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Empowering the Environmental Sustainability Movement
Bright green environmental analysis by Dr. Glen Barry highlighting severity of global ecological crises and rigorous biocentric responses for global ecological sustainability
November 10, 2013
ALERT! Given Typhoon #Haiyan, UN Must Fully Assess Climate Change Risk and Feedbacks
Typhoon Haiyan, believed to be the biggest storm on record to make landfall, clearly demonstrates the risk posed by extreme super storms intensified by abrupt climate change. Yet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the United Nations science body that assesses the state of climate science – is failing to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment that takes into account amplifying positive feedbacks and worse case scenarios. Without such a transparent and comprehensive climate risk assessment, that is free of government interference, the world finds it difficult to assess climate risk and is unlikely to embrace urgent emissions cuts, protect and restore ecosystems, and implement a global carbon tax. Demand such reforms at the IPCC.
October 20, 2013
ESSAY: Ecology Is the Meaning of Life
Naturally evolved ecosystems are marvels that make Earth habitable, yet sadly they and all life are threatened
Ultimately, all humanity and all life have is the biosphere, the thin layer of life just above and below Earth’s surface, composed of ancient, miraculously evolved natural ecosystems. The natural Earth is a marvel – a complex coupling of species within ecosystems, whereby life begets life.
Ecology is far more than the study of life and its environment. The word is used here as a synonym for ecosystems – the vibrant connections that emerge between species across scales, which cumulatively make life on Earth possible.
Nature is far, far more than pretty plants and animals. Ecosystems make Earth habitable, providing water, food, air, shelter, and more – everything that we need and desire to live well. In naturally evolved ecosystems, from genes to individual organisms and species, to ecosystems and everything else in between, each living being present fulfills a niche which sustains itself, its neighbors, and the whole.
All species uniquely express evolutionary brilliance and have a purpose, a reason for being, a right to exist, and are necessary to maintain life’s full potential. From the lowly worm to soaring eagles, to the human race – all naturally evolved life has value and relies upon all the rest. Even seemingly noxious disease organisms and man-eating predators have a role to play in maintaining ecological balance.
The Earth as a whole is a living organism, similar biologically to a cell, plant, animal, or ecosystem. Without large intact ecosystems, Earth becomes uninhabitable. Yet sadly, she is being murdered by industrial human growth at the expense of ecosystems. Past certain planetary boundary conditions, like any life, Earth can die.
The vibrant mélange of life found in natural ecosystems is godlike in its all-embracing nurturing. Ecology is the meaning of life.
September 29, 2013
ALERT! Stop Tar Sands Ecocide, Block Canada's Energy East Pipeline
Canadian tar sands [search] production, transport, and consumption represent continued fossil fuel addiction that guarantees runaway climate change and global ecosystem collapse. From the deforestation of old-growth boreal forests, to the fouling of land and water as the carbon intensive oil is mined and extracted, to the constant dangers of far-flung spills as the viscous oil is transported, through its burning and release of tar sand filth into the atmosphere: tar sands is the epitome of ecocidal industrial activity that must end to limit abrupt climate change and achieve global ecological sustainability. Alberta’s tar sands are landlocked, and keeping them from ocean ports is vital to eliminating their production, and keeping the toxic tar in the ground where it belongs. Ecological Internet has already taken the lead in delaying the Northern Gateway pipelines to the West – join us now in stopping the Energy East pipeline to the Atlantic.
September 8, 2013
ALERT! Natural-Born Killer: Stop Scott Walker’s Open-Pit Mining Assault upon Wisconsin’s Water
Governor Scott Walker is waging ecocide upon Wisconsin’s environment to further his political ambitions, continuing his lifelong political opportunism at the expense of others. Walker signed a bill earlier this year gutting the state’s mining regulations, designed to clear the way for Gogebic Taconite to dig a massive open-pit iron mine in the Penokee Hills just south of Lake Superior. By strong-arming the Gogebic mine through Wisconsin’s most important forest wilderness – sacred to native peoples and their water and wild rice, while threatening to foul Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes – Walker clearly demonstrates the contempt he holds for nature, truth, justice, and all that stands between him and power. Such callous treatment of the environment will lead to a brief boom for some, followed by a permanent bust of denuded lands and toxic waters, killing wildlife, plants, and future human generations. Please let the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource know the world expects a full environmental impact statement be carried out with the utmost scientific integrity, or for their resignation.
