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Old 12-14-2006, 10:50 AM   #16
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
It's a nation rolling out industry to meet the needs of the west, it isn't an issue of blame.
That's bullshit.

Before "rolling out industry" the Chinese had a good human rights and general civil rights records? Yeah, right. Life is cheap in China, whether you're human or not.

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Old 12-14-2006, 11:06 AM   #17
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Yeah but last time I checked as an agrarian society they werent producing anywhere near as much industrial waste or big dam projects. If were talking about human impact on nature then industrialisation is a consideration.

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Old 12-14-2006, 11:16 AM   #18
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
If were talking about human impact on nature then industrialisation is a consideration.
Or a convenient excuse to allow them to continue behaving in contempt of the environment.

Chinese animal and human life is cheap. Their government is truly shameful. But they give the US lots of money and cheap toys for sale at Walmart so that it becomes immaterial.
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:48 PM   #19
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I think it's sad that some people have no compassion for the animals that are becoming extinct. It's really nice to know how everyone cares so little about the environment.
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Old 12-17-2006, 06:00 PM   #20
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The next species that is destined to bite the dust unless better ways are found to save them:

Polar Bear Populations Shrinking as Arctic Ice Melts

GLAND, Switzerland, December 15, 2006 (ENS) - Polar bears are losing their icy Arctic habitat to climate change, and five out of the world's 19 polar bear populations are now in decline, polar bear experts said in a report released today.

A 30 percent decline in the size of the total polar bear population within the next 35 to 50 years is likely, the IUCN-World Conservation Union’s Polar Bear Specialist Group said in its report. An estimated 20,000 and 25,000 polar bears exist today.

"The principal cause of this decline is climatic warming and its consequent negative affects on the sea ice habitat of polar bears. In some areas, contaminants may have an additive negative influence," the report states.
The Polar Bear Specialist Group reports that the two best studied polar bear sub-populations in the world have declined over the past two decades.

The western Hudson Bay population in Canada has declined by 22 percent during that period, and the southern Beaufort Sea population in the United States and Canada has declined by 17 percent.

The other three populations in decline are those in Baffin Bay and Kane Basin – shared between Greenland and Canada – and Norwegian Bay in Canada.

"Climate change is the main threat to polar bears and is clearly implicated in the western Hudson Bay sub-population. It is likely also a key factor in the Southern Beaufort Sea,” said Professor Andrew Derocher of the University of Alberta, who chairs the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group.

“Climate stabilization is the key conservation action now for polar bears," Derocher said.

Dr. Andrew Derocher, chair of the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group measures the skull length of an adult male polar bear to assess age related growth patterns. (Photo courtesy U. Alberta)
Findings of drowning polar bears, cannibalism, increased numbers of problem seeking food near Arctic communities were reported from many areas. These observations are consistent with predicted changes caused by climate warming.
The report's findings have prompted WWF to issue an urgent call to action to the governments of the world to cut carbon pollution, the cause of Arctic warming

Declining populations of polar bears indicate that the entire Arctic is under immense stress as a result of climate change, WWF warned.

"The polar bear’s powerful grip on the Arctic is slipping," said Stefan Norris, head of conservation with the WWF International Arctic Programme.

"We need to stop run-away warming," Norris said. "Climate change is melting the ice-bear’s toe-hold on life. This bad news for polar bears is also bad news for other Arctic species, and for the indigenous peoples whose traditional ways of life depend on them."

In May, polar bears for the first time were listed as Vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Polar bears are treated separately from the other bear species, because the management of polar bears is guided by the International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears signed in Oslo, Norway in 1973 by the five polar range states - Canada, Denmark, Norway, USA, and the former USSR. The Agreement is the action plan for polar bears.

The Polar Bear Specialist Group has 16 members, all research scientists from the five polar bear range states.

The Polar Bear Specialist Group meets every three to five years to review and exchange information on progress in the research and management of polar bears throughout the Arctic and to review the worldwide status of polar bears.

The newly published report is the proceedings of the 14th meeting of group that was held in Seattle, Washington June 20–24, 2005, under the chairmanship of Scott Schliebe of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The chairmanship of the Polar Bear Specialist Group was passed to Professor Derocher at the Seattle meeting.

Also attending as invited specialists were representatives from the Greenland Home Rule Government, the Alaska Nanuuq Commission, the Inuvialuit Game Council and Wildlife Management Advisory Council, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated of Canada, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Denmark's National Environmental Research Institute.

A new analysis of the long-term subpopulation data base in Western Hudson Bay detailed in the Group's report confirms the size of that subpopulation has declined from 1,200 to less than 1,000.

The Group concludes the decline was caused by reductions in condition and survival, especially of young bears, because climatic warming has caused the sea ice to break up about three weeks earlier now than it did only 30 years ago. As a result, polar bears have less time to feed and store the fat needed to survive on shore for four months before the ice refreezes.

Significant reductions in the apparent survival of ringed seal pups and changes in the diet of sea birds in northern Hudson Bay, coincident with larger amounts of open water earlier in the summer, have also been reported.

"Taken together," the Group states, "these results suggest that unknown changes in the marine ecosystem of Hudson Bay are now underway."

Similarly, the minimum extent of multi-year ice in the polar basin continues to decline at the rate of eight to 10 percent per decade, resulting in unusually extensive areas of open water in regions such as the Beaufort/Chukchi Seas and East Greenland.

High levels of PCBs and pesticides were found in East Greenland polar bears. There was a strong indication of a relationship between contaminants and skull mineral density, indicating possible disruption of the bone mineral composition, the Group reports, saying the changes were related to aging, infections and chronic exposure.

The Group emphasized the importance of continuing to monitor polar bear subpopulations in order to quantitatively assess the affects of climatic warming and of contaminants on polar bears.


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Old 12-17-2006, 06:22 PM   #21
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Originally posted by anitram

That's bullshit.

Before "rolling out industry" the Chinese had a good human rights and general civil rights records? Yeah, right. Life is cheap in China, whether you're human or not.
God, that's creepy. You wrote almost exactly what I was thinking when I read the quoted reply, lol.

Agree with everyone who can identify what this really is; repulsed as usual at those of you who dont give a shit.
Same old FYM story.

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Old 12-18-2006, 07:18 AM   #22
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Wow, if climate stabilization is the only hope than the polar bears have no shot. How do you stabilize the climate?
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:16 AM   #23
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Don't worry about the Polar Bears becoming extinct, we'll still have the Coca-Cola bears around Christmas every year. Therefore, Polar Bears will never be extinct.
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:01 AM   #24
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so so sad,
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:12 AM   #25
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Whats chilling about that, it is a public health issue - rabies isn't fun and dogs like that aren't part of a natural ecosystem.
There is no need to kill every dog just because they "might" get rabies! I have read on animal rights sites that most of the dogs were brutally killed, some in front of their owners. Wouldn't it make more sense to VACCINATE them all?

and since when does China give a damn about the natural eco-system?
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Old 12-22-2006, 07:38 PM   #26
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I really thank everybody for a very interesting discussion.

And even if it got a bit heated, everybody still maintained a bit of decorum with each other.

Thank you - we can always disagree with each other without becoming disagreeable with each other.

Here is a Holiday story of sorts for the endangered species of the world:,00.html

Elite rangers take on rebels to end the slaughter of Congo's hippos

Force gets special training after numbers drop from 22,875 to 315 over 20 years

(Slideshow: On patrol with the Congolese rangers)

Xan Rice in Vitshumbi

Friday December 22, 2006
The Guardian

Silence. Even a pair of fish eagles seemed stunned into quietude as they peered across the blank sheet of grey-green water. There should have been dozens of pairs of pink ears poking above the surface of the bay, dustbin-size mouths bursting open into nature's most famous yawn, grunts and splashes. Nothing.
Among the reeds on the lake shore lay a clue as to why. Aloma Majoro, a 35-year-old game ranger, pointed out a large patch of brown hippo skin, an inch thick, rolled up like a carpet. There was a huge hipbone and a wooden wheelbarrow. The smell of death matched the eerily spare soundtrack.

In a frenzied slaughter earlier this month, Congolese rebels shot several hundred hippos on the south-western shore of Lake Edward in Virunga national park, halving an already decimated population. Less than two decades ago, conservationists counted 22,875 hippos in the park, most of them in and around the lake. But an aerial count last week showed that what was once the world's most important hippo stock had been reduced to 315 animals.

The only thing standing in the way of their imminent extinction in the park is an elite unit of local rangers trained by a team of former British soldiers this year. Taking on the heavily armed rebels is a huge and highly risky task, but the rangers believe they can do it.

"It hurts us to see this killing," said Mr Majoro, a small man with soft eyes and voice, who leads the 15-man First Troop of the Advance Force, which was deployed here last week. "We are going to protect the few hippos that are left."

Such brazen and systematic slaughter of large animals - a hippo poaching on a similar scale occurred in October - should never happen in a patrolled game reserve. But then Virunga is hardly a typical national park. It stretches along the eastern flank of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of the most beautiful, and insecure, areas in the world. There are gorillas and chimps, buffalo and elephants. And there are rebels.

Since Congo's unrest began in the early 90s, numerous rebel groups have used the park as a hideout and plundered its resources for food and profit. Though the full-scale war officially ended in 2003, eastern Congo remains highly restive, and thousands of rebels still live in Virunga.

In the northern sector of the park there are Allied Democratic Force guerrillas from Uganda; in the south, Hutu Interahamwe rebels who fled Rwanda after the genocide. Lake Edward is the domain of a third rebel group, the Mai Mai, whose crude poaching methods indicate the size of the rangers' task.

Shortly before midday a fortnight ago, four motorised pirogues approached Vitshumbi, a fishing village on the southwestern shore of the lake. Each carried about 20 Mai Mai men armed with AK-47s. They told the worried villagers that they had not come to attack them but rather the hippos, which are valued for their meat and the ivory found in their long canine teeth. As the pirogues chugged from one pod of animals to the next the water boiled red.

"Ah Papa, it was terrible," said Fernand Kawembe, the head of police in Vitshumbi. "They were shooting all day."

The dead hippos were dragged to the shallows, hacked into large chunks and loaded into a second of fleet of pirogues. By nightfall, 74 hippos had been killed, according to Mr Kawembe. There was so much hippo meat, described by locals as a cross between pork and beef, for sale in the lakeside villages that the price had sunk to under 10p a kilogram, less than a 10th of the cost of goat meat.

Until recently, the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN), which oversees the parks, had been largely powerless to halt the hippo poaching. Indeed, for the 640 rangers based in the park, merely staying alive was the biggest daily challenge.

Poorly paid, outnumbered, outgunned and outmanoeuvred, with a single off-road vehicle in each of the park's four main sectors covering more than 3,000 square miles, they are viewed by the rebels, and sometimes the military, as fair game. In the last decade, at least 97 rangers have died on active service in Virunga, making it perhaps the most dangerous park for wildlife wardens anywhere in the world.

But with funding from the EU, and strong support from the Frankfurt Zoological Society and Africa Conservation Fund, the ICCN's ranger force in Virunga is gaining teeth. Late last year 480 of the rangers received basic training from a five-man team of former military officers - four Britons and a South African.

Led by Conrad Thorpe, 41, a former Special Boat Services marine, the trainers, who all speak Swahili, selected the 52 best rangers for a further three months' intensive instruction, including a tough physical regime and firing lessons, at a long-abandoned tourist lodge at Ishango, north of Vitshumbi. Divided into three small, mobile troops, the 49 men who passed the course were given uniforms, boots and weapons, including heavy machine guns.

"The concept is the use of minimum force while showing the ability to apply maximum force," said Emmanuel de Merode, of the Africa Conservation Fund.

The Advance Force rangers are meant to be deployed only in emergencies. But in Virunga, that means all the time. Last week one troop was in the northern sector of the park protecting civilians on the edge of the park from Ugandan rebels. Meanwhile, in the "gorilla sector", another unit was preparing to escort a group of regular rangers back to their posts, which were recently overrun by the renegade army general Laurent Nkunda.

Mr Majoro's team arrived in Vitshumbi last Thursday. The local military commanders, some of whom are suspected of collusion with the poachers, were less than enthusiastic about the force's arrival.

When Major Mwenena, the powerfully built head of the "marines" in Vitshumbi heard that the rangers had been deployed to protect the animals rather than humans, he burst out laughing. "I finished $10 credit on my mobile phone telling my superiors that the hippo slaughter was going on in front of us," he said. "The order came back: 'As long as people are not being killed, leave them [the Mai Mai] alone.'"

He warned the rangers to "look left, look right, and look behind you, because you risk fighting this one on your own".

So far, being left alone has not been a problem for the Advance Force. On their first patrol, they arrested a man with a canoe full of hippo meat.

Robert Muir, project leader for the Frankfurt Zoological Society in Virunga, said that some of the Mai Mai rebels had already moved away from the lake by the weekend.

The rangers also caught several men who were fishing illegally at a spawning site, a desperate tactic that indicates how much damage the declining hippo population has already caused to the lake's ecosystem.

Hippo dung helps to sustain the lake's fish and, in recent years, as the hippo numbers have declined, so the tilapia catches have plummeted in size and number, causing fishermen to target previously protected areas.

"This is not just about the hippos," said Mr Muir, a 30-year-old Briton. "It's the local people who are really going to suffer if they disappear."


Africa's oldest national park, Virunga, was established in 1925. Stretching for 200 miles along Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern border, it includes glacier-topped mountains, forest, and sprawling savannah. Home to a vast array of mammal, reptiles and birds, it also hosts half of the world's mountain gorillas - the other 350 are in adjacent parks in Rwanda and Uganda - as well as lowland gorillas and chimpanzees. The late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko was fond of the park, maintaining a private camp there. While a huge conservation effort has ensured that the mountain gorillas have increased in number since war broke out in the mid-90s, other mammals, including herds of elephants and buffalo, have faced declines due to poaching.


This really is a story of tremendous dedication to the survival of the hippos of the Congo by the men who are trying to stop the poachers.

I hope that this story also inspired you to do whatever you can do to help the endangered species in the world survive.

Have a very beautiful Holiday Season.
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:08 AM   #27
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Here is some good news for the polar bears from the Bush administration:

Govt. sees polar bears as 'threatened' By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer

Polar bears are in jeopardy and need stronger government protection because of melting Arctic sea ice related to global warming, the Bush administration said Wednesday.

The Interior Department cites thinning sea ice as the big problem; outside the government, other scientists studying the issue say pollution, overhunting, development and even tourism also may be factors. Greenland and Norway have the most polar bears, while a quarter of them live mainly in Alaska and travel to Canada and Russia.

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne on Wednesday proposed listing polar bears as a "threatened" species on the government list of imperiled species. The "endangered" category is reserved for species more likely to become extinct.

"Polar bears are one of nature's ultimate survivors, able to live and thrive in one of the world's harshest environments," Kempthorne said. "But we are concerned the polar bear's habitat may literally be melting."

A final decision on whether to add the polar bears to the list is a year away, after the government finishes more studies.

Such a decision would require all federal agencies to ensure that anything they authorize that might affect polar bears will not jeopardize their survival or the sea ice where they live. That could include oil and gas exploration, commercial shipping or even releases of toxic contaminants or climate-affecting pollution.

Kempthorne, however, said his department's studies indicate that coastal and offshore oil and gas exploration — heavily promoted by the Bush administration, particularly in Alaska — shouldn't be curtailed.

"It's very clear that the oil and gas activity in that area does not pose a threat to the polar bears," he said.

Similarly, Alaskan natives and other people who depend on hunting the bears as part of their subsistence diet probably will not be affected, Kempthorne said.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., the incoming head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the polar bear's plight reflects the health of the planet.

"Global warming is melting polar ice at an alarming rate and we are now beginning to realize the consequences of this," she said. "This news serves as a wake-up call to the U.S. Congress and the administration that we must quickly begin to address global warming through legislative action."

Environmentalists hope that invoking the Endangered Species Act protections eventually might provide impetus for the government to cut back on its emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases blamed for warming the atmosphere.

The proposed listing also marks a potentially significant departure for the administration from its cautious rhetoric about the effects of global warming. Kempthorne cited the thinning sea ice brought about by global warming as the main culprit, although he said his department wasn't required by the endangered species law to study climate change.

President Bush's steadfast refusal to go along with United Nations-brokered mandatory controls on carbon dioxide, the chief global warming gas, has contributed to tensions between the United States and other nations.

Polar bears, an iconic and cold weather-dependent animal, are dropping in numbers and weight in the Arctic. In July, the House approved a U.S.-Russia treaty to help protect polar bears from overhunting and other threats to their survival.

That vote put into effect a 2000 treaty that sets quotas on polar bear hunting by native populations in the two countries and establishes a bilateral commission to analyze how best to sustain sea ice. It also approved spending $2 million a year through 2010 for the polar bear program.

The Polar Bear Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union, based in Gland, Switzerland, has estimated the polar bear population in the Arctic is about 20,000 to 25,000, put at risk by melting sea ice, pollution, hunting, development and even tourism.

The group lists the polar bear among more than 16,000 species threatened for survival worldwide, and projects a 30 percent decline in their numbers over the next 45 years. It says sea ice is expected to decrease 50 percent to 100 percent over the next 50 years to 100 years.

The decision from Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees endangered species, coincides with a court-ordered deadline. In February 2005, the Center for Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace petitioned Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the polar bears. After Fish and Wildlife officials missed a deadline for deciding earlier this year, the groups sued and agreed on Wednesday's deadline.

"This is a victory for the polar bear, and all wildlife threatened by global warming," said Kassie Siegel, a lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity. "There is still time to save polar bears but we must reduce greenhouse gas pollution immediately."

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Old 12-31-2006, 01:37 PM   #28
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Thanks for everybody's input in this thread so far.

Here is a stinging editorial from the Christian Science Monitor about the topic of species extinction and humankind's role in it.

I wish you all well in 2007 - and a much better year for the world's endangerd species.


Echo from the end of a dolphin species
The Monitor's View

The baiji, a freshwater dolphin, has used sonar to find fish in China's Yangtze River for some 20 million years. Last week, scientists declared it basically extinct. Can the end of a nearly blind cetacean help humans see the need for greater species conservation?

Five events in Earth's history have caused extinction waves, including the asteroid thought to have slammed into the Yucatán and ended the dinosaur age. Whether the planet is on the verge of a sixth wave of extinctions, or already in it, is a matter of debate, but either way, the situation should be taken seriously.

The World Conservation Union's "Red List" is at an all-time high: 16,119 threatened species (out of 15 million estimated species). This century-old trend is largely human-made and ongoing, with one harbinger being the extinction of many large mammals from North America.

In 1973, the United States responded with the Endangered Species Act, the toughest such protection law in the world. Wolves, bald eagles, and grizzlies have rebounded, and about 85 percent of the 1,322 species on the US endangered list are stable or increasing, the Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, Ariz., estimates.

Other places in the world are not so conservation-minded. Hot spots include Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Brazil, where massive logging and mining are eliminating forest habitat at alarming rates. And "China is dangerously near a crisis point" with its environment, writes Pan Yue, the vice minister of China's State Environmental Protection Administration.

What might persuade the world to make a much greater effort at species preservation?

When charismatic birds or mammals are threatened, that gets people's attention. One mammal humans warm to, the polar bear, has now been joined with another huge environmental challenge: climate change. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is to rule any day on whether to propose listing the polar bear as endangered. Environmental groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity say global warming is melting the ice on which the bears live. Climate change is likely to raise awareness about species extinction.

But what about concern for a creature as lowly as a shellfish? One way to bring remote plants and animals to the public consciousness is by connecting them with human life itself. A recent report in the journal Science had this effect when it estimated that 90 percent of the fish and shellfish species from the ocean that feed people worldwide may be gone by 2048.

A powerful moral argument can also be made: Species deserve an opportunity to survive.

Other countries are wising up to these arguments. In recent years, Canada and Australia adopted their own endangered species acts, and Malaysia is working toward one.

The difficulties, of course, occur when human needs and wants conflict directly with maintaining a healthy species habitat. Those conflicts play out in communities from the Orient to Oregon, and help explain a steep decline in the US listing of endangered species as well as pressure to reform the law. The disappearance of the baiji can sound the alarm, but humans still need to figure out exactly how to respond to it.

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Old 12-31-2006, 03:20 PM   #29
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Its so sad to see animals going extinct.

My cousin works at Greenpeace ( the UK office) , so I'm sure she will be alot more educated on these matters than me.


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