PROLOGUE: In the following article the author discusses 'hunting' in its mixed form of wildlife management and as form of land-use with extra sales of trophy animals within a very confined geographical area, where consumptive wildlife utilization has existed for hundreds of years based on private ownership of large territory and the right to 'own' the wildlife in it. This form of game ranching replaced the nowadays less profitable sheep-herding that caused together with excessive timber-cutting for ship-building much of the destruction of the originally forested highlands. His conclusion for Scotland, where reafforestation has been given now a higher priority, is not necessarily applicable in other eco-regions, where different parameters are given.
I shot a deer – and I still believe it was the ethical thing to do
Between kill nothing and kill almost everything lies the pragmatic aim of maximising diversity and abundance on Earth
It was a protest against me. But I sympathised with the demonstrators, who gathered outside the theatre where I was speaking last week to call me a killer. I didn’t dispute their claim. I am a killer.
While making Apocalypse Cow, a film for Channel 4 about how we should feed ourselves without destroying the world, I shot a deer. If it helps (though it didn’t help the deer), I hated every minute of it, from picking up the rifle and learning to use it, to finding and stalking the innocent animal, then shooting it through the chest from 180 metres, watching it rear into the air, stumble, spasm and die. It was a gruesome, horrible experience.
UNESCO is supposed to be about cultural preservation. Toward the end of last year, its in-house magazine nevertheless published a special issue on climate change.
The official editorial employs the usual cliches. Catastrophic consequences. The “greatest global challenge of our times.” Blah, blah.
Hilariously, this editorial implies that, without a UN plan, the planet simply won’t survive. Earth to UNESCO: could we spend five minutes talking about how the UN has failed – tragically and comprehensively – to save Haiti?
That nation has less than 12 million people. It’s slightly smaller than the US state of Maryland. Because it comprises half of an island, its borders are well-defined. The UN has been a significant presence there since 2004, yet Haiti remains a basket case.
UPDATE 20.02.2020:As RCMP remain on Wet'suwet'en Territory the call for solidarity actions continues!
There is still an extreme RCMP presence on Wet’suwet’en land. We expect them to heavily guard and facilitate CGL access to unceded territories without Free, Prior and Informed consent from the Hereditary Chiefs. That is a declaration of war. The eviction notice to CGL given on January 4th, 2020 still stands and will continue to be enforced with the full power and jurisdiction under Wet’suwet’en law. We encourage all supporters to stand strong in solidarity with this struggle. It is far from over. Hereditery Chiefs traveled to the Mowhawk blockade to thank the communities holding down the rail blockades in solidarity with their demands. With the BC and Federal government refusing to meet the demands of the Hereditary chiefs, the need for solidarity action and pressure continues. ICC MUST INDICT ELIZABETH II AND JUSTIN TRUDEAU.
There is a lot of obfuscation and sloganeering about the Canada wide protests in support of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation of British Columbia and their resistance to corporate and governmental greed in pushing a natural gas pipeline through their traditional territory.
Last night (Monday, February 17, 2020) a CBC reporter cited – and probably paraphrased closely – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as saying his “most important relationship is with indigenous people.”
This morning I Iistened to parts of the press conference with the indigenous First Nations leaders and then listened to the Parliamentary leaders make their comments the House of Commons.
About 100 000 children in and around the national parks of Gonarezhou in Zimbabwe and Limpopo in Mozambique are being educated through the Peace and Changemaker Generation project to appreciate wildlife conservation efforts and to take a stand against wildlife crime.
The project also promotes girls’ rights in their communities as part of wider efforts to strengthen the two countries’ efforts to combat wildlife trafficking.
The project is a partnership between the World Children’s Prize Foundation and Peace Parks Foundation and is implemented in Zimbabwe by Shamwari Yemwanasikana, Gonarezhou Conservation Trust and Chilojo Club, in conjunction with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
I have written for years on the effort of European countries to expand their crackdown on free speech globally through restrictions on social media and Internet speech. It appears that Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has relented in what may prove the death knell for free speech in the West.
Zuckerberg seems to relent in asking governments for regulations stipulating what speech will be permitted on Facebook and other platforms. It is the ultimate victory of France, Germany, and England in their continuing attack on free expression though hate speech laws and speech regulation.
Zuckerberg told an assembly of Western leaders Saturday at the Munich Security Conference that:
A jury on Saturday awarded US$ 250 million in punitive damages to a southeastern Missouri peach farmer who argued that weedkiller dicamba that had drifted onto his orchards from other farms had severely damaged his trees — an award that could bode well for over 140 other farmers suing the chemical’s makers – BAYER (Monsanto) and BASF.
