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** How to breathalyse a whale **

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** How to breathalyse a whale **
Scientists use a helicopter to sample a sperm whale's breath.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/7709424.stm >

 

** Furry victims of the recession **

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** Furry victims of the recession **
Animal rights groups are drawing attention to the plight of pets during the recession on International Homeless Animals Day.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/world-us-canada-11044760 >

 

Success: Catalonia, Spain Bans Bullfighting!

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Care2, August 2010

Care2
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Success: Catalonia, Spain Bans Bullfighting!

Success: Catalonia, Spain Bans Bullfighting!

Last month, Parliament passed a ban on bullfighting, making Catalonia the first major region of Spain to outlaw the old Spanish tradition. The ban will take effect January 01, 2012. More than 35,000 of you added your name to the petition on Care2, sponsored by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). Say Congratulations

 

Isole Faer Oer: massacro di massa di cetacei

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Isole Fær Øer: un’operazione segreta di Sea Shepherd svela un massacro di massa di cetacei

Il 19 giugno 2010, un branco di 263 delfini globicefali è stato sterminato

news_100720_1_2_Faeroes_Mass_Slaughter_1520_650senza pietà presso la città di Klaksvik nelle Isole Fær Øer, territorio danese. Sea Shepherd ha potuto documentare il massacro grazie agli sforzi di un agente che operava in segretezza e che soggiornava da qualche tempo tra gli abitanti del luogo al fine di poter riprendere la “grind”. La grind è un metodo crudele di caccia alla balena che prevede che i cetacei siano spinti all’interno di baie prima che il loro midollo spinale venga tagliato con dei coltelli.

news_100720_1_1_Faeroes_Mass_Slaughter_Fredrik1Peter Hammarstedt, l’agente di Sea Shepherd che operava in segretezza e che è altresì il primo ufficiale della nave di Sea Shepherd Bob Barker, soggiornava in incognito tra i feroci isolani quando ha sentito alla radio la notizia di una grind in corso presso Klaksvik. Si è recato immediatamente sul posto, in auto. Trovandosi in netta inferiorità numerica e nell’impossibilità di fermare fisicamente la grind, Hammarstedt, al proprio arrivo, ha documentato il bagno di sangue.

“Si sa che i delfini globicefali viaggiano in branchi composti da un numero di membri che va dai 200 ai 300. Duecentotrentasei delfini globicefali sono stati massacrati ieri sera a Klaskvik: maschi, femmine incinte e che allattavano, esemplari non maturi e cuccioli non ancora nati, ancora tutt’uno con le loro madri grazie al cordone ombelicale. Un intero branco che un tempo nuotava liberamente nell’Atlantico settentrionale è stato sterminato in un unico bagno di sangue” ha dichiarato Hammarstedt.

Il governo delle Fær Øer afferma che la morte di questi cetacei è rapida e indolore, ma le macabre riprese, da poco rese pubbliche, mostrano il contrario.

news_100720_1_4_Faeroes_Mass_Slaughter_1555“Uno dei delfini, una femmina, ha ricevuto cinque o sei brutali colpi di taglio alla testa” ha riferito Hammarstedt “Gli isolani l’hanno praticamente usata come tagliere. La sua morte deve essere stata lenta e tremendamente dolorosa. Alcuni delfini vengono colpiti di taglio ripetutamente, per un tempo che va fino a quattro minuti, prima che finalmente muoiano”

Era altrettanto ovvio che la grind è indiscriminata e spietata.

“I cuccioli sono stati estratti dai corpi delle loro madri morte e sono stati lasciati a marcire sui moli” ha affermato Hammarstedt, che ha fotografato diversi cuccioli e feti morti “I gruppi di delfini globicefali hanno una struttura fortemente matriarcale, non riesco ad immaginare la paura ed il panico che queste madri devono aver provato mentre la loro famiglia veniva sterminata davanti a loro”.

