Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘plants and animals’ Category

“By one estimate, for every acre of rain forest cut down each year, more than 50 acres of new forest are growing in the tropics on land that was once farmed, logged or ravaged by natural disaster.”

This we learn in a story from Elizabeth Rosenthal in the New York Times.   It raises the question of whether second growth forests are as valuable as old growth.  They certainly have a similar carbon-absorbing quality, but aren’t comfortable habitats for many species that liked the old growth.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

It’s a busy life being an EarthQuaker — especially if you aspire to live it slow, to some degree.  So we’re just now reading last month’s New Yorkers and found this fascinating but depressing insiders look at the growing trade in illegally-logged timber.  It’s essential reading.

Read Full Post »

Here’s a great reason not to do drugs — it’s bad for the environment!  And here’s Gawker’s take on the idea:

Yuppie cokeheads, stop snorting massive rails for the sake of the endangered tree frogs! That’s the new anti-drug message coming out of the UK. And it just might work!

Could that be the one thing that really speaks to Western cocaine buyers?

Read Full Post »

Ten of the world’s most popular pesticides can decimate amphibian populations when mixed together even if the concentration of the individual chemicals are within limits considered safe, according to new research,”

reports Science Daily today.  It makes complete sense and speaks to the need for far more comprehensive testing of chemical treatments of all kinds before they are approved.  Shockingly, SD tells us:

“endosulfan-a neurotoxin banned in several nations but still used extensively in U.S. agriculture-is inordinately deadly to leopard frog tadpoles. By itself, the chemical caused 84 percent of the leopard frogs to die. This lethality was previously unknown because current regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) do not require amphibian testing.”

Read Full Post »

Ah, now here’s an idea to warm (or perhaps wet) an ecologically-minded gardener’s heart: Rain Gardens.

Rain gardens, I guess, aren’t exactly new concepts.  But they are making ever more sense.

What are they?  Areas where you direct the runoff from your non-permeable surfaces (like your roof and asphalt driveway), essentially.   The idea is to stop potentially toxic runoff from racing into your local storm drain system.  Instead, you provide a place where it can pool temporarily and flow back into the underground aquifer.   So it’s an environmental win-win.

What the gardener gets is a rainy season wet area that, with the right planting ought not to become a mosquito breeding ground.  Instead an area that should support native meadow plants (which are used to wet and dry seasons).

If the idea intrigues you, here’s the place to go for more: www.native-raingarden.com.

Read Full Post »

Here’s just a tiny example of what’s likely to be a growing phenomenon — increased pressure to extract oil from much-loved, environmentally sensitive areas all over the world.

It’s not just vast wildernesses like ANWR that will be threatened as oil prices soar.

As this plan to drill in the UK shows, we can expect that pressure to occur on the micro-scale also.

What’s at threat in Southern England is just 2.5 acres of woodland. But it’s in an area likely to soon be designated as a national park. And in a country where just about every square mile of land has been managed for millennia, any woodland has the status of national treasure.

How many such places will we be prepared to destroy in the name of extracting the last few usable barrels of oil left to us? How, too, can we create a proper accounting structure for that extraction, so that we factor the cost of the amenity destroyed (not to mention its history, ecology, intrinsic beauty etc.)  against the income derived from the small amount of petroleum that it will yield?

Read Full Post »

. . . and we’re clearly to blame.

So says a new report by the WWF, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Global Footprint Network. The finds, the Independent reports today, that land species have declined by 25 per cent, marine life by 28 per cent, and freshwater species by 29 per cent.

“You’d have to go back to the extinction of the dinosaurs to see a decline as rapid as this,” says Jonathan Loh, the report’s editor.

It’s shocking and saddening reading. Let’s hope it will also help galvanize action on a global level — what’s needed for there to be any hope for the thousands more species threatened by pollution, invasive species, habitat loss and climate change, all but the last of which are unarguably the result of human actions.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »