Spiders, Swans and Batten Reserve

ENVIRONMENTAL VANDALISM!

Governments care about the environment. Right?

They care so much that in Australia they’re bringing in a carbon tax to save the environment. Right?

Well, I wonder…

Take the situation in Lane Cove – and no doubt in many other areas right across Australia.

The Former Labor State Goverment rezoned the bushland in Batten Reserve to allow the building of 6 storey apartment blocks in it because it is a bush fire risk. Really? How incredible. Imagine that. Based on that analysis of the situation bushland will be hacked down everywhere. It could all go up in flames. Best to chop it all down to be on the safe side!

According to http://smh.domain.com.au/real-estate-news/bushland-doomed-to-build-more-apartments-20110323-1c5if.html the battle over the reserve is another flashpoint in the government’s campaign to squeeze more people into Sydney by requiring all councils to zone land for medium and high-density development to provide for 40 per cent growth in population over the next 30 years.

How wonderful! I nearly screamed on Friday after sitting for one and a half hours in a traffic jam up Carlingford way. How much more terrific it would have been if there were 40% more cars in it!

But if you value your local bushland, write to the federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, and lobby the new state Liberal government to protect the bushland by reversing the earlier decision by the Department of Planning to rezone the Batten Reserve.

This is a very serious situation as it will be the bushland in your local council area that will go next. Otherwise how will there be enough room to increase Sydney’s population by 40% over the next 30 years.

And won’t it be delightful to live in Sydney then? It’s impossible to drive on the roads now! Imagine how public services will cope!

And I can’t help wondering how the proposed carbon tax to ‘save the environment’ meshes with this decidely destructive environmental proposal?

DO YOU LIKE SPIDERS?

 
 
 
 

Spiders in trees in Pakistan

 

Actually I quite like spiders. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want them crawling up my arm or climbing into my bed. But I never kill a spider; I get a broom and catch the spider with it and put it out the window.  How hard is that?

We ought to realize that spiders are not anxious to tangle with us either. They want to save their valuable venom for catching their prey.

On that subject and as an aside, do you know what is a very valuable anti-venom that can be used if you don’t know what spider has bitten you? Vitamin C!

My friend who runs a farm was horrified when her dog was bitten by a snake and was rapidly fading away in front of her eyes. She didn’t have time to take it to the vet as the dog wouldn’t have lasted that long. She had no idea what snake had bitten the dog either.

She had read that Vitamin C is a universal anti-venom so she went to the fridge where she’d be keeping a couple of Vit. C injections for exactly this occurrence, and injected the dog behind its shoulder. Within a quarter of an hour he was right as rain. Completely cured!

Vitamin C would work on spider, snake and tick bites. Beats conking out! But you’d need to keep it in your fridge. Vit C injections can be bought from stock suppliers.

Well, back to my talk on spiders.

Millions of spiders have cocooned entire trees across Pakistan in a thick coating of web. The webs are also chockers with dead insects.

The spiders  were forced into the branches by last year’s devastating monsoon floods.

The spiders climbed into the trees in late July last year when monsoon rains flooded the regions of Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

The water took so long to recede that the spiders soon coated their new homes in a thick mesh of web.

The locals in the Sindh province are happy the spiders have stayed as they believe that the spiders’ webs have reduced the mosquito population, which carries the deadly malaria virus.

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8234251/millions-of-spiders-cocoon-trees-in-pakistan

So this is a good thing! Be kind to spiders!

DESPICABLE SWAN MURDER

 
 
 

 

What do you think of someone who could kill a swan?

Well yesterday some horrible teenagers in Melbourne, stoned a female swan to death. What was even worse, she was caring for her eggs.

Her partner has been caring for the eggs but he has to leave the eggs to get food sooner or later. Read more about it here. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/youths-stone-swan-to-death-20110407-1d55e.html?amp Swans mate for life and now the poor male is waiting for his partner to return. He has no idea she is dead. What a heartbreaking and disgusting situation.

As awful as it is, it is by no means the first time such a thing has occurred. See http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/1713/RI/US/ These low lives killed a swan the same way just recently. This time the act occurred in Providence, U.S.

A HAPPY EAGLE STORY

The Decorah Bald Eagles at Eagle Manor via the Ustream Live cam are thriving as a family. Thanks to Bob and the Raptor Resource Project in Iowa, bird watching of these animals is possible.

Watch them live on http://news.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474979205415 and http://news.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474979202155

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Is it the End of the World or Just the End of Humans?

 

So what on earth is happening to the world? Earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear radiation blowing to a city near you,  floods, fires, civil unrest in the Middle East and birds and fish committing mass suicide.

A Gnostic friend says this is based on cycles that we pass through as a solar system and planet. Also, the karma of the planet plays a big role as well as the consciousness of the citizens of this planet. We are in the last stage of the Aryan race and this will take awhile as everything escalates over the next decades. Everyone has enough time to change but not enough time to play around. Ultimately, there are great forces organizing matters and protecting those needed. After the great cataclysms there will come a new race and epoch  known as the Koradi race and we all get another chance on Earth.

From a religious perspective, the End Time or End of Days is a time period described in the writings of the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and in doomsday scenarios in various other non-Abrahamic religions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_time

My good friend Mohamed (a Muslim) says that he believes the Day of Resurrection is coming.  Apparently the sequence of events  is the annihilation of all creatures, resurrection of the body, and the judgment of all sentient creatures. The exact time when these events will occur is unknown, however there are said to be major and minor signs which are to occur near the time.

Someone else said that we’ve been poking things into the earth and drilling earth’s minerals but giving back nothing for too long and this is the earth finally speaking.

Whatever is happening we can’t say we weren’t warned! The American Indians who like all indigenous people valued the earth, ocean, nature and trees saw it coming…

• When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.
~ Cree Prophecy

(http://www.stevenredhead.com/Native/quotes.html

The latest news on the radioactivity disaster in Japan is not good. Apparently the core of one of the reactors may have been breached. http://www.news.com.au/world/japan-nuclear-reactor-core-maybe-breached/story-e6frfl00-1226028269142

The Mayan calendar points to a turning point or possibly the end of the earth on 21st December, 2012.  Were they out in their calculations or is there worse to come? However, according to http://www.december212012.com/articles/news/Mayan_Prophecy_Predicted_Massive_Earthquake.htmapparently Mayan prophesies predicted a massive earthquake at the same time as the Japanese earthquake.

For more opinions on the current situation go to http://www.december212012.com.

There is no doubt that we have mistreated the earth.

For starters we have badly treated the indigenous inhabitants of every country.