La grind dei delfini globicefali che avviene alle Fær Øer è simile all’annuale massacro dei delfini che ha luogo a Taiji, in Giappone e che è stato documentato nel film
The Cove, insignito di riconoscimenti. La differenza principale sta nel fatto che alle Fær Øer ci sono almeno diciotto diverse baie dove una grind potrebbe potenzialmente avvenire, invece dell’unica baia di Taiji, il che rende molto più difficile prevedere dove avranno luogo le uccisioni o giungere in tempo per intervenire e prevenire gli assassinî.

news_100720_1_3_Faeroes_Mass_Slaughter_1533news_100720_1_5_Faeroes_Mass_Slaughter_1558

foto in alto: cuccioli di delfino globicefalo estratti dal corpo delle madri e lasciati a marcire

I delfini globicefali sono classificati come “strettamente protetti” in base alla Convenzione sulla Conservazione della Vita Selvatica e dell'Ambiente Naturale in Europa. Permettendo che il massacro continui nelle Fær Øer, la Danimarca non sta rispettando i propri obblighi quale nazione firmataria della convenzione.

news_100720_1_7_Faeroes_Mass_Slaughter_1559Al fine di poter essere presente alla grind, Hammarstedt si è fatto passare per uno studente svedese di cinematografia. Anche se erano state prese misure notevoli per nascondere la sua identità, alla fine è stato riconosciuto da diversi cacciatori a causa della sua partecipazione alla serie TV di Animal Planet, Attacco alle baleniere. Pare che perfino gli abitanti delle Fær Øer hanno sentito parlare dell’intervento di Sea Shepherd contro la caccia alla balena condotta illegalmente in Antartide.
news_100720_1_6_Faeroes_Mass_Slaughter_1562
Quando gli uccisori di balene hanno iniziato a seguire Hammarstedt a piedi, tenendosi a distanza, egli ha rapidamente raggiunto la sua auto, per mezzo della quale si è allontanato dal luogo, e ha caricato le immagini e le riprese su Internet per farle uscire dal Paese in sicurezza. Dal momento che la sua copertura era compromessa, ha iniziato a ricevere minacce nel giro di un’ora e il Quartier Generale di Sea Shepherd gli ha ordinato di lasciare il Paese immediatamente.

Nonostante verifiche più approfondite del normale e un interrogatorio di polizia all’aeroporto, Hammarstedt ha confermato di aver lasciato le Isole Fær Øer.

Dal 1985 Sea Shepherd si oppone attivamente alla grind che ha luogo alle Fær Øer e agisce concretamente a riguardo, e rimane uno dei più efficaci peroratori per le balene.

 Traduzione effettuata da Barbara Abatti
Testo originale consultabile presso:
http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/news-100720-1.html
 

Climate Change in Copenhagen

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Climate Change in Copenhagen
by Manitonquat (Medicine Story)

YOU IDIOTS! Shouts the cover of Rolling Stone magazine for January 21,
2010.  In blazing red filling a black background, with subtitles:
“Meet the Planet’s Worst Enemies – Inside the Battle over Global
Warming.”  Heartening to see, as this journal is one voice of a
generation not yet entrenched and calcified, a generation that
announced a revolt from the status quo with new music and new values.
I’m not sure how much impact this issue will have, as I had to drive
20 miles to buy it at a book store chain.  But I wish millions would
also find it, read it, tear off the cover or copy it and send it to
Obama and everyone in the Congress.

The article describes how the right wing and big oil and coal
producers spread misinformation and outright lies about the situation
and spent vast amounts of money to make sure the US would do nothing
to curtail CO2.  They name the 17 worst polluters and deniers who do
the most to derail all efforts to curb global warming.

I more or less knew all that, in general, but in reading the details I
got so angry I had to chill and recall my wonderful experience in
Copenhagen during the COP15 climate conference.  So I guess I better
tell you about that.

In the cold and the dark of December of 2009 the United Nations
gathered a conference to plan how to counteract the growing threats to
the planet.  Most specifically the emissions by human activities of
carbon dioxide which has unleashed the fastest chain of global warming
in the story of life on Earth.  There have been other periods of
warming, but they happened slowly, gradually, through eons of time.
The speed and intensity of this heating up is shocking, outstripping
the direst predictions  of the past forty years.  It is caused by a
now well-known and documented “greenhouse effect” of the sun’s rays
penetrating a growing ceiling of CO2 that envelops the planet.

