canada lynx, unless covered by a specific permit from the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, constitutes an illegal “take” under the
Endangered Species Act, even if accidental.

Every year in Minnesota, a small number of trappers kill
<https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/recreation/hunting/trapping/harvest_17-18.pdf
> thousands of bobcats, pine martens and other wildlife, largely to sell
their furs.

In a previous lawsuit filed by wildlife conservation groups, a Minnesota
federal court in 2008
<https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2008/lynx-07-14-200
8.html> held the state liable for harm to lynx caused by trapping. It
ordered the state to apply to the Fish and Wildlife Service for a permit to
cover its trapping program. But the state never obtained the permit.

The court also ordered the state to better protect lynx by issuing
regulations to restrict trapping in core lynx habitat. But even after these
additional measures went into effect, the rare cats have continued to get
caught in traps.

“Year after year we see sickening reports of lynx getting caught and even
killed by traps, but the state refuses to act,” said Adkins. “Minnesota’s
wildlife managers would rather appease a small number of trappers than
protect these beautiful wild cats. We hope this lawsuit will finally
convince the state to make lynx conservation a true priority.”

The lawsuit will seek additional measures to prevent trappers from hurting
Canada lynx, such as requiring placement of certain traps within “lynx
exclusion devices” that prevent lynx deaths. Conibear traps snap shut in a
viselike grip and have killed lynx on numerous occasions, but the department
does not require trappers to place them within exclusion devices.

Today’s notice letter starts a 60-day clock, after which the Center can
file its lawsuit to compel the state to comply with the Endangered Species
Act.

Background

Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) are distinguished from bobcats by their tufted
ears, hind legs that appear longer than front legs, and a pronounced goatee
under the chin. Their large paws work like snowshoes and enable them to walk
on top of deep, soft snows. These cold‐loving cats feed predominantly on
snowshoe hares but may also eat birds and small mammals and scavenge
carcasses.

The lynx was listed as a “threatened” species under the federal Endangered
Species Act in 2000. Its federally designated “critical habitat” includes
northeastern Minnesota.

Trapping, habitat destruction, climate change and other threats continue to
harm the Canada lynx. Although once more widespread, lynx currently reside
in small breeding populations in Minnesota, Idaho, Montana, Washington and
Maine. A reintroduced population also resides in Colorado. Currently,
biologists estimate, 50 to 200 lynx may range in northern Minnesota.

Last year the Trump administration
<https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2018/canada-lynx-01
-11-2018.php> announced plans to remove federal protection from lynx but has
not yet moved forward with an actual proposal.

<https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/resourcespace/pages/search.php?search=%
21collection531&k=127e8fd67e> Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), Washington Dept
FWS.
<https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/resourcespace/pages/search.php?search=%
21collection531&k=127e8fd67e> Additional photos and video available for
download here.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation
organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists
dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

<https://biologicaldiversity.org/>

<https://biologicaldiversity.org/news/breaking/> More Press

https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/lawsuit-launched-to-pr
otect-minnesotas-rare-lynx-from-trapping-2019-12-03-2019-12-04/?fbclid=IwAR1
XZtGtTp6cKY-SCelXobX1TlYqb3hn3ba53pezgo0dAJsOqOSgJ8XRJg4#.XefF0Mdzx3A.facebo
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