July 28, 2013
ALERT! Demand California's Carbon Market Not Fund REDD+ Old-Growth Forest Logging
Next week California is to decide whether REDD+ [search] forest carbon offsets – which include funding for first time industrial logging of old-growth forests – is worthy of inclusion as a carbon credit under the state’s carbon markets. Logging old-growth forests is an ecological disaster that threatens local livelihoods, biodiversity, ecosystems, climate, and the biosphere; and must not be funded by carbon markets. Members of the forest carbon industry supporting REDD+ must be compelled to stop their old forest logging greenwash - or face ridicule, protest, and an end to public support, until they do.
July 21, 2013
EARTH MEANDERS: Ecocide Is Not Development; Love and Ecology Are the Answer
Earth's ecosystems are collapsing, human and all species' habitats are being lost, and our one shared biosphere is failing and dying. Love of other peoples and species and of nature, truth, justice, and equity are the only lasting basis for global ecological sustainability.
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” – Krishnamurti
“Truth matters. Freedom matters. Justice matters. Ecology matters. Peace matters. Compassion matters. Knowledge matters. Love matters. We should all try to matter by serving such ideals.” – Dr. Glen Barry
Earth is alive – just like the biological patterns found in cells, species, individual organisms, and ecosystems; only at a different scale – and thus can die if boundary conditions for health are exceeded. The biosphere [search] – Earth's thin mantle of life – is collapsing and dying, as ecosystems and climate are being murdered by human industrial growth. Such ecocidal madness, called "development," is hailed as the goal for society when in fact it is ecocide, and can only end in utter social, economic, and ecological collapse. Industrial human development destroys natural ecosystems necessary to maintain a habitable Earth.
Burning fossil fuels and clearing natural ecosystems are industrial ecocide, the furthest thing possible from "development" or any meaningful and lasting human advancement. The global ecological system is being overrun by human industrial growth, which is ravaging ecosystems upon which all life depends. Runaway human exponential growth systematically strips our habitat of life-giving species and ecosystems, and then it fouls and poisons whatever remains.
The problem with climate change and ecosystem loss is that we think we have time, when in fact the biosphere is already well into collapse. The evidence is pouring in that climate change, biodiversity extinction, and terrestrial ecosystem loss already exceed thresholds whereby the biosphere is collapsing. Humanity is already in mid-death swoon, pulling down the biosphere as it annihilates itself, kindred species, and shared habitat. Humanity is like a disease on the planet, consuming life-giving habitats and treating nature as resources to liquidate and consume, after which there can only be collapse and mass death.
July 6, 2013
ALERT! Tell Greenpeace to Stop Greenwashing Old-Growth Forest Logging
By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal
TAKE ACTION to stop Greenpeace’s support for old-growth forest logging:
Greenpeace continues to espouse nonsense that logging old-growth forests is protection and can be done in an environmentally acceptable manner. Their recent case studies claim that Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of first time industrial logging of hundreds of millions of acres of old-growth forests has “led to a substantial improvement in forest management practices.” Loss and diminishment of primary rainforests and other old-growth forests are never ecologically sustainable – and threaten local peoples, species, ecosystems, climate, and the biosphere with collapse and death. Please demand that Greenpeace and pals resign from FSC immediately, end all involvement with primary rainforest and other old-growth logging, and work exclusively for old forest protection, restoration, and small-scale local eco-forestry. We have been asking Greenpeace politely to stop helping log old-growth for the past six years (see http://bit.ly/GPlogold) and been stonewalled and ridiculed, during which time many old forests have fallen and the fate of the biosphere become more unclear (read the science by our own Dr. Glen Barry at http://bit.ly/EICollapse).
How much is a livable biosphere worth to you? Please donate what you can afford now to Ecological Internet at: http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/donate/
July 4, 2013
EARTH MEANDERS ESSAY: Happy Interdependence Day
Earth is dying if we let it. We need the Earth and each other to survive and thrive. Ecological Internet needs the financial support of its network participants at http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/donate/ to continue our unique and effective biocentric advocacy on the net, or we may be closing soon.
The global ecological system is being overrun by human industrial growth, ecosystem habitats and our one shared biosphere are collapsing. We have come to understand Gaia the Earth System is alive, yet are slow to recognize she is dying at our hand.
These are some of the findings of my new science journal article – currently being peer reviewed – titled “Terrestrial Ecosystem Loss and Biosphere Collapse” and available in draft at http://bit.ly/EICollapse.
There have been few deep ecology voices – as clear and dependable – as Ecological Internet and myself over the past twenty years. We understand ecology is the meaning of life, and that industrial growth is destroying ecosystems and all their life. Yet Ecological Internet continues to barely cover basic expenses, and continually sinks further in debt, to urgently spread the message of how to sustain our one shared biosphere. Our public appeals for funding ensure our independence to speak ecological truth.
As with American revolutionaries 237 years ago today, positive social change requires vision and the resources to make it so. Earth and I beseech you to support deep ecology thought and action – sufficient to reverse abrupt climate change and global ecosystem collapse – by donating what you can now to Ecological Internet at: http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/donate/.
June 29, 2013
ECOLOGY SCIENCE: Terrestrial Ecosystem Loss and Biosphere Collapse
By Dr. Glen Barry
Independent Political Ecology and Data Scientist
+1 608 332 5650
Manuscript submission under review by Management of Environmental Quality*
June 16, 2013
Planetary boundary science defines key thresholds in the Earth System's biogeochemical conditions that precede ecosystem collapse and threaten human well-being. Terrestrial ecosystems enter into the nine originally defined planetary boundaries only indirectly, through boundaries such as biodiversity and land use. This study proposes a measurable terrestrial ecosystem boundary to answer the question: what extent of landscapes, bioregions, continents, and the global Earth System must remain as connected and intact core ecological areas and agro-ecological buffers to sustain local and regional ecosystem services as well as the biosphere commons? Two preeminent considerations are connectivity of large ecosystem patches, enabling them to persist as the matrix for the landscape, and critical collapse of the dominant large habitat patch – or "percolating cluster" – into smaller, more isolated habitats, amid a matrix of human development. This transition, found to occur at about 40% habitat loss in landscapes and bioregions, is likely to be similar at continental and global scales.
A new planetary boundary threshold is proposed based on ecology’s percolation theory: that across scales 60% of terrestrial ecosystems must remain, setting the boundary at 66% as a precaution, to maintain key biogeochemical processes that sustain the biosphere and for ecosystems to remain the context for human endeavors. Strict protection is proposed for 44% of global land, 22% as agro-ecological buffers, and 33% as zones of sustainable human use.
Because humanity is now the major force shaping the biosphere, up to 50% of Earth's land surface has already been transformed from mostly wild to mostly anthropocentric; thus the biosphere may already have lost its global percolating cluster. If so, with diminished connectivity, the global ecological system is now composed of islands of nature within a sea of humanity, meaning critical water, climate, soil, and other ecosystems processes are at risk. This observation suggests that to sustain the biosphere it is urgent to protect remaining large, relatively intact terrestrial ecosystems, especially old-growth and primary forests. This will require acceleration of current approaches such as biosphere reserves, and embrace of new polices such as a carbon tax to fund protection and restoration of natural and agro-ecological terrestrial ecosystems. To ensure global ecological sustainability, it will be necessary to reconnect matrices of intact ecosystems across scales, so that globally the biosphere and its constituent ecological processes and patterns can percolate back to connected nature as the context to all life. Otherwise, it is hypothesized the global biosphere may collapse and the Earth System perish.
June 25, 2013
RELEASE/VICTORY! Ecological Internet Welcomes Full Protection for Tasmania, Australia’s World Heritage Old-Growth Forests
By Ecological Internet, http://www.ecoearth.info/ and http://forests.org/
Media Contact: Dr. Glen Barry, email@example.com, +1 (608) 332-5650
(Madison, Wisconsin) – Ecological Internet – a small forest and climate protection NGO with a global reach – is thrilled to have contributed to an additional 170,000 hectares (about 420,000 acres) of Tasmania, Australia, old-growth forests [search] being protected. Following decades of local protest, six years of blockades, tree sitting, and extensive international affinity campaigns spearhead by Ecological Internet and others, most of Tasmania’s remaining old-growth has been granted World Heritage area protection, which should exclude further logging. The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area has been extended to include the iconic Upper Florentine and areas within the Styx, Huon, Picton, and Counsel River Valleys.
Tasmania is home to the tallest hardwood forests on Earth, with eucalyptus trees reaching nearly 100 metres and living for over 400 years, existing within one of Earth's greatest tracts of large, connected, and ecologically intact temperate rainforest. Tasmania contains large tracts of natural old-growth forest, glacial landforms, alpine and sub-alpine environments, wild rivers, indigenous heritage sites, and critical endangered species habitat. There are many species that rely on old growth trees for their survival, including important habitat for rare and threatened species such as the endangered wedge-tailed eagle and the Tasmanian devil.
June 23, 2013
ALERT! HSBC Bank Must Stop Funding Old-Growth Rainforest Logging
By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal
HSBC Bank continues to fund logging companies [search] pillaging old-growth rainforests and causing human rights abuses in Sarawak, Malaysia, and expanding globally. After ravaging all but 5% of Sarawak’s once pristine tropical rainforests, HSBC’s Sarawak clients – described in Papua New Guinea as the “Malaysian timber mafia” – now dominate the global, ecocidal old-growth timber industry. Anyone participating in the industrial destruction of Earth’s last old-growth forests – be they banks, governments, corporations, or NGOs – are legitimate protest targets, if we are to maintain local well-being and a habitable Earth for all. Please demand that HSBC end all involvement with old-growth rainforest logging.
June 15, 2013
ESSAY: The Fascist State of America
#IStandWithEdwardSnowden because free nations don't spy on and murder their citizens. Democracies don't terrorize sovereign nations and their peoples with torture, false imprisonment, and drone-based perma-war. It is time to stand up against the oil oligarchy’s police state that is stifling social change required to achieve universal human rights, justice, equity, and global ecological sustainability.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
“If living unfreely but comfortably is something you are willing to accept… it is going to get worse with the next generation… The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The greatest fear I have for the outcome of these disclosures is that nothing will change… [that people] won’t be willing to stand up and take the risks to fight. I am not afraid, because this is the choice I've made.” – Edward Snowden
The Bush administration "puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide." – Candidate Barack Obama 2007
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." – George Orwell
“With American spying and drone perma-war we are witnessing the end of democracy, the failure of a fragile experiment that governments are derived from the people.” – Dr. Glen Barry
** The latest Earth Meanders essay looking at issues of green liberty, including:
- Freedom Isn’t Free, Terrorism Is Pervasive
Earth Meanders essay by Dr. Glen Barry
June 15, 2013
“We the People" are not enemies of the state and deserve and need to know what our government is doing. The truth matters – particularly when human freedom is at stake, and our shared environment is collapsing, with both at risk of being lost forever. America’s civil liberties have been trampled on, and sadly, most don’t seem to care, failing to understand the full implications of big brother’s ascendancy. Defending freedom from government tyranny is not a left-or-right, conservative-or-liberal matter; it is the difference between right and wrong, truth and lies, liberty and enslavement, life and death.
Edward Snowden has revealed the extent to which America has become a total surveillance police state – with wholesale spying upon its own citizens – adding to revelations since 9/11 of the murder of U.S. citizens as well as torture, indefinite detention, and pursuit of drone perma-war, terrorizing entire nations. All of these acts are occurring upon the basis of suspicion alone – without due legal process, violating international law and the U.S. Constitution – in an unprecedented expansion of government powers in the name of a war on terror, when in fact they are being used to control dissent and access oil.