Thursday, June 25,2015

The cost of killing and the profits in killing

What will people pay to kill an animal? It’s $8000 to kill a mountain sheep in the U.S., $1030 to kill a grizzly bear in British Columbia, $7250 for a lioness in Africa. Selling licences, governments are make a killing out of wildlife deaths. There’s big business too for breeders of lab animals. 233 species, from mice […]

Thursday, June 25,2015

Smartphones will outlive a million species?

Why can cellphones take over Africa, but birth control pills can’t? The main threat to all the appealing life forms is the overabundance of humanity and all its works. What if the telecommunications companies devoted just a fraction of their profits to family planning education and the spread of contraceptives? Or do they just see more customers […]

Thursday, June 25,2015

When “pig-related” books really are upsetting

Tristin Hopper in the National Post provides comic alternatives to books with plots involving pigs (e.g. Babe, Animal Farm, The Three Little Pigs, Charlotte’s Web), in response to the news that England’s Oxford University Press is asking authors to “avoid anything pig-related” so as not to upset Jewish and Muslim readers. People are framing this […]

Thursday, June 25,2015

Stupidly dense or openly sprawling — what should cities do? (Shrink.)

“Dense” may mean packed, but the other meaning of dense is “stupid.” “Sprawl” on the other hand means to open up. Which do we want for our cities: openness or stupidity? Those who study the effects of nature on children have learned that outdoors play in natural settings stimulates intelligence, observational powers and confidence as […]

Thursday, June 25,2015

Getting old, but still good

Getting old, but still good (the problems analyzed haven’t gone away): The End of the River: Dams, Drought and Deja Vu on the Rio Sao Francisco, by Brian Harvey (ECW Press, 2008) — about the rotten deal for fish, i.e. that we “seed oceans with engineered fingerlings” while destroying rivers for industry and industrial agricultural. […]

Thursday, June 25,2015

What would a kinkajou do without him?

A great Christmas tale from the Daily Mail: “Bennett volunteers with Pilots and Paws, the South Carolina-based charity that enlists small plane pilots to take animals from overcrowded shelters that have high euthanasia rates to foster homes, rescue groups and less-crowded shelters that don’t kill them. Bennett estimates that he’s flown about 1,100 hours in his […]

Thursday, June 25,2015

Don’t have a rotten little Christmas

At this time of year, everywhere you go there are boxes collecting items for food banks. A fine idea, but we have to be sure not to put food in there that’s past its “best before” date. The food banks won’t use it for their human recipients but they will pass it on to farmers for […]