Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!
YANGTZE RIVER DOLPHIN DECLARED EXTINCT
"China's Yangtze River dolphin, or baiji, has been declared extinct. As many as 6,000 dolphins plied the waters of the Yangtze in the 1950s. By the early 1980s only 400 baiji remained. The dolphin population declined to just 13 in 1997 and none have been seen since 2004. Scientists blame habitat destruction, illegal fishing, collisions with ships, and dam building for the extinction of what was once called the "goddess of the Yangtze."
The 20-million-year-old species is the first cetacean to be driven extinct unequivocally by humans. Many others are endangered or declining and will join the baiji if not more vigorously protected."
Endangered Earth Online, 28 Dec 2006
PLANET UNDER PRESSURE
"Several eminent scientists are concerned that we have become too successful - that the unprecedented human pressure on the Earth's ecosystems threatens our future as a species."
BBC News, Alex Kirby, 1 Oct 2004
ORGANIC FARMING MORE PRODUCTIVE
Organic farming results in a smaller yield than conventional agriculture, but is far more energy efficient and better for the land. Research published in the most recent issue of Science showed that organic farming is a viable alternative to conventional methods that are heavily reliant on pesticides and other chemical treatments. The findings are based on a study begun in 1978. The organic fields averaged 20 percent less yield, but used between 34 and 53 percent less fertilizer and energy, and 97 percent fewer pesticides. Per unit of energy, the organic systems produced more food, and the organic soils housed a larger and more diverse community of organisms. The scientists said they hoped their findings would encourage farmers to consider switching to organic agriculture.
BBC News, Alex Kirby, 30 May 2002
NAFTA BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation,
which was established to document the environmental impacts of
the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA), has released "The
North American Mosaic: A State of the Environment Report." The
report concludes that economic activity has had detrimental
environmental effects across the continent, increased greenhouse
gas emissions, a rise in air pollution, unacceptably high levels of
toxic chemicals, and declining health of biodiversity, forests,
agricultural systems and fisheries. One of the CEC's recommendations for correcting these problems is a move toward sustainable energy.
The full report is available at: http://www.cec.org/pubs_docs/documents/index.cfm?varlan=english&ID=629
A BETTER WAY: Why not a clean energy future?
"The Bush-Cheney energy task force all but ignored a U.S. Department of Energy report that concluded that improved efficiencies and renewable power could meet 60 percent of the nation's need for new electric power plants over the next two decades. Increasing the fuel efficiency of cars and SUVs by only 3 miles a gallon, for example, would save more oil within 10 years than could ever be extracted from the Arctic refuge. And scientists at the country's five national laboratories have concluded that a government-led efficiency program emphasizing new technologies could cut growth in electricity demand in half without sacrificing our quality of life."