Posts Tagged ‘Ecology’

Posted: November 11, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Read of the day:

“Each of us arises in conjunction with others, dependent on and inseparable from those others. Trying to locate an inviolate particle of selfhood within anyone (or indeed, in any living thing) is not like finding a solid pit inside an apricot. It is more like peeling an onion: we are layers within layers, with nothing at the centre. Or, like an eddy in a river, each of us can be identified and pointed to, but nonetheless, there isn’t any persistent ‘us’: just a constantly moving pattern of flow, with everyone composed entirely of non-self stuff, all of it passing through. For Buddhists and ecologists alike, we are all created from spare parts scavenged from the same cosmic junk-heap, from which ‘our’ component atoms and molecules are on temporary loan, and to which they will eventually be recycled.”

David Barash – Buddhist ecology

Posted: October 23, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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David Haskell, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist at the University of the South, is taking me through part of the 13,000 acres owned by the university, to a small circle of forest floor a bit over a yard in diameter. He visited this randomly chosen forest “mandala,” as he calls it, many times over the course of a year and recorded his observations in “The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature.”

He is pointing out flowers, salamanders, insects, trees, as we follow a well-worn hiking path, and stops for a moment to listen. These are swamp cicadas, he says, not the kind that hatch all at once after years underground and hammer the ear mercilessly.

“Was it last year or the year before we had the 13-year cicadas?” he says. “I took my sound pressure meter down to a place where they were really loud, and it came to over 90 decibels. At 85 OSHA says you need hearing protection in your workplace.

“Everybody else hates them.”

But to him, the noise is biological alchemy, sunlight into sound. “These guys have been feeding on roots for 13 years. And so it’s 13 years of combined Tennessee forest productivity being blasted out.”

Posted: July 25, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Americans do weird things with animals. Perhaps our imperious stance toward other species and the rest of the living world grows out of the same sensibility embodied in the 19th-century ideology of Manifest Destiny, invoked to justify unbounded American expansionism. Today, with our having achieved geopolitical dominance, the ethos persists in our drive to conquer nature. More habitats must be bulldozed, more wetlands repurposed, more wilderness plundered in the name of American progress. We have a dysfunctional and sometimes paranoid compulsion to disarm the threat we see emanating from nature as other. Consciously or subconsciously, our cultural exploitation of animals often facilitates this agenda of disempowering the nonhuman realm. We seem to embrace Freud’s expression that a civilized society is one in which “wild and dangerous animals have been exterminated.” (via Vengeful Tiger, Glowing Rabbit – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Posted: July 24, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Protected pockets of ocean that are off limits to fishing, known as marine reserves, help entire ecosystems bounce back after an environmental disaster, new research shows. Researchers studying abalones found that after a mass mortality of marine life in the waters off Baja California, Mexico, egg production of pink abalones was cut in half in fishing areas but increased by 40 percent in the marine reserves. Further, a significant amount of larvae spilled over into unprotected areas open to fishing, which helped them rebound more quickly, according to findings reported in the journal PLos One. The study, which began in 2006, used data from abalone fishing areas around Isla Natividad, Mexico, including new marine reserves that were hard hit in both 2009 and 2010 by hypoxic events, episodes of low dissolved oxygen in seawater that weaken and kill marine life. (via – Eco-disaster: Reserves help oceans recover)

Posted: July 16, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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500 mile range electric car being developed in DenmarkDanish electric car maker ECOmove is developing a 500 mile range electric car based on the company’s QBEAK electric city car, a car that already has an impressive 180 mile electric driving range. (via 500 mile range electric car being developed in Denmark)

IT’S past time to tell the truth about the state of the world’s coral reefs, the nurseries of tropical coastal fish stocks. They have become zombie ecosystems, neither dead nor truly alive in any functional sense, and on a trajectory to collapse within a human generation. There will be remnants here and there, but the global coral reef ecosystem — with its storehouse of biodiversity and fisheries supporting millions of the world’s poor — will cease to be. Overfishing, ocean acidification and pollution are pushing coral reefs into oblivion. Each of those forces alone is fully capable of causing the global collapse of coral reefs; together, they assure it. The scientific evidence for this is compelling and unequivocal, but there seems to be a collective reluctance to accept the logical conclusion — that there is no hope of saving the global coral reef ecosystem.

A World Without Coral Reefs –

Posted: June 27, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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(via MediaFuturist: Just found this nice illustration of one of my key themes)