About Exposing the Big Game

Jim Robertson

Growing wolf packs leads state to consider changes in kill policy

WENATCHEE, Wash. — The number of wolves in Washington grew to at least 115 last year — up by about 25 animals — and the agency that keeps tabs on them will soon consider changes to make it easier to kill wolves that attack livestock.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife released its annual gray wolf status report on Friday, and although the number of conflicts with livestock was not unusual, the agency hopes to find a better way to handle repeated wolf attacks by the same pack. Last summer, the Profanity Peak Pack killed or injured at least 10 cattle, and Fish and Wildlife officials killed seven pack members before the problem was resolved.

This year’s annual report shows that all of the state’s wolves are living on the east side of the Cascade Mountains, and three packs — the Lookout Pack near Twisp, the Teanaway Pack south of Wenatchee, and the Loup Loup Pack west of Okanogan — are in North Central Washington. Fifteen of the state’s 20 packs are in the northeast corner of the state, and half of the packs have a breeding pair, the agency’s report said.

The report also documented that last year wolves killed nine cattle, injured six and were probably responsible for killing six more.

On the flip side, 14 wolves died last year — half of them members of the Profanity Peak Pack, which were killed by state Fish and Wildlife officials after repeated attacks on cattle belonging to two ranchers.

Next week, agency officials will meet with the Wolf Advisory Group and attempt to agree on a new protocol for when the state will kill wolves that attacked livestock.

It’s not that last year’s conflicts were unexpected or higher than anticipated, said Donny Martorello, the agency’s wolf policy lead.

“There are no surprises” in the annual report or in last year’s numbers, he said.

But there may be a better way to handle problem wolves and prevent a repeat of last summer’s conflicts on the Colville National Forest, which, after three months, left 15 dead or injured cattle and led to killing seven of the 11 members of the Profanity Peak Pack.

The 18-member Wolf Advisory Group includes citizen members from several perspectives that includes ranchers and animal conservation organizations. Martorello said even before issues were raised over handling of the Profanity Peak Pack, the group had planned to revisit the agency’s protocols for when to kill wolves and to adapt to changes as they come up.

“All of us are looking for ways to help reduce the amount of conflict so fewer livestock die and fewer wolves die. Those are the common interests,” he said.

Livestock owners are already working to prevent conflicts using fencing, hazing, guard dogs and range riders to reduce the likelihood of a first incident.

Martorello said that although almost all of the state’s wolf territories overlap with livestock range land, 80 percent of them had no conflicts with domestic animals. Judging by wolf-livestock conflicts in other states, it’s not unusual to see 20 percent of the packs involved in attacks on livestock, he added.

Part of the discussion on a possible new wolf protocol will be whether to change the current policy, which now says that the agency will consider killing wolves after there are four confirmed attacks on livestock. Martorello said they will look at adding probable attacks — not just confirmed attacks — that include just one confirmed kill.

The suggestion is based, in part, on a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study concluding that killing part of a pack works best to deter continued livestock attacks when it’s done within a week of the conflict. Adding just one week to that time frame makes the partial-pack removal about as effective as doing nothing, the study concluded.

Al Gore Releases ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ Trailer Same Day Trump Rolls Back Climate Change Agenda

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/cortneyobrien/2017/03/30/al-gore-releases-an-inconvenient-sequel-year-after-first-film-said-earth-would-be-gone-in-10-years-n2306157

|Mar 30, 2017
Al Gore Releases 'An Inconvenient Sequel' Trailer Same Day Trump Rolls Back Climate Change Agenda

Former presidential candidate and environmentalist Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” predicted doom for our world back in 2006. If we humans didn’t stop polluting, global warming would threaten our environment. He teased a follow up to the film back in April and on Tuesday Gore released the trailer for “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.”

The sequel largely seems to star President Trump. In the trailer, Gore is seen praising global environmental regulations like those adopted at the Paris Climate Accords, but the scene turns dark when his words are contrasted with Trump’s campaign pledges to upend the Paris deal and abolish the Environmental Protection Agency.

“The Five’s” Greg Gutfeld offered an insightful film review on Wednesday, suggesting that “Truth to Power” was lacking on the truth part.

“You know who proved Al Gore wrong?” Gutfeld asked. “Al Gore.”

As Gutfeld explained, “An Inconvenient Truth” gave a doomsday timeline, predicting in 2006 that Earth would be destroyed in 10 years. Eleven years later, Gore released the sequel.

In the documentary, however, Gore insists that other predictions in the original were spot-on. For instance, critics accused him of exaggerating that the 9/11 Memorial site in New York City would one day be flooded. When Hurricane Sandy arrived, that prediction came true, he said, showing footage of the waters reaching the memorial.

The activist urged his fellow Americans to take care of their surroundings.

