Climate Criminals, Big Vulnerable Mammals, and A Harbor Garbage Muncher : Prescott’s Climate Links #8
“We know the shit is gonna hit the fan; we just don’t know how much shit and how big of a fan we’re gonna need to deal with it.” -Marvin Bloom from Does This Apocalypse Make Me Look Fat?
Regularly I provide you with links to just three articles about Climate Change and Climate Action. From hundreds of articles that Prescott Allen Hazelton, one of my team members, sends me, I pick the ones that help me best understand the problems we face, and articles that give me hope.
In this edition a clever invention that helps clean up trash in the water and harsh words for Climate Criminals in Australia. But first a piece about extinction. Such an awful word. A sad word when I think of wildlife. A terrifying word when I think of the human race. With extinction, the bigger they are the faster they fall. That is what some researchers are saying about the the mass extinction that we have been witnessing. The winners will be all those little guys–insects, rodents, bacteria. The losers? Elephants and other large mammals
Stanford biologist warns of early stages of Earth’s 6th mass extinction event by Bjorn Carey for Stanford.edu News.
Since 1500, more than 320 terrestrial vertebrates have become extinct. Populations of the remaining species show a 25 percent average decline in abundance. The situation is similarly dire for invertebrate animal life.
And while previous extinctions have been driven by natural planetary transformations or catastrophic asteroid strikes, the current die-off can be associated to human activity, a situation that the lead author Rodolfo Dirzo, a professor of biology at Stanford, designates an era of “Anthropocene defaunation.”
Across vertebrates, 16 to 33 percent of all species are estimated to be globally threatened or endangered. Large animals – described as megafauna and including elephants, rhinoceroses, polar bears and countless other species worldwide – face the highest rate of decline, a trend that matches previous extinction events.
Larger animals tend to have lower population growth rates and produce fewer offspring. They need larger habitat areas to maintain viable populations. Their size and meat mass make them easier and more attractive hunting targets for humans.
Read the whole article here.
‘Climate Criminality’: Australia OKs Biggest Coal Mine by Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams.
Environmental groups slam decision that will ‘dump on’ Great Barrier Reef, fuel climate crisis
In a decision criticized as “climate criminality,” Australia’s federal government announced Monday that it has given the OK to the country’s biggest coal mine.
The announcement comes less than three months after the state of Queensland gave its approval to the project.
“With this decision,” wrote Ben Pearson, head of programs for Greenpeace Australia Pacific, “the political system failed to protect the Great Barrier Reef, the global climate and our national interest.”
“Off the back of repealing effective action on climate change,” stated Australian Greens environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters, referring to the scrapping of the carbon tax, “the Abbott Government has ticked off on a proposal for Australia’s biggest coal mine to cook the planet and turn our Reef into a super highway for coal ships.”
Read the whole article here.
Solar-Powered Water Wheel Can Clean 50,000 Pounds of Baltimore’s Trash Per Day by Brandon Baker at Billmoyers.com
A large wheel has been strolling the Baltimore Inner Harbor this summer, doing its best to clean the trash that has littered a city landmark and tourist attraction.
It’s called the Inner Harbor Water Wheel, and though it moves slowly, it has the capability to collect 50,000 pounds of trash. The timing for John Kellett’s solar-powered creation is crucial — hands and crab nets simply can’t keep up with the growing amount of wrappers, cigarette butts, bottles and other debris carried from storm drains into the harbor.
“It looks sort of like a cross between a spaceship and a covered wagon and an old mill,” Kellett told NPR. “It’s pretty unique in its look, but it’s also doing a really good job getting this trash out of the water.”