Human-Environment Relations: How humans relate to the environment, and how the environment relates to humans, or "The Human Factor"


The Climate Reality Project

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#Human-Environment Relations
#Jane Goodall

"It is that range of biodiversity that we must care for – the whole thing – rather than just one or two stars."
David Attenborough (via ecosapienshow)

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These maps show both the water sources for a number of bottled water producers and the current drought conditions in the United States.

(Source: micdotcom)

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World’s Largest Dam Removal Unleashes U.S. River After Century of Electric Production

Today, on a remote stretch of the Elwha River in northwestern Washington state, a demolition crew hired by the National Park Service plans to detonate a battery of explosives within the remaining section of the Glines Canyon Dam. If all goes well, the blasts will destroy the last 30 feet of the 210-foot-high dam and will signal the culmination of the largest dam-removal project in the world.

In Asia, Africa, and South America, large hydroelectric dams are still being built, as they once were in the United States, to power economic development, with the added argument now that the electricity they provide is free of greenhouse gas emissions. But while the U.S. still benefits from the large dams it built in the 20th century, there’s a growing recognition that in some cases, at least, dambuilding went too far—and the Elwha River is a symbol of that.

The removal of the Glines Canyon Dam and the Elwha Dam, a smaller downstream dam, began in late 2011. Three years later, salmon are migrating past the former dam sites, trees and shrubs are sprouting in the drained reservoir beds, and sediment once trapped behind the dams is rebuilding beaches at the Elwha’s outlet to the sea. For many, the recovery is the realization of what once seemed a far-fetched fantasy.

"Thirty years ago, when I was in law school in the Pacific Northwest, removing the dams from the Elwha River was seen as a crazy, wild-eyed idea," says Bob Irvin, president and CEO of the conservation group American Rivers. "Now dam removal is an accepted way to restore a river. It’s become a mainstream idea."

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How many birds are killed by wind, solar, oil, and coal?

This puts bird deaths caused by renewable energy into perspective, but the deaths caused by renewable energy will probably increase as a larger share of our energy comes from wind and solar. So it is important that the problems get straightened out now before energy production gets scaled up.

Chris Clarke offers a better response to this than I did:

Were someone to say in the wake of that very bad week for starlings that L.A. cats had killed ten thousand times as many birds as the solar plant did in the same period, it might sound like a profound observation. But it would reveal nothing. How many pigeons equal a California condor? How many house finches equals a Yuma clapper rail?

Read the rest.

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Seeing is believing for Florida panthers and bears

You are more likely to see a panther or a black bear today in Florida than someone here 40 years ago. Take a look at these photos to see some panthers and bears spotted recently by people who reported their sightings to us. Florida’s largest land mammals have made a comeback because of conservation efforts in the state.

Thank you to everyone reporting panther and black bear sightings to the FWC! This information helps our biologists with research and management of these species. So if you haven’t already, get involved as a citizen scientist and remember to report your panther or bear sightings!

Full Story: http://ow.ly/AGwla

Report panther sightings: http://ow.ly/AGwsn

Report bear sightings: http://ow.ly/AGwyD

Learn more about panthers at http://www.floridapanthernet.org/ and more about bears at http://myfwc.com/Bear

A list of FWC wildlife sightings, surveys and hotlines that citizen scientists are invited to participate in: http://myfwc.com/get-involved/citizen-science/

(via: Florida Wildlife Commission)

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"Specifically prohibiting a discussion of the scientific process is a recipe for educational chaos. To begin with, it leaves the knowledge the kids will still receive—the things we have learned through science—completely unmoored from any indication of how that knowledge was generated or whether it’s likely to be reliable. The scientific process is also useful in that it can help people understand the world around them and the information they’re bombarded with; it can also help people assess the reliability of various sources of information."
Ohio lawmakers want to ban schools from teaching scientific process | Ars Technica (via jenn2d2)

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Science and Conservation Groups Seek Endangered Status for the Monarch Butterfly

This morning (8/27/14), the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation joined the Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety (co-lead petitioners) and renowned monarch scientist Dr. Lincoln Brower to file a legal request with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch butterfly.

The number of monarchs has declined by more than 90 percent in less than two decades. The population has declined from a recorded high of approximately 1 billion butterflies in the mid-1990s to only 35 million butterflies last winter, the lowest number ever recorded, a drop that Lincoln Brower describes as “a deadly free fall.”

During the same period it is estimated that these butterflies have lost more than 165 million acres of habitat—an area about the size of Texas—including nearly a third of their summer breeding grounds…

(read more: The Xerces Society)

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