“Don’t let anybody tell you we’re going to get on rocket ships and live on Mars,” Gore says in the trailer. “This is our home.”

Interestingly, Gore’s documentary sequel was released just hours after President Trump signed an executive order to dismantle his successor’s climate change agenda.

 

Calling all animal lovers: Trump’s sons are proud murderers of endangered species

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Some people are posting this picture as a joke. Don Jr. bringing down an elephant (under highly controlled hunting) and cutting off its tail is kind of ironic. But it’s really just sick, down to the clean knife above.

Don Jr. made his big debut tonight and some say he made a big splash and helped “humanize” his father.  But he and his disgusting brother, Eric, deserve nothing but scorn for the series of wild animal kills that spread across Twitter tonight.

I was not aware of their depravity towards animals until tonight. The folks calling Don Jr. “Patrick Bateman” on Twitter were spot on.

From The Daily Beast:

Back in 2012, photos surfaced of the elder Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, proudly posing with the carcasses of dead animals they hunted while on a big-game hunting expedition in Africa. The photos showed Donald and Eric posing with a lifeless cheetah, Donald clenching a knife along with the bloody, sawed-off tail of an elephant, and the pair posing next to a crocodile hanging from a noose off of a tree.

Here are Trump’s sons holding up a dead cheetah, all smiles:

How quickly the press forgot about Donald Trumps spoiled kids being exotic animal killers but I didn’t.

I guess this is the dead croc:

View image on Twitter
Horrible people doing horrible things,

More Daily Beast:

The Trump boys were hunting in Zimbabwe—the same country where Cecil was killed—and though Zimbabwean animal conservation groups looked into the incident, the hunt was deemed perfectly legal. Once the photos went viral online, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted (and then deleted): “Not a PR move I didn’t give the pics but I have no shame about them either. I HUNT & EAT game.”
Later, Donald Jr. clarified his thoughts on the big-game hunt in an interview with Deer & Hunting magazine in August 2012.

“I think what made it sort of a bigger story and kind of national and even global news was that I didn’t do what a lot of other people do, which is immediately start apologizing for what I am and that I’m a hunter and all this,” Donald Jr. told Deer & Hunter. “I kinda said, ‘No, I am what I am. I did all those things. I have no regrets about it.’”

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 · 12:16:27 PM PDT · kat68

CORRECTION: It has been noted several times in the comments that the Trump kids are holding up a dead leopard, not a cheetah. Apologies for the mistake. I relied on the news story instead of my own eyes.

Bird Flu Is a Big Deal. Of Course Trump Wants to Defund the Best Way to Contain It

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/03/avian-flu-spreading-dont-tell-donald-trump

The virus has now hit Georgia, the No. 1 poultry-producing state—and Trump plans to cut surveillance funds.

For the second time in less than three years, avian flu is moving through industrial-scale US chicken facilities. Republicans in power seem too fixated on budget-cutting to notice.

First, President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pushed a health care plan that would have slashed funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal agency that tracks farm flu outbreaks and works with the US Department of Agriculture and local authorities to “minimize any human health risk” they cause.

Given that avian flu is on the march again, one might think it prudent to keep that cash around, devoted to monitoring the 2017 outbreak.

That effort collapsed, but now Trump is taking a more direct whack at flu-tracking funding. A couple of Politico reporters got hold of a budget-cutting proposal the Trump team is circulating in Congress. The document lists $1 billion in suggested cuts to the US Department of Agriculture’s discretionary spending in 2017—which is separate from the “21 percent proposed reduction for USDA that the administration included in its 2018 budget outline released earlier this month,” Politico reports.

Among the cuts being sought for 2017, the Trump team seeks to extract funds from a USDA program funded by Congress in 2015 to address the flu problem that swept through the Midwest that year, triggering the euthanasia of 50 million birds and causing egg prices to spike. Congress had allocated $1 billion for it, of which $80 million is left. Given that avian flu is on the march again, one might think it prudent to keep that cash around, devoted to monitoring the 2017 outbreak. Trump’s budget people have other ideas—they want to take away $50 million of the $80 million left over. Politico quotes the document:

The response to the FY15 [fiscal-year 2015] outbreak is complete, and USDA should still have enough balances to respond to the two recent HPAI [high pathogenic avian influenza] outbreaks in TN [Tennessee] this year.

Of course, this year’s avian flu, albeit a less virulent strain, has broken out of Tennessee, swept into Alabama and Kentucky, and has now alighted in Georgia, the nation’s No. 1 chicken-producing state. It would be interesting to know what Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, Trump’s still-pending pick to lead the USDA, thinks of that proposed money-saving measure.

