A Calendar’s Day are Numbered

No photo description available.

by Captain Paul Watson

Tomorrow is the end of the world, except where I am at the moment, where it is now tomorrow and the world is still intact.

Australia, New Zealand and Asia seem to be doing well. No tsunami’s, massive earthquakes, exploding Krakatoas, the Earth has not split, and the oceans have not boiled over and a few billion humans continue to go about their silly business of slowly destroying the planet.

There has been no rapture and the fanatical Christians are still with us unfortunately. I have not heard of any of them being swept en mass into heaven. I’m still hoping the nut bars from the Westboro Baptist church get raptured. They can protest babies entering heaven there instead of Connecticut.

But what about the Mayans?

Ahh the Mayans. They did not do so well at predicting their own demise.

I remember August 27th, 1987. That was the day that the Aztec calendar came to an end. They also were not that good at prediction. They did not see the fall of their own empire until they heard Spanish voices in their streets.

We place a great deal of reverence for ancient civilizations forgetting that they were in fact quite primitive, although probably more intellectual in many ways than modern society, at least for the very few who could actually read and write. Without television, they actually had to read, well some of them anyways, and without the modern music industry people actually had to sing and listen to musicians in small venues.

For the most part, be they Europeans, Meso-American Indians, Asians or Africans a great deal of time and effort was wasted on superstition and fighting wars over superstitious beliefs. Kind of like the situation today really.

And one thing that has not changed is this ridiculous belief that humans have some sort of special insight into nature and reality. Astrology for example does not include the planets that were unknown at the time which pretty much knocks all the equations flat on their ass by virtue of the fact that planets that were actually there were not influencing anything because nobody knew they were there and once discovered they still remained absent from astrology because all the signs and symbols were established and not subject to change.

The Mayan Calendar like the Aztec Calendar is round. It really does not end, it just starts all over again.

The fact is that a calendar’s days are numbered.

It’s like all the hype and hysteria at the end of millenniums and the strange thing is that millenniums are based on random dates that have no meaning. The year 2000 is not the year 2000 for the Muslims, the Jews or the Chinese for example.

Humans do not and never have controlled nature, physics, or the future. Human vanity may wish otherwise but the reality is that humanity is simply one of billions of species that have inhabited the Earth and humanity has only been around for a tiny fraction of the Earth’s history. The Earth will be around for a few billion years after humanity has disappeared.

Instead of worrying about silly predictions, we should be concerned about what we are doing to ourselves and our children with escalating population growth and diminishing resources. This is where the end will come about, the end of civilization first followed by extinction of the human species. We will be eradicated by our own ecological stupidity.

When will this happen? That I cannot say. In twenty years, a hundred years, but it will happen unless we curb growth and end the wasteful consumption of the planet’s diminishing resources.

When the Oceans die, we die.

When there is no more fresh water, we die.

When there are no more forests, we die.

When the land dies, we die.

When diversity dies, we die.

Why did the Mayans and the Incas disappear?

They disappeared because their populations grew greater than their resource base. That is the real lesson they left us.

Crews rescue lost hunter in Eldorado Marsh

https://www.fdlreporter.com/story/news/local/2018/12/31/eldorado-marsh-melting-ice-leads-hunter-rescue/2449024002/

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ELDORADO – On Sunday crews rescued a hunter from the Eldorado Marsh after he repeatedly fell through the ice into thigh-deep marsh water and became disoriented, authorities said.

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office said dispatchers received a 911 call from the hunter, a 38-year-old Fond du Lac man, around 5:45 p.m. He had finished hunting for the evening and was lost and cold.

Dispatchers pinpointed his location in a patch of cattails. Recent high temperatures thawed the ice there, so crews could not easily walk onto the ice to reach him.

Law enforcement drove a utility vehicle into the icy-watery mix and rescued the man within an hour, the sheriff’s office said. They brought him to a waiting ambulance, and paramedics treated him at the scene.

Eldorado Fire Department supplied the utility vehicle while Ripon Fire Department contributed a drone to the rescue effort.

New Research Suggests Octopuses Have Extraterrestrial Origins

Octopuses are known to be intelligent, advanced creatures, able to create their own shelter, change color in an instant and even adapt well to climate change.

In a new study, a group of 33 international scientists suggest these unique traits may have an unearthly origin. They investigated the theory that octopuses may have evolved from life forms that came to earth on ancient comets.