Around the world much hope was vested in this COP 15 conference, as it
was dubbed. Knowledgeable people wanted solutions and action from the
leaders of the nations.  A hundred thousand people marched in the
street to urge agreements from the conferees to save our planet before
it is too late.  Many of the Non-Governmental Organizations, who were
turned away from the conference at the Bella Center, formed an
alternative conference downtown.

It quickly became apparent that the conference would confound all our
high hopes.  There would be no cooperation, no compromising of the
extreme differences between the rich and the poor nations.  The
developing nations want to develop and believe the wealthy nations
should make greater sacrifices than those who are not creating the
problem and are only trying to survive.  Certainly the rich could
afford sacrifices better than the poor countries.

Some of the young people from our European circles came to
demonstrate, and marched to the Bella Center to try and stage a
People’s Assembly to “give a voice to those who are not being heard.”
The police informed them that the center was closed off, and when the
crowd did not disperse the police chose to break up the demonstration
even though the activists had signaled that they would not try to
enter the venue after all but stage a gathering outside.
Demonstrators were then pepper-sprayed and beaten with batons.  One
delegate shouted “We said we would be peaceful and you’ve reacted with
violence.  Shame on you.”

When a few of the crowd at the end of the march began throwing stones
through business and government windows, the police surrounded and
arrested the last 900 people, including our people and the Hari
Krishnas!  Linda and Rabea, our young women, had their hands manacled
behind their backs and had to sit hours on the freezing ground before
being carried to cages in a warehouse that had been acquired by the
city for this event.  All but three were released the next day.

It was not all failure.  The day before the end the conference was
deadlocked, and the discouragement was leaking out all over the city.
Then Obama flew in and insisted that they go back and work harder,
find some place to agree to something so it wouldn’t be a total
disaster.  And they did.  They managed a tree-planting program that
all nations could sign on to, and they agreed to meet again in a year
in Mexico.  The hope is that the people of the world will be so
disappointed and disgusted and ashamed of the politics and economics
of the status quo, that in a year there could be a new dedication,
stirring cooperation and the will to sacrifice to meet the common
threat to us all.

But there is a greater hope that I found emerging from Copenhagen
during the conference – not from the COP15 meeting of the big guys at
the top, but from the bottom, the little guys – us.  In Christiania we
organized an alternative meeting which we called “Windows of Hope.”
Christiania, as perhaps you know, is a free haven of around 800 adults
and perhaps 150 children that in 1971 was squatted by street people in
an abandoned military base in the Copenhagen district known as
Christianshaven.  Eventually the then socialist government allowed the
squatters to remain and called it a social experiment.  That community
has thrived for over 38 years now, and a whole generation has been
born and grown and begun new families there.  Ellika has lived there
since 1979, and we have based our European travels from her house
there since 1984.

In Christiania’s “Peace Meadow” we set up a circus tent, three tipis
and 3 yurts, plus a heating system, indoor toilet trailer and a sauna.
Several hundred people attended during the two-week period.  I opened
every day’s sessions with our traditional thanksgiving around a fire
outside.  Every day we had people from ecovillages and environmental
groups, and from scientists and technologists who are actually
addressing and doing something about the CO2 problem, and from many
spiritual leaders.  I learned so much every day that in spite of the
failure of the COP15 it gave me hope for the world.

Ross Jackson, chairman of the Gaia Trust, started out with the warning
that the COP15 would fail to make any meaningful agreements because,
as Albert Einstein observed, you can’t solve a problem using the same
thinking that created it.

The representatives of both the developed and the developing nations
are still motivated by the same national and corporate greed that put
us where we are now.  The same selfishness and competitiveness and
narrow thinking.  For those who think in the modes of competition and
domination there is no possibility of the cooperative thinking that is
needed to save civilization for our grandchildren.  They have not been
taught by their elders to consider the unborn generations before
themselves.

So the hope of the future falls on us, folks.  It is up to us to
educate everyone about the extent of the threat of global warming, the
melting of the Arctic and Antarctic that will inundate major cities
and obliterate many island and coastal nations, the disappearance of
glaciers that are the main source of water in many countries, the
warm-weather insects that will proliferate, with species invasions
into new areas, eating up forest and field (such as the Asian tiger
mosquito that carries diseases like Dengue fever and malaria) and
bringing more disease and epidemics, the ever stronger and more
frequent hurricanes such as devastated Haiti and New Orleans, the
droughts which are already deadly in many places getting longer, and
the wildfires, turning into infernos, wiping out habitats as well as
trees and plant life that hold the topsoil, which is disappearing at
an increasing rate.  And the massive loss of trees speeds the warming
ever faster, increasing the greenhouse cloud of CO2.  The speed of the
warming now is surprising the scientists that predicted it decades
ago. The combination of these effects and its unpredictability makes
the situation scarier and comprehensive action now more urgent.

And with all that, which any school child can plainly see, “those
idiots” are trying to tell us that global warming is all a hoax of the
tree-hugging environmentalists, there is no threat, and we can
continue to exploit nature and people, burn up the fossil fuels and
spew out carbon dioxide without restraint.  Of course theirs is the
noble motive of making themselves wealthy while the “tree huggers”
have the strange and fuzzy motive of preserving life on this planet!

While the delegates to the COP15 were deadlocked in their mode of
competition and narrow self-interests, corporate interests, and
national interests, they allowed no input from the NGOs that held
their own conference downtown.  Even there, I was told, there was not
so much clarity as confusion, and more competition than cooperation.

We drew fewer numbers to the bottom meeting, but those who came were
sincerely interested to learn and solve the problems, to listen to
each other and to give and serve, rather than to take and dictate.
Some people came every day and a sense of community and comradeship in
a shared purpose grew and nourished all who were there.

I offered circles informing about our work in communities, in
ecovillages, in the Nature School, and in our prison programs, and was
part of several panels of elders, including one of indigenous people.

I have long held the belief that the best hope for humankind is
presented by the ecovillage movement, where people are empowering
themselves to create alternative sustainable societies and reduce
their carbon footprints by using alternative energies such as wind and
solar, growing their own food organically, and by conservation, simple
living, and recycling everything to the point of zero waste.  I have
been closely connected with a number of these communities, and have
visited, learned from, and assisted many others.  Right now there are
thousands of communities all over the world that are developing their
own ecological styles of sustainable living.

It was with immense pleasure that I reconnected with representatives
from some of the ecovillages I have connected with over the years.
With Findhorn, with which I was connected through Peter Caddy in 1974,
with Albert Bates from The Farm in Tennessee where for the birth of
our first son Emmy and I stayed and worked for two months in 1976,
with Twin Oaks in Virginia, with whom our Mettanokit Community shared
in the Federation of Egalitarian Communities in the 1980s and  90s,
with Auroville in India, with which our community communicated by
video mail and provided gatherings for their supporters at our
conference center, with ZEGG, where I have been a close friend and
supporter since 1992 and  of which I am an honorary member, and Sieben
Linden also in Germany, with Dyssekilde in Denmark and Tamera in
Portugal, where I have made many circles and workshops over the years,
and with Solborg in Norway and Damanhur in Italy where I have visited
and was enchanted and delighted by their work and gifts to the world,
and of course with Christiania, my summer home for 25 years.

There were others new to me, giving fascinating and inspiring accounts
of their achievements: Krishna EcoValley in Hungary, the Valley of
Flowers in Estonia, Brama Kumaris in India, the Sarvodaya movement of
ecovillages in Sri Lanka, the Amsterdam Balloon Company, a city tribe,
in Denmark Friland, Hertha Hjortshøj, Thy, Mors, and Tor Jordbo on the
island of Fyn, the Ecovillage Network Ghana, Ecovillage Clareado of
Brazil, the Brazilian Ecovillage Network, the Pachamama Alliance of
South America, Wongsamit Ashram in Thailand, the Mali Peoples Center,
and the Senegal Network of Ecovillages.  We heard from many
organizations such as the Global Ecovillage Network, Gaia Education,
Ecovillage Design Education, Scrap Heap Mountain, The Green City,
Earth Restoration Corps, the Nordic Folkecenter, the Global Peace
Initiative of Women.  We learned about Transition Towns, Eco
Agriculture, Permaculture, Biodymanics, Cradle to Cradle – making
everything biodegradable or recyclable so there is zero waste. We
learned about horse culture, about natural medicine and health
provision, and about the living sea.

We learned about restructuring the global economy in the face of
ecosystem overload, global warming, overpopulation, increasing
inequalities, peak oil – all results of a dysfunctional political
system with no global governance.  We learned about a pluralistic
perspective on money, about local currencies and mutual credit unions
in ecovillages, and how we might establish a more sound and societally
oriented financial system.

We heard about Forum that is used in several communities, and I gave a
workshop to inform about the use of Co- counseling, which was
fundamental to our Mettanokit Community and to our International
Family Camps in tribal living.  We had a panel on Conflict Resolution,
and spoke of non-violence, civil disobedience, theater action,
forgiveness and reconciliation.

We addressed the issue of how we strengthen the economics in and
between communities (ecovillages, transition towns, cooperatives,
companies and cultural/political/religious groups in the city) in and
across bioregions, through liberating local creativity.

We had ecumenical panels of representatives from many and various
religious and spiritual groups, such as Andrew Harvey, Rev. Joan Brown
Campbell, Swamini Pramananda Saraswati, Dr. Dharmakosajarn, Ven.
Bhikkhu Bodhi, Ven. Chan Wen, Sarko Andrecevic, Michael Kagan, Sheikh
Saliou Mbecke, and Prachar Hutanuwatr and others.  It was very
encouraging to hear the unanimity of all these various religious
traditions in coming together to act passionately to save our beloved
planet.  We could feel that spirituality may bind us, not separate us,
to work together with mutual respect and love for the Earth.

Volunteer organizations from Holland and Germany came and fed the
people good vegetarian fare every day for a small donation.  Such a
noble service – to feed the people!  Hearing from some of the speakers
about food issues I almost decided to become fully vegan.  Almost.  I
decided it would be a major and more possible step for me to commit to
organically and locally grown foods and animal products like dairy
only from animals that were well treated and fed without chemical or
fossil fertilizers.  But I learned that the livestock sector
contributes at least 51% of human caused greenhouse gas amd is
responsible for more of that gas than all the world’s transport
combined.  That the world’s population of farmed animals will double
in 50 years which would negate emission reductions from all other
sectors.  That a shift to plant-based diets would increase health and
quality of life, reduce soil erosion and deforestation, reduce air and
water pollution and loss of biodiversity, hunger and thirst, and
animal abuses.  So I can report to you that I am now eating and buying
food much more consciously and carefully than before.

The actions of a small group of people who use black clothing to
identify themselves and who travel to many events in various countries
to protest the actions and systems of the  rich nations produced
continuing counter-actions by the police, who had been expanded for
the occasion.  I was glad that our house could be a haven for a number
of young visitors fleeing the sweeping attacks of law enforcement.
After the setting of fires in the street one night the police invaded
Christiania and tear-gassed the conference site, the tent and the
grounds around it, and a group of young Finns took refuge in our
kitchen.

The acts of vandalism against the system by our beloved comrades, our
brothers and sisters and children, are very understandable in the
light of our frustration with the system, the injustices and
inequality, the elitist disregard and exploitation of people, and the
unremitting, unrepentant destruction of the home that belongs to all
of us, to all life, our Mother Earth.

But these actions of violence, be they only against property, are
counter productive to the real and practical goals of making needed
change and creating a truly human society that works for everyone and
all life.

All violent acts are demonstrations of powerlessness.  And we are not
powerless!

We have the intelligence, the creativity, the stamina and the courage
to achieve our goals when we get together.  Together there is nothing

 


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