While the CDC insists that the risk that people will come down with the current avian flu strain is “low,” it does work with the Department of Agriculture and state authorities on tracking outbreaks. That’s because health officials have been warningfor decades that massive livestock confinements make an ideal breeding ground for new virus strains, including potentially ones that can jump from bird to human, and then spread among humans. Meanwhile, a different strain of avian flu has swept across Japan, South Korea, and China. It has killed 140 people but has not proved capable of spreading from human to human.

Vegan Lifestyle Becoming More Common

https://theimpactnews.com/news/2017/03/09/veganisim-a-lifestyle-worth-considering/

 A vegan diet used to be a foreign concept for the regular American in a regular household. It was more of the lifestyle someone who decided to move to the woods and be in hiatus  of the world would adapt. However, the picture has changed over the years.

And now a change of diet may be absolutely necessary in protecting the planet from Greenhouse Emissions causing global warming, according to some experts.

Vegans now have countless food options and information available. Restaurants often have at least a vegan section and there is even vegan options for products other than food. It is fairly easy to have a full and healthy vegan lifestyle today.

But what does it mean to be vegan? And why would someone chose this lifestyle?

According to PETA, “a vegan (strict vegetarian) does not consume meat, diary products, eggs, honey or any product delivered from an animal.” This includes food, clothing, furniture, personal care and house hold items, and everything in between. Unlike a vegetarian, a vegan lifestyle goes beyond food. Every product used and/or purchases as well as any activity one takes part in, should not come from, be made out of, tested on or jeopardize an animal life.

For years, it has been assumed that diary, meat and eggs are the main sources of protein, but it turns out it is just a marketing strategy, for there are significant amounts of protein in other foods. An adult or depleting child can get all the nutrients and protein they need from a plant base diet, while maintaining good health.

According to Harvard University, vegans have a lower risk of suffering of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. It has also be proved to help with weight loss and an overall healthier lifestyle.

Another huge reason to become a vegan is living a sustainable lifestyle and helping to reduce climate change. According to the world watch institute, “Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (C02) per year, or 51 percent of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

Methane, water vapor, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide are some of the gases that contribute to the Greenhouse Effect.Many skeptics have been critical that that big environmental agencies, who exist for the protection of the one and only planet humans have, do not fully accept this theory on climate change.

Using less water and oil, recycling, being counties of energy used help as well, but the biggest impact can be made by switching to a vegan lifestyle. According to World Watch,  “Even without fossil fuels, we will exceed out 565 cigatonnes C02E limit by 2030, all from raising animals.”

Some feel that the planet has been so deeply damaged that baby steps won’t work, and a bigger change is needed to save the planet. Helping the environment is not only a choice everyone benefits from but also future generations. Regardless of nationality, humans share the same air and space. It is beyond personal choices. One’s reckless and careless choices can directly impact many others.

According to “Conspiracy” the infamous documentary on this issue, “A person who follows a vegan diet produces the equivalent of 50 percent less carbon dioxide, uses 1/11th oil, 1/12th water, 1/18th land compared to a meat eater and saves one animal’s life a day.” One person’s choices have a huge impact on the resources that could potentially be wasted on a product that is not necessary for human life or wellbeing.

The question is, can college students have a vegan lifestyle on a realistic budget?

The answer is yes, just as any other student trying to save money; it’s all about being smart with spending and money in general.

Being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean shopping at expensive organic supermarkets and spending a lot on money on food. Just be informed and learn how to read labels. It is probable that a portion of one’s diet is already vegan, so it doesn’t have to be such a drastic change.

Most restaurants offer a vegan section, and there are even entirely vegan restaurants now. There are numerous food choices.

As far as clothing and households items, it simply takes some research. Most brands now would include the word “vegan” on the packaging as well.

For residents, the cafeterias offer some vegan; options, however, are limited.

Annabella Alvarado, a Vet Tech major and a sophomore, says “I became a vegan once I realized the impact factory farming has on our environment. Mercy offers vegan/vegetarian options everyday, but what I did was change my meal plan to all dining dollars and that allows me to set up my own meals.”

There are also restaurants close to campus, like “Tomatillo” or “Mix on Main” with affordable vegan options as well, ranging from about $7 to $20. It is also easy to customize meals at restaurants to make them vegan.

Amy Morales, a Music Technology major and a senior, says “I gave up meat about two years ago just to try it out; after a month I really liked how my body felt. I feel a lot healthier now.”

Whether it is because of the health benefits, morals, or because your want to live a more sustainable life and help the planet, veganism is a life style worth considering.

The Laws Of Ecology And The Survival Of The Human Species

08/05/2016 04:04 pm ET | Updated Aug 05, 2016

The Laws Of Ecology And The Survival Of The Human Species

I was raised in a small fishing village on the Passamaquoddy Bay in New Brunswick, Canada and I still vividly remember the way things were in the Fifties. The way things were then is not the way things are now.

I’m not talking about technological, industrial or scientific progress. I’m referring to the health and stability of eco-systems. What was once strong is now weak. What was once rich in diversity is now very much the poorer.