This isn’t a new concept. Scientists have been grappling with the origins of life on our planet for centuries. And this study adds an intriguing look into the theory of panspermia, that suggests the evolution of life on Earth has, and continues to be, influenced by the arrival of organisms from space.

The study has faced some criticism, but the scientists have also supported their claims with well-established research. Let’s take a closer look at their findings.

THE THEORY OF PANSPERMIA

In the 1980s, astronomer Fred Hoyle teamed up with astrobiologist Chandra Wickramasinghe to propose that life didn’t originate on earth. In fact, life was seeded on our planet by comets carrying space-hardy bacteria, viruses and perhaps even fertilized eggs and plant seeds. This concept is scientifically known as “panspermia”.

The earliest microbial life found on Earth was discovered in Canadian rocks and is estimated to be about 4.1-4.23 billion years old. This was during the Hadean epoch, when the earth was still forming its core and crust, as well as its atmosphere and oceans. Our planet had frequent and violent collisions with asteroids and comets during that period, and the surface was still extremely hot and unstable.

The study’s researchers propose that it was impossible for life to have formed on Earth during this time. The first microbes found in Canada were most likely delivered by comets and meteorites that impacted with our planet, and these microbes went on to become the basis of terrestrial life on Earth.

WHAT CAN ACTUALLY SURVIVE ON A COMET?

Comet-hopping life forms may sound far-fetched, but research is starting to show this may be a distinct reality. Evidence has found that comets would have contained vast amounts of water in their interiors when they were first formed billions of years ago at the dawn of our solar system. These protected, watery environments would have provided ideal conditions for early bacteria and viruses to grow and multiply.

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The discovery of a wide variety of ancient organic particles in comets also supports this theory. Organic particles are important precursors for the creation of molecules that are the foundation of life, such as sugars, amino acids and DNA bases.

Once comets had cooled down and after millions of years in space, evidence suggests the primitive bacteria and viruses living on them became embedded in rock, carbonaceous material or ice. This effectively protected them from the intense radiation and sub-zero temperatures encountered in space.

Although not proven, it is also possible that more complex life forms, such as fertilized eggs and plant seeds, could also have survived in similar conditions.

Masters of disguise - Mediterranean Octopus

Masters of disguise – Mediterranean Octopus

WHAT OCTOPUSES CAN TELL US ABOUT EVOLUTION

Octopuses are actually related to slugs and snails. They belong to a group of mollusks known as cephalopods that developed about 500 million years ago during what’s known as the Cambrian Explosion. This was a time when life in the earth’s oceans went through a dramatic stage of diversification and evolution, and most of the ancestors of modern life were born.

The new study, titled “Cause of the Cambrian Explosion – Terrestrial or Cosmic?”, investigated panspermia and how it may relate to the Cambrian Explosion, and the rise of life forms like octopuses. They made a few important conclusions.

1. Virus-bearing comets fueled the Cambrian Explosion.

Viruses are the smallest living organism on earth, and they reproduce by attaching themselves to a host cell in another living organism and inserting their own genetic material into the cell. This changes the genetic structure of the host cells, which can cause disease in the host.

This also means that a viral infection can alter the host’s genetic code, and potentially change its course of evolution. Retroviruses are a specific type of virus that first appeared and multiplied just before the Cambrian Explosion.

And the researchers believe these retroviruses came from cometary bombardment the Earth was experiencing around the same time. As the comets broke up and left debris trails in the Earth’s atmosphere, dormant retroviruses were released and spread across our planet’s surface.

This wide-spread introduction of new genetic material in the form of viruses affected the development of life in our planet’s oceans, and potentially all land-dwelling life forms that came later.

2. Octopuses appeared too abruptly to have evolved on Earth.

The introduction of interstellar viruses may have increased the genetic diversity of life on our planet, but octopuses have some unique genetic traits that simply don’t make sense from an evolutionary stand point.

Genetically, octopuses are significantly different than most other life forms on Earth. Their large brains, sophisticated nervous systems, flexible bodies and ability to instantly switch color and shape are still very unique compared to other modern life forms.

And these striking traits appeared very suddenly on the evolutionary scene about 270 million years ago. The research group concluded that this sudden “great leap forward” would be impossible in such a short time frame.

“Thus the possibility that cryopreserved squid and/or octopus eggs, arrived in icy bolides several hundred million years ago should not be discounted,” the researchers say.

HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO LIFE ON EARTH TODAY?

We may never know whether or not octopus eggs actually arrived on Earth from outer space, but the theory of panspermia does hold the potential for a radical shift in our world view.

The research group concluded their study by discussing the need to change from our outdated view of life originating exclusively on Earth to one incorporating “cosmic biology,” which recognizes the scientific evidence that life on our planet may have been, and continues to be, influenced by organisms that arrive from outer space.

They also point out the vast number of Earth-like planets and other life-friendly planetary bodies that exist in our galaxy, and the potential for billions of exchanges of material between them through meteorites, cometary bolides and even space dust.

“One is thus forced in our view to conclude that the entire galaxy (and perhaps our local group of galaxies) constitutes a single connected biosphere,” the researchers write.

What do you think? Is Earth part of an intergalactic web of life? Or are we alone in the universe? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Related on Care2

Wolves — keystone predators — topic of talk

181011 BMLT Gray_Wolf The Spokesman-Review.jpg

A female wolf from the Minam pack outside La Grande, Ore., after she was fitted with a tracking collar.

Wildlife biologist Mark Vekasy will discuss the dangers and benefits of reintroducing wolves in the Blues from 7-9 p.m. on Oct 18 at the Walla Walla Public Library, 238 E. Alder St.

The presentation is an opportunity to learn about the role of the wolf population in the Blue Mountains.

Wolves have been endangered across the West for decades because of various factors, including loss of habitat and extermination by livestock owners concerned for the safety of their animals.

Currently, the whole Northwest is home to only 122 gray wolves. Since these animals are keystone predators, their absence affects the entire ecosystem.

Vekasy is assistant district wildlife biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s third district.

District 3 covers southeast Washington and the Blue Mountains north of the Oregon border and extends to the Snake and Columbia rivers.

Vekasy has worked in and around the District for more than 10 years, first as a biologist with the Hells Canyon Bighorn Sheep Initiative in lower Hells Canyon and currently as a District biologist based in Walla Walla.

Mark has a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in zoology and has been working in wildlife research and management for more than 30 years on a variety of game and nongame species.

This free event is open to all ages.

For more details, contact Lauren Platman at lauren@bmlt.org or bmlt.org/.

HUMANS TAKE UP TOO MUCH SPACE — AND IT’S AFFECTING HOW MAMMALS MOVE

Study found that human-modified landscapes shrink mammal movements by up to half

FIELD MUSEUM PUBLIC RELEASE: 25-JAN-2018

Human beings take up a lot of real estate — around 50-70 percent of the Earth’s land surface. And our increasing footprint affects how mammals of all sizes, from all over the planet, move.

A study recently published by Science found that, on average, mammals living in human-modified habitats move two to three times less far than their counterparts in areas untouched by humans.

What’s more, this pattern persists globally: from African forest elephants to white-tailed antelope squirrels in North America, the human footprint infringes upon the footprints of mammal species both big and small. The study, led by Marlee Tucker of the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Germany, is the first of its kind to log movement behaviors for such a wide range of mammals globally.

“All organisms need space,” Bruce Patterson, a co-author of this study and MacArthur Curator of Mammals at The Field Museum in Chicago, explained. “They need space to gather their resources, find mates, and perform their ecological services.” For instance, bats need room to find and consume insects and pollinate plants (which amount to $3.5 to 50 billion worth of agricultural labor annually in the US alone), and apex predators need room to hunt and control other species’ populations.

In the study, more than 100 researchers contributed information on 803 individual mammals representing 57 species in total. Patterson offered up data on the movement of lions in a pristine wilderness area of Tsavo, Kenya. From 2002-09, he followed three lions using high-tech collars that continuously tracked individuals’ movement via GPS — the data he contributed to the Science study. One of those lions, in its natural habitat, patrolled an area twice the size of Chicago (1400 km2) to find food, attract mates, and repel intruders.

But habitat loss and fragmentation disrupt these critical animal behaviors. Clearing rainforest is an example of habitat loss — the destruction and loss of usable area for a given species. Constructing a road through the savannah, on the other hand, constitutes habitat fragmentation — the division of habitat area into smaller, discontinuous spaces. When suitable habitat spaces become too small or too isolated, animals can no longer afford to visit them, changing their space use.

As habitats become compromised, resources like food and living space that animals rely on become scarce. Sometimes, when resources are limited, animals traverse larger areas to get what they need — if there’s not enough food in a five-mile radius, they might move to a ten-mile radius. However, this study shows that on the whole, that sort of additional movement tends not to be an option — if there’s no uninterrupted landscape available, then the affected animals simply can’t live there.

