Throughout the history of Western Civilization there are times, but only on rare occasions, when people en masse feel compelled to run into the streets, similar to the storming of the Bastille in 1789, screaming at the top of their lungs, “Stop the Madness!”
You are here
Biodiversity / Biodevastation
Stories about Biodiversity and Biodevastation.
Forests now occupy 11 per cent of Ireland and the country is committed to reaching 18 per cent coverage by 2050 with the hopes of offsetting its growing carbon footprint from dairy farms, vehicles and fossil-fuel power plants.
But most private interests and foresters can’t be bothered to replant what was lost. To date, the vast majority of Ireland’s new tree plantations consist of conifers including Canadian lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) or Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). Why? Because they grow fast.
Yet industrial monocultures of lodgepole pines have acidified soils and waterways while plantations of Sitka spruce have crowded out native wildlife and created what rural residents describe as “load of crap forestry.”
It was the late 1980s, and the headlines warned of acid rain, air pollution, and contaminated water. So John Javna, then a writer best known for books found on the back of toilets, traveled from drought-stricken California to Washington, D.C., with his backpack, looking for practical advice on how to save the world.
Javna self-published the book he’d written in his attic in California: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth. The guide featured “unbelievably easy” steps, like installing low-flow showerheads and bringing cloth bags to the grocery store.
Our variety of the human species, homo sapiens sapiens, emerged from out of bands of more primitive yet contemporaneous older variants of humanity well over 200,000 years ago and rapidly expanded in both their numbers and the range of their occupancy on our planet.
This month Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro proposed a new bill promoting mining, expanded agriculture, and energy production on indigenous lands in the Amazon. Accordingly, private developers as well as private hedge funds will occupy and develop land that’s been home to indigenous people for thousands of years.
Meantime, during Bolsonaro’s first full year in office, deforestation increased by 85%.
"The Blue Acceleration: The Trajectory of Human Expansion into the Ocean,” published in January in the journal One Earth, describes and graphs capital’s growing drive to industrialize the oceans and sea beds. Commercial activity in the oceans is expanding rapidly, and “considerable investments … are driving growth in existing industries and the emergence of new ones, spanning an increasingly diverse range of activities.” The authors believe that the blue acceleration marks the beginning of “a new phase in humanity’s relationship with the biosphere, where the ocean is not only crucial for sustaining global development trajectories but is being fundamentally changed in the process."
After a while I started feeling the side of my head to which I held the phone, heating-up.
In February 2005, the body of 73-year-old Sister Dorothy Stang was found on the side of a remote dirt road 33 miles from Anapu, Pará, in Brazil’s AmazonBasin. Seven bullets pierced her body. The first hit her in the abdomen, then after she fell face down, the killers fired bullets to the back and four to the head.
Promoters of genetic modification (GM) in agriculture have long argued that genetically engineered Golden Rice is a practical way to provide poor farmers in remote areas with a subsistence crop capable of adding much-needed vitamin A to local diets. Vitamin A deficiency is a problem in many poor countries in the Global South and leaves millions at high risk for infection, diseases and other maladies, such as blindness.