I have been blessed, or perhaps cursed, with the gift of near total recall. I see the images of the past as clearly as the days that were. As a result it has been difficult for me to adapt to diminishment. I see the shells on the beaches that are no longer there, the little crabs under the rocks, now gone, the schools of fishes, the pods of dolphins, the beaches free of plastic.

I began traveling the world in 1967 — hitch-hiking and riding the rails across Canada; joining the Norwegian merchant marine; crossing the Pacific and Indian Oceans; traveling through Japan, Iran, Mozambique and South Africa, working as a tour guide in Turkey and Syria, co-founding the Greenpeace Foundation in 1972 and, in 1977, founding the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

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Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson some forty years ago when he founded the non-profit.

Many things that I saw then no longer exist – or have been severely damaged, changed and diminished.

In the Sixties we did not buy water in plastic bottles. In the Sixties the word ‘sustainable ‘was never used in an ecological context, and except for Rachel Carson, there were very few with the vision to see into the future, where we were going, what we were doing.

But slowly, awareness crept into the psyche of more and more people. People began to understand what the word ecology meant. We saw the creation of Earth Day, and in 1972, the first global meeting on the environment in Stockholm, Sweden that I covered as a journalist.

Gradually, the insight into what were doing became more prevalent and to those who understood, the price to be paid was to be labeled radicals, militants, and a new word – eco-terrorist.

The real “crime” of eco-terrorism was not burning down a ski lodge, toppling a power line or spiking a tree. Such things are only outbursts of desperation and frustration. The real crime of eco-terrorism was having thought, perception, and imagination. In other words, the questioning of the modern economic, corporate and political paradigm.

The word eco-terrorism should be more accurately used for the destruction caused by progress like the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal or the BP Deep Water Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Picture of an oil rig taken during Sea Shepherd’s Operation Toxic Gulf in 2014.

In the Seventies, the late Robert Hunter, along with Roberta Hunter, Dr. Patrick Moore, David Garrick, Rod Marining and myself observed and wrote down the three laws of ecology. What we realized was that these laws are the key to the survival of biodiversity on the planet and also the key to the survival of the human species. We realized that no species could survive outside of the three basic and imperative ecological laws.

The law of diversity: The strength of an eco-system is dependent upon the diversity of species within it.

The law of interdependence: All species are interdependent with each other.

The law of finite resources: There are limits to growth and limits to carrying capacity.

The increase of population in one species leads to the increase in consumption
of resources by that species. This leads to diminishment of diversity of other species, which in turn leads to diminishment of interdependence among species.

For example, increasing diminishment of phytoplankton populations in the sea is causing diminishment of many other species as well as a 40% diminishment in oxygen production since 1950. Diminishment of whale populations has contributed to the diminishment of phytoplankton populations because whale feces are a major source of nutrients (esp. iron and nitrogen) for phytoplankton.

The planet simply cannot tolerate 7.5 billion (and growing) primarily meat and fish eating necrovores. The killing of 65 billion domestic animals each year is contributing more greenhouse gases to the planet than the entire transportation industry. The industrial stripping of life from the sea is causing unprecedented biodiversity collapse in marine eco-systems.

Ecological systems globally are collapsing from coral reefs to rainforests because humanity is exploiting resources far beyond the capacity of eco-systems to create and renew natural resources.

Diminishment of eco-systems is also leading to the breakdown of human social structures causing global conflict in the form of wars and domestic violence. Terrorism is not the cause of society’s problems, it is merely a symptom.

Humans are compromised by medieval paradigms like territorial dominance, hierarchical desires and superstitious beliefs combined with primitive primate behavior like greed and fear.

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Sea Shepherd’s 2010 Faeroe Islands Dolphin Defense Campaign: Operation Grindstop. Photo credit: Sea Shepherd /Sofia Jonsson

The fishing village that I lived in as a child is no longer a fishing village. The relative innocence of our lives as children of the Fifties and Sixties is no more. The African bush, the Arctic tundra, the marine reserve of the Galapagos Islands, the Great Barrier Reef, the Amazonian rainforests that I once traveled through are no longer what they recently were.

Humans have this amazing ability to adapt to diminishment. It’s a trait that was exceptionally useful when we lived as hunter-gatherers. We adapted to food shortages, to changes in the weather and to the world as it evolved around us. Today we are trying to adapt to the destruction brought on by ourselves and that adaption is taking the form of more and more control by governments and corporations and a blind reliance on corporate technologies.

We no longer have the empathy we once felt. I vividly remember the events of October 23rd, 1958. I was seven years old on the day of the Springhill Mine Disaster in Nova Scotia. 75 men died and 99 were rescue. I remember crying for the fate of people I did not know and feeling excited every time a miner was brought to the surface alive. I no longer have that capacity. Perhaps I lost it when I became an adult, or perhaps society no longer has room for such emotions.

Disaster happened and we grieved for people we did not know. A few weeks ago nearly 100 people were viciously murdered within a few kilometres of where I live when a deranged man mowed them down with a large truck in Nice, France. Last week, a priest was beheaded in France. Every week brings us more stories about mass killings in the Middle East, Africa, America etc. It’s a worldwide pain-fest of chaos and violence and yet it is met with complacency for the most part and a predictable Facebook posting of — “say a prayer for Paris, or Orlando, or Nice, or Beirut, or Istanbul” in a litany of self-indulgent adaptation to tragedy, before being quickly forgotten.

This is not the world of my childhood. We remembered the horrors of World War II with real emotion. I remember talking with both World War I and World War II veterans and feeling their pain. Today it’s just another short-term item on the news, in a world that seeks to escape through movies, celebrities, video games and increasingly more fanatical religious fervor.

Here is the reality. As human populations increase, the consumption of resources increases with it. But because resources are finite and the rate of renewables is overcome by demand, this can only lead to one result — the collapse of resource availability.

And because we are literally stealing resources from other species, this will lead to
diminishment of species and habitats, which will contribute to even more resource diminishment.

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Sea Shepherd’s 2008 Seal Defense Campaign photographs the murder and carcass dragging of a seal. Photo credit: Sea Shepherd / Greg Hager

At COP 21, I called for an end to worldwide government subsidies for industrialized fishing and at least a 50-year moratorium on commercial industrialized fishing. That solution was not given a moment’s thought at a conference that did not even take into account the imperative role of the Ocean in addressing climate change.

My opinion of COP 21 is that governments were not looking for solutions. They were looking for the appearance of solutions. They certainly did not want to hear about solutions from people like me. They want solutions that are accompanied by jobs and profit. The one thing they do not want is any form of economic sacrifice.

I also do not believe that the majority of humanity — certainly not the leadership — understand the true gravity of the situation. There are six viewpoints concerning climate change: 1. Denial 2. Acceptance, with the view of it being a positive development. 3. Acceptance with the belief that science and technology will save the day. 4. Acceptance, but refusal to fully appreciate the consequences. 5. Apathy. 6. Acceptance with the resolve to find real solutions.

Those who are in denial have vested self interests in doing so, motivated primarily by greed or ignorance. My old Greenpeace colleague Patrick Moore sees climate change as an opportunity for longer growing seasons and better weather. (He lives in Canada and I don’t think he’s really thought it through.) Others like Elon Musk see our salvation in science, in moving off-world or developing artificial eco-systems on Earth. Most responsible world leaders recognize the problem but are too politically-impotent to address it with realistic solutions because those solutions would not be politically popular. And as with everything, the majority of the world is apathetic and too self-absorbed with entertaining themselves (developed world) or surviving (underdeveloped world).

On this path we are on now, the future is somewhat predictable. More resource wars, more poverty, more accumulation of wealth by the minority of privileged people, more disease, more civil strife and with the collapse of biodiversity – global mass starvation, and pestilence.

The rich tapestry of all our cultures and all our achievements in science and the arts hangs by threads linked to biodiversity.

If the bees are diminished, our crops are diminished. If the forests are diminished, we are diminished. If phytoplankton dies, we die! If the grasses die, we die!

We exist because of the geo-engineering contributions of millions of diverse species that keep our life support systems running. From bacteria to whales, from algae to the redwoods. If we undermine the foundations of this planetary life-support system, all that we have ever created will fall. We will be no more.

We made the mistake of declaring war on nature, and because of our technologies it looks like we are going to win this war. But because we are a part of nature, we will destroy ourselves in the process. Our enemy is ourselves and we are slowly becoming aware of that indisputable fact. We are destroying ourselves in a fruitless effort to save the image of what we believe ourselves to be.

In this war, we are slaughtering — through direct or indirect exploitation — millions of species and reducing their numbers to dangerously low levels while at the same time increasing human numbers to dangerously high levels.

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Dolphin offal and intestines photographed during the 2011-12 Taiji Dolphin Defense Campaign. Photo credit: Sea Shepherd / Christoph Heylen

We are fighting this war against nature with chemicals, industrialized equipment, ever increasing extraction technologies (like fracking) and repression against any and all voices that rise up in dissent.

In our wake over the past two centuries we have left a trail of billions of bodies. We have tortured, slain, abused and wasted so many lives, obliterated entire species; and reduced rich diverse eco-systems to lifeless wastelands as we polluted the seas, the air and the soil with chemicals, heavy metals, plastic, radiation and industrialized farm sewage.

We were once horrified by the possibility of a Chernobyl or a Fukushima. But the accidents happened and we adapted and accepted. Now we are complacent.

