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General News    H2'ed 9/13/08

I love a planet with a happy atmosphere

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The newspapers and TV like natural disasters. They provide countless emotional and on the whole, non-controversial scenes (with the exception of New Orleans as the Bush administration seems capable of making anything controversial with the way they handle things) and keep people glued to the news.

Also, there is never any need to provide context and background for natural disasters and most of the major media excels at missing out context and background (Palestine, Northern Ireland etc etc).

Over the summer there were 2 major natural disasters - the Chinese earthquake and the Burmese storm. Both tragedies rightly received a lot of coverage.

But there is another disaster underway and it is anything but natural. It can't easily be cut into two minute sections for news reports.

It is hard to find an exact location for where it is happening and the fact that there are several causes makes it difficult for reporters to isolate it from the larger story that surrounds it.

I am referring to this from the BBC...

Wildlife populations 'plummeting'

Between a quarter and a third of the world's wildlife has been lost since 1970, according to data compiled by the Zoological Society of London.

Sorry, wait a minute, let me run that by you again...

Between a quarter and a third of the world's wildlife has been lost since 1970, according to data compiled by the Zoological Society of London.

One more time. I just want to be sure you are clear on this...

Between a quarter and a third of the world's wildlife has been lost since 1970, according to data compiled by the Zoological Society of London.

The story continues...

Populations of land-based species fell by 25%, marine by 28% and freshwater by 29%, it says.

Humans are wiping out about 1% of all other species every year, and one of the "great extinction episodes" in the Earth's history is under way, it says.

Now this is a major major crisis, what is causing all of this?

Pollution, farming and urban expansion, over-fishing and hunting are blamed.

Ok, so 5 reasons are given. Here are some 'highlights' from the rest of it before I come back to that..

The Living Planet Index, compiled by the society in partnership with the wildlife group WWF, tracks the fortunes of more than 1,400 species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, using scientific publications and online databases.

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Scotland's Michael Greenwell has worked, at various times, as a university tutor, a barman, a DJ ("not a very good one," he clarifies), an office lackey, supermarket worker, president of a small charity, a researcher, a librarian, a volunteer worker in Nepal during the civil war there, and "some other things that were too tedious to mention." Nowadays, he explains, "I am always in (more...)
 
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I love a planet with a happy atmosphere

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