Monthly Archives: April 2013

Urgent Need To Remove Space Debris

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Image links to BBC article

“There is now so much debris in orbit that the space environment is close to a cascade of collisions that would make space extremely hazardous, a major international meeting has concluded. Its summary position stated there was an “urgent need” to start pulling redundant objects out of the sky. Scientists estimate there are nearly 30,000 items circling the Earth larger than 10cm in size. Some are whole satellites and rocket bodies, but many are just fragments.”

Leave it to us to not only do this to the planet, but to the space around it as well. Are we creating a “ghetto” or “white trash” part of space? Perhaps we’re being avoided. :p

As Tigers Go Extinct, Chinese Medicine Switches to Lions

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Image links to Care2 article

“Since 2008, by which time there had been a huge drop in the number of tigers in the wild, traders from countries such as China and Vietnam have been taking an interest in South African lions. Chinese medicine has traditionally used the powdered bones of tigers to cure many illnesses, such as rheumatism, ulcers and stomach aches. Tiger bones have also been credited with boosting virility in men. Apparently, now that the tiger population is waning, lions will do the trick.”

“In South Africa, lion bones are selling for around $165 per kilo (2.2 pounds). That’s about $5,000 for a full skeleton. The skull is worth another $1,100, the Guardian reports. Everyone’s making money from the lions: recently South African officials reported an increase in the number of permits they’re issuing for export of lion bones from certified trophy dealers. This means that tourists come to the country and pay big money to take part in a controlled hunt, but if they don’t want to keep the body or bones of the lion, the breeders can strip the lion and sell its bones for a handsome profit to Chinese and Southeast Asian dealers.”

I was willing to go along with this style of Eastern medicine since it had been around for so long and that maybe there was something to it. I just hated that they were wiping out the species without a second thought. But this right here just proved to me that there’s nothing to it at all if they can simply swap out one animal with another and say that this “new” one works now too. Can they please just stop already?

Search for Survivors after Dhaka building collapse

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Image links to BBC article

“Police said the factory owners had ignored warnings not to allow their workers into the building after cracks were noticed on Tuesday. The High Court has summoned the building owner and senior management staff of the factories to appear before judges on 30 April, local media report. The factory owners are said to have gone into hiding.”

“Primark, a clothes retailer with a large presence in Britain, confirmed that one of its suppliers was on the second floor of the Rana Plaza. It said it was “shocked and deeply saddened by the appalling incident” and that it would work with other retailers to review standards. Discount giant Wal-Mart – which was found to be sourcing products from the Tazreen factory – said it was still trying to establish whether its goods were being produced at the Rana Plaza.

“We remain committed and are actively engaged in promoting stronger safety measures, and that work continues,” said Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin Gardner.

A company called New Wave, with two factories in the building, supplies firms from around Europe, the US and Canada.”

Just make sure you keep those numbers up. That’s all that’s important, right? -_-

How about no?

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Image links to Treehugger article

“How sustainable is pet ownership?” asks the author of the article. She starts off by naming some positives:

“Ask any pet owner: they will tell you they cannot conceive of life without their furry, scaly, or feathered companion. Studies prove that pet owners benefit from the companionship in the form of fewer medical visits, reduced stress and depression, and better social integration.”

But then follows with this:

“But will the stress on the planet of producing food for the growing human population change the way we view the ownership of domestic animals that serve only as companions?”

Then citing the best way to improve pet food sustainability is:

“Pet food also can fill a unique niche, using by-products or wastes from the manufacturing stream for human food — even lightening the footprint of the human food chain life cycle analysis rather than competing for the same resources.”

I was almost going to pass this article up after I read it, but found I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Sure , I can nod my head along to the statement that “Animals do not have the same digestive enzymes and metabolic needs, so a diet that works for us may not be healthy for our animals – which kind of goes against the whole philosophy of trying treat those creatures that depend on us humanely.” But I wont feed my pet something that’s not even considered food.  By-products and wastes sound like a good idea to you? Food is food no matter what you are. We can’t just give the crap because the society doesn’t know how to sustain itself. It’s our fault they’re in this position in the first place. Animals weren’t put here pre-domesticated and house broken. We bred them that way over time. They could’ve sustained themselves all on their own. Our small house animals wouldn’t stand a chance out in the wild now. Not to mention we keep taking “the wild” away creating more of a dependance on us anyway. Having to build “habitats” so they still have something like normal, but still makes them rely on us for food. We have made it irrevocably our responsibility. Maybe we focus on not breeding animals and adopt instead. It makes no sense to create more animals we have no way to feed. It’s time to let go of the purebred notion. We have bigger things to worry about.

In Lieu of Earth Day

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Image links to Treehugger article

“Fortunately we also know what needs to be done to allow people to plan their family size to get a handle on population growth. We know how to protect and restore earth’s ecosystems. And we know that moving with wartime speed on efficiency, conservation, renewable energy, and diversified transport systems will give us the best chance of getting off our dead-end fossil fuel habit. That is what we need to cut greenhouse gas emissions enough to prevent climate change from spiraling completely out of control. Beating this ticking clock will take all hands on deck.”