In the process we are becoming sociopathic as a species. We are losing the ability to express empathy and compassion. We idolize soldiers, hunters, and resource developers without giving a thought to their victims. We revel in violent fantasies hailing two-dimensional fantasy killers as heroes. We have become increasingly more Darwinian in our outlook that the weak (other species) must perish so that the strong (ourselves) may survive. We forget that Darwinism recognizes the laws of ecology and we cannot pick and choose when it comes to the laws of nature. In the end nature controls us, we do not control nature.

The consequences of our actions are not going to happen centuries from now. They are going to happen within this century. Oceanic ecosystems are collapsing — now! The planet is getting warmer — now! Phytoplankton is being diminished — now!

To be blunt — the planet is dying now, and we are killing it!

From what I have experienced and from what I see there is only one thing that can prevent us from falling victim to the consequences of ignoring the laws of ecology.

We must shake off the anthropocentric mindset and embrace a biocentric understanding of the natural world. We can do this because we have wonderful teachers in indigenous communities worldwide who have lived biocentric lifestyles for thousands of years just as our species all once did. We need to learn to live in harmony with other species.

We need to establish a moratorium on industrialized fishing, logging and farming.

We need to stop producing goods that have no intrinsic value — all the useless plastic baubles for entertainment and self-indulgence. We need to stop mass-producing plastic that is choking our global seas. We need to stop injecting poisons into the soil and dumping toxins into the sea. We need to abolish cultural practices that destroy life for the sole purpose of entertaining ourselves.

Of course it won’t be easy but do we really want the epitaph for our species to be, “Well we needed the jobs?”

Without ecology there is no economy.

I am not a pessimist and I’ve never been prone to pessimistic thoughts. There are solutions. We see people of compassion, imagination and courage around us working to make this a better world — devoting themselves to protecting species and habitats; finding organic agricultural alternatives; and developing more eco-friendly forms of energy production. Innovators, thinkers, activists, artists, leaders and educators — these people are among us and their numbers are growing.

It is often said that the problems are overwhelming and the solutions are impossible. I don’t buy this. The solution to an impossible problem is to find an impossible solution.

It can be done. In 1972, the very idea that Nelson Mandela would one day be President of South Africa was unthinkable and impossible — yet the impossible became possible.

It’s never easy but it is possible and possibilities are achieved through courage, imagination, passion and love.

I learned from the Mohawks years ago that we must live our lives by taking into account the consequences of our every action on all future generations of all species.

If we love our children and grandchildren we must recognize that their world will not be our world. Their world will be greatly diminished and unrecognizable from the world of our childhoods. Each and every child born in the 21st Century is facing challenges that no human being has ever faced in the entire history of our species:

Emerging pathogens from the permafrost. (Just this summer, an anthrax virus from a recently thawed reindeer carcass broke out killing 1,500 reindeer and hospitalizing 13 people in Russia.) Eruptions of methane opening huge craters in the earth in Siberia, mass-accelerated extinction of plants and animals, pollution, wars and more wars, irrational violence in the form of individual, religious and state terrorism, the collapse of entire eco-systems.

This is not doom and gloom fear mongering. It is simply a realistic observation of the consequences of our deliberately ignoring of the laws of ecology. I call it the Cassandra Principle.

Cassandra was the prophetess of ancient Troy whose curse was the ability to see the future and to have everyone dismiss her prophecies. No one listened to her, instead they ridiculed her. Yet she was right. All that she predicted came to pass and Troy was destroyed.

Years ago I had a critic in the media label me as a doom and gloom Cassandra. I replied, “Maybe, but don’t forget one thing. Cassandra was right.”

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Sea Shepherd’s Galapagos Director Sean O’Hearn-Gimenez on a shark finning arrest operation om 2007.

And over the years I have made predictions (that were ridiculed and dismissed) that have come true. In 1982 I publicly predicted the collapse of the North Atlantic Cod fishery. It happened a decade later. In 1978 I predicted the destruction of one half of the African elephant population in Defenders magazine. I was wrong. Some two thirds of the population have been destroyed. In 1984, I predicted ecological destruction by salmon farms including the spreading of viruses to wild salmon populations. Every prediction was based on observation with reference to the laws of ecology and every prediction was dismissed.

Nothing has changed. Today I am predicting the death of worldwide coral reef eco-systems by 2025, the total collapse of worldwide commercial fishing operations by 2030; and the emergence of more virulent viral diseases in the coming decades. It does not take any exceptional foresight to predict that war will be the major business of the next half-century, as well as the rise of more authoritarian governments.

Recently my old friend Rod Marining, also a co-founder of Greenpeace, said to me: “The transformation of human consciousness on a mass scale can not happen, unless there are two factors. First, a huge mass visual death threat to survival of our species, and two, the threat of the loss of a people’s jobs or their values. Once theses two factors are in place humans begin to transform their thinking over night.”

