Each week we post links to news about humane education & humane living, and items connected to humane issues, from human rights to environmental preservation, to animal protection, to media, consumerism and culture.
New report asserts that significant action against climate change is needed, or “much of civilization will collapse” - Independent (UK) (7/13/09)
”The immediate problems are rising food and energy prices, shortages of water and increasing migrations ‘due to political, environmental and economic conditions’, which could plunge half the world into social instability and violence. And organised crime is flourishing, with a global income estimated at $3 trillion – twice the military budgets of all countries in the world combined. The effects of climate change are worsening – by 2025 there could be three billion people without adequate water as the population rises still further. And massive urbanisation, increased encroachment on animal territory, and concentrated livestock production could trigger new pandemics.”
Thanks, Common Dreams, for the heads up.
Consequences linger, months after coal ash spill - CNN.com (7/13/09)
”But locals say they want more than cleanup. They want answers about their health problems. ‘TVA is denying health issues, yet they tell us 'don't breathe it, don't touch it, don't let kids near it,' ‘ McCoin said. ‘I know darn well that stuff's hazardous, and you know what, they know it too,’ McCoin said.”
More people eschewing bottled water; how to tell your tap water is safe – Boston.com (7/12/09)
”Thanks to the recession and growing concern about plastic water bottles in landfills, tap water is suddenly chic -- more chic than it’s been since the first little green Perrier bottles landed in North America in 1976. Sure, by some estimates, Americans spent more than $11 billion on bottled water in 2008, but that figure represents a slight decline in sales, the first drop in more than a decade.”
Does living in a racist society make African Americans sick? – Alternet (7/11/09)
”Her own complex explanation for what's happening — the weathering framework — rests on two unexpected, controversial causes: racism and stress, in the broadest senses of both terms. American minorities face a bevy of chronic obstacles that whites and the socioeconomically advantaged cope with far less often: environmental pollution, high crime, poor health care, overt racism, concentrated poverty. Over the course of a person's life, the psychological and physiological response to this kind of stress leads to dire health problems, advanced aging and early death.”
800,000 chickens die in fire; financial impact “minimal” – KFDA News (7/10/09)
”Cal-Maine foods estimates four hen layer houses were destroyed and a fifth has severe smoke damage. 800,000 birds died in the fire that started Thursday evening after five….Cal-Maine says the financial impact of the fire will be minimal.”
Rhino poaching on the rise, devastating rhino population – Guardian (UK) (7/10/09)
”Poachers in Africa and Asia are killing rhinos at an alarming rate to meet the demand for rhino horns, which are believed to have medicinal value in some countries. According to new research, the level of rhino poaching is about to hit a 15 year high, and is ‘the worst rhino poaching we have seen in many years.’"
Empowering women key to sustainable human population? (Opinion) - Christian Science Monitor (7/10/09)
”In the US, which spends about 17 cents per dollar of economic activity on healthcare, nearly half of all pregnancies is unintended. Yet in all nations in which a choice of contraceptives is available, backed up by safe abortion services, women have one or two children. Combine such services with education for girls and decent opportunities for women, and average global fertility would fall below two.”
More parents rethinking spendy items for kids - New York Times (7/9/09)
”Such consciousness is championed by those who have long protested the encroachment of consumerism into parenting. Until recently, children in America received, on average, 70 new toys a year, Ms. Linn said. She calls the recession an opportunity to have a conversation with children about the rampant spending on their behalf. Marketers, she said, ‘use fear to make parents buy things they really don’t need. We are not going to live sustainably in a culture that is built on excessive consumption.’”
In Afghanistan, women’s rights declining, violence increasing – The Independent (UK) (7/9/09)
"’Despite a number of significant advances in terms of the creation of new legislation and institutions, there is a chronic failure at all levels of government to advance the protection of women's rights in Afghanistan,’ [Navi Pillay] added. Ms Pillay said attacks on girls' schools and female pupils threaten to have a ‘devastating long-term impact’ on Afghan women getting involved in their society.”
Invasive species flourishing in U.S. - AP (7/9/09)
”From a mysterious fungus attacking bats in the Northeast to zebra mussels in the Great Lakes and snakehead fish in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, native wildlife is facing new threats nationwide.”
“Watching whales watching us” – New York Times (7/8/09)
“’I don’t anthropomorphize,’ Frohoff told me. ‘I leave it to other people to do that. What I do is study gray whales using the same rigorous methodologies that have long been used to study the behaviors of other species and interspecies interaction. Those who would reject out of hand the idea that whales are intelligent enough to consciously interact with us haven’t spent enough time around whales.’”
A carbon cap for every person? - Newsweek (7/7/09)
”Instead of assigning limits based on a country's overall emissions, the focus should be on the highest emitters, no matter where they're located, argue lead author Shoibal Chakravarty, of Princeton University, and several colleagues. ‘Half of all emissions,’ Chakravarty says, ‘come from about 10 percent of the world's population.’ More of them are obviously in industrial countries, but, says Massimo Tavoni, another coauthor, ‘there are also people in China who drive Ferraris and fly a lot.’ So in this proposed new scheme, they write, ‘All of the world's high-CO2-emitting individuals are treated the same, regardless of where they live.’"
Elephants relocated to reserve after violent conflicts with Malawi villagers – Telegraph (UK) (7/7/09)
"’Moving the elephants was, without argument, the only solution to a terrible situation for both the elephants and the community.’ The elephant evacuation took a month to complete at a cost of £200,000 and is believed to be the biggest ever deliberate mass relocation of the animals. It followed years of conflict between the elephants and their human neighbours near the town of Mangochi in southern Malawi.”
Can college roommates of different races help reduce prejudice? – New York Times (7/7/09)
“’Just having diversity in classrooms doesn’t do anything to increase interracial friendships,’ said Claudia Buchmann, an associate professor of sociology at Ohio State and an author of the Duke study. ‘But the intimacy of living together in residence halls, with no roommate, or a different-race roommate, does lead to more interracial friendships.’”
Thanks, Greater Good Blog, for the heads up.
Quality of federal “organic” standards in question – Washington Post (7/3/09)
”Under the original organics law, 5 percent of a USDA-certified organic product can consist of non-organic substances, provided they are approved by the National Organic Standards Board. That list has grown from 77 to 245 substances since it was created in 2002. Companies must appeal to the board every five years to keep a substance on the list, explaining why an organic alternative has not been found. The goal was to shrink the list over time, but only one item has been removed so far.”
Thanks, Treehugging Family, for the heads up.