The American Indians, the Mayans, the Incas,  the Australian Aborigines, the indigenous inhabitants of Malaysia, the natives living in the Amazon Rainforest etc etc.  We (the very advanced peoples of the West) wanted their land and their gold and silver if they had any, and nothing stood in our way. Through treachery and government ratified wholesale slaughter we wiped them all out, sending the remnants to reservations, and then we took their land.

However their attitude to land was 100% different to ours. They saw it as follows –

• Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.
~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

We see the land as our personal property. We buy our block and we receive a title deed for it. 

Billions of trees are chopped down annually to make way for new housing.  Furthermore, the new houses in Australia are called ‘MacMansions’ as they are enormous and take up every centimetre of space on the block. No trees or garden can exist as there is no room left.

Blocks of flats are popping up everywhere, creating a pressure cooker environment for the residents. They live in such close proximity to their neighbours there is no privacy. Fights and quarrels abound. There is barely room for gardens in these developments and no one is allowed to keep a pet.

No one is happy. They have to work longer and longer hours to pay for incredibly expensive properties. Everyone is increasingly intolerant as demonstrated by the numerous incidents of road rage or murders which are often committed by family members or friends. Mental health has become increasingly unstable. Young people are turning to mood alterating drugs and older ones to prescribed narcotics.

Forget birds. They are of little consequence in the modern world. Their trees are chopped down so they can’t nest and have nowhere to perch.

The humble Christmas beetle which was ubiquitous not so long ago in the Sydney region, is no longer seen. According to the entemologist Stephen Fellenberg, they develop under the earth for three years before they emerge. Unfortunately due to the extensive housing developments in Sydney, the trees under which they developed have been chopped down and the earth concreted so that’s that.

Of course this situation is hardly unique. Every native animal in Australia is under threat by rampant urban development or mining. And of course this situation is repeated in every country on earth.

The seas are full of seeping oil, plastic and rubbish and now contain at least 400 dead zones in which there exists nothing but jelly fish. We have plundered the sea of fish. The food chain in the ocean has been broken into pieces. Blue Fin Tuna are almost extinct but we are still compelled to fish for them as they sell for a lot of money and well, there are many people in Japan who really like eating them. Sharks have their fins hacked off and are tossed back alive into the ocean to die. Orange Roughies are not even allowed the chance to reproduce as they are caught before their reproductive age is reached (25 years of age).

So how long do we think we can carry on in this fashion?

Well, nothing is going to change on our part. We will continue to chop down trees willy nilly.  Developers will continue to develop.

However, the earth could be striking back.  The first moves have been made and the results were not pretty.

The thing is – when the earth retaliates it can do an awful lot of damage in one hour! Maybe we should be following the Indians’ lead and live in teepees, or the Aborigines and live in bark huts or lean-tos? In an earthquake they don’t hurt if they fall on our heads.

AND SPEAK OF THE DEVIL

No sooner had I written this blog than I opened the Sydney Morning Herald and read that Lane Cove Council has called on the NSW government to reverse its zoning to allow 2500 new apartments after a consultant’s report suggested removing more than 80% of trees in an adjacent reserve to reduce the risk of bushfire.

Well it’s hard to know what to say to this. It is definitely a super idea to cut down all the bush just to prevent a possible bushfire! I’m being sarcastic as I can’t imagine how anyone can suggest that with a straight face. Anyway, it’s a most convenient idea as chopping down all the bushland will provide heaps of room for housing – 2500 apartments to be precise.

And of course you can imagine how super it will be to collect rates from an extra 2500 unit holders.

On the one hand the government wants to hit us with a carbon dioxide tax but they don’t see a problem with chopping down a nature reserve which is absorbing carbon dioxide and converting it to oxygen! Well I’m sure a tax will fix everything up. It will be business as usual as we continue to chop down every tree in sight and pay a tax to make ourselves feel better about it. Ha! What a joke.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

From Peaches to Pork – Your Food is all Dodgy

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Curious Story of the Food We Eat

Hens on grass! How extraordinary!

When you go to the supermarket and buy a dozen eggs, a bottle of milk, a carton of soymilk, a bag of peaches, a fish or pork chop for dinner and a newspaper you won’t be thinking about the inside story behind these harmless purchases.

The truth is that with intensified farming, the story is not a pleasant one for animals. People no longer grow enough for their family in their own gardens as would have been the case a hundred years ago. Now farmers have to service a market of potentially millions of people. Food is mass produced with all the nastiness that this entails. Animals are treated as disposable products.

Let’s take  the first item on our shopping list – the eggs.

In Australia we eat 12 million eggs every day.  All over the world billions of hens are sitting in cramped little cages under constant artificial light, unable to move as they lay egg after egg. They never see grass or natural light. They will never walk. Their claws are long and so twisted that they never could walk even if they wanted to. Their feathers have fallen or been pecked out. They have a very short life span. As soon as they stop  laying their life is worthless to a farmer. They are slaughtered straight away.

Of course, because roosters can’t lay eggs then they are totally disposable. At one day of age the males are separated from the females and are stuffed alive into a machine which mashes them up.

The baby hens are then debeaked with a hot bloody blade at one day old so that they won’t peck each other.

Antibiotics are added to their feed to prevent against infections.

Free range hens are in no better situation. Hundreds of hens are cramped together in a confined space in a shed. There’s no such thing as hens running freely through the fields.

So, you say, at least they lay nice eggs. But do they?

The yellow of the yolk (which incidentally should be orange rather than yellow) is formed from eating green food – ie grass.  Since there is no grass in either of these constricting circumstances, food colouring is added to their food to ensure that the yolk is yellow.  Now isn’t that a healthy food choice?

If you are a believer in the suffering of animals permeating their flesh or their by products, then an egg would be a true instrument of suffering.  That can hardly enhance the health of the eater. I choose to have hens in my own backyard so I can have confidence that they are happy and live carefree lives.

If you’d like to read more about the suffering of factory hens see www.peacefulprairie.org/freerange1.html

As for milk, the second item on the list, you’d think that would be a harmless purchase.

I don't think too many cows are hand milked anymore http://www.fotosearch.com

There has been some talk  lately about poddy calves. I recently spoke to a dairy farmer and she said that they have so many poddy calves they don’t know what to do with them so they hit them on the head and killed them all. She said that otherwise they’d never be able to sell them as there would be more calves than the market can accommodate. 

I directly quote the following from the website of the animal activists Peta. http://www.peta.org/issues/pages/animals-used-for-food/Cow-s-Milk-A-Cruel-and-Unhealthy-Product

Given the chance, cows nurture their young and form lifelong friendships with one another. They play games and have a wide range of emotions and personality traits. But most cows raised for the dairy industry are intensively confined, leaving them unable to fulfill their most basic desires, such as nursing their calves, even for a single day. They are treated like milk-producing machines and are genetically manipulated and pumped full of antibiotics and hormones that cause them to produce more milk.

A rather worrying picture if you believe that cows could be adversely affected by powerlines

Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do—to nourish their young—but calves on dairy farms are taken away from their mothers when they are just 1 day old. They are fed milk replacers (including cattle blood) so that their mothers’ milk can be sold to humans.

Female cows are artificially inseminated shortly after their first birthdays. After giving birth, they lactate for 10 months and are then inseminated again, continuing the cycle. Some spend their entire lives standing on concrete floors; others are confined to massive, crowded lots, where they are forced to live amid their own waste. Cows have a natural lifespan of about 20 years and can produce milk for eight or nine years. However, the stress caused by the conditions on factory farms leads to disease, lameness, and reproductive problems that render cows worthless to the dairy industry by the time that they’re 4 or 5 years old, at which time they are sent to be slaughtered.

Painful inflammation of the mammary glands, or mastitis, is common among cows raised for their milk, and it is one of dairy farms’ most frequently cited reasons for sending cows to slaughter. 

In Australia there has recently been a price war conducted by Coles. A litre of Coles milk has been available for sale at $1 a litre, grossly undercutting other retailers. Coles has been prepared to wear the loss as it brings people into their supermarkets, however in due course this will directly affect the Australian dairy farmers who will adopt farming policies to further cut costs. Cows will be the end sufferers.

There is a Buddist line of thought that just as the eggs we eat are created in sad and deformed bodies lead to a toxic product, while cows suffer on factory farms, humans who drink their milk increase their chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many other ailments.

Dairy farms are an environmental concern too. Large dairy farms have an enormously detrimental effect on the environment. In California, America’s top milk-producing state, manure from dairy farms has poisoned hundreds of square miles of groundwater, rivers, and streams. Each of the more than 1 million cows on the state’s dairy farms excretes 18 gallons of manure daily. The dairy industry is the primary source of smog-forming pollutants in California; a single cow emits more of these harmful gasses than a car does. (Extract from Peta http://www.peta.org/issues/pages/animals-used-for-food/Cow-s-Milk-A-Cruel-and-Unhealthy-Product)

But are soy products better?

A soybean plantation

Well no soy beans are tortured, that’s for sure. However there is lots of evidence to suggest that they are also very bad for the environment. In Argentina after the collapse of the economy after the floating of the peso in 2002, the Argentinians were coerced (no doubt by the IMF) into chopping down their forests and planting soybeans to feed European pigs. Also, a major cause of destruction of the Amazon jungle has been for the production of soybeans. Now Indonesia intends to raze millions of hectares of jungle in territory they own in New Guinea to grow, amongst other things,  soybeans. When countries have financial problems, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) moves in and tells them to destroy their environment to grow soy beans and palm oil plantations if they want money. Hence we have the deaths of untold billions of reptiles, birds and wild animals on our hands. We can expect a lot of  environmental problems to the world to emanate from the Amazon very soon and the result will not be pretty. At this moment the Amazon is poised on the edge of turning from being a carbon sink to a carbon source. When this happens world temperatures will escalate alarmingly.

As for whether soybeans are better for your health, the vast majority of soybeans are genetically modified. From a health perspective this does not seem to be an ideal situation.

Read more at http://www.slate.com/id/2195690/ where a more thorough comparison is made between the environmental pros and cons of dairy milk and soy milk.

In my next blog I will discuss what could possibly be wrong with those peaches, fish, pork chop and newspaper.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Animal Highjinks

 
 

 

MAMMOTH COULD BE BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE

Yes, just as polar bears are dying due to climate change or global warming, scientists are keen to breathe life into mammoths. It might be easier to clone mammoths than to work out how to stop the ice from melting.  I can only wonder where they intend to keep these mammoths once they have been reincarnated.

But then of course – we could breed them in woolly mammoth farms and eat them!

The long-extinct woolly mammoth could be brought back to life within four years after a breakthrough in cloning technology by Japanese scientists.  

Researchers have tried unsuccessfully in the past to recover nuclei in cells from the skin and muscle tissue of mammoths found frozen in permafrost, The (London) Daily Telegraph reports.

The attempts failed because the cells were too damaged by the extreme cold.

However, a technique pioneered by Dr Teruhiko Wakayama of the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology has succeeded in cloning a mouse from the cells of another, which had been frozen for 16 years.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/mammoth-could-be-brought-back-to-life/story-e6frfku0-1225988004950#ixzz1B0IC9pdi

FOX SHOOTS MAN!

Horror of horrors! I always feared that hunted animals might strike back! Ha Ha.

Well now foxes have taken up arms and are making a stand! Read more http://www.news.com.au/weird-true-freaky/fox-shoots-and-injures-hunter-escapes/story-e6frflri-1225990166308

FIGHTING COCK KILLS MAN

 
 
 

 

Oh dear, will this killing ever stop? First we have foxes shooting men and now it’s cocks stabbing men to death! It’s criminal!

Thirty-five year-old Jose Luis Ochoa died in Los Angeles after being stabbed in the right calf by a rooster strapped with cockfighting razors.

Local reports say that the incident occurred during a cockfight. Roosters are usually strapped with razor-like knives to fight each other during cockfights. To see the nasty knives which are affixed to the cocks have a look at this http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/8121618-rooster-stabs-and-kills-calif-man

Why don’t I feel the vaguest bit of sorrow for him?

 
Who’d have thought that monkeys are so canny? Actually, I knew they were but here is a clever trick – and we thought that we had invented everything! Have a look at this video of monkeys teaching their children to floss their teeth.

 MAN RISKED ALL FOR DROWNING HORSE

We hear and read so much about cruelty to animals that it comes as a refreshing surprise when we read about someone who is prepared to risk their own lives for an animal. I recently wrote about a man who risked his own life to rescue a kangaroo joey in the Brisbane floods. Now here is a man who risked his life to save a horse.

An heroic rescue of a horse during last year’s floods in the Gold Coast hinterland has earned Jeffrey Moss the RSPCA’s highest award.  He joins an exclusive club, with only seven Humane Awards granted by the RSPCA since the award’s inception in 1990 Oxenford .

The Humane Award is presented for extraordinary bravery in saving the life of an animal. Mr Moss risked his own life in an attempt, ultimately unsuccessful, to save the horse on February 7 from the flood-swollen Coomera River at Oxenford.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/man-risked-all-for-drowning-horse/story-e6frfku0-1225994287822#ixzz1C12AFv19

KANGAROO RESCUE

And it’s good to see other people going out of their way to rescue animals who are at risk of drowning during the recent Queensland floods. I have previously featured the man who risked his life to save a joey whose foot was caught underwater.

