Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,741,889 articles and books

Bio Watch.



Trees Totaled

THAILAND -- Trees are dying along the route of the Yadana gas pipeline, a project sponsored by oil companies Unocal, Total, and Premier. Local environmentalists report that the dead and dying trees stretch for about three miles (five kilometers) in a critical watershed. Apichart Kaosaard, head of the Department of Forest Resources at Chiang Mai University Chiang Mai University (Thai: มหาวิทยาลัยเชียงใหม่) was the first provincial university established in Thailand and the first to be named after the city it is in.  in Thailand, told the Bangkok Post that, if Left untreated, the problem would keep spreading until the forest Loses its "evergreen characteristics."

It's a Fish-Eat-Fish World

US -- Aquaculture aquaculture, the raising and harvesting of fresh- and saltwater plants and animals. The most economically important form of aquaculture is fish farming, an industry that accounts for an ever increasing share of world fisheries production.  was supposed to be the answer to declining wild fish stocks, but a report in the journal Nature revealed that fish farms have become a major threat to sea life. According to the report, the fast-growing aquaculture industry has actually increased the demand for wild mackerel mackerel, common name for members of the family Scombridae, 60 species of open-sea fishes, including the albacore, bonito, and tuna. They are characterized by deeply forked tails that narrow greatly where they join the body; small finlets behind both the dorsal and  and anchovies anchovies

a cause of diarrhea, vomiting, salivation, lacrimation, depression, miosis, polypnea, tachycardia, hypothermia in cats.
, which are ground into meal to feed farm fish. "For every pound of farm salmon produced, two to five times that amount of ocean fish are caught to feed them," Nature reports. It takes about three pounds of wild-caught fish to grow one pound of shrimp.

The $6 billion aquaculture industry has more than doubled in the Last decade, with more than 25 percent of fish consumed worldwide now being farm-raised. The report recommended a shift to farming vegetarian fish such as catfish, tilapia tilapia (təlä`pēə) or St. Peter's fish, a spiny-finned freshwater fish of the family Cichlidae, native chiefly to Africa and the Middle East. , or filter-feeders such as scallops, mussels, and oysters. Aquacultural wastes (water filled with feces, food, and antibiotics) should be treated before release into the oceans, and fish-farm ponds should not replace mangroves and other coastal wetlands. "Aquaculture is so important to our future," said co-author Prof. Jane Lubchenco of Oregon State University Oregon State University, at Corvallis; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered 1858 as Corvallis College, opened 1865. In 1868 it was designated Oregon's land-grant agricultural college and was taken over completely by the state in 1885. . "It is critical that we do it right."

US Company Poisons Peruvians

PERU Peru, country, South America
Peru (pər`), Span. Perú (pār
 -- On June 14, a truck from the Minera Yanacocha gold mine in northern Peru spilled 250 pounds of mercury near a remote Andean village. The Minera Yanacocha mine is managed by the US-based Newmont Corporation. Peruvian newspapers reported that 47 people, including several children, were poisoned by the spill and several became seriously ill. Newmont, the biggest gold producer in North America, holds a 51 percent interest in Minera Yanacocha. This single mine accounts for about 40 percent of Peru's total output of gold.

Nature in Widespread Decline

GERMANY -- The spiraling decline of the world's ecosystems due to increased resource demands could have devastating dev·as·tate  
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.

2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark.
 implications for human development and the welfare of all species, according to a new report.

The report, World Resources 2000-2001: People and Ecosystems: The Fraying Web of Life, is the result of a two-year effort by 175 scientists from the World Resources Institute Founded in 1982, the World Resources Institute (WRI) is an environmental think tank based in Washington, D.C. WRI is an independent, non-partisan and nonprofit organization with a staff of more than 100 scientists, economists, policy experts, business analysts, statistical  (WRI WRI Wolfram Research, Inc. (makers of Mathematica)
WRI World Resources Institute
WRI War Resisters' International
WRI Western Research Institute (Laramie, WY)
WRI Water Research Institute
), the United Nations Development Program, the UN Environment Program, and the World Bank, and chronicles a litany of environmental warning signs.

