Words of Warning

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In an online article in The New York Times posted today, writer Elizabeth Rosenthal reports on the worldwide loss of small animal species due to climate change. She writes,

Over the next 100 years, many scientists predict, 20 percent to 30 percent of species could be lost if the temperature rises 3.6 degrees to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit. If the most extreme warming predictions are realized, the loss could be over 50 percent, according to the United Nations climate change panel.

The article sparked a response from professional storyteller and Ph.D. candidate Chris Vinsonhaler. Vinsonhaler is a river activist and the founder of Iowa River Call, a group dedicated to connecting fourth graders to the Iowa River. Her goal, and the goal of her co-founders, is to instill children with a love of the Iowa River and of nature….

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Eye of the Whale by Douglas Carlton Abrams

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Intrigue. Romance. Danger. Life. Death. Loyalty. Betrayal. Eye of the Whale has what it takes to get a reader’s pulse racing clear to the last page. But there’s more to this novel than a mystery. After years of thorough research, author Douglas Carlton Abrams has skillfully woven a tale that teaches as much as it entertains. Abrams combines hard scientific facts about the pollution that threatens the world’s sea creatures with a page-turning thrill ride.

Eye of the Whale is an excellent literary vehicle for making the current threat of pollution immediate and real. The author accomplishes this by creating characters — not all of them human — that readers come to know and care about. From a mother whale who begins a new, mysterious song that carries around the world to a ravenous shark whose violent kills are simply a means of survival to a male whale stranded in a California river, the animals have compelling plot lines that draw the reader in.

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A Plea to Protect Burns Bog as a UNESCO Site

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Environmentalists tend to be a passionate lot, on fire with conviction about the importance of preservation, conservation, and the well-being of the planet. But, despite our convictions, not all of us are activists. Dana L. Miller of Vancouver, British Columbia (B.C.), is an environmentalist who not only espouses her beliefs, she follows through with focused activities that support them. Miller is a vocal and dedicated advocate for protecting British Columbia’s Burns Bog with UNESCO designation as a World Heritage Site.

Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) spoke with Miller by phone from her B.C. home. We began by asking her to tell us what’s unique about Burns Bog and why UNESCO designation would help protect it….

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Foxhollow Poultry Farm – “Respecting the Food We Raise”

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Whoosh! A huge ball of feathers flaps past my head, catching me completely by surprise. “It’s just Cy Snoodle,” says Tai Johnson-Spratt, co-owner of Foxhollow Poultry Farm. She laughs. “He’s showing off.”

Tai and I are standing in the roomy, sunny hen house among a couple dozen busy birds. Several walk past our feet, checking out the things chickens, turkeys, and peacocks find most interesting — each other, food, grit, water, and whatever they can scratch up in the dirt. A few hens are perched on a series of boards that resemble bleachers at a football game. That’s where Cy, named after nearby Iowa State University’s Cyclones, was apparently perched when he decided to do a flyby. Cy is a fitting name for this cloud of feathers that seemed to appear in the air out of nowhere.

Now Cy struts across the floor of the hen house, his feathers puffed up and fully open, showing off just how big and manly he is. He’s got his eye on a svelte lavender female, his favorite. “See how he turns his tail feathers,” Tai says. “That shows where he’s directing his attention. He really likes her; he’s always following her around.” The object of Cy’s affection is a heritage variety that is critically endangered…

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Saving the Wolves, Saving Ourselves

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Must humans insist on a “them or us” mentality? If everyone changed their light bulbs, used cloth bags rather than plastic, became a vegetarian and ate organic food, drove a smaller car, and recycled responsibly, would we save our planet? Of course, these are important; but, no, that will not save our planet. Until we stop the uncontrolled proliferation of our own species (which no one seems to be talking much about), dramatically reduce our personal and collective unquenchable thirst for energy and alter the ways we acquire it, and stop poisoning ourselves and the earth, we haven’t a prayer…

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