Protecting the Australian Great Barrier Reef and the local coal industry: A tragedy of scale

1Graham H. Pyke

The Australian Great Barrier Reef (GBR), truly one of the wonders of the world, is threatened by ongoing anthropogenic climate change. Because of increasing levels of CO2 and other ‘greenhouse gases’ in the atmosphere, air and water temperatures are tending upwards. The increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is also leading to higher levels of acidity in the ocean. Increases in water temperature and acidity are both bad news for the corals that form the GBR. Read the rest of this entry

Monetary Code: Non-selectable Culture Code.

1Bryan Atkins

Survival is largely a function of processing complex network relationship-information with sufficient speed, accuracy, and power. Examples: a gazelle processing flight from a lioness; an immune system processing viral invaders; a nation state processing the development of an atomic bomb before its rival; or a culture processing its newly complex relationships with the atmosphere, carbon, methane, energy generation, agriculture, transportation, etc.   Read the rest of this entry

Pope Francis on Animal Liberation

A Parrot Trapped Outdoors in Wintery Warsaw, Poland | © M. C. Tobias

A Parrot Trapped Outdoors in Wintery Warsaw, Poland | © M. C. Tobias

Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison

Pope Francis’s “‘Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si’ Of The Holy Father Franciscus On Care For Our Common Home’” (“Given in Rome at Saint Peter’s on 24 May, the Solemnity of Pentecost, in the year 2015”), can easily be summarized by virtually any one segment of its 246 stanza entirety. We would suggest statement #71 as a fitting emblem:

  1. Although “the wickedness of man was great in the earth” (Gen 6:5) and the Lord “was sorry that he had made man on the earth” (Gen 6:6), nonetheless, through Noah, who remained innocent and just, God decided to open a path of salvation.[1]

Read the rest of this entry

Futureproofing America with a Yardfarming Revolution

Photo by Bob Nichols, USDA | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Bob Nichols, USDA | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Erik Assadourian and Cullen Pope

Yardfarmers is a new reality TV/documentary series hybrid for release in Spring 2017. The show will follow a diverse set of six young Americans (ages 21-29) as they move back home with their parents to become yardfarmers. Yardfarmers creator Erik Assadourian sat down with Cullen Pope, editor of EATT Magazine, a few weeks back and we wanted to repost the interview here. EATT Magazine shares stories about passionate, generous spirited people, and the journeys they make in our world and work to encourage more people to be a force for positive change, wherever they are. You can find out more about EATT Magazine, download their app, and listen to recent podcasts on their website.

Cullen Pope joined Erik Assadourian to ask him why in the world a sustainability researcher would jump into the baser world of reality TV.  Read the rest of this entry

Another Aussie Parrot at Risk

Male leaving the nest hole in the termite mound after feeding a chick, which can be seen in the  entrance to the cavity, which is deep enough for the young to retreat far inside | Photo by Paul R. Ehrlich

Male leaving the nest hole in the termite mound after feeding a chick, which can be seen in the
entrance to the cavity, which is deep enough for the young to retreat far inside | Photo by Paul R. Ehrlich

Paul R. Ehrlich, Christine L. Turnbull, Andrew J. Beattie, and Anne H. Ehrlich

In a previous post to the MAHB Blog the story of the endangered orange-bellied parrot of Tasmania was told. Another gorgeous Australian parrot is also in deep trouble, this time at the northern extreme of the continent. The golden-shouldered parrot is a denizen of Cape York, the northeastern tip of Australia, where it is now restricted to the eastern edge of its historic range on the peninsula, especially near Musgrave.   It nests in cavities excavated in termite mounds in tropical savannah woodland, when the mounds are soft after the rainy season, and both members of a pair feed the 3-6 young. Read the rest of this entry

The Sustainability Conundrum

Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig via Flickr | hikingartist.com | CC BY-ND 2.0

Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig via Flickr | hikingartist.com | CC BY-ND 2.0

Richard Hampton

Science is telling us that our world is in trouble. We have too many people consuming too much stuff. There is hope however, as humanity is slowly demonstrating a spontaneous propensity towards developing the behavioral adaptations necessary to reach a sustainable population and a respect for nature that could enable human civilization to persist.

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This is My Earth: Crowdsourcing Biodiversity Conservation

123Alon Tal

On June 12th, the International Union for Conservation of Nature released its most recent inventory about mammal populations. The news was mixed:  it is encouraging that a few predator species appear to be rebounding in the U.S. and Europe. But the numbers in Africa remain profoundly discouraging.   There are now “77,340 assessed species” on the IUCN Red List; 22,784 are “threatened with extinction”.  In 85% of the cases, habitat loss remains the driver behind this astonishing obliteration.   Read the rest of this entry

Inoculating against science denial

Photo from NIAID via Flickr | CC BY

Photo from NIAID via Flickr | CC BY

John Cook

Science denial has real, societal consequences. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS led to more than 330,000 premature deaths in South Africa. Denial of the link between smoking and cancer has caused millions of premature deaths. Thanks to vaccination denial, preventable diseases are making a comeback. Read the rest of this entry

Dancing Star Foundation President Michael Charles Tobias, in a Discussion About the Fate of the Earth

1Geoffrey Holland and Michael Charles Tobias

This is a personal dialogue between Emmy Award writer/producer and author of The Hydrogen Age, Geoffrey Holland, and Michael Charles Tobias, PhD, one of the world’s most influential ecologists. He is a prolific author, filmmaker, and lecturer. In a career to date spanning 45 years, and as President of Dancing Star Foundation for 16 of those years, Tobias’ work has taken him to nearly 100 countries, where his field research has resulted in some 50 books and 150 films that have been read or viewed throughout the world. He was the 62nd recipient of the Courage of Conscience Award, and is an honorary Member of the Club of Budapest. Tobias is best known for such works as his massive tome, World War III: Population and the Biosphere at the End of the Millennium, and with his partner Jane Gray Morrison, the ten hour dramatic mini-series, Voice of the Planet. Read the rest of this entry

The Squirrel Factor

Squirrel in Toronto, Ontario by Ilan Kelman

Squirrel in Toronto, Ontario by Ilan Kelman

Ilan Kelman

On 21 October 2014, parts of Providence, Rhode Island experienced a blackout for two hours. Local media reported that a squirrel entered a power station and became a conductor, knocking out electricity. Read the rest of this entry

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