About Exposing the Big Game

Jim Robertson

Arctic Sea Ice is Falling off a Cliff and it May Not Survive The Summer

robertscribbler

Near zero sea ice by the end of melt season. The dreaded Blue Ocean Event. Something that appears more and more likely to happen during 2016 with each passing day.

These are the kinds of climate-wrecking phase changes in the Arctic people have been worrying about since sea ice extent, area, and volume achieved gut-wrenching plunges during 2007 and 2012. Plunges that were far faster than sea ice melt rates predicted by model runs and by the then scientific consensus on how the Arctic Ocean ice would respond to human-forced warming this Century. For back during the first decade of the the 21st Century the mainstream scientific view was that Arctic sea ice would be about in the range that it is today by around 2070 or 2080. And that we wouldn’t be contemplating the possibility of zero or near zero sea ice until the end of this Century.

But…

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Republican Climate Change Denial is Blinding Our Ability to Observe the Arctic

robertscribbler

Denial.

It’s all-too-often what happens to the powerful when they are confronted with the consequences of their own bad actions. It can best be said that denial is blindness — the willful inability to open one’s eyes to the tough reality of the world. In literature, we can see denial in the tragic sin of hubris and in the metaphor of Oedipus the King gouging his own eyes out as a result of his failure to come to terms with the warnings of prophecy.

In the psychological sense, denial involves the inability to cope with reality such that a person will act in an irrational fashion to the point of generating fantasies that the object of said denial does not exist. Behaviorally, this results in an increasing degradation of a person’s ability to confront or cope with the object of denial — to the point of ardent, irrational, and possibly…

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2009 Revisited – Gray Wolves in the Crosshairs

Howling For Justice

gray wolf

April 28. 2016

 In order to understand wolf persecution, as it stands today, it’s our obligation to look back and re-visit the Obama administration’s war against wolves, which started with the delisting of Northern Rockies gray wolves in the Spring of 2009, four months after the President took office. His rancher Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, wasted no time stripping wolves of their ESA protections. Idaho and Montana almost immediately proposed wolf hunts that started in the fall.

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September 16, 2009

The gray wolf stands at a crossroads in the lower 48.  Stripped of their Endangered Species status by the Obama administration,  they are left unprotected from the guns in Montana and Idaho. The first federally sanctioned wolf hunts in the Continental US are taking place as I write this.  Thanks Ken Salazar for allowing the de-listing of wolves to stand.  I thought a Democrat administration would be…

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Response to Hunting Article in AARP Magazine

dsc_0171
As members of AARP, we are shocked to see that your magazine editor felt it was necessary to feature an article on hunting entitled “Where the Heart Is,” in the April/May issue, Volume 59, Number 3B.
Surely you are  aware that the majority of people do Not Hunt, and that shooting with a camera is one of the most popular ways to visit wildlife, not killing them? The the idea (stated in this article) that “as you hunt, you bond with animals” is nonsense. True “bonding” with an animal is simply respecting them, observing them, and letting them live.
The hunting/NRA lobby certainly has enough media venues already, without AARP enabling them to encourage shooting and maiming animals. Why promote such an activity, which clearly is tied to the overall gun violence in our society?
Perhaps you should have an counter-article featuring the blood trail left by the thousands of wounded wild animals who crawl off to die after being shot, or trapped.
Rosemary Lowe, M.A., RN
Marc Bedner

The Race to End Fossil Fuel Based Vehicle Emissions is On — Tesla Model 3 to hit 500,000 Preorders, Dutch Motions to Ban Petrol, and Shell’s Shilling for Biofuels

robertscribbler

This week Shell and Volkswagon banded together in a big EU lobbying push. Their goal — to promote biofuels as a ‘bridge fuel’ to EVs in what some say has become a rather obvious bid to delay the entry of electric vehicles in large numbers to fleets across Europe. An effort that some analysts are concerned may represent yet one more push to kill the electric car.

