In the Cities and the Seas, Eco-cide
|April 24, 2012||Posted by Jeffery J. Smith under Progress Report, The Progress Report|
In the Cities and the Seas, Eco-cide
Sad Stats From Grey Places But New Book From Greens
Still basking in the glow of Earth Day, youll be happy to know about bison and a good book to counter the sad news. We trim, blend, and append three 2012 articles from: (1) BBC, Apr 23, on bison by R. Datar; (2) AP, Apr 19, on gulf mortality by C. Burdeau; and (3) BBC, Apr 17, on smog by R. Pease.
by Rajan Datar, by Cain Burdeau, and by Roland Pease
Bison, vodka and Poland’s primeval forest
Poland boasts the last primeval, virginal forest in Europe, which covers 1,500 square kilometres on the eastern side of the country bordering with Belarus.
Rajan Datar went to visit what is now a world heritage site and home to a great deal of wildlife, including 500 bison who had faced extinction.
JJS: Pristine forests and big mammals back from the brink — good news but still outweighed by the bad.
2 years later, fish sick near BP oil spill site
Reports of strange things with fish began emerging when fishermen returned to the Gulf of Mexico weeks after BP’s gushing oil well was capped during the summer of 2010. They started catching grouper and red snapper with large open sores and strange black streaks, lesions they said they had never seen.
Parasitic infections. Chewed-up-looking fins. Gashes. Such follow the drilling-rig explosion that touched off the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
Beyond fish, deep-water coral, seaweed beds, dolphins, mangroves, and other species of plants and animals are suffering.
“Some of the things I’ve seen over the past year or so I’ve never seen before,” said Will Patterson, a marine biologist at the University of South Alabama. “Things like fin rot, large open sores on fish, different changes in pigment, red snapper with large black streaks on them.”
Fishermen report eyeless or otherwise deformed shrimp and crabs. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration advised fishermen to throw suspicious-looking fish back. The problem is forcing fishermen to take longer trips to fishing spots outside the spill zone and making them fear for their livelihoods.
Last summer, a federally funded team of scientists caught about 4,000 fish, from Florida’s Dry Tortugas to Louisiana. About 3 percent of the fish had gashes, ulcers, and parasites symptomatic of environmental contamination. The number of sick fish rose as scientists moved west away from the relatively clean waters of Florida, and also as they pushed into deeper waters off Alabama, Mississippi, and especially Louisiana, near where the Deepwater Horizon rig sank.
There’s no saying for sure what’s causing the diseases in what is still a relatively small percentage of the fish. The Gulf is assaulted with all kinds of contaminants every day. Moreover, scientists have no baseline data on sick fish in the Gulf from before the spill.
Near the BP well, scientists have found a dying community of deep-sea coral. The scientists recently published findings linking its demise to oil that was chemically fingerprinted as having come from the BP well.
Even if oil were pinpointed as the cause, it could be difficult to definitively tie the problem to the BP spill. The Gulf is strewn with wells, pipelines, natural oil leaks from the seafloor, and pollution from passing ships. And muddy, contaminant-laden water flows constantly into the Gulf from the Mississippi River.
JJS: People might want their oil but it comes at a heavy cost, at sea and on land. Yet oil is not necessary but conventional; there are alternatives.
2012 BBC, Apr 17, on smog
Road pollution is more than twice as deadly as traffic accidents. Combustion exhausts across the UK cause nearly 5,000 premature deaths each year. Exhaust gases from aeroplanes cause a further 2,000 deaths annually.
By comparison, 2010 saw, 1,850 deaths due to road accidents recorded.
Air pollution in general in 2008 was responsible for about 29,000 deaths in the UK.
Although the popular perception of air pollution involves images of smoke stacks billowing out toxic black fumes into the atmosphere, industry and the power sector turn out to kill fewer than vehicle emissions.
Cars and lorries emit right by where people live and work and so have a greater impact.
Of the 19,000 annual UK deaths estimated, 7,000 are due to pollutants blown in from the continent. In London, European pollutants add 960 deaths each year to the 2,200 caused by UK combustion fumes.
But the international trade in deaths goes both ways. More than 3,000 European deaths can be attributed to UK emissions the authors say.
The UK is currently facing the threat of prosecution by the European Union for serial violations of air-quality standards.
The EU-attributable particulates in London are likely to have significantly contributed to the violations.
If one city were to clean up its traffic, it would still be dealing with pollution from traffic elsewhere.
Practical measures include the reduction of black carbon emitted in car exhausts — especially from older cars that fail to burn their fuel completely.
Far more effective, experts say, would be to invest in public transport, taking cars off the road altogether.
Such improvements would come at a cost, but so does continuing with business as usual.
The premature deaths are costing the UK at least £6 billion a year and perhaps as much as £60 billion.
Crossrail train for London is projected to cost £14.8 billion to build and expected to remove 15,000 car journeys during the morning peak.
JJS: London cut smog by charging for congestion; it works and could be applied everywhere.
Road Rents Not Road Rage
There is an alternative to sitting on congested highways — should governments switch to road pricing? Motorists pay for the space and time they use on the roads — and the Sunday drivers don’t subsidize the motorists who clog up the urban roads. To read more
JJS: Once polluters must pay, then clean alternatives will take over market share. The British researcher who made the above video also made the booklet below.
A Fred Harrison publication: Wheels of Fortune — Self-funding infrastructure and the Free Market Case for a Land Tax
JJS: The publisher Green Books has come out with a new title that places the land tax and rent dividend within a broader and deeper analysis of our economic situation and ways to correct it.
Future Money: Breakdown or breakthrough?
by James Robertson
Future Money explains in plain language and convincing detail how our money system is propelling us toward the self-destruction of our species — and what we should do about it, including the public recovery of rents, of the money society spends for the land, resources, and nature it uses. Our present money system frustrates the well-meaning efforts of active citizens, NGOs, and governments to deal with our present problems — including worldwide poverty, environmental destruction, social injustice, economic inefficiency, and political unrest and violence within and between nations.
The worlds financial experts and leaders in politics, government and business, and most mainstream academic and media commentators, have demonstrated that they are not yet able or willing to diagnose and treat the profound and pervasive problems that are directly caused by the money system. Future Money speaks explicitly to active, independent-minded citizens, including young people, with the hope that it will help them to understand why we have to get on mainstream agendas worldwide.
JJS: The author was once an advisor to a British Prime Minister and still remains a good buy to share a beer with.
Royal Legacies that Continue to Plague Most Places
Tax loopholes unjustifiable by results
Earth Day Logic — Share to Spare
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