To that end, the Science study found “strong negative effects of the human footprint on median and long-distance displacements of terrestrial mammals.” Patterson put it more simply: “Human dominion over Earth’s landscapes gets in the way of animals doing their thing.” Some species, like mice, can make do with less room, but animals that need lots of space, like lions, tigers, and elephants, simply can’t live in areas with lots of humans.

“It is important that animals move, because in moving they carry out important ecological functions like transporting nutrients and seeds between different areas. Additionally, mammalian movements bring different species together and thus allow for interactions in food webs that might otherwise not occur. If mammals move less this could alter any of these ecosystem functions,” says lead author Marlee Tucker.

Across the wide array of species its data encompasses, the study points to a singular, and grim, conclusion: For mammal species, the effects of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation don’t discriminate by geographic location, body size, or where that species sits on the food chain — the human footprint threatens most other mammals.

Still, Patterson remains hopeful that the Science study can guide further research and change our approach to human land use. “Ultimately, it would be good to know whether there are critical thresholds in the human footprint for the species living around us. Are there specific points beyond which resources become limiting and species are excluded?” he asked. “As we continue to transform the landscape and as the human population expands, we’re limiting the space and resources that other mammals need to live.”

Wolves Control Their Own Populations

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=29873051

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57939764-78/wolves-park-wolf-yellowstone.html.csp

UT: Utah study: ‘Crowded’ wolves raid other packs, kill pups

Posted on May 15, 2014 by 

Wildlife » Utah State scientist studied 13 years of data on the Yellowstone National Park wolf population.

By Lindsay Whitehurst | The Salt Lake Tribune

Wolves kill one another and the pups of competing packs in battles over territory even if there is plenty to eat, according to a new study from Yellowstone National Park.

The research is a rare glimpse into the way wolves behave when humans are generally out of the picture, said Utah State University ecologist Dan MacNulty.

“At the end of the day, the success of a wolf from an evolutionary perspective is based on how many pups it leaves behind,” said MacNulty, who worked with scientists from the University of Oxford and the Yellowstone Wolf Project on a new paper published online in the Journal of Animal Ecology. “If they’re packed close together, they have the opportunity to raid each other and kill pups and eliminate the competition.”

For a wolf, closeness is relative — as in 65 wolves per 1,000 square miles, the point at which adult survival rates drop below 70 percent.

The study, which will also appear in a print edition of the British Ecological Society publication, is based on 13 years of data from radio-collared wolves at Yellowstone. Until now, it’s been hard to say how a large population of the animals interact with one another in the wild because their numbers were tightly controlled.

The animals were eliminated from Yellowstone by the National Park Service in the 1920s. They were reintroduced starting in 1995 and grew to something unique in the country — a group of wolves protected from human development and hunting.

The population peaked in 2004, though, and has declined since — but not for lack of food. The canines had plenty of their main prey: elk, as well as bison, bighorn sheep and mule deer.

Rather, the No. 1 cause of death during the study period was other wolves.

“They need more than simply food,” MacNulty said. “That’s sort of an unappreciated aspect of their biology.”

If wolves leave the park looking for more elbow room, they can be hunted, hit by cars or otherwise affected by people, though they occasionally survive to establish new packs with Wyoming wolves.

Researchers, though, generally don’t follow the predators after they leave Yellowstone.

The research suggests wolf populations are self-limiting, MacNulty said.

“There’s a perception that if wolves come into a new area, there will be no holding them back,” he said, “but ultimately what will be holding them back, if humans don’t, is themselves.”

copyrighted wolf in water

 

LOGAN — Having your own space not only brings peace of mind, but it also correlates strongly to a greater chance of survival for wolf families at Yellowstone National Park.

A new study involving Logan’s Utah State University and University of Oxford found wolves will fight to the death to protect their turf if they lack adequate space to raise their pups.

The aggressive behavior of families looking out for their own is not limited to wolves, or the wilds of nature, said researcher Dan MacNulty, a USU ecologist and assistant professor in the Department of Wildland Resources.

“These family groups of wolves that are competing with each other for space and resources. That is not unlike humans,” he said. “It is well-demonstrated that chimpanzees will compete and war with each other over space and resources and certainly humans are known to do so, if in a more sophisticated way.”

The study, published in the online issue of the Journal of Animal Ecology in the British Ecological Society, followed 280 collared wolves in northern Yellowstone for 13 years.

