Op-Ed: How cracking down on organized crime could save a tiny porpoise from extinction 

The Extinction Chronicles

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<https://www.latimes.com/opinion> Opinion

The vaquita, nicknamed the “panda of the sea” for its black-rimmed eyes and
mouth, is nearly extinct. Fewer than 15 are believed to exist.

(Los Angeles Times)

By Richard Ladkani

July 21, 2019

3:05 AM

Why should you care about the vaquita, a tiny porpoise you have probably
never seen, living in a sea you may have never touched, with a fate tied to
a fish you likely didn’t know existed?

Because the vaquita is a powerful symbol of what we are losing on our
planet. If we can’t save this smallest and most endangered porpoise on
earth, what hope is there for rhinos, tigers or elephants? Unless
governments and societies the world over get much more involved in saving
endangered creatures, we will be destined to live in a terribly quiet world
with nothing wild.

The vaquita is on…

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TV hunter admits poaching 11-point ‘Unicorn Buck’ minutes after killing smaller deer

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

The Star spent a year and a half exploring the hidden world of breeding deer for freakish antlers so they can be shot behind fences. Robert Scheer


A former cable TV host who killed two deer — including one he dubbed “Unicorn Buck” — for an episode of “Fear No Evil” filmed in Indiana has pleaded guilty to federal charges in a poaching case.

Christopher Brackett, 41, admitted he killed two bucks on the same day in Jefferson County while filming his Outdoor Channel show in December 2013, according to an Indiana Department of Natural Resources news release.

State law limits hunters to one buck per season.

Brackett also admitted transporting “Unicorn Buck,” an 11-pointer nicknamed for its unique antlers, across state lines to his home in East Peoria, Illinois…

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Trump let down American hunters and anglers

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Trump let down American hunters and anglers
© Getty Images

America’s hunters and anglers are a diverse group that come from across the nation: from rural and urban areas, from Democratic and Republican states. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that we must work diligently to protect our natural spaces and the resources that support our outdoor traditions.

Conservation requires collaboration to ensure that future generations can enjoy the same experiences we do. Despite what his recent comments suggest, President Trump has not lived up to this spirit of collaboration or conservation.

On July 8, the president gave a speech from the White House praising his administration’s record of protecting our outdoor spaces and wildlife. Echoed by several of his cabinet secretaries, the president’s…

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What the Ebola emergency means, what it doesn’t mean, and what’s next

The Extinction Chronicles

Finally, the World Health Organization has declared the world’s latest Ebola outbreak a global health emergency. But what, exactly, does that mean?

The decision this week by the WHO’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to designate the long-running Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a public health emergency of international concern generated a flood of news coverage.

Some global health experts have been vociferously insisting for months now that a PHEIC (pronounced FAKE or PHEEK) needed to be declared. They say it could improve the outbreak response and speed an end to the crisis.

But how might it do that? Read on.

What is…

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Running the numbers on an insane scheme to save Antarctic ice

The Extinction Chronicles


It would take a lot. Like a real lot.

Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier sheds some icebergs. Could we... sort of... put them back?
Enlarge / Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier sheds some icebergs. Could we… sort of… put them back?

Imagine, if you will, the engineers of the king’s court after Humpty Dumpty’s disastrous fall. As panicked men apparently competed with horses for access to the site of the accident, perhaps the engineers were scoping out scenarios, looking for a better method of reassembling the poor fellow. But presumably none of those plans worked out, given the dark ending to that fairy tale.

A recent study published in Science Advances might be relatable for those fairy tale engineers. Published by Johannes Feldmann, Anders Levermann, and Matthias Mengel at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the study tackles a remarkable question: could we save vulnerable Antarctic glaciers with artificial snow?

Keeping our cool

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Methane, explained

The Extinction Chronicles

Cows and bogs release methane into the atmosphere, but it’s by far mostly human activity that’s driving up levels of this destructive greenhouse gas.

Every time a cow burps or passes gas, a little puff of methane wafts into the atmosphere.

Each of those puffs coming out of a cow’s plumbing, added together, can have a big effect on climate because methane is a potent greenhouse gas—about 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the Earth, on a 100-year timescale, and more than 80 times more powerful over 20 years. The effects aren’t just hypothetical: Since the Industrial Revolution, methane concentrations in the atmosphere have more than doubled, and about 20 percent of the warming the planet has experienced can be attributed to the gas.

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How chimpanzees bond over a movie together

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

ChimpImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Chimpanzees watching a video together get the same sense of bonding and closeness that humans can feel from watching a movie or TV show together, say US university researchers.

Pairs of chimps were monitored as they watched videos – and psychologists found an increased sense of closeness between them in a way previously thought to be unique to humans.

Researchers say it shows the “deep evolutionary roots” of the heightened emotional impact of watching something with someone else.

It also raises questions about what is lost when there are fewer shared experiences – such as if families stop watching television together and are separately plugged into social media or using their own mobile phones.

Chimps’ favourite movie?

“Experiences are richer watching together,” says report co-author Wouter Wolf, from the department of psychology and…

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Two men convicted of illegally hunting hares in case brought by National Parks and Wildlife Service

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

Both men were convicted but sentencing was reserved for a later date as the men were not present in the court.

Image: Shutterstock/Colin Edwards Wildside

TWO MEN HAVE been convicted for illegally hunting hares with lurcher dogs in Offaly , in a case brought by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) brought a case before Tullamore District Court on Wednesday.

Two men were summoned for hunting hares, an exempted wild mammal under the Wildlife Acts, with lurcher type dogs, and for interfering with the breeding and resting place of a protected wild animal.

Both men were convicted by Judge Catherine Staines, but sentencing was reserved for a future date as the men were not present in the court.

The incident occurred…

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Noam Chomsky: Trump Is Trying to Exploit Tension With Iran for 2020

The Extinction Chronicles

“Any concern about Iranian weapons of mass destruction could be alleviated by the single means of heeding Iran’s call to establish a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone in the Middle East,” says legendary public intellectual Noam Chomsky, but that isn’t stopping the Trump administration from concocting stories about Iran threatening to “conquer the world” in order to escalate tensions and thereby strengthen Trump’s hand going into the 2020 election.

In this exclusive transcript of a conversation aired on Alternative Radio, Noam Chomsky — the brilliant MIT professor and linguist who in one index is ranked as the eighth most cited person in history, right up there with Shakespeare and Marx — discusses Iran’s military deterrence…

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