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Reese Halter's Blog


Imagine taking a deep breath of crisp Sierra Nevada forest-filtered air!

Story ran on Malibu Times blog, August 9, 2013

The human nose is miraculous. It is a complex organ of smell. In fact, one percent of human genes are devoted to olfaction; smell was central to our evolution over the past seven million years.

The main role of smell is to protect humans from decaying foods and poisons. Foods that are indigestible tend to smell woody or musky and are made up of large molecules. Edible foods, on the other hand, have low molecular weights, which can be processed by our digestive enzymes.

The primary role of scent is not about sex.

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Story ran on Huffington Post October 29, 2012

On October 23, 2015 Hurricane Patricia, a category 5 barreled into Mexico making it the strongest storm to ever reach landfall. Warming ocean temperatures from burning heat-trapping, climate-altering, subsidized fossil fuels are creating new monster storms.

Never have two hurricanes made landfall in Hawaii in one year, never mind two in three days.

In 2010 and 2011, we saw 19 storms, the record was set in 2005 with an astounding 27 storms. The weather is getting wilder so let’s take a much closer look at hurricanes.

Hurricanes are nature’s fiercest storms, with about 18 occurring each year.

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Story ran in Malibu Times May 30, 2012

The olive tree has sustained humankind since prehistoric time. Some venerable European specimens with gnarled and twisted trunks are two thousand years old; and most religions revere this truly extraordinary tree.

About 20 species and hundreds of cultivars of olives or Olea are members of the ash family. The silver-gray, evergreen, olive leaves are the icons of the Mediterranean, and perfectly suited to the hot, dry, long summers and cool wet winters of this region.

Trees reach about 45 feet in height and in the springtime they often display exquisite white, fragrant flowers. As the oblong fruits mature they change color from green to violet to almost black.

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The first kiss seals the deal for a romatic partnership to begin.
Photo credit:

Huffington Post Feb 12, 2014

Story ran throughout Australia — ABC Science on Feb 13, 2012

ABC 774 AM, The Progress Report with Libbi Gorr (Melbourne, Australia) – Earth Dr Reese Halter on the Magic of Kissing

Super moons are dedicated to lovers. And as all lovers know, the magic starts with that first kiss. So what’s exactly happens in order for that perfect first kiss to become intoxicating?

When the first kiss works it’s powerful all right as over 90 percent of lovers, irrespective of age, can remember exactly where and when it occurred. Moreover, that first kiss is a dealmaker or breaker because over 60 percent of first kisses, for both men and women, are a failure terminating any chance for romance.

Well before that first kiss occurs the eyes are conveying important information to the brain, which in turn has a tremendous influence upon our feelings associated with love. Next time you get a chance watch how new lovers look at one another – it’s thrilling.

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The common crow is anything but ordinary. Take a few moments to observe this dark-winged beauty and you’ll be amazed.

There are about 45 species of crow worldwide known by a variety of names, including ravens, jackjaws, rooks and crows. They all belong to the genus called corvus. Their plumage is mostly glossy black, but some have streaks of white.

These fascinating birds are loud, daring, gregarious and clever. And they are toolmakers.

They nest way up in the treetops of both deciduous and coniferous trees. Nests are built close to the trunk, providing a vista of the surrounding landscape.

Mating crows will often remain together for years and some until parted by death. Most of the offspring will leave the nest after a couple months never to return. Some, on the other hand, remain, assisting in co-operative breeding.

I’ve observed this in both Banff National Park and Sequoia National Park and its been recorded elsewhere in the United States and New Caledonia.

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From Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s The Drum January 4, 2013

In the 20th century humans slaughtered 1.5 million whales. It’s time now to end the whale hunt and The War Against Nature, writes Earth Dr Reese Halter.

Four Japanese whaling boats have once again set sail for the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. And four Sea Shepherd Conservation Society boats with 120 crew representing 26 nations are waiting to intercept and stop them.

It is without a doubt the most courageous and perhaps meaningful fight in The War Against Nature as the new year of 2013 commences.

This year the stakes are at an all-time high as the Japanese have armed coast guards on their boats, and a recent ruling by the US Court of Appeals stated that Sea Shepherd boats are to remain at least 500 yards from whaling vessels.

Led by their founder Paul Watson the Sea Shepherd has recently added a new fourth vessel – in a twist of fate, buying a former Japanese meteorological research boat with a gift from Sam Simon, one of the creators of the television cartoon series The Simpsons. And the Sea Shepherd has just appointed Dr Bob Brown, a long-time environmental champion and former Greens leader to their Australian board of directors. With two helicopters and three aerial drones, their largest-ever battle has daring goals: Zero Tolerance: Zero Cruelty: Zero Kills.

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Dr Reese Halter and Jeff Hansen of Sea Shepherd Australia in Los Angeles, California talking about The War Against Nature and stopping loathsome poachers.

Malibu Times November 8, 2013

Last week (October 2013), Captain Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, came home to the U.S. after 15 months at sea—mostly off the Australian Great Barrier Reef—avoiding Interpol Red Notices by Costa Rica and Japan. It’s an extraordinary maritime story about an intrepid eco-warrior who has been involved in direct-action protecting endangered whales from ‘The War Against Nature’ since 1977.

In May 2012, while Watson was visiting Germany en route to the Cannes Film Festival, Costa Rica issued a Red Notice for him, intending on handing him over to Japan. Watson skipped bail, made his way through the Netherlands to the sea and eventually joined the Sea Shepherd fleet in the Southern Ocean to help prevent Japan from slaughtering endangered whales in the Antarctic Sanctuary.

Sea Shepherd has saved 5,000 whales in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary from lethal Japanese harpoons. Incidentally, Japan sells its Antarctic whale meat for $250,000 a head—do the math: that’s $1.25 billion that Sea Shepherd has denied the Japanese government. Is it any small wonder why Japan is after Captain Paul Watson?

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A warmer world is rife with droughts and drought beget bushfires.

Huffington Post January 4, 2014

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Sydney) Radio Nation – Wild Weather January 7, 2014

Each year in early January (2011, 2012, 2013) I have tallied a scorecard on the vicious effects of burning in excess of 85 million tons of carbon fuels daily on our planet. Irrespective of where you live the human-induced effects of global warming are irrefutable and deadly.

As humans ramp-up the destruction of nature in Australia, Canada, Indonesia and elsewhere to feed the insatiable coal and petroleum markets in China, India and the U.S. the amount of melting ice at both poles continues to erode at an astounding rate.

In the Northern Hemisphere less Arctic ice cover in September means that a warming Arctic Ocean is easily able to infuse its latent heat into the Arctic atmosphere. As this occurs an all-hell-break-loose scenario is felt elsewhere – particularly on the eastern half on the North American continent and in the U.K.

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California Lutheran University Climate Change student assessment of Earth Dr Reese Halter's class

Story ran in Huffington Post August 30, 2010

The diversity of life on our planet is astounding. And given enough time and careful management of our natural resources, science will find cures for most of the ailments that afflict humankind.

Between 40 and 90 million North Americans suffer from pain. It’s the most common reason that people visit physicians. The annual cost of medical bills and lost wages easily exceeds $100 billion. Sales of morphine and morphine-derived products in the U.S. alone cost $650 million per year. Morphine is addictive, constipating and causes respiratory distress; and over time more of it is needed to obtain relief.

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The Australian continent is no stranger to drought nor heatwaves, but now it's about feeding 23.4 million people and stoking an insatiable GNP of the 12th largest economy on the globe. Photo from

Story ran in Huffington Post January 27, 2014

Australia’s hottest spring on record has spawn droughts and intense heatwaves; it has been disastrous for honeybees as their hives are melting whilst temperatures soar.

Aussie honeybees generate about $6B per annum for the 12th largest economy on the globe including pollinating almost 70 percent of food crops, cotton for clothing, over $150M in honey sales and potent medicines used in apis therapy for pain relief of rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis.

Almost 700 species of Eucalyptus produce fewer flowers during heatwaves. Those eucalypt flowers are vital for the health and well being for over 1,600 kinds of wild Australian bees and the domesticated honeybees. In a normal year Eucalyptus is a major nectar contributor toward 30,000 metric tons of honey or enough to feed the Australian nation of 23.4 million people, annually.

Plants have responded to the stifling heatwaves this summer (2014) across the Australian continent by substantially lowering nectar production. Bees require nectar to make honey — their only food source.

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