(Unofficial Tesla advertisement streamed over a famous speech by Nikola Tesla. A combination of increasingly accessible electric vehicles and renewable energy sources like wind and solar provide hope that human beings can rapidly reduce carbon emissions over the coming years. But the still powerful and established fossil fuel industry continues to attempt to delay progress through its vast monetary power and equally vast legislative, advertising, and public relations based influence. Can we free the captive fossil fuel consumer? Video source: Not a Dream

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NCAR: Global Temperature Increase Depletes Oxygen in Most Ocean Zones by the 2030s

robertscribbler

A reduction in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans due to climate change is already discernible in some parts of the world and should be evident across large regions of the oceans between 2030 and 2040. — The National Center for Atmospheric Research in a press release on April 27th.

*****

Loss of oxygen in the world’s oceans. It’s one of those really, really bad effects of a human-forced warming of our Earth. One of the those climate monsters in the closet that Steve Pacala talks about. The kind of thing we really don’t want to set loose.

Deoxygenated Oceans as Major Killing Mechanism During Hothouse Extinctions

The damage caused by ocean oxygen loss is multi-variant and wide-ranging. The most obvious harm comes in the form of generating environments in which oxygen-dependent life in the oceans can no longer breathe. Any living creature that filters oxygen out…

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How The Presidential Candidates Stack Up When It Comes To Animal Issues

How The Presidential Candidates Stack Up When It Comes To Animal IssuesPin

I have never been a single-issue voter.  I like to think I am intelligent enough to look at the big picture and make my voting decision based on how a candidate stands on multiple issues. But I have to admit that animal welfare issues can weigh heavily on my choice of candidate.

We have come so far in the past few years: animal abuse is finally a felony in all fifty states, it is now a crime to even attend a dog or cock fighting event, many communities are passing laws to outlaw puppy mill dogs in pet stores, and even the White House has come out against breed discrimination.  But we are far from where we need to be as a humane nation.

Related: 7 Reasons Why A Dog Should Be President: The Case For America’s First DOTUS

Related

7 Reasons Why A Dog Should Be President: The Case For America’s First DOTUS

To help me make my voting decision in the upcoming presidential election, I went online to research the front-runner candidates.  For some, those who have served in the US Senate or House, it was as easy as checking the ratings on the Humane Society Legislative Fund. Others required a little more digging.

I started by visiting each candidate’s website and reading through their issues page.  Unfortunately, only one candidate mentioned animal issues:  Bernie Sanders.  Senator Sanders dedicated an entire page to his stance on animal welfare.

For the rest of the field, I had to drill down deeper.  I did newspaper searches to see how candidates had voted or what bills they had signed, which affected animals.  I read opinion pieces.  I looked at state websites and tracked local bills.

Here, in a nutshell, is the information I was able to find on each of the top Presidential Candidates:

Donald Trump and Beagle

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Donald Trump (GOP): Trump has never held public office.  There is no record of him every doing anything in favor of or against animals.  Although both of his sons are trophy hunters, he is on record as saying he doesn’t understand their activities and doesn’t support hunting.  However, he tweeted some disparaging comments on the Ringling Brothers Circus decision to retire their elephants early: “Ringling Brothers is phasing out their elephants.  I, for one, will never go again.  They probably used the animal rights stuff to reduce costs.”

Marco Rubio Family And Dog

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Marco Rubio (GOP): Senator Rubio has a dismal average Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) rating of 12 (out of 100) for his voting record in the US Senate, although he did co-sponsor a bill to make “soring” a crime. Soring is a painful technique to make a gaited horse lift his feet as high as possible.  It is a cruel and painful process.  Senator Rubio’s campaign website does not address animals at all.

Ted Cruz and Family

Source: Ted Cruz

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Ted Cruz (GOP): Senator Cruz’ HSLF rating is even lower. His average for the three years he has served in the Senate is a 4 (out of 100).  The only piece of legislation that he supported that was in an animal’s best interest was a vote against allowing hunting in the National Parks. His campaign website does not address animals at all.

John Kasich and Dog

Source: Dispatch

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John Kasich (GOP): Governor Kaisch has a mixed record as far as animal welfare issues go.  He signed into law a tough anti-puppy mill bill and a bill protecting pets in the event of domestic violence, but he did nothing to address factory farming, and some Ohio residents feel that he dragged his feet before signing the bill outlawing exotic animals (big cats).  Although he does not address animal welfare issues on his campaign website, overall Governor Kasich has the best record of any GOP candidate.

Hillary Clinton and Animals

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Hillary Clinton (DEM): When Secretary Clinton was a US Senator, she had an excellent rating with the HSLF, even getting 100+ one year. Her average for her 4 years in the Senate is a 92.  She voted for a positive outcome for animals almost every time. Since she left the Senate, she has little opportunity to influence animal legislation.  Her campaign website does not address animal issues at all.

Dogs For Bernie Sanders

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Bernie Sanders (DEM): Senator Sanders has the most extensive record of any of the candidates.  I was able to obtain his HSLF rating for 11 years. His average rating is 97 out of 100, and there were multiple years he scored 100 and twice when he scored 100+ ,,, only time I can find a vote that can be deemed not to be in an animal’s best interest, is a vote Senator Sanders made to support hunting in the National Parks.\

How The Presidential Candidates Stack Up When It Comes To Animal Issues

Ice melt forces polar bears into paths of Alaska schoolchildren

 

Trevor Hughes5 hrs ago
 
File - In this Feb. 15, 2016 file photo, snow-covered mountains are seen behind the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska. The massive Alaska ice field that feeds Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier, a tourist attraction viewed by hundreds of thousands each year, could be gone by 2200 if climate warming trends continue, according to a new University of Alaska Fairbanks study.© (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File) File – In this Feb. 15, 2016 file photo, snow-covered mountains are seen behind the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska. The massive Alaska ice field that feeds Juneau’s…WALES, Alaska — Melting ice off the coast of far-west Alaska is forcing polar bears onto the land, dangerously close to villages where children often walk unaccompanied across the snow-swept tundra.In these isolated communities, fears of a fatal encounter between stressed predators and the towns’ most vulnerable members have forced residents into action: they now train for polar-bear patrols.”Our main concern is the kids,” says Clyde Oxereok, 57, who leads the patrol in Wales, the most western town in the mainland U.S.

The problem is a lack of ice. Each winter, the narrow strait between Russia and the United States melts faster.The ice that does form seems weaker, more susceptible to breaking up. While that’s opened up new areas for oil exploration and opportunities for shipping through the Northwest Passage, it’s also destroying the habitat of the polar bears who hunt seal from that ice.

 

“The weather has changed a lot, and it has made the animals change their behavior,” said Oxereok, a ninth-generation resident of Wales.

Bears on land are easily distracted by towns — and the easy food.

“When you’re out on the ice, everything is white, so anything that’s not, you’re going to check out,” says Elisabeth Kruger, Arctic program manager for the World Wildlife Fund.  “And anything that could be food, you’ll try it,” she says.

Walking back to the snowmobile that carried her out to the frozen edge of the Bering Strait, Kruger stops to point out fresh polar bear tracks. Sometime in the past few days, a large bear walked down the ice in a path that paralleled both the ice’s edge and the front of the town a mile away.

Village elders say while there are fewer polar bears living in the area, they’re near town more often.

That’s a terrifying thought. Polar bears can be 10-foot-tall, weighing in at more than 1,000 pounds and willing to tangle with whales and walruses.

Now, with Kruger’s help, residents in Wales have created the Kingikmiut Nanuuq Patrol to monitor polar bears near their homes. They’ve learned how to “haze” the bears away from town with shotgun-fired noisemakers and pepper spray.

There’s pretty much no one else to call on in Wales. The town lacks any routine law enforcement presence. An Alaska State Trooper flies in for a few hours every so often to check up on the residents.

Other tribal communities might simply kill and eat any polar bears that come into their village. Polar bears are protected by federal law, but Inupiat hunters like those in Wales are allowed to kill some polar bears to maintain their traditional

WALES, Alaska — Melting ice off the coast of far-west Alaska is forcing polar bears onto the land, dangerously close to villages where children often walk unaccompanied across the snow-swept tundra.
In these isolated communities, fears of a fatal encounter between stressed predators and the towns’ most vulnerable members have forced residents into action: they now train for polar-bear patrols.

“Our main concern is the kids,” says Clyde Oxereok, 57, who leads the patrol in Wales, the most western town in the mainland U.S.

The problem is a lack of ice. Each winter, the narrow strait between Russia and the United States melts faster.The ice that does form seems weaker, more susceptible to breaking up. While that’s opened up new areas for oil exploration and opportunities for shipping through the Northwest Passage, it’s also destroying the habitat of the polar bears who hunt seal from that ice.    
   

“The weather has changed a lot, and it has made the animals change their behavior,” said Oxereok, a ninth-generation resident of Wales.

Bears on land are easily distracted by towns — and the easy food.

“When you’re out on the ice, everything is white, so anything that’s not, you’re going to check out,” says Elisabeth Kruger, Arctic program manager for the World Wildlife Fund. “And anything that could be food, you’ll try it,” she says.

Walking back to the snowmobile that carried her out to the frozen edge of the Bering Strait, Kruger stops to point out fresh polar bear tracks. Sometime in the past few days, a large bear walked down the ice in a path that paralleled both the ice’s edge and the front of the town a mile away.

Village elders say while there are fewer polar bears living in the area, they’re near town more often.

That’s a terrifying thought. Polar bears can be 10-foot-tall, weighing in at more than 1,000 pounds and willing to tangle with whales and walruses.

Now, with Kruger’s help, residents in Wales have created the Kingikmiut Nanuuq Patrol to monitor polar bears near their homes. They’ve learned how to “haze” the bears away from town with shotgun-fired noisemakers and pepper spray.

There’s pretty much no one else to call on in Wales. The town lacks any routine law enforcement presence. An Alaska State Trooper flies in for a few hours every so often to check up on the residents.

Other tribal communities might simply kill and eat any polar bears that come into their village. Polar bears are protected by federal law, but Inupiat hunters like those in Wales are allowed to kill some polar bears to maintain their traditional way of life.

Wildlife officer who spared bear cubs denied return to job

Featured Image -- 11003

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/wildlife-officer-who-spared-bear-cub
Jeff Bell <http://www.timescolonist.com/authors?author=Jeff%20Bell> / Times
Colonist
April 20, 2016 06:00 AM

< http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/wildlife-officer-who-spared-bear-cu
bs-denied-return-to-job-1.2235136#story-carousel> Next
< http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/wildlife-officer-who-spared-bear-cu
bs-denied-return-to-job-1.2235136#story-carousel>

Bryce Casavant’s actions last July came after the cubs’ mother was judged to
be too habituated to humans and was killed for twice raiding a freezer at a
Port Hardy-area home.
The decision not to kill the cubs led to Casavant’s suspension.
That sparked an online petition for his reinstatement that reached close to
310,000 supporters. The case attracted international attention, which
included comedian Ricky Gervais sticking up for Casavant via Twitter.
Casavant, 33, returned to work in late August in a different job at an equal
pay grade.
He said he and the government have reached an agreement that sees him become
a natural-resource officer with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural
Resource Operations, while at the same time pursuing a PhD at Royal Roads
University.
“The province of B.C. is fully supporting me in my educational endeavours,”
he said.
The general duties of a natural-resource officer include enforcement and
patrol relating to resource-management laws, which can cover such areas as
the Wildfire Act, the Forest Act and the Water Act.
Casavant described the combination of work and school as “a different
direction.”
He said he accepted the consequences after the action he took with the cubs.
“Generally speaking, people are faced with difficult decisions every day in
their lives and I made one, and I was willing to be held accountable
professionally and legally for that decision,” he said. “This is now the
outcome of that.”
Casavant said his PhD research will focus on “the social aspects of conflict
wildlife.”
“I think there’s different social perceptions within society of predators,
and how that relates to the urban interface, how that shapes our prevention
and response measures,” he said.
“It’s not just conservation officers – you have a lot of police responding
to conflict wildlife throughout the province.”
The cubs, who have been named Jordan and Athena, were taken to the North
Island Wildlife Recovery Centre where they are doing well in the company of
other bears.
“It looks very positive,” said centre founder Robin Campbell.
Campbell said the pair will be released this year, likely in the summer or
fall.
“They’ll have transmitters on them so we’ll be able to follow them.”
jwbell@timescolonist.com

– See more at:
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