The punitive damages awarded to farmer Bill Bader, of Campbell, came a day after the jury awarded him $15 million in actual damages, agreeing with his argument that dicamba had drifted over from other farms and severely damaged Bader Farms, which is one of the largest peach farms in Missouri. Bader’s attorneys argued that his trees likely wouldn’t survive the dicamba exposure, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
UPDATE 18. February 2020: As Protests supporting Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs continue House of Commons holds emergency debate over rail blockades and slam absent Trudeau over inaction (see underneath).
Indigenous land conflicts to persist unless sovereignty addressed, Wilson-Raybould says
Jody Wilson-Raybould said protests like the dispute over a pipeline development in the ancestral Wet’suwet’en territory will happen again unless the Canadian government actively works towards addressing Indigenous sovereignty.
“This situation that we’re seeing in Wet’suwet’en territory, as we’ve seen in other territories around major resource development projects, are going to continue to happen until we address the fundamental underlying reality and of the inherent right of self-government of Indigenous Peoples and ensure that Indigenous Peoples can finally make their way and see themselves in our constitutional framework,” she said in an interview with Global News Ottawa Bureau Chief Mercedes Stephenson on Sunday’s episode of The West Block.
Worldwide Solidarity with Indigenous Uprising in Canada
By Defenders Consortium - 16. February 2020
Blockades have caused over 60 shipping vessels to be stalled on the coast of so called British Columbia.
New Rail Blockades being held with mass numbers started today in Vancouver and Toronto.
Marc Miller, current Minister of Indigenous Services is on location and beginning talks in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, pursuant to the Haudenousanee Silver Covenant Chain.
As people hold it down in the streets Wet'suwet'en on the front line are holding healing ceremony today traveling to each camp that was raided by the RCMP.
The Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs have reaffirmed their commitment to enforce the eviction of Coastal Gas Link, and the pressure for the RCMP to leave Wet'suwet'en territories is only building as protests and rail blockades proliferate across the country.
The Amazon tends to evoke an Edenic vision—of a mysterious and impenetrable land, pregnant with beasts from jaguars to anacondas, rich with undiscovered flora. But parts of it are incongruous with this reputation, where big rig trucks rumble past dilapidated, grime-covered gas stations, and where land once thick with brambly trees and the promise of jungle adventure has become cattle pasture or soy field.
We are traveling on a road unimaginatively named BR-163. Pull up Google Maps and zoom in to the state of Mato Grosso, and find the thin strand of highway wending up across the state. Branching out are perpendicular brown lines, all of them unmistakably cleared land, cutting into and contrasting with the dark green forest. This highway is where agriculture and the Amazon jungle meet.
The Power of the ‘Pale Blue Dot’ Three Decades Later
The spacecraft that captured the famous, fuzzy photo grows weaker each year, but the image still soothes.
By Marina Koren - 14. February 2020
Thirty years ago, a spacecraft, bound for the edges of the solar system, turned back toward Earth and took a picture.
The image, shown below, came to be known as “Pale Blue Dot.” It was captured on February 14, 1990, by Voyager 1, a robotic explorer built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The spacecraft had flown past Jupiter and Saturn and sent beautiful close-ups and exciting scientific data back to Earth. After Saturn, the spacecraft was destined to spend its remaining years in deep space.
In the span of human life, Mozambique’s majestic Gorongosa National Park has flipped: From wildlife haven to killing ground, to sacred ground of peacemaking and recovery.
This past week, as African Heads of State gathered in Addis Ababa to evaluate progress towards “silencing the guns” and creating an environment conducive to development, Gorongosa stands as both a warning sign and a symbol of hope.
Battles waged in Gorongosa during Mozambique’s 1977-1992 civil war left millions of people dead or wounded. The civil war also ruined the ecosystem and killed 90 per cent of elephants, buffaloes, zebras, and wildebeest as soldiers poached them for money or slaughtered them for meat. At the war’s end, just 15 buffaloes and 100 hippos survived. A few lions also remained.
Species are being lost at about a thousand times the natural rate of extinction. This is faster than at any other period in human history. Ecosystems — the vital systems on which all life depends — are being degraded across the globe.
This crisis of biodiversity loss is finally getting some attention. But its connection to another loss – that of indigenous cultures – is rarely mentioned. From animals to insects and plants, biodiversity loss cannot be effectively addressed without tackling the rapid disappearance of indigenous cultures. The two are inextricably linked.
Indigenous peoples have conserved biodiversity for millennia. They have created much of the world’s agricultural biodiversity, including thousands of crop varieties, livestock breeds and unique landscapes.
Prologue: There are still presumably innocent wildlife researchers, wrongly caught in between the dirty games of the power-players, rotting in Iranian jails and need to be freed, but first of all the USA must change its foreign policy towards Iran before any environmental work and international cooperation can resume in the important ecosystems of the country. The ongoing security conference in Munich should much more focus on the alleviation of people out of their suffering in all these US-led conflicts than on the traditional geopolitics.
On Bombing Cultural Heritage Sites, Drone Assassinations, and Spirituality
By Prof. Valeria Z. Nollan - 14. February 2020
Pres. Donald Trump’s threat to the Iranian government to bomb fifty-two designated cultural sites in that country was shocking and disturbing, for myriad reasons.[i] The specific number of fifty-two in his tweet of January 4, 2020, pointedly reminds us of the Americans taken hostage by student revolutionaries during what came to be called the Iran-Contra Affair; the hostage crisis ended on Jan. 21, 1981 when the Americans were freed.[ii] Trump’s reference to the tragic situation of those hostages, however, fails to mention the thirty-seven years of misery and terror (1941-1979) that Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi imposed on the Iranian people—which would at least provide a context for why the hostages were taken in the first place.
UPDATE 01. March 2020: See update underneath: ... 'the journalist who wouldn’t stay quiet on Covid-19'
UPDATE 25. February 2020: ECOTERRA Intl. has declared all Chinese officials and their vassals or affiliates persona non-grata on all their entity or member premises as well as on all entity or project territories until all the journalists and witnesses - disappeared by forces at the hands of 'authorities' - are freed. We have stopped purchasing any Chinese goods.
UPDATE 18. February 2020 - 22h37 UTC:Dr. Liu Zhiming, Director of the Wuchang Hospital in China died. "Unfortunately he became infected and passed away at 10:54 Tuesday morning at the age of 51 after all-out efforts to save him failed" reported the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission. A medical colleague said that the chief doctor was in good health and did not expect to die from COVID-19. COVID-19 until now allegedly claimed 2,007 deaths - except 5 still all deaths occurred in China - with 75,132 clinically diagnosed (but not necessarily confirmed by lab-tests) total infection cases, of which most (74,133) occurred in China and less than 999 cases (542 from the cruiseship Diamond Princess) in 28 other countries. By now 16,126 cases are closed (14,119 recovered) and 59,006 cases are active. COVID-19 seems to infect and affect almost solely Far-Eastern genotypes and kill mostly the elderly over 60 with other ailments. Despite the intransparent number-games and still increasing case numbers, the epidemic as such appears to decline in China. However, the Orwellian Games have been stepped up and around 150 Million Chinese are now under lock-down restrictions. For the Communist governance of China these around 10% of the total population is the ideal size for their Big Brother exercise.
UPDATE 16. February 2020 - 23h06 UTC: COVID-19 until now allegedly claimed 1,770 deaths - except 5 still all deaths occurred in China (first death in Taiwan) - with 71,323 clinically diagnosed (but not necessarily confirmed by lab-tests) total infection cases, of which most (70,542) occurred in China and less than 781 cases in 28 other countries (increase due to the new reports from the cruise ship detained by Japan, which had as foreseen turned into an infection hub; first case from UAE, which is a travel hub for Africa, where the sole case was confirmed from Egypt). By now 12,660 cases are closed (10,890 recovered) and 58,663 cases are active. COVID-19 seems to infect and affect almost solely Far-Eastern genotypes and kill mostly the elderly - however the massive daily cremations in China are not independently observed. With Daily Cases Growth Factor and Daily Death Growth Factor believed both to be below 1.0 the danger of the epidemic appears to decline. The USA has now finally resorted to evacute their around 400 citizens from the cruise ship Diamond Princess into own quarantine facilities. On mainland China millions of Chinese and foreigners are forced by the Orwellian state to stay permanently indoors in all larger cities, while breakers of the 24h curfew are immediately arrested and disappeared.
Second Citizen Journalist ‘Vanishes’ After Filming Coronavirus Epidemic in Wuhan
By ODN - 13. February 2020
A second citizen journalist reporting on the coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan has disappeared, amid tightening controls on information in China.
Activists say Wuhan resident Fang Bin, a seller of traditional Chinese clothing, stopped posting videos or responding to calls after his phone was powered off.
Fang had published videos online of Wuhan’s overcrowded hospitals and footage showing bodies in a van outside a hospital in the city waiting to be taken to a crematorium.
Another citizen journalist and lawyer, Chen Qiushi, had gone missing a few days before.
This comes after the outrage caused by the death of Li Wenliang, the Wuhan doctor who tried to raise the alarm about the new virus.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – Nils Melzer - and the working group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances as as well as the working group on Arbitrary Detention should immediately start investigating these cases and the general situation in China, where under the disguise of measures against the coronavirus epidemic serious human rights abuses are carried out and observed.
On the face of it, the task seems almost hopeless. As Tolstoy wrote:
‘The power of the government is maintained by public opinion, and with this power the government, by means of its organs – its officials, law courts, schools, churches, even the press – can always maintain the public opinion which they need.’ (Leo Tolstoy, ‘Writings on Non-Violence and Civil Disobedience,’ New Society Publishers, 1987, p.111)