I have seen the future written in the patterns of our behavior, and it is not a pleasant future, in fact it is not much of a future at all.

The four horses have arrived. As death sits astride the pale horse, the other three horses of pestilence, famine and war and terrorism are stampeding at full gallop toward us while our backs are turned away from them. And when they trample us, we may look up from our latest entertainment triviality to see ourselves in the dust of the ecological apocalypse.

I also see the possibility of salvation. By listening to the words and observing the actions of indigenous people. By looking into the eyes of our children. By stepping outside the circle of anthropocentrism. By understanding that we are part of the Continuum. By refusing to participate in the anthropocentric illusion. By embracing biocentrism and fully understanding the laws of ecology, and the fact that these laws cannot — must not — be ignored if we wish to survive.

Donald Trump vs. animals

If a presidential candidate announced that his or her administration would hurt one of your relatives, you would likely do everything possible to prevent that person from being elected. For the 95% of U.S. pet owners who describe their dog or cat as a member of the family, or the millions of other Americans who care about animals on farms and in the wild, Donald Trump presents such a threat.

From a four-legged vantage point, a Trump administration would be a disaster. Last month, the Trump campaign floated billionaire Forrest Lucas as the potential secretary of the interior in his administration, a position that oversees vital animal-related programs at the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management.

Described as “the leading anti-animal advocate in the United States” by the Humane Society Legislative Fund, Lucas has dedicated much of his time and fortune to defending some of the worst animal abuse industries in our country.

Lucas’ anti-animal front organization, Protect the Harvest, spent a quarter of a million dollars to try to block a ballot initiative in North Dakota that would have set felony-level penalties for malicious cruelty to dogs, cats and horses. That’s relevant to Lucas’ potential influence in a Trump administration, given that the Bureau of Land Management manages tens of thousands of wild horses in the West.

Lucas’ political machine has also advanced other anti-animal causes, including so-called “right to farm” legislation in states like North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana and Oklahoma. Such legislation would leave millions of animals suffering in silence on factory farms and slaughterhouses, while undermining the Bureau of Land Management’s role in humanely administering 155 million acres of grazing land for cattle and sheep.

While Interior is not directly responsible for companion animal programs, Lucas has shown callous indifference to their protection by funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to efforts to weaken and repeal tough standards to reform puppy mills in Missouri, the nation’s largest dog-breeding state. The Lucas group also helped kill a local initiative in Indiana that simply would have required proper outdoor shelters to protect dogs and cats from the elements.

Along with Lucas, the other members of Trump’s Agriculture Advisory Committee include some of the most vocal anti-animal business leaders and elected officials in our country. Former Iowa State Rep. Annette Sweeney, one member of that group, was the author of her state’s “ag gag” bill, a perverse inversion of justice in which the heroes who film cruelty on factory farms are instead charged as criminals themselves. That bill was signed into law by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, another advisor on Trump’s team.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, yet another member of Trump’s committee, is infamous for vetoing a bill that would have banned trophy hunting of mountain lions in his state, thus extending Lucas’ anti-cat efforts outlined earlier to their wild cousins as well.

Donald Trump Jr. in Africa with an elephant tail.

But Donald Trump doesn’t need to consult his advisory board to find defenders of cruel trophy hunting practices like Heineman. He has more than enough of them in his own family.

Sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr. have offended millions of wildlife lovers with their pay-to-kill hunts for some of Africa’s most magnificent creatures, including elephants, kudus, civet cats, crocodiles, waterbucks and leopards. Pictures of the Trump boys posing with the victims of their murderous vacations have drawn condemnation across the world, but a much more muted response from their father, who justified it with a casual comment that his “sons love to hunt.”

In this midst of Trump’s anti-animal tornado, it is with wistful retrospection that many Republican animal advocates remember the past leadership by our party on many of the same issues. President Dwight Eisenhower signed the first federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act into law, as well as legislation prohibiting the poisoning of wild horse and burro waterholes. President Richard Nixon expanded the scope and coverage of animal protection legislation by signing landmark animal protection laws including the Animal Welfare Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Endangered Species Act.

President Gerald Ford expanded both the Animal Welfare Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, while Republican legislative leaders like Senator Bob Dole championed the protection of farm animals throughout their careers from their seats in Congress. More recently, Representative Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.) twice led Congress to ban horrific animal crush videos, and dozens of Republican representatives in both chambers have fought for legislation to protect whales, chimpanzees, horses and companion animals from cruelty and abuse.

On Election Day, those are the voices for animals that we should honor and respect. If you love your dog, cherish your cat or care about other animals on farms or in the wild, then proxy their paws in the voting booth and pull the lever for anybody but Donald Trump.

Weinstein is CEO of Ridgeback Communications. He was director of media relations for the Dole/Kemp presidential campaign and was deputy press secretary to then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Trump’s Attack on Clean Power Puts Public Health and Hundreds of Thousands of Energy Jobs at Risk

robertscribbler

Yesterday, Donald Trump, much like that famous Luddite Don Quixote, decided to go to war with clean energy. But unlike Don Quixote, Trump did so with full knowledge that he was also fighting to rob us of our best hopes of putting millions of Americans to work for clean air and a livable climate.

(Where would you want to live? Downwind of a toxin spewing coal plant, or near these solar panels and wind turbines?)

With executive order #18 from his administration, he began to lay the groundwork to start to unravel Obama’s Clean Power Plan — which made a decent first shot at removing the worst U.S. polluters, prevented about 4,500 premature deaths each year (which is like preventing a pollution 9/11…

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Record Low Sea Ice Maximum a Lock as Arctic Continues Trend of Ridiculous Warmth

robertscribbler

Anyone who’s been paying attention to the Arctic knows that it’s seen a ridiculously warm fall and winter during 2016 and 2017. And, unfortunately, new predicted temperature spikes appear to be on tap for the coming days in one of the more climate-sensitive regions of our world.

(Another big Arctic temperature spike is predicted for later this week with readings expected to hit as high as 5.1 C above average for the entire Arctic. So much warmth in this region will continue to put melt press on sea ice, snow packs, permafrost and glaciers. Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.)

High amplitude waves in the Jet Stream, according to the Global Forecast System Model, are set to drive dual warm air invasions into the Arctic. The first warm air invasion is taking place over North-Central Siberia and is the continuation of a general pattern of warm air delivery that…

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Referendum to make hunting, fishing, trapping a constitutional right garners support from 30 senators

A majority of Montana’s state senators backed a measure to ask voters to decide whether hunting, fishing and trapping should become constitutional rights in the 2018 general election.

Senate Bill 236, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Fielder, R-Thompson Falls, would create a ballot initiative to put in Montana’s constitution the right for Montana citizens to hunt, fish and trap. Measures that ask for a ballot initiative require 100 votes total between the Senate and the House and don’t need the governor’s signature.

In an initial vote on Monday, 30 Senators supported the bill. It faces a final Senate vote on Tuesday — the vote that will actually count toward the 100 necessary.

 Fielder said the bill will strengthen the state constitution’s protections for these activities.

“The language in the existing Montana constitution is unclear,” Fielder said.

She also said strengthening the language will help fight off future attempts to limit hunting or trapping in the state, such as the ballot measure voters rejected in November to ban trapping on public lands.

But opponents of the bill said the protections within the constitution are strong enough and that the failure of the trapping initiative last fall shows that the activity isn’t in serious danger.

“We don’t need to change something that already works,” said Sen. Mike Phillips, D-Bozeman.

In a February committee hearing, the bill garnered support from the Montana Trappers Association and the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, among others. A number of conservation groups and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks opposed it.

The bill was amended slightly before being sent out of the Senate Fish and Game committee on a 6-5 vote. The amendment turned some opposition into support — namely, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation — but it didn’t eliminate all opposition.

Nick Gevock, the conservation director for the Montana Wildlife Federation, said his group still opposes the measure because they believe changing the constitution requires more careful consideration than can be found in the “hurried emotion of a 90-day legislative session.”

On the Senate floor Monday, Fielder said the bill is similar to laws passed in 14 other states, including Idaho. In a post on its website, the National Conference of State Legislatures says {a style=”font-size: 12px;” href=”http://www.ncsl.org/research/environment-and-natural-resources/state-constitutional-right-to-hunt-and-fish.aspx#5” target=”_blank”}21 states{/a} across the country guarantee the right to hunt and fish, including Montana.

Montana’s current law guarantees the “opportunity” to hunt, and Fielder’s bill would change that word to “right,” which she said has a more clear legal definition.

“It’s time for Montana to step up,” she said.

But some worry that the change could upend wildlife management within the state. An internal memo from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks provided to the Chronicle said the bill would endanger the state’s ability to charge residents and nonresidents different prices for hunting and fishing licenses. The memo says the change would likely draw a legal challenge and that a court might find that the state is discriminating against non-residents by charging them higher license fees.

Phillips mentioned this on the Senate floor Monday, saying the change could result in the state “giving the deal of the century to nonresidents” by lowering out-of-state license fees.

“If you feel lucky in court, vote for 236,” he said.

Sen. Jeff Welborn, R-Dillon, and Sen. Terry Gauthier, R-Helena, joined the Senate’s 18 Democrats in voting against the bill. The measure will need 70 votes in the House to pass, which means that even if all Republicans support it, they will need at least 11 votes from Democrats. Two House Democrats are listed as sponsors of the bill — Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy of Box Elder and Rep. Brad Hamlett of Cascade.