Half of the world's wetlands and nearly as much forestland were Lost in the Last century. Fishing fleets are 40 percent Larger than the ocean can sustain, and nearly 70 percent of the world's major marine fish stocks are overfished or at their biological Limit. Soil degradation has affected two-thirds of the world's agricultural Lands in the last 50 years. Dams, diversions, or canals fragment almost 60 percent of the world's Largest rivers. Twenty percent of the world's freshwater species are either extinct, threatened (including at Least 10,000 freshwater fish species) or endangered globally.

"There are considerable signs that the capacity of ecosystems -- the biological engines of the planet -- to produce many of the goods and services In economics, economic output is divided into physical goods and intangible services. Consumption of goods and services is assumed to produce utility (unless the "good" is a "bad"). It is often used when referring to a Goods and Services Tax.  we depend on is rapidly declining," said WRI's Norbert Henninger at the World Exposition in Hannover. "As our ecosystems decline, we are also racing against time."

The report says that governments must view the sustainability of ecosystems as essential to human Life and adopt an "ecosystems approach" to managing the world's critical resources. This means evaluating decisions on the use of resources in Light of how they affect the capacity of ecosystems to produce goods and services.

"We must re-think how we measure and plan economic growth," said Henninger. "For too Long our development priorities have focused on how much humanity can take from our ecosystems, without too much thought on how it impacts the biological basis of our Lives."

A summary of the report and information on how to order copies are available at www.wri.org/wri/wrr2000/index.html.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouse Is

US -- Lab mice may be breathing a bit easier after Learning that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an international nonprofit organization that supports Animal Rights and has spawned a tremendous amount of conflict and controversy from its inception.  (PETA Quadrillion (10 to the 15th power). See space/time. ) has given a chemical testing company a $200,000 grant to promote the use of human cells instead of Live animals in chemical safety tests. PETA's unprecedented grant went to Maryland-based In Vitro in vitro /in vi·tro/ (in ve´tro) [L.] within a glass; observable in a test tube; in an artificial environment.

in vi·tro
adj.
In an artificial environment outside a living organism.
 Sciences, Inc, which uses a cytosensor to record the chemical damage to individual human cells.

The Washington Post reports that this 20 minute test "is more accurate than squirting material in an animal's eye." Although biotech companies routinely use human cells to develop drugs, the cosmetics industry remains wedded to the use of animal testing. According to In Vitro's Rodger D. Curren, "Animal rights groups are saying you've got to solve this torture, and companies are saying we want to use this [human cell tests] but the government won't let us."

Logging Ban Saves Forest

GABON -- Logging will no Longer be allowed in Gabon's 1,900-square-mile Lope Reserve, which hosts the world's biggest concentration of Large mammals in a tropical rainforest. The Wildlife Conservation Society has signed an agreement with the Gabon government to protect and extend the boundaries of the reserve. The deal involved a trade-off allowing Loggers access to a Less biologically diverse area. The Lope Reserve may soon be declared a national park.

Halt that Highway

VIETNAM -- Plans to build a north-south highway along the route of the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail Ho Chi Minh Trail

Former trail system, extending from northern Vietnam to southern Vietnam. It was opened in 1959 and used by North Vietnamese troops in the Vietnam War as the major military supply route.
 have been blocked by Vietnamese environmentalists and forestry officials, who say that the planned route would endanger 19 protected forests and several endangered animals, including the Delacour's langur.

The road would have bisected the Cuc Phuong National Park Cuc Phuong National Park (Vietnamese: Vườn quốc gia Cúc Phương) is located in Ninh Binh Province, in Vietnam's Red River Delta. Cuc Phuong was Vietnam's first national park and is the country's largest nature reserve. , a stretch of forest so revered that the Vietnamese studiously stu·di·ous  
adj.
1.
a. Given to diligent study: a quiet, studious child.

b. Conducive to study.

2.
 avoided using it to transport or hide troops or weapons during what they call the "American War." Another section of the road would have cut through the Phong Nha Nature Reserve in Quang Binh Province Quang Binh (in Vietnamese: Quảng Bình; pronunciation ; Hán Tự: ) is a province in the North Central Coast of Vietnam. .

A global appeal Led by the Worldwide Fund for Nature warns that the proposed Ho Chi Minh Ho Chi Minh (hô chē mĭn), 1890–1969, Vietnamese nationalist leader, president of North Vietnam (1954–69), and one of the most influential political leaders of the 20th cent. His given name was Nguyen That Thanh.  Highway would "encourage massive agricultural encroachment, illegal Logging, firewood extraction, and hunting of protected species."

The Vietnam Forum of Environmental Journalists has called on the government to prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment, as required under the Convention on Biodiversity that Vietnam ratified in 1994. As InterPress Service reporter Nguyen Nam Phuong noted, "The army is known to be involved in limestone exploitation. Smoother transport links would mean more lucrative gains."

Genetically Silenced Spring

UK -- European skylark skylark, common name for a passerine songbird (Alauda arvensis) famous for the soaring, melodious flight of the courting male. Found in Europe (except in the Mediterranean area), it is 7 1-4 in. (18.  populations have fallen by as much as 90 percent over the past 25 years, and the introduction of genetically altered crops (GACs) may finish them off, according to the journal Science. Skylarks are only one of a number of songbirds threatened by crops engineered to resist the increased use of herbicides, which allows farmers to practice "chemical clearcutting" of non-engineered plants. Among the "weeds" that would be eradicated are Lamb's Quarters and other seed-bearing plants that the birds feed on. If GACs are widely adopted, the impact on seed-eating songbirds could be "severe."

Goodbye Colobus Colobus

a leaf-eating monkey, 1.5 to 2.5 ft long, 15 to 18 lb, striking black and white coat color, white at birth.
 

US -- In September, biologists announced that the Waldron's red cotobus monkey, a denizen An inhabitant of a particular place. A "denizen of the Internet" is a person who frequently uses the Web or other Internet facilities.  of the rainforests of Ghana and the Ivory Coast, has been driven to extinction by human hunters and loggers. The journal Conservation Biology noted that the disappearance marked the first time since the early 1700s that a primate (a member of the same taxonomic group as humans) had become extinct. Conservation Biology warned that the fate of the colobus "may be the first obvious manifestation of an extinction spasm that will soon affect other Large animals in this region."

Biodiversity: It's a Blast

CHINA -- Each year, the "blast" fungus spoils millions of tons of rice and costs farmers billions of dollars in losses. Now farmers in Yunan Province have managed to overcome the fungus and double their production at no cost and without chemicals. Instead of planting a monocutture of tall rice, the farmers alternated with rows of short, blast-resistant rice. Exposed to more sunshine, the tall rice has grown even taller.

"People have said that these kinds of ecological approaches wouldn't work on a commercial scale," Cornell University agricultural ecologist Alison Power told the New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 Times. But with tens of thousands of farmers now using this technique on 100,000 acres, Power noted, "This is a huge scale."

"There's been quite a push by the agrotech industry to market genetically homogenous homogenous - homogeneous  crops," University of Washington ecologist Shahid Shahid or Shaheed is a male given name common among Muslims. It is the Arabic word for witness or martyr. People with this name
Famous people with this name include: See also
  • Shaheed (disambiguation page)
  • All pages beginning with Shaheed
 Naeem told the Times, but the Yunan biodiversity experiment proves that "there are some really simple things we can do in the field to manage crops."

Can a Mouse Save a Parrot?

MEXIC0 -- At one time, the US had two native parrot species. The Carolina parakeet went extinct in the 1920s and the Mexican thick-billed parrot was displaced by logging in A colloquial term for the process of making the initial record of the names of individuals who have been brought to the police station upon their arrest.

The process of logging in is also called booking.
 the 1930s. Pronatura, Mexico's Largest conservation group, and the Wildlands Project of Tucson, Arizona, hope to finance the purchase of a 6,0O0-acre parrot preserve in northern Mexico's Sierra Madre Mountains. Once this habitat is secured, Thick-billed Parrots will be transplanted to their old haunts in the Sky Islands of Arizona and New Mexico.

Anyone with access to the Internet can help. By visiting the Ecologyfund website [www.ecologyfund.com] and clicking on one of the "Donate Land for Free" buttons, 35 square feet of Mexican wilderness will be preserved using money from six corporate sponsors. Clicking on all of the program buttons can save 292 square-feet of wilderness everyday. Since its February debut, EcologyFund has saved more than two square miles in the US, Canada, Patagonia, and the Amazon.

The Ozone Hole Sets a Record

KENYA -- On September 14, the United Nations and the UN Environment Program celebrated the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer September 16 was designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. This designation was made on December 19, 1994, in commemoration of the date, in 1987, on which nations signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances . The celebrations were somewhat muted by the discovery that the annual ozone hole over the South Pole had swelled to a record 11 million square mites (28.3 million square kilometers) -- 37 percent larger than the year before.

The human population centers most at risk from skin cancer and cataracts caused by the increased UV radiation are Ushuaia, Argentina (the world's southernmost city) and Sodankyla, Finland (the northernmost). Scientists attributed the record-setting hole to "unusually intense stratospheric air currents" in the Arctic Vortex, which raises the possibility that climate change may have played a role.

California's Logging and Montana's Fires

US -- Missing from the controversy over western forest fires is the story of water's migration from the temperate forests of the Pacific Coast to the dry inland forests of the Rockies, and the rote that West Coast logging is clearly having in the overall Loss of precipitation inland.

The basics of the water cycle are simple. When rain falls on bare ground, most of it runs off. When it falls on forest, more of it gets trapped. This water is absorbed up through the roots and stems of trees into their branches, needles, and leaves. Eventually it is released back into the atmosphere, where it provides moisture for local forest dew and replenishes passing clouds that carry it further downwind.

Thus, the forest acts as a powerful and far-flung aerial irrigation irrigation, in agriculture, artificial watering of the land. Although used chiefly in regions with annual rainfall of less than 20 in. (51 cm), it is also used in wetter areas to grow certain crops, e.g., rice.  system, pumping water skyward sky·ward  
adv. & adj.
At or toward the sky.



skywards adv.
. Logging removes these pumps and disrupts the natural irrigation system.

In a forested area, about one-third of the rainfall runs off toward the sea, and the other two-thirds is retained. About half of the captured rain eventually flows back to the sea, stabilizing stream flows. The rest enters the atmosphere as downwind precipitation.

Logging turns these ratios upside down. A Logged forest loses two-thirds of its initial rainfall to run-off, leaving only half of the remaining third (half as much as a non-logged forest) to recharge the clouds and streams.

The net effect is a redistribution of water wealth that results in a shortage in downwind areas. A paper by two US Forest Service hydrologists summarized the situation succinctly: "Deforestation deforestation

Process of clearing forests. Rates of deforestation are particularly high in the tropics, where the poor quality of the soil has led to the practice of routine clear-cutting to make new soil available for agricultural use.
 desiccates the atmosphere."

Lance Olsen is the former director of the Great Bear Foundation, PO Box 2699, Missoula, MT 59806.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Earth Island Institute
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Olsen, Lance
Publication:Earth Island Journal
Geographic Code:0JINT
Date:Dec 22, 2000
Words:2055
Previous Article:Making Waves.
Next Article:UNITED NATIONS.
Topics:



Related Articles
Bio Watch.
Bio Watch.
Bio Watch.
Bio Watch.
Bio Watch.
Bio Watch.
We could have prevented the epidemic, but the monitor was a little high on the wall.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters