Daily Archives: November 1, 2018

WWF report: Mass wildlife loss caused by human consumption – BBC News

Is your food destroying Brazil’s savanna?

30 October 2018

“Exploding human consumption” has caused a massive drop in global wildlife populations in recent decades, the WWF conservation group says.

In a report, the charity says losses in vertebrate species – mammals, fish, birds, amphibians and reptiles – averaged 60% between 1970 and 2014.

“Earth is losing biodiversity at a rate seen only during mass extinctions,” the WWF’s Living Planet Report adds.

It urges policy makers to set new targets for sustainable development.

The Living Planet Report, published every two years, aims to assess the state of the world’s wildlife.

The 2018 edition says only a quarter of the world’s land area is now free from the impact of human activity and the proportion will have fallen to just a 10th by 2050.

The change is being driven by ever-rising food production and increased demand for energy, land and water.

…(read more).

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The Cost Of Climate Change Across The Animal Kingdom | On Point

November 01, 2018

Guests:
Kerry Cesareo, spokesperson and vice president for forests at the World Wildlife Fund. (@World_Wildlife)

Maurice Tamman, reporter and editor on the enterprise journalism team for Reuters. (@motamman)

Brad Lister, professor of biological sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

From The Reading List

World Wildlife Fund: 2018 Living Planet Report

Reuters: “Ocean Shock: The climate crisis beneath the waves” — “To stand at the edge of an ocean is to face an eternity of waves and water, a shroud covering seven-tenths of the Earth.

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Oil, Power, and War: A Dark History: Matthieu Auzanneau

In this sweeping, unabashed history of oil, Matthieu Auzanneau takes a fresh, thought-provoking look at the way oil interests have commandeered politics and economies, changed cultures, disrupted power balances across the globe, and spawned wars. He upends commonly held assumptions about key political and financial events of the past 150 years, and he sheds light on what our oil-constrained and eventually post-oil future might look like.

Oil, Power, and War follows the oil industry from its heyday when the first oil wells were drilled to the quest for new sources as old ones dried up. It traces the rise of the Seven Sisters and other oil cartels and exposes oil’s key role in the crises that have shaped our times: two world wars, the Cold War, the Great Depression, Bretton Woods, the 2008 financial crash, oil shocks, wars in the Middle East, the race for Africa’s oil riches, and more. And it defines the oil-born trends shaping our current moment, such as the jockeying for access to Russia’s vast oil resources, the search for extreme substitutes for declining conventional oil, the rise of terrorism, and the changing nature of economic growth.

We meet a long line of characters from John D. Rockefeller to Dick Cheney and Rex Tillerson, and hear lesser-known stories like how New York City taxes were once funneled directly to banks run by oil barons. We see how oil and power, once they became inextricably linked, drove actions of major figures like Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, Hitler, Kissinger, and the Bushes. We also learn the fascinating backstory sparked by lesser-known but key personalities such as Calouste Gulbenkian, Abdullah al-Tariki, and Marion King Hubbert, the once-silenced oil industry expert who warned his colleagues that oil production was facing its peak.

Oil, Power, and War is a story of the dreams and hubris that spawned an era of economic chaos, climate change, war, and terrorism―as well as an eloquent framing from which to consider our options as our primary source of power, in many ways irreplacable, grows ever more constrained.

The book has been translated from the highly acclaimed French title, Or Noir.

The Bloody Illegal World of Sand Mining | Talking Pictures


Published on Jun 17, 2015 WIRED

Photographer Adam Ferguson documents the environmental and human costs of illegal sand mining in India where rapid growth fuels a sometimes violent black market for one of the most basic raw building materials.

Sand mining: the global environmental crisis you’ve never heard of | Citie s | The Guardian

A boat is stranded on the Poyang Lake in east China, site of one of the world’s biggest sand mines. Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft Images

Vince Beiser

Mon 27 Feb 2017 02.15 EST Last modified on Fri 11 May 2018 08.08 EDT

Times are good for Fey Wei Dong. A genial, middle-aged businessman based near Shanghai, China, Fey says he is raking in the equivalent of £180,000 a year from trading in the humblest of commodities: sand.

Fey often works in a fishing village on Poyang Lake, China’s biggest freshwater lake and a haven for millions of migratory birds and several endangered species. The village is little more than a tiny collection of ramshackle houses and battered wooden docks. It is dwarfed by a flotilla anchored just offshore, of colossal dredges and barges, hulking metal flatboats with cranes jutting from their decks. Fey comes here regularly to buy boatloads of raw sand dredged from Poyang’s bottom. He ships it 300 miles down the Yangtze River and resells it to builders in booming Shanghai who need it to make concrete.

…(read more)

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