“This study produced a generally novel result because the conventional thinking is that large carnivores are limited by the abundance of prey in a given area,” MacNulty said. “But what these wolves are ultimately limited by is the amount of space they have to raise their pups in safety.”

Wolves killing wolves is their No. 1 cause of death in Yellowstone and MacNulty said the research showed that adult survival rates dropped below 70 percent if there were greater than 65 wolves per 1,000 square kilometers.

This study produced a generally novel result because the conventional thinking is that large carnivores are limited by the abundance of prey in a given area. But what these wolves are ultimately limited by is the amount of space they have to raise their pups in safety.

–Dan MacNulty, USU ecologist

These key observations in wolf infanticide may provide helpful lessons for management of wolf populations because of the insights they deliver, he said.

“For those concerned about wolf populations, even when you have super abundant prey like in Yellowstone, there are limits to wolf population growth. There is an intrinsic limit to the number of wolves that occupy a given space,” MacNulty said, adding that because rival packs will attack and kill rival wolf pups, their numbers are self-limiting.

“What this paper does say is, though there is this notion that wolves will increase like a locust without any sort of natural limit, that idea is not supported by the data,” he said.

MacNulty, who has been studying the wolves at Yellowstone for 19 years, said the rivalry among wolf families ramps up despite ample food when they are packed in too closely to one another.

“One of the things everyone needs to realize is that these wolf packs are not random collections of individuals,” he said. “They are packs led by parents, with the offspring of the current year and preceeding years, often with aunts and uncles who are related to the breeding male and females. … More wolves meant more fighting and killing. As a result, survival rates declined as wolf density increased.”
Read more at http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=29873051#Jt2mbQIpqIVSvXx6.99

LOGAN — Having your own space not only brings peace of mind, but it also correlates strongly to a greater chance of survival for wolf families at Yellowstone National Park.

A new study involving Logan’s Utah State University and University of Oxford found wolves will fight to the death to protect their turf if they lack adequate space to raise their pups.

The aggressive behavior of families looking out for their own is not limited to wolves, or the wilds of nature, said researcher Dan MacNulty, a USU ecologist and assistant professor in the Department of Wildland Resources.

“These family groups of wolves that are competing with each other for space and resources. That is not unlike humans,” he said. “It is well-demonstrated that chimpanzees will compete and war with each other over space and resources and certainly humans are known to do so, if in a more sophisticated way.”

The study, published in the online issue of the Journal of Animal Ecology in the British Ecological Society, followed 280 collared wolves in northern Yellowstone for 13 years.

“This study produced a generally novel result because the conventional thinking is that large carnivores are limited by the abundance of prey in a given area,” MacNulty said. “But what these wolves are ultimately limited by is the amount of space they have to raise their pups in safety.”

Wolves killing wolves is their No. 1 cause of death in Yellowstone and MacNulty said the research showed that adult survival rates dropped below 70 percent if there were greater than 65 wolves per 1,000 square kilometers.

This study produced a generally novel result because the conventional thinking is that large carnivores are limited by the abundance of prey in a given area. But what these wolves are ultimately limited by is the amount of space they have to raise their pups in safety.

–Dan MacNulty, USU ecologist

These key observations in wolf infanticide may provide helpful lessons for management of wolf populations because of the insights they deliver, he said.

“For those concerned about wolf populations, even when you have super abundant prey like in Yellowstone, there are limits to wolf population growth. There is an intrinsic limit to the number of wolves that occupy a given space,” MacNulty said, adding that because rival packs will attack and kill rival wolf pups, their numbers are self-limiting.

“What this paper does say is, though there is this notion that wolves will increase like a locust without any sort of natural limit, that idea is not supported by the data,” he said.

MacNulty, who has been studying the wolves at Yellowstone for 19 years, said the rivalry among wolf families ramps up despite ample food when they are packed in too closely to one another.

“One of the things everyone needs to realize is that these wolf packs are not random collections of individuals,” he said. “They are packs led by parents, with the offspring of the current year and preceeding years, often with aunts and uncles who are related to the breeding male and females. … More wolves meant more fighting and killing. As a result, survival rates declined as wolf density increased.”
Read more at http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=29873051#Jt2mbQIpqIVSvXx6.99

Ecocide Is Suicide: Compassion and Personal Rewilding

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http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201405/ecocide-is-suicide-compassion-and-personal-rewilding

We’re killing a very tired and less resilient planet at alarming rates.

