Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

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From the Environment News Service (ENS)


CANBERRA, Australia, December 20, 2007 (ENS) – With less than three weeks in office, the new Australian government is planning diplomatic and legal action against Japan’s so-called “research” whaling. Much Japanese whaling takes place in the Australian Whale Sanctuary in the Southern Ocean, where the Japanese whaling fleet is right now, pursuing whales.


ROME, Italy, December 20, 2007 (ENS) – Improved irrigation practices in Asia could reduce the high levels of arsenic found in rice, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, said Wednesday, warning of the increased food safety risk posed by the toxic substance.


NEW YORK, New York, December 20, 2007 (ENS) – Conservationists estimate that today 5,000 tigers remain in the wild, down from 100,000 tigers that inhabited Asia alone just 150 years ago. Now, a new study
of the potential for tigers to survive in Thailand has hope soaring that the endangered big cats may not be headed for extinction.

Cloned Animals to be Tracked for Food Processors

Million Tons of CO2 Will Be Injected Under Illinois

Off Road Vehicle Damage Closes North Carolina Trails

Winter Forecast Shows Little Drought Relief for Southeast

Bacteria Keep Undersea Methane Out of the Atmosphere

Colorado Water District Ordered to Restore River

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Whalers to be tracked

The Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, set his country on a diplomatic collision course with Japan yesterday amid reports that he plans to send an armed vessel to monitor a whaling expedition to the Southern Ocean.

Japan’s annual scientific hunt plans to slaughter more than 1,000 whales in the area this year, but it is the plan to kill 50 humpbacks – a protected species – that has most angered anti-whaling nations….

Whalers to be tracked | Environment | The Guardian

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A Last Warning on Global Warming

By Bryan Walsh

The language of science, like that of the United Nations, is by nature cautious and measured. That makes the dire tone of the just-released final report from the fourth assessment of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a network of thousands of international scientists, all the more striking. Global warming is “unequivocal.” Climate change will bring “abrupt and irreversible changes.” The report, a synthesis for politicians culled from three other IPCC panels convened throughout the year, read like what it is: a final warning to humanity. “Today the world’s scientists have spoken clearly, and with one voice,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, who attended the publication of the report in Valencia, Spain. Climate change “is the defining challenge of our age.” Continue reading

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Japanese Whalers Set Sail Again — The Slaughter Continues

The Fisheries Agency, a small government bureaucracy with control of whaling policy, sees itself as Japan’s defender against Western “culinary imperialism” and its right to marine resources. The agency says Japan’s low food self-sufficiency – less than 40 per cent – gives it the right to hunt all sustainable sea life, including whales.

What’s the matter with these people?  They’re supposed to be civilized!

A political brawl for meat they don’t even want to eat – Independent Online Edition > Asia

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Environment — The Christian Science Monitor

The politics of ethanol outshine its costs
Despite higher food prices and environmental damage, it’s warmly embraced in Congress.
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In Maryland, sea slowly claims a historic island
water levels in the Chesapeake Bay rising an inch per decade, Smith
Island has lost more than 3,200 of its 11,000 acres over the past 150
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How to fight a rising sea
What the Netherlands has done – and is urgently planning to do
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Climate summary fuels worry
the pending release of a new global-warming report, environmentalists,
politicians, and scientists wrangle in Spain for consensus.
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A melting Alaska draws visitors
Warming five times faster than the rest of the world, the state is seeing ecotourism change with the climate.
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Oil-spill helpers galore, but limits on their use
58,000 gallons of oil spilled into the San Francisco Bay last Wednesday
volunteers came out of the woodwork, but officials were unprepared for
their help.
Read More …

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. . . imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.

~ Douglas Adams, as quoted in Richard Dawkins’ Eulogy for Douglas Adams

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Cats Harbor Secret Plan to Turn Us Into Litter-Scooping Robots

I already have an automatic water dispenser for the cats, and I’m thoughtfully eyeing one of those elaborate automatic self-cleaning litter boxes that scoops, flushes and sprays its interior with the delicate scent of live mice, the better to make it not just a litter box, but a space to exist. It occurs to me that with the proper application of money and floor space, you can get machines to take on most of the duties incumbent upon the cat owner.

For instance, any number of electronic cat toys will whip a fuzzy thing around so you can watch Best Week Ever without having to move any part of your body. Better yet, they make actual electronic mice. When I get that time machine working, I’m going to go back to colonial times and explain to a farmer that in the future, we go to the store and buy artificial vermin. I’m sure he’ll enjoy thinking about that when he’s not busy watching locusts eat his crops or burying his children.   Continue reading…


Florida-Size Arctic Ice Melts in Week

Currently, there are about 1.63 million square miles of Arctic ice, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. That is well below the record of 2.05 million square miles set two summers ago and could drop lower before the final numbers are in.

ABC News: Florida-Size Arctic Ice Melts in Week