ELEPHANT UNDERPASS OPENS IN KENYA

How did the elephants cross the road? They went underneath it.

Elephants this month began crossing through Africa’s first dedicated elephant underpass in Kenya. It’s a new solution to the increasing problem of animal-human conflict in Africa.

The Associated Press watched earlier this week as three young bull elephants passed through the tunnel, which was built under a major highway near Mount Kenya.

Conservationists say the tunnel connects two elephant habitats that had been cut off from each other for years by human development. They say more such solutions are needed to alleviate the problem of human development in animal areas in order to preserve Africa’s wildlife.

It’s wonderful that they have come up with this solution. Unfortunately every morning of the year, throughout Australia we see hundreds of dead kangaroos, possums, koalas, sulphur crested cockatoos and other wildlife squashed on the roads. In a couple of spots I’ve noticed roping between trees on opposite sides of the road to facilitate possum travel but generally it’s every animal for themselves. We build massive highways through their habitats and play dodgem with them every night. It’s criminal.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/elephant-underpass-opens-in-kenya/story-e6frfku0-1225996375882#ixzz1CK97lv90

GORILLA WALKS IN AN UPRIGHT STANCE

 

 

Recently we were all astounded to see a gorilla walking upright like a human.  Oh well, they can now walk like us, but are they as brilliant as humans? (I jest of course).  video.news.com.au/1769616758/Gorilla-walks-like-a-man?area=videohighlights1

CUTE ATTACK

Do you like to see animal babies? Well knock yourself out on this lot! http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/2011/02/royalty-born-at-san-diego-zoo.html

AYE-AYE SIR!

They are not beautiful by any means, but no one with a kind heart could deny that the critically endangered Aye-Aye of Madagascar are unusual and well, rather loveable. At least I think so. Unfortunately they are misunderstood in Madagascar and viewed by villagers as evil due to their long finger which they use to probe for insects in the bark of trees. That, and the fact that their habitat has been destroyed, is a reason that it has become imperative to breed them in zoos if possible.

 See the baby which was born in an American zoo. http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/aye-aye/

MADAGASCAN GHOSTLY GECKO

I just love David Attenborough documentaries. Here is some of his remarkable work – this time in Madagascar where he has filmed the Ghostly Gecko hunting for its dinner at night.

As with all wildlife in Madagascar, the Ghostly Gecko is endangered because its habitat has been destroyed. So have a look at it here http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_9397000/9397503.stm

Fortunately we have very good photographic equipment and hopefully we’ll be able to preserve recordings of all the animals on earth because one day that will be all we have.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Apocalypse now?

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%932011_Queensland_floods

Armageddon?

Recently I wrote about birds and sealife committing suicide en mass.

This week I’d like to ponder about the extreme weather conditions that are striking the world.

In Australia we have just come out of a ten year drought. And recently, right across Australia – principally Queensland, Northern New South Wales and Victoria, we were pounded by dreadful flooding.

Lives were lost, homes destroyed and animals killed. Residents in Toowoomba reported being hit by a tremendous wall of water – an inland tsunami – as they were out driving. Just imagine this – people who were not good swimmers were drowned when their cars were carried away by flood water. So even if you religiously avoided water because you were a poor swimmer, the water found you.

And because Queenslanders and really all of Australia has enthusiastically cut down every tree in sight, the rivers were running brown with our precious top soil as nothing is holding it in place anymore. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/floods-steal-precious-topsoil–and-future-goes-down-drain-20110109-19jrq.html   This dirty water (impregnated with chemicals)  washed into the Pacific Ocean where it could kill large swathes of the Great Barrier Reef (see below). According to the World Wildlife Fund Australia, in the past many Australian rivers flowed clear even in times of flood, but modern agriculture, land clearing and poor river management techniques have turned floodwaters into torrents of mud.

And when societies exhaust their topsoil, they collapse or are forced to move. Need I mention that Cree Indian prophesy again?

In Southeast Brazil, in a mountainous region near Rio,  many hundreds of people were killed in floods and mudslides due to extremely heavy tropical rain. http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/at-least-109-dead-in-brazil-floods/story-e6frfku0-1225986834034

More than 30,000 army, navy, police and air force personnel battled to provide urgent aid to people hit by heavy flooding in Sri Lanka. A government spokesman said more than 325,000 people had been displaced by flooding.  People have died and more than a million were affected. In the centre and east, farmland was flooded and rice fields destroyed. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12152964

Last year there were catastrophic floods in Pakistan and northern India. And yet in Southern India in Kerala, the normal annual monsoon in June / July seemed to be very understated. Normally a very rainy time, the promised rains failed to materialize, with just a couple of rainy days. Unfortunately, the residents of Kerala count on this rainy season to fill their backyard wells in preparation for the extremely hot summer.

On 31st August, 2008, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. This was the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina

Last week in Queensland, Australia, we experienced the wrath of Cyclone Yasi which devastated a number of townships. It was apparently a force 5 cyclone which was considered the most severe cyclone in living memory.

Meanwhile, Europe and the United States have seen the worst winter weather in many years. There were atypical snowfalls in several parts  of the Northern Hemisphere. According  to Wikipedia a persistent weather pattern brought cold moist air from the north with systems undergoing cyclogenesis from North American storms moving across the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and saw many parts of Europe experiencing heavy snowfall and record low temperatures. This led to a number of deaths, widespread transport disruption, power failures and the postponement of a number of sporting events. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_2009%E2%80%932010_in_Europe

So why is this happening? Is it Global  Warming? Is it climate change?

The subject of global warming is very controversial and people point to the recent extreme cold conditions in Europe and America as proof that there is no global warming – only climate change.

According to http://www.nwf.org/Global-Warming/What-is-Global-Warming/Global-Warming-is-Causing-Extreme-Weather.aspx  global warming is making hot days hotter, rainfall and flooding heavier, hurricanes stronger and droughts more severe.

Global warming theorists say that intensification of weather and climate extremes will be the most visible impact of global warming in our everyday lives. Powerful thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes are naturally created when warm air rises and collides with extremely cold air high in the atmosphere. The hotter the air, the faster it rises, and the stronger its clash with the cold air. So, the storms that are created are much more fierce.

The overwhelming majority of scientists agree that our globe is undergoing major climate change. They also agree that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising significantly.

I’ll keep you posted on that one as right now in the Amazon Basin an extremely serious situation is brewing. Due to a record drought, billions of trees have died in the Amazon Rainforest and scientists fear that instead of being a carbon sink (the Amazon soaks up one quarter of the world’s atmospheric carbon), it will become a carbon source – releasing its stored carbon and increasing world temperatures even more. This is now becoming reality and yet I saw a documentary made by two scientists at least ten years ago, which warned that exactly this senario was likely to occur.

According to www.global-greenhouse-warming.com Satellite images and research show that the ice caps are melting faster, our sea levels are rising, and weather patterns are changing. We are experiencing more water shortages. The deserts are expected to expand and the world will ultimately have difficulty growing enough food.

In an extremely interesting website http://www.scienceclarified.com/scitech/Global-Warming/Signs-of-a-Warming-Planet.html there is a discussion about the effects of warming on the environment and sea and animal life right across the globe.

Just this week I read that polar bears are disappearing from the north and one polar bear was recorded as having had to swim for nine days across the deep, frigid Beaufort Sea before reaching an ice floe 685 kilometres offshore in an effort to find a hunting ground. The swim came at a cost. The bear’s cub died and the bear lost 22% of her body weight. This is apparently the longest recorded journey for a polar bear but such trips will become necessary in the future as their hunting grounds diminish. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/polar-bear-swam-nonstop-for-nine-days-20110204-1aguu.html

Apparently the rivers in Australia aren’t dredged anymore which has significantly contributed to the risk of flooding.

My view of the flooding is that it would not have been so severe if developers hadn’t chopped down every possible tree and put concrete and a house in their place. Hence, there is no bare earth to absorb the rain fall. There is also nothing to hold the top soil down and that is causing the rivers to run brown with our earth. This scenario has never occurred in previous floods.

During the Queensland floods, a lady was on the radio saying that her family business is chopping down trees. They are closing the business down immediately because she was actually saved in the floods by a tree. She said that the message was not lost on her.

THE GREAT BARRIER GRIEF

The 2010 Marine Census told a dire story about the world’s reefs. Already, half the reefs in the Caribbean are dead and throughout the world, one quarter are kaput.

A couple of years ago our own reef, the Great Barrier Reef, was crunched by a Chinese cargo ship, taking a shortcut. This encounter killed a large segment of the reef.

But now it looks like the reef is really copping it.  The recent devastating floods in Queensland have washed off tonnes of topsoil (see the article above) and this has headed out to the Great Barrier Reef, making the sea cloudy so that sunlight can’t penetrate down to the coral. Sunlight is vital for coral growth.

Worse still, the soil is impregnated with a cocktail of chemicals washed from farms and gardens.

Of course the chemicals will kill the fish, but if not, once the coral dies, the ecosystem the reef supports, including tropical fish, will die with it.

Up to 90% of coral in badly affected areas could die. The hardest-hit reefs include those off Queensland’s Burdekin and Fitzroy rivers, and the tourist haven of Great Keppel Island.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Clever Crows / A Cunning Penguin/ A Smart Frog / A Grateful Whale / A Lucky Joey / A Sassy Fox

 

Just how smart are animals, birds and fish?

Well, a crow is a frequent visitor to my house. He sits outside the backdoor and I throw him some minced meat or an egg as a treat.

I’ve noticed him pick up the egg and bury it in the garden under leaves and then fly back for more treats while the going is good. I think this is smart.

But I was much more surprised when one day I was sitting at my dining room table near an open window and I heard a bird crowing. I automatically looked up and sitting in the tree directly outside the dining room window was the crow staring at me. So I stood up and walked around to the kitchen door with some minced meat and the bird flew directly around to the back door to receive his meal.

A week or so later I was lying on my bed watching television and I heard my crow calling me. I looked up in surprise and the crow was perched on the tree directly outside my bedroom window! How amazing. Once again I got up and went to the back of the house and there he was, waiting for his dinner again.

So this crow knows that when he wants a snack all he has to do is fly around the house peering in the windows until he finds me. Then he has to call me and I’ll come running with food.

A while ago I received an email containing a video. The video was of a penguin in Antarctica trying to outmanoeuvre three orcas (killer whales). It looked pretty grim for the poor penguin until it spotted a zodiac containing some tourists. Then quick as a flash it launched out of the water and landed on the craft. The penguin walked around the zodiac, peering over the side into the water. The orcas surfaced and glared open-mouthed at the triumphant penguin. Fortunately for the penguin (and the occupants of the zodiac), the orcas gave up the chase and with a look of disdain, choofed off to look for something else to eat.

In December, 2004 when the tsunami hit Banda Aceh,  Indonesia, despite the huge human death toll, by and large, animals escaped unscathed. Animals were seen leaving the area well in advance of the actual event.  At Sri Lanka’s national wildlife park at Yala, which houses elephants, buffalo, monkeys, and wild cats, no animal corpses were found. http://www.slate.com/id/2111608/ Animals have a keener sense of hearing than humans and are able to register much lower and higher sound frequencies. Maybe this is why? One writer has a different view on why this might be so http://ezinearticles.com/?Is-Levitation-Possible-Or-is-it-an-Illusion?&id=2444275

If you need further proof of the cleverness of animals, keep reading this blog. There is a frog riding to safety on the back of a snake and at the very end, a red fox riding to safety on top of a tyre. Stupid? I think not!

To read about the cleverness of many creatures see http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/03/animal-minds/musi-photography

FROG RIDES TO SAFETY ON BACK OF SNAKE   

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

The above photo was taken in the flooded Queensland town of Dalby. Apparently animals – even natural enemies – often work together when they are under threat. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8195243/frog-hitches-ride-with-snake-to-flee-floods

A CROSS-EYED POSSUM!

Heidi, the cross-eyed possum is an attraction at Leipzig Zoo in Germany. She has misaligned eyeballs and already had 70,000 Facebook fans due to her obvious cuteness. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

DISAPPEARING WILDLIFE OF MADAGASCAR

If there’s one place on earth that has always enticed me it’s Madagascar. After I read about the Lemur being the only creature on earth that can eat the strychnine berry without ill effect, I was hooked.

But sadly, due to illegal logging, the native forests of Madagascar have been chopped down to make way for rice plantations. So, there goes the very intriguing wildlife which is so unique to Madagascar.

British photographer, Nick Garbutt, has taken some fascinating photos of the creatures in the jungles and you can see them here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthpicturegalleries/8231475/Madagascar-British-photographer-Nick-Garbutts-20-year-survey-of-the-islands-wildlife.htm as, at the current rate of destruction, it seems unlikely that these creatures will be around for much longer.

Last year Stephen Fry went to Madagascar to photograph the critically endangered Aye-Aye https://roslynmotter.com/2010/10/14/oh-no-no-not-the-aye-aye-now/

Well, remember that famous Cree Indian prophesy –

When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.

A GRATEFUL WHALE  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

If you read a recent front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso and a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her. They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.

When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them.  Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

I hate to be the party pooper who said this, but if humans hadn’t left the netting in the first place, the whale wouldn’t have had the problem. But I guess that’s being petty of me under the circumstances. Obviously whales are a forgiving lot.

ORIGAMI ANIMALS

Have a look at these very clever Origami animals. http://web.mit.edu/chosetec/www/origami/

FYI that means that they’ve been modelled from paper. Very talented!

MAN IGNORES POLICE TO SAVE JOEY

I’m ever so happy to read stories like this. Ray Cole, a father of five,  jumped into flood waters at Ipswich, despite police warnings, to rescue a baby kangaroo which was being swept away. Fortunately he was able to rescue the joey and now it’s in the hands of wildlife carers.  http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8196002/man-ignores-police-to-save-joey

There is also another touching story about a girl who rescued a terrified blue-tongue lizard which was about to fall into flood waters in Brisbane.http://news.ninemsn.com.au/yourfloodstories/?directTarget=6556||special3d||17#anchor

And a man took a photo of a red fox escaping the floods by sailing downstream on a tyre. And who said animals are stupid? http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/floods/8196500/fox-outwits-floods-with-tyre-ride

NOTE TO QUEENSLANDERS WITH PETS 

If you are in a flood area and would like somewhere to leave your pets, this lady can help you. See http://news.ninemsn.com.au/yourfloodstories/?directTarget=6556||special3d||22#anchor 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 



1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Fish and Birds Commit Mass Suicide

Could it be that bird and sealife is giving up?

THE recent spate of mass animal deaths around the world is sparking conspiracy theories and doomsday predictions on the web.

From the US to New Zealand, from Britain to Brazil, bizarre cases of birds, fish and crabs turning up dead en masse have been reported in the past two weeks and no one seems to know why.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/world/is-it-an-animal-apocalypse-here-are-the-facts-and-theories-about-recent-mass-die-offs/story-e6frfkyi-1225983078355#ixzz1AFDibzKf

First we have the inexplicable deaths last week of 83,000 drum fish which were washed up along a 32km stretch of the Arkansas River, about 160km west of Beebe, Arkansas and now dozens of dead snapper have washed up on a beach in Auckland, New Zealand. http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/carpet-of-dead-snapper-on-new-zealand-beaches/story-e6frfku0-1225982188696.

And in Port Orange, Florida US, hundreds of dead fish floated around the waterways near homes, WFTV reported, surrounded by swarms of pelicans and buzzards. Kayakers on the creek told WFTV they’d seen fish around every bend and it appeared to be one of the most extensive kills they had seen.

On the Coast of Paranaguá, Brazil at least 100 tonnes of sardine, croaker and catfish have washed up on beaches over the past week, Parana Online reported. The President of the Federation of Fishermen’s Colony of Parana, Edmir Manoel Ferreira, said at least 2800 fishermen depend on the daily seafood. “We are experiencing a very sad situation on the coast,” he said.

Biologists have explained the deaths in Brazil could be because of a possible increase in the concentration of algae that produce toxins. This increase may lead to death in some species, such as sardines.

In Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, US, the Baltimore Sun reported an estimated two million spot fish died and washed up on the shore. The dead fish are mostly adult spot, with some juvenile croakers. State officials are investigating but suspect it was because of the near-record cold. Agency spokeswoman Dawn Stoltzfus said spot are susceptible to colder water, she said, and normally leave the upper bay by now. They were perhaps late getting out.

Water samples taken from the bay showed elevated levels of two species of toxic algae.

In Thanet, Kent, England 40,000 dead velvet swimming crabs, or “devil crabs” were washed up on Thanet beaches. Tony Childs, Thanet Coast Project Manager, told the Daily Mail: “We had a crash in numbers last year and we hadn’t expected such a large population. As happens with the circle of life in nature, we expect the crabs to be naturally dispersed from our shores very quickly by our local seagulls.”

Velvet Swimming Crab (ukdivers.net)

The cold weather in Britain has been blamed for the deaths. “We are hopeful the crab population will soon recover,” said Mr Childs.
The Daily Mail reported that the mass crab deaths made up 95 per cent of marine life affected by the cold snap.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/world/is-it-an-animal-apocalypse-here-are-the-facts-and-theories-about-recent-mass-die-offs/story-e6frfkyi-1225983078355#ixzz1AFHv3bIT

And dead birds are raining on us out of the skies. Four to five thousand dead black birds fell out of the sky just 580km to the south of Beebe, Arkansas. The only reason that has been given so far is that the birds were spooked by New Year fireworks.  The sound caused them to panic and as they flew around in the dark they hit against things and fell to their deaths.

And in nearby Louisiana an estimated 500 red-winged blackbirds and starlings have been found dead, a local newspaper reports – just a few days and a short distance away from where the thousands of black birds died in Arkansas.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/more-birds-fall-out-of-sky-as-mystery-deepens/story-e6frfku0-1225982169450#ixzz1A6gUlmyp

And  100 jackdaw birds were found lying dead in the street in Sweden http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/is-it-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it/

On Saturday in Romania, dozens of starlings drank themselves to death after eating grapes left over from the wine-making process.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/romanian-birds-drank-themselves-to-death/story-e6frfku0-1225985964860#ixzz1AlMMjmw9

I can understand why fish might have given up the ghost. The state of play in the ocean is disgraceful. The sea can no longer afford to supply us with the millions of tonnes of sealife we are hauling out of it annually and trawlers have to go further and further out to sea as we annihilate the sealife closer to shore.

And let’s not forget the pollution in the sea. We have millions of tonnes of oil floating around out there, courtesy of BP, Shell and leaking ships. We have oodles of plastic floating around https://roslynmotter.com/2010/09/09/sailing-in-a-plastic-sea/and also the sea has proven to be a wonderful depository for our chemical waste. In Sydney we have been warned not to eat any fish caught west of Sydney Harbour as the Union Carbide pesticide factory at Homebush tipped all its chemical waste into the ocean for decades. Commercial fishing was banned in the harbour in December 2005 after raised levels of potentially harmful dioxins, a group of organic chemicals, were found in several species of fish and crustaceans. http://www.topix.com/forum/world/australia/TIVRE215CKAE3IN9T

In the sky things are hardly better. Have a look at these statistics of what kills birds http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/wind-turbine-kill-birds.htm –

Man-made structure/technology Associated bird deaths per year (U.S.)
Feral and domestic cats Hundreds of millions
Power lines 130 million — 174 million
Windows (residential and commercial) 100 million — 1 billion
Pesticides 70 million
Automobiles 60 million — 80 million
Lighted communication towers 40 million — 50 million
Wind turbines 10,000 — 40,000

[/source]

Now what happened to my tree? http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/

A family of kookaburras for example, live in the hollow of the same tree for two hundred years or longer. Well, that is, unless the tree is chopped down – and we’re certainly doing plenty of that in Australia. Tens of thousands of trees were chopped down to build the M7 Tollway in Sydney.

Trees are routinely poisoned to protect views. Trees are seen as a real enemy by many suburbanites. I know a woman who said that one Saturday afternoon her family went out to the movies for a couple of hours.  When they returned home, a tree which had hitherto grown proudly in the middle of their backyard, had completely disappeared and there was not a leaf or twig to indicate that it had ever stood there.  She maintains that the next door neighbour who hated the said tree, had annhilated it in her absence. https://roslynmotter.com/2010/09/02/so-what-is-the-point-of-trees-anyway/

And we’re already paying the price for that mindset. The flooded rivers in Queensland are running brown with our precious top soil. The trees that used to hold it in place have been chopped down so all it took was a deluge to wash it all out to sea.When societies exhaust their topsoil, they collapse or are forced to move. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/floods-steal-precious-topsoil–and-future-goes-down-drain-20110109-19jrq.html

And in a sadistic and nasty slaughter in NZ recently, more than 100 Endangered Black-billed Gulls Larus bulleri, a New Zealand endemic undergoing a steep decline, have been slaughtered at a colony near Wreys Bush in Southland. Department of Conservation ranger Ros Cole said that most of the birds died from bullet wounds, but others had broken bones and some chicks were found starving to death beside their dead parents.

And dolphins (although not classified as fishes) are not faring too well either. People on jet skis are being warned to be careful after a baby dolphin was found dead on the Mornington Peninsula with a broken jaw and skull last week.

And of course there are the poor dolphins and small whales who are annually rounded up and slaughtered in the coastal town of Taiji in Japan.

So who would want to be a bird or a fish? Could this be why they are possibly committing mass suicide?

Conspiracy theorists Joseph Watson and Alex Jones of prisonplanet.com blame it on “the government”. According to the site authorities have “routinely engaged in secret testing of biological and electromagnetic weapons that have detrimentally impacted both humans and animals many times in the past.”

According to Watson and Jones “Scalar weapons that can artificially manipulate the environment could be responsible for the mass die offs. We know for a fact that over a decade ago the U.S. Military Industrial Complex was aware of and involved in the testing of such technology.”

Maybe it is a government conspiracy to do selective killings. If so, then we are all even closer to the end than we think.

Or maybe the world is such an unfriendly place to fish and bird life that they’d just rather die than continue to struggle on against the odds.

In any case, we should ponder on the Cree Indians’ famous prophecy which is becoming all too close for comfort –

When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.
~ Cree Prophecy

and Roslyn J. Motter’s opinion on humans –

If mankind disappeared today

What would all the animals say?

Birds, koalas and even bees,

Would sing with joy – they’d now have trees!

Tigers, elephants, all kinds of bear,

Could now roam free- without a care.

Their rivers would run unpolluted

Man and Earth are so unsuited!

But hey, don’t worry, we’re the master race so we’ll think of something clever!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy New Year – but not for the birds!

Something very peculiar happened in Arkansas on the weekend.

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8191298/birds-fish-die-en-masse-in-arkansas

Firstly 100,000 drum fish died for no particular reason and then 5000 black birds fell out of the sky – dead.

At first it was speculated by game and fish commission ornithologist Karen Rowe that “the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail”, the Associated Press reported.

Now it has been officially confirmed by the State veterinarian that New Year’s Eve revellers shooting off fireworks in the area startled the birds from their roost and caused them to die from stress.

A local resident reported hearing about 20 loud booms on Saturday night – which could have been fireworks or a cannon to get rid of nuisance birds – and saw a huge flock of frantic birds when he went outside.

“He could hear the blackbirds fluttering around – he could hear their wings and he could hear them hitting into things,” Badley said.

Blackbirds have poor night vision and they were likely killed because they banged into houses and trees in their fright.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/loud-noises-likely-scared-birds-to-death-in-arkansas/story-e6frfku0-1225981476874#ixzz1A0rxyabz

Hmm, I’ve been wondering about the cost to wildlife of our entertaining fireworks every new year.

Last year I was on a boat in Darling Harbour and I was quite disturbed by the anxiety of the seagulls at midnight when the fireworks went off. They scattered – screeching hysterically – as every firework exploded. It was fairly upsetting to watch.

On 12th June, 2010 the Belfast Telegraph reported that a controversial pyrotechnics display beside a wildlife hotspot went ahead after a council claimed there was no scientific evidence that birds would be disturbed.

But residents living near Six Mile Water wetland habitat area in Ballyclare have alleged that a wildlife crime may have been committed when the display was held at the end of Ballyclare May Fair. It is illegal to disturb nesting birds.

Meanwhile, the RSPB warned that fireworks must never be set off next to birds’ breeding and roosting areas.

Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/anger-over–council-fireworks-display-near-bird-sanctuary-14840252.html#ixzz19xaGtMiG

On 5th November, 2010, according to  http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/263589-remember-remember-wildlife-on-bonfire-night  RSPB Cymru gave advice on protecting birds and other wildlife from bonfires and fireworks.

 RSPB Cymru urged everyone to spare a thought for garden wildlife this bonfire night.

At night-time in particular, birds are likely to be roosting in trees and bushes, and the wildlife charity is warning that holding firework displays too close to their shelters could disturb them.

 Although there is no evidence to suggest fireworks cause conservation problems, loud bangs and flashing lights too close could cause birds to move on, and every movement made in the cold weather uses up vital energy supplies.

RSPB Cymru asked anyone planning a bonfire or fireworks display in their garden to avoid doing it too close to nest boxes. Even if the nesting period is over and young birds have long gone, many birds use nestboxes for shelter over winter.



This advice, although very wise, is not helpful in Australia because private fireworks displays are illegal. The government or councils set off the fireworks displays.

If every bird in the world was to fall down dead it would not stop any country’s New Year firework displays.

However, the sky is their home and they don’t understand what is happening when the sky explodes with smoke and horrible noises and bright lights.

And let’s not forget the dogs, cats and wildlife that suffer because of the fireworks.

According to  http://www.dorwest.com/Top/Common-Problems/N/Noise-Phobias-Fireworks thunderstorms, fireworks, gun shots or any loud or sudden noises can disturb and frighten dogs and cats. These often occur unexpectedly, making it difficult to help your pet cope with the stress caused, especially if you don’t want to resort to total sedation which is something not now recommended by vets for these type of situations.

