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Archive for the ‘Environmental Issues’ Category

“…break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” — John Muir

7 Crack Canyon

Photo by Mark H. Rowland

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“‎Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth

find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”

~Rachel Carson

Image

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Imagine what we could do if we all attacked the world’s problems with this much gusto as this wolf.

Get ready!

Get set!

GO make the world a better place!

(Thanks, Project Alpha Wolf, for the quote and the photo!)

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“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth,

but by washing away from it all that is not gold.”

                                                                                — Leo Tolstoy

 marshall pass 7

 Photo by M.L. Rowland

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Posted this recently, but in honor of Shark Week, I’ll repost!

Hammerhead Shark

 

Why am I writing about or even care about sharks when I live in the middle of Colorado?

1. My father was a marine scientist and loved the ocean and all things therein. I inherited that love from him.

2. Movies, books, stories and mythology which inaccurately portray animals (wolves, for example) and other wildlife (sharks) perpetuate misinformation, engendering paranoia and fear which leads to hysteria and prejudice and ultimately the killing, sometimes the mass annihilation, of entire species.

For the record, humans do infinitely more harm to sharks than they do to us. There are on average 2-3 fatalities caused by sharks every year, approximately 65 injuries. Humans kill as many as 76 MILLION SHARKS A YEAR!

That’s

76

MILLION.

3. According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and contain 97 percent of its water. Oceans and lakes play an integral role in many of the Earth’s systems including climate and weather. Oceans support the existence of nearly 50% of all the earth’s species. 50%! (For us math whizzes: that’s HALF.) There are 3.5 million square miles of coastal and deep ocean water. Oceans are key to transportation and recreation, and their resources hold the potential for cures to many diseases and other things we can’t even imagine or fathom (no pun intended).

4. Oceans are cool!

5. Sharks are the ultimate COOL!

What’s the point of all of this?

What happens to our oceans and their inhabitants happens to all of us. Oceans should matter to everyone.

Even people living in the middle of nowhere, a thousand miles from the nearest ocean.

Even people in Colorado.

Still not convinced?

I learned from a neat graphic I saw recently (written/compiled by Sam Polcer and Alician Buchl Perez) that the world’s largest shark sanctuary was recently established in the Marshall Islands in the Central Pacific. (Don’t have a clue where the Marshall Islands are? Look it up!)

Palau, a tiny island nation in the Pacific Ocean, 500 miles east of the Philippines and 2000(!) miles south of Tokyo, has 130 different species of sharks. Palau also has its own shark sanctuary.

According to this graphic, in Palau a single shark brings in an estimated $1.9 million to the tourist economy over the lifetime of the shark. Every year, shark ecotourism brings in $18 million to Palau making up 8% of the national Gross Domestic Product. Shark diving brings $24.7 million to Spain’s Canary Islands and $40 million to the Indo-Pacific region.

But sharks are caught and killed at an alarming rate solely to harvest the fins from which shark fin soup, an Asian delicacy, is made. What’s that shark worth once it’s caught and brought ashore? About $108.

$1.9 million vs. $108.

Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Oil and mining and drilling companies, politicians and their ilk spout as fact that conservation, responsible harvesting of our natural resources and the advancement of renewable forms of energy are bad for us and only cost money and destroy jobs. They keep telling us it’s good for all of us for them to harvest with impunity, destroy entire ecosystems, wipe entire species off the face of the Earth, drill and slash and mine and cut and dig as if there’s an endless supply and as if the destruction and use and misuse isn’t killing the entire world, including all of us.

And we, like sheep, BELIEVE THEM! (Insert head slap here)

But taking care of the Earth and its inhabitants (um, that would be YOU and ME) can only be good and beneficial and positive. For all of us. In so many ways.

So

Up with SHARKS!

Down with shark fin soup!

Pass it on!!

Seriously!

Besides…

…does anyone REALLY like shark fin soup?

Today is World Oceans Day. Celebrate oceans. Nurture them!  Protect them!

For more information about the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, please visit their website: http://www.noaa.org

For more information about Ocean Conservancy, please visit their website: www.oceanconservancy.org.

For more information about World Oceans Day, please visit their website at http://www.worldoceansday.org.

 

W

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Tetons with flowers

“Earth laughs in flowers.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Why does it seem that here in the U.S. the issue of climate change is a partisan thing, a ‘them vs. us’ thing, to some still invalid, unproven, unscientific.

Arguably 97% of the world’s scientists say it’s real, valid, scientifically proven.

If you’re not yet believing that climate change is true and real, please ask yourself which of the 3% of scientists are you believing and why?

Or which politicians and which companies?

Ask yourself why are these politicians and companies denying it and why are you still believing them?

Climate change is real.

It’s a ‘global’ thing.

It’s a ‘people’ thing.

It’s a ‘you ‘n’ me’ thing.

It’s a ‘survival’ thing.

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