It’s common knowledge that we’re losing species and habitats at an unprecedented rate in a geological epoch known as the “anthropocene” – the age of humanity. While the term has not been formally recognized as official nomenclature, we know we’re deep into a time when humans are devastating numerous species and their homes and we are behaving in the most inhumane and selfish ways. Simply put, we humans are the cause of such massive and egregious ecocide because as big-brained, big-footed, overproducing, overconsuming, arrogant, and selfish mammals we freely move all over the place recklessly, wantonly, and mindlessly trumping the interests of countless nonhuman animals (animals). Every second of every day we decide who lives and who dies; we are that powerful. Of course, we also do many wonderful things for our magnificent planet and its fascinating inhabitants, but right now, rather than pat ourselves on the back for all the good things we do, we need to take action to right the many wrongs before it’s too late for other animals and ourselves.

I see at least two ways out of the environmental and moral muck in which we’re mired that is responsible for widespread and increasing ecocide. The first centers on paying careful attention to the rapidly growing international and interdisciplinary field called “compassionate conservation” and the second is our choosing to go through a personally transformative process that I call “rewilding our hearts”. Rewilding our hearts calls for a global paradigm shift, a social revolution, in how we interact with other animals and with other humans. 

Compassionate conservation

The goals of compassionate conservation are clearly stated in the mission statement for a recently established Centre for Compassionate Conservation (see also) at the University of Technology, Sydney (Australia) and in a book I edited called Ignoring nature no more: The case for compassionate conservation.

The mission statement for the Centre for Compassionate Conservation promotes the protection of captive and wild animals as individuals within conservation practice and policy. Finding ways to compassionately and practically share space (coexistence), via trade-offs among different values, is vital if we are to reduce harm to animals.

A simple and morally acceptable approach is to utilize the universal ethic of compassion (and empathy) to alleviate suffering in humans and other animals to resolve issues of land sharing. A compassionate and practical ethic for conservation that focuses on individual well being, in combination with other values, provides a novel framework of transparency and robust decision-making for conservation that will benefit all stakeholders.

Compassionate conservation stipulates that we need a conservation ethic that prioritizes the protection of other animals as individuals: not just as members of populations of species, but valued in their own right. This is important because of what we now know about their cognitive and emotional lives (consciousness and sentience).

Because compassionate conservation requires that we must protect animals as individuals, they are not merely objects or metrics who can be traded off for the good of populations, species or biodiversity.

A paradigm shift in our approach to other animals is vital because of what we now know about the cognitive and emotional capacities of other animals and their ability to suffer (sentience).

With a guiding principle of “first do no harm“, compassionate conservation offers a bold, virtuous, inclusive, and forward-looking framework that provides a meeting place for different perspectives and agendas to discuss and solve issues of human-animal conflict when sharing space. Peaceful coexistence with other animals and their homes is needed in an increasingly human-dominated world if we are to preserve and conserve nature the best we can.

Surely, adhering to the principles of compassionate conservation will go a long way toward reducing the ecocide in which we are now engaged and for which we all are responsible.

Rewilding our hearts

My forthcoming book called Rewilding our hearts: Building pathways of compassion and coexistence lays out the details for a much-needed social movement and paradigm shift that also can help extricate us from our ecocidal ways and help to maintain our hopes and dreams for a more peaceful world for all beings in very trying times. Some of the basic ideas are reviewed here. We live in a world in which “unwilding” is the norm rather than the exception. If we didn’t unwild we wouldn’t have to rewild.

The word “rewilding” became an essential part of talk among conservationists in the late 1990s when two well-known conservation biologists, Michael Soulé and Reed Noss, wrote a now classic paper called “Rewilding and biodiversity: Complimentary goals for continental conservation” that appeared in the magazine WIld Earth (Fall 1998, 18-28. 15).

In her book Rewilding the World conservationist Caroline Fraser noted that rewilding basically could be boiled down to three words: Cores, Corridors, and Carnivores. Dave Foreman, director of the Rewilding Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a true visionary, sees rewilding as a conservation strategy based on three premises: “(1) healthy ecosystems need large carnivores, (2) large carnivores need bug, wild roadless areas, and (3) most roadless areas are small and thus need to be linked.” Conservation biologists and others who write about rewilding or work on rewilding projects see it as a large-scale process involving projects of different sizes that go beyond carnivores, such as the ambitious, courageous, and forward-looking Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, well known as the Y2Y project. Of course, rewilding goes beyond carnivores, as it must.

The core words associated with large-scale rewilding projects are connection and connectivity, the establishment of links among geographical areas so that animals can roam as freely as possible with few if any disruptions to their movements. For this to happen ecosystems must be connected so that their integrity and wholeness are maintained or reestablished.

Regardless of scale, ranging from huge areas encompassing a wide variety of habitats that need to be reconnected or that need to be protected to personal interactions with animals and habitats, the need to rewild and reconnect centers on the fact that there has been extensive isolation and fragmentation “out there” in nature, between ourselves and (M)other nature, and within ourselves. Many, perhaps most, human animals, are isolated and fragmented internally concerning their relationships with nonhuman animals, so much that we’re alienated from them. We don’t connect with other animals, including other humans, because we can’t or don’t empathize with them. The same goes for our lack of connection with various landscapes. We don’t understand they’re alive, vibrant, dynamic, magical, and magnificent. Alienation often results in different forms of domination and destruction, but domination is not what it means “to be human.” Power does not mean license to do whatever we want to do because we can.

Rewilding projects often involve building wildlife bridges and underpasses so that animals can freely move about. These corridors, as they’re called, can also be more personalized. I see rewilding our heart as a dynamic process that will not only foster the development of corridors of coexistence and compassion for wild animals but also facilitate the formation of corridors within our bodies that connect our heart and head. In turn, these connections, or reconnections, will result in positive feelings that will facilitate heartfelt actions to make the lives of animals better. These are the sorts of processes that will help the new field of compassionate conservation further develop. When I think about what can be done to help others a warm feeling engulfs me and I’m sure it’s part of that feeling of being rewilded. To want to help others in need is natural so that glow is to be expected.

Rewilding is an attitude. It’s also a guide for action. As a social movement, it needs to be proactive, positive, persistent, patient, peaceful, practical, powerful, and passionate — which I call the eight Ps of rewilding.

Compassion begets compassion and there’s actually a synergistic relationship, not a trade-off, when we show compassion for animals and their homes. There are indeed many reasons for hope. There’s also compelling evidence that we’re born to be good and that we’re natural-born optimists. Therein lie many reasons for hope that in the future we will harness our basic goodness and optimism and all work together as a united community. We can look to the animals for inspiration. So, we need to tap into our empathic, compassionate and moral inclinations to make the world a better place for all beings. We need to build a culture of empathy. We need to add a healthy dose of social justice to our world right now.

We can all make more humane and compassionate choices to expand our compassion footprint, and we can all do better. We must all try as hard as we can to keep thinking positively and proactively. Never say never, ever. We can and must keep our hopes and dreams alive (see also).

When all is said and done, and more is usually said than done, we need a heartfelt revolution in how we think, what we do with what we know, and how we act. Rewilding can be a very good guide. The revolution has to come from deep within us and begin at home, in our heart and wherever we live. I want to make the process of rewilding a more personal journey and exploration that centers on bringing other animals and their homes, ecosystems of many different types, back into our heart. For some they’re already there or nearly so, whereas for others it will take some work to have this happen. Nonetheless, it’s inarguable that if we’re going to make the world a better place now and for future generations, personal rewilding is central to the process and will entail a major paradigm shift in how we view and live in the world, and how we behave. It’s not that hard to expand our compassion footprint and if each of us does something the movement will grow rapidly.

The time is right, the time is now, for an inspirational, revolutionary, and personal social movement that can save us from doom and keep us positive while we pursue our hopes and dreams. Our planet is tired and dying and not as resilient as some claim it to be.

Rewild now. Take the leap. Leap and the net will appear. It’ll feel good to rewild because compassion and empathy are very contagious. 

Let’s make personal rewilding all the rage

Ecocide is suicide. Let’s make personal rewilding all the rage. When “they” (other animals) lose, we all lose. We suffer the indignities to which we subject other animals. We can feel their pains and suffering if we allow ourselves to do so.

Compassion begets compassion and violence begets violence.

There really is hope if we change our ways. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations who will inherit the world we leave them long after we’re gone.

Note: An excellent new book on this topic is Keeping the Wild: Against the Domestication of Earth edited by George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, and Tom Butler.

Marc Bekoff’s latest books are Jasper’s story: Saving moon bears (with Jill Robinson; see also), Ignoring nature no more: The case for compassionate conservation (see also)and Why dogs hump and bees get depressed (see also). Rewilding our hearts: Building pathways of compassion and coexistence will be published fall 2014. (marcbekoff.com@MarcBekoff

PETA Offers Up to $5,000 Reward for Help in Nabbing Person Who Killed Mother Seal

A mother harbor seal, who had recently given birth, was found dead on the beach north of the Ocean Park beach approach last week, thought to have been a victim of an intentional vehicular killing.  Photo by SUZY WHITTEY / Chinook Observer

A mother harbor seal, who had recently given birth, was found dead on the beach north of the Ocean Park beach approach last week, thought to have been a victim of an intentional vehicular killing.
Photo by SUZY WHITTEY / Chinook Observer

http://www.peta.org/media/news-releases/peta-offers-5000-reward-help-nabbing-person-killed-mother-seal/

Federal Officials Seeking Culprit and Missing Baby Seal

For Immediate Release:
May 8, 2014

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202-483-7382 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Ocean Park, Wash. – On April 19, a pregnant harbor seal gave birth on a beach just north of Ocean Park. Concerned residents set up a perimeter—complete with red flag–draped warning signs—and checked on the seals periodically. On the morning of April 20, a concerned resident arrived to find that someone had apparently driven a truck into the area and run over the seal, severing her tail. The seal had to be euthanized because of the extent of her injuries, and her baby remains missing.

Officials have yet to make any arrests. That’s why PETA is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this violent crime.

Would you please consider sharing this information with your audience? It might be the only way to apprehend those responsible for this heinous act.

“Study after study has confirmed that people who hurt animals often go on to hurt human beings,” says PETA Director Martin Mersereau. “PETA is urging anyone with information to come forward now, before another violent act is committed.”

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement toll-free at 1-800-853-1964 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-853-1964 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting .

For more information, please visit PETA.org. To listen to PETA’s anti-violence public service announcement—which features Inglourious Basterds star and Hostel director Eli Roth—please visit http://www.petatv.com/audio/psas/Eli_Roth_PSA_V3.mp3.

Read more: http://www.peta.org/media/news-releases/peta-offers-5000-reward-help-nabbing-person-killed-mother-seal/#ixzz31A1Nkn7w

Beasts Out of Tune

[I guess I’ve always know humans were bad for the planet. I wrote this back in 1979.]

We’ve broken all
of Mother Nature’s laws.
In her perfection                                                                       
we create the flaws.
We kick her, ungrateful,
like a child in the womb.

We could see the truth,
but avert our eyes.
Rule her like gods,
living shallow lives
on our self-appointed throne
we’re the beasts out of tune.

Out of tune,
nearly out of room.
Multiplying fast,
We’ll have to face Her soon.

She doesn’t complain
when we kick in the womb,
when we grow and grow
Take up so much room.
Her maternal love is our sanctuary.

But unless we love her in return
(as a spoiled child,
we must mature)
the kicks may cause her to miscarry.

Beasts out of tune,
the love must come soon.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2014. All Rights Reserved

The Real Newcomers

The heavily-funded Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is fond of spreading the hype that today’s wolves are Johnny-come-latelies and thus should keep their paws off of theose prized trophy “game” species. But unlike sport hunters, wolf packs play an efficient and necessary part in nature’s narrative—a role that has served both predator and prey for eons.

Like rightful kings returning from exile, wolves are far from new to the Yellowstone ecosystem. Their 71-year absence was the result of a heartless bounty set by the real newcomers to the fine-tuned system of checks and balances that has regulated itself since life began.

New to the scene are cowboys on four-wheelers with their monoculture crop of cows and ubiquitous barbed-wire fences. New are pack trains of hunters resentful of any competition from lowly canines, yet eager to take trophies of wolf pelts, leaving the unpalatable meat to rot. And new is the notion that humankind can replace nature’s time-tested order with so-called wildlife “management,” a regime that has never managed to prove itself worthy.

Unmatched manipulators, modern humans with their pharmacies, hospitals, churches, strip malls, sporting goods stores, burger joints and fried chicken franchises have moved so far beyond the natural order that population constraints, such as disease or starvation, are no longer a threat to the species’ survival (as long as society continues to function). Hunting is no longer motivated by hunger. Twenty-first century sport hunters are never without a full belly, even after investing tens of thousands of dollars on brand-new 4X4 pickups, motorboats, RVs and of course the latest high-tech weaponry.

But wolves can’t afford to be acquisitive; if they run low on resources, they must move on or perish. Theirs is a precarious struggle, without creature comforts or false hopes of life everlasting.

________________________________________________

The preceding was an excerpt from my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport

Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson