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Reese Halter's Blog

NATURE'S BLUEPRINT

Tag Archives: Avaaz

Snow gum, Victoria, Australia

Story ran in the Victoria Times Colonist January 22,2009

Seven western states and four Canadian provinces have joined forces in a plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions. An entire new source of long-term revenue is available to British Columbia’s (BCs) government, which will enable protection of massive tracks of old growth forests and fresh water supplies.

Under the Western Climate Initiative, Arizona, California, Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, B.C., Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec have agreed to cut the region’s carbon emissions by 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

The backbone of their plan is a cap-and-trade system. A similar approach was used in the early 1990s to combat acid rain around the Great Lakes caused by the pollution from coal-burning power plants.

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The mysterious lives of lobsters have intrigued humans since their first description by Pliny in 100 AD – and for many good reasons.

With lobster names like: Hunchback locust, regal slipper, marbled mitten, velvet fan, musical furry, unicorn, buffalo blunt-horn, African spear, Arabian whip and rough Spanish; it’s not difficult to see that some 45 species of ocean dwelling lobsters with a global annual worth of $31 billion are of culinary and scientific interest.

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Story ran in Huffington Post August 14, 2012

Humans and dogs have shared an inseparable bond that dates back well over 15,000 years. Throughout the ages our constant companions offered unconditional love and friendship, and now new research shows they empathize with us.

Dogs have played a pivotal role in human history. They have acted as draft animals, assisted with hunting and herding, offered both warmth and protection, guided the blind and they have humored us with play.

The first evidence of dogs and humans being buried together comes from a German site ‘Bonn-Oberkassel’ about 14,000 years ago. Also around that period dogs followed humans across the Bering Land Bridge into North America. The first evidence of human and dog internment was recorded at Danger Cave, Utah some 11,000 years ago.

It now turns out that people and dogs are linked very closely from behavioral patterns associated with a simple yawn.

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Story ran in Huffington Post July 5, 2012

A couple years ago artist Matthew Mazzotta’s idea of turning dog waste (methane gas) into renewable energy caught the world’s attention with the ignition of a continuous flame at Park Spark in Cambridge, Mass. Since then, his splendid public awareness campaign of turning dog pooh into biogas has inspired other students and entrepreneurs across America, Australia and the UK to take waste and turn it into lucrative energy.

The dog-park biogas process is relatively simple: Pet owners stoop and scoop using a biodegradable bag, and toss bags into a methane digester on one of the two air-tight 500-gallon steel tanks. Microbes and water in the septic tanks work in an oxygen-free zone breaking down the dog pooh; methane gas is released, rises and is ready to be used as energy. At Park Spark it is piped directly into an old-fashioned gas-burning lamppost.

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From Huffington Post, September 26, 2013

Nature is being wiped out in our oceans and on the land as the global demand for illegal wildlife products now exceeds $300 billion in annual sales – feeding international crime syndicates, rapidly impoverishing all life forms.

Yesterday (September 25, 2013) in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe poachers – the scourge of our planet – annihilated at least 90 more African elephants by poisoning their watering hole with cyanide. Earlier this month they poisoned at least 41 mature elephants in the Park in an attempt to feed the insatiable Asian demand for ivory, which now fetches $1,000 a pound.

To give you some idea of how quickly Earthlings are exterminating elephants in 1980 there were about 1.2 million African beasts. Last year the estimate was at most 400,000 remaining. Since 2002, the African forested elephant population has plummeted by 76 percent. In Tanzania alone the population estimate in 2008 was approximately 165,000 — today there are fewer than 23,000 elephants left.

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Earth Dr Reese Halter on set in Hollywood, California.

Malibu Times November 15, 2013

John Muir, ecologist extraordinaire and author/co-founder of the Sierra Club wrote: “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness!” Have you ever visited wilderness? If not, why not?

Recently, I’ve received a spate of emails asking how I remain so positive in the face of massive global environmental degradation? In large part it is due to visiting wilderness, regularly. Near the summit of the White Mountains of east-central California—at a couple miles above sea level—the ancient four and a half thousand-year-old Great Basin bristlecone pines are my ‘slice of heaven’ on Earth.

Further north and across the western United States, sublime wilderness areas are home to the incredible gray wolf. These splendid social animals are central to the health and well being of the last bastion of wild lands in the lower 48.

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

Story ran in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution August 16, 2010

Each spring during my childhood I planted trees with my dad and my brother, and the bees always intrigued us. Last year in late June (2009), I finished “The Incomparable Honeybee.” I was cautiously optimistic that the overall death rate among honeybees was trending downward.

Just before the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, the overwinter and spring bee survey numbers from across our nation were released. The numbers were startling; our humble honeybees are sicker than ever.

The honeybee deaths from 2010 were much higher than those reported in 2009. In 2010 the death rate was 34 percent, up from last year’s rate of 29 percent.

On average beekeepers in the U.S. lost 42 percent of their operational bees in 2009-10 compared with 23 percent in 2008-09. This loss is more than three times greater than what is considered acceptable at about 14 percent.

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