It is estimated that around 50% of dogs are afraid of loud noises such as fireworks, thunderstorms and gun shots, and many cats suffer too. This fear reaction can become extreme and some pets develop firework phobias, showing a level of fear that seems out of proportion with the sound. Many pets suffer during the fireworks season, which can often continue right through until the New Year. There are also other occasions when loud noises can cause stress and anxiety. The fear this causes can result in a noise phobia where the dog or cat will become anxious and distressed upon hearing any loud noise and most pets with noise phobia experience worsening signs each year.

I have just received an email from my cousin Annette, in Holland who tells me, ‘It’s like a war zone here as soon as the fireworks are on sale, so when 12 arrives, it’s no surprise, as one has been forced to hear the noise the whole day. 2 teenagers dead because of firework bombs, school burnt down, church burnt down and cars destroyed, is definitely not appealing, all one too many, it’s time to introduce a law or a EC law against private fireworks.’

Is there a point to the Australian government wasting $5 million on fireworks when surely half that amount would produce a terrific show. Of course, now they feel obligated to surpass the previous years’ displays. So soon they’ll be spending $10 million for sure.

So what’s the solution? I wish I knew. I can only recommend that all pets be kept safely inside during firework displays. Unfortunately we can’t do the same for all wildlife and birds.

And I wonder what killed all those fish?

To find the answer to that question, have a look at my next blog.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Water, Water Everywhere But Not a Fish in Sight!

A couple of fishing boats in the harbour near Kovalam Beach, Kerala, India

 

“Humans have always been very good at killing big animals. Ten thousand years ago, with just some pointed sticks, humans managed to wipe out the woolly mammoths, saber tooth tigers, mastodons and giant vampire bats. The same is now happening in the seas.” So said the late Ransom A. Myers, Fisheries Biologist and Head of the Future of the Marine Animals Populations Project.

Enjoy your Christmas prawns/shrimp, your lobster tail, oysters, caviar and other assorted sea delicacies my friends, because such lavish knees up will soon be just a memory. In fact, results from the 2010 Marine Census indicate that if current fishing trends continue, commercial fisheries will have collapsed by 2050.

If you haven’t already twigged to the fact that seafood prices are through the roof and wondered why, then you might be interested to know that we are fishing sea life out of existance.

Yes, of course, seafood was just invented so that humans can eat heaps and heaps of delicious sea thingies at buffets and weddings, that’s why it’s called seaFOOD. Annually, millions of tonnes of seaFOOD is fished out of the ocean for us lucky humans.

Unfortunately we seem to have so many parties that we’ve fished out all the seaFOOD near the shore and now the boats have to go further and further out into the ocean. What a pest.

Although we don’t give two hoots, there are some other annoying animals and bigger sea creatures who also like seaFOOD. In fact, it’s often their only food. And they’re currently starving because unlike our boats, they can’t go right out to sea on the continual search for seaFOOD. A bear prefers land and likes to catch their salmon as it jumps upstream to reproduce.  Penguins also like to fish close to shore. The further they travel, the greater the likelihood of their being gulped up by a hungry seal.

And of course, we clean forgot that if we overfish all the seaFOOD, there’ll be no seaFOOD parents left to make seaFOOD babies so there is more seaFOOD for our next Christmas knees up. The orange roughy can attest to this. With a life span of 150 years (if not eaten by something), they begin their reproductive life at the age of twenty five. We began commercial fishing of orange roughy just ten years ago and they are already endangered. I mean, it’s just ridiculous that they take so long to begin reproducing and we can’t wait that long. So we’re eating them all before they get a chance to reproduce. It would be the lucky one that gets to live to twenty five neverlone 150! Fat chance of that!

Other seacreatures are in serious decline. 90% of populations of top predators – tuna, shark and swordfish – have been caught and the repercussions are serious. There has been a decline of  87% of sandbar sharks, 93% of blacktip sharks, 97% of tiger sharks, 98% of scalloped hammerheads and 99% of bull and smooth hammerheads since 1972, according to a survey by the University of North Carolina. Sharks are prized by the Chinese for their fins which are hacked off while the shark is still alive and the finless shark is then tossed back into the ocean to die. It is estimated that 50 million sharks also die annually due to accidental entanglement in fishing nets.

So how does this impact other marine life?

Well, sharks are top predators of sting rays. Now that sharks are becoming extinct there is a population explosion amongst sting rays. Spotted eagle rays have become increasingly common off Hawaii. Populations of long headed eagle rays are exploding in Japan’s Ariake Sound and cownose rays in Chesapeake Bay. Sharks are the natural predator of sting rays and have hitherto kept their numbers in check. However, now that sharks are virtually extinct, sting ray numbers are exploding and numbers of shellfish are plunging proportionally. Sting rays love to eat softshell and hard clams, oysters and scallops. In fact, the longheaded eagle rays in Ariake Sound are decimating several shellfish species a year. In Chesapeake Bay the rays are gobbling down 925,000 tons of hard clams and oysters. Now that will put a dent in your Christmas platters!

And who can we blame for that? Well we killed the sharks and are still doing so, without a thought for biodiversity. We hate to hear about anything that might try to stop us catching and eating anything that takes our fancy. And boy, do we hate anything else that tries to steal OUR seaFOOD off us! Fishermen happily kill seals who dare to eat their seaFOOD.

So in Russia bears who normally rely on salmon catches  to bulk up for winter, are starving and resorting to attacking miners for food because illegal salmon fishing has stolen their food. The same scenario is being played out all over the world. Seals, penguins etc are having to fish further out at sea because commercial fishermen have fished out the waters close to shore. Recent attacks on humans by sharks in Egypt have been largely blamed on overfishing. When we steal other predator’s food then they turn on us – it seems a fair and logical conclusion.

In fact, such is the dire state of the world’s oceans that there are more than 400 dead zones around the world. The dead zones contain nothing other than jellyfish. One such dead zone exists off the coast of Namibia. Their fish have all been fished out by fishermen. Spadefish, sunfish and loggerhead turtles which eat jellyfish have all been fished out and hence jellyfish which are otherwise known as the cockroaches of the sea, are now thriving around Australia, Britain, Hawaii, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the Sea of Japan and China’s Yangtze Estuary.

Half the coral reefs in the Carribean and one quarter of all the reefs around the world are dead due to pollution, physical destruction and increased temperatures. Increased CO2 takeup in the ocean has increased acidity which causes lower saturation states of the carbonate minerals used to form skeletal material.

So unless you have a plan to save the world’s seaFOOD, then you’d best eat up now as it will soon be just a memory.

Have a look at https://roslynmotter.com/2010/11/05/be-quick-to-see-the-seahorse.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized