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Cetacean's Rights? It's a serious question that's being put forth by the scientific community.
Research on everything from whale communication to “trans-species psychology” hints that the glowing portrayals of these fictional animal friends have some basis in reality. If cetaceans—marine mammals including whales, dolphins, and porpoises—can act like humans, even using tools and recognizing themselves in a mirror, shouldn’t they have the same basic rights as people?
That’s what attendees of a meeting organized by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) said yesterday, where a multidisciplinary panel agreed on a “Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans: Whales and Dolphins.”
And here is the declaration itself...
Based on the principle of the equal treatment of all persons;
Recognizing that scientific research gives us deeper insights into the complexities of cetacean minds, societies and cultures;
Noting that the progressive development of international law manifests a growing sense of entitlement by cetaceans;
We affirm that all cetaceans as persons have the right to life, liberty and wellbeing.
We believe that:
Every individual cetacean has the right to life.
No cetacean should be held in captivity or servitude; be subject to cruel treatment; or be removed from their natural environment.
All cetaceans have the right to freedom of movement and residence within their natural environment.
No cetacean is the property of any State, corporation, human group or individual.
Cetaceans have the right to the protection of their natural environment.
Cetaceans have the right not to be subject to the disruption of their cultures.
The rights, freedoms and norms set forth in this Declaration should be protected under international and domestic law.
Cetaceans are entitled to an international order in which these rights, freedoms and norms can be fully realized.
No State, corporation, human group or individual should engage in any activity that undermines these rights, freedoms and norms.
Nothing in this Declaration shall prevent a State from enacting stricter provisions for the protection of cetacean rights.
Agreed, 22nd May 2010, Helsinki, Finland
I arrived this morning into New Orleans from Charleston, South Carolina, where I had been the night before at a gala event for the South Carolina Aquarium. They had honored my sister Alexandra and me with the Legacy Award last year and then invited me back this year to present the award to Al Gore. It was an honor and a perfect pre-cursor to my trip to fight the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This is my second trip down here (you can read about my first trip two weeks ago here.) Now I am down here again to cover the spill from a new angle...stay tuned, as you will learn more in the next day or so. This is the greatest environmental disaster of our lifetimes and it has only just begun.
A supercomputer that will likely be able to perform around 1 million billion calculations in a second (a petaflop) will be solely dedicated to climate change research. This week supercomputer maker Cray said it won a $47 million contract with the Department of Energy (DOE) to provide next-generation supercomputing power to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Cray says the supercomputer it will build — dubbed the Climate Modeling and Research System (CMRS) — will be the world’s most powerful high-performance computer dedicated to climate research.
For the close to $50 million, which will be funded through the stimulus package, the labs will receive one of Cray’s XT6 supercomputers in the second half of 2010, followed by an even more powerful supercomputer with the code name “Baker” in 2011, and more high-performance computing gear in 2012. Cray, which reported pretty weak first-quarter earnings results earlier this month, says its XT6 was the first to break the petaflop barrier. While Cray didn’t say how fast the CMRS would be, the Register predicts that for $47 million, the labs will be able to buy on the order of 1 petaflop.
Sadly, when reading this headline, the first thing I thought was, "TOO BIG TO FAIL?". Chinese engineers propose world's biggest hydro-electric project in Tibet. I can't imagine the obstacles or the environmental issues related to a project of this size. I don't feel qualified to comment though.
Chinese hydropower lobbyists are calling for construction of the world's biggest hydro-electric project on the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra river as part of a huge expansion of renewable power in the Himalayas.
Zhang Boting, the deputy general secretary of the China Society for Hydropower Engineering, told the Guardian that a massive dam on the great bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo - the Tibetan name for the river - would benefit the world, despite the likely concerns of downstream nations, India and Bangladesh, which access water and power from the river.
Zhang said research had been carried out on the project, but no plan has been drawn up. But documents on the website of a government agency suggest a 38 gigawatt hydropower plant is under consideration that would be more than half as big again as the Three Gorges dam, with a capacity nearly half as large as the UK's national grid.
"This dam could save 200m tonnes of carbon each year. We should not waste the opportunity of the biggest carbon emission reduction project. For the sake of the entire world, all the water resources than can be developed should be developed." That CO2 saving would be over a third of the UK's entire emissions.
Uglier the animal, the worst off their fate? A New study says that's the case. Meerkats, chimps and pandas: the cute and the furry attract scientists' attention and conservation funding.
When it comes to a beauty contest, the African manatee, a bloated sea cow that grazes the coastal waters off west Africa, will never win any prizes. But should an unprepossessing mugshot condemn a species to extinction?
According to a new study, rampant bias exists among researchers towards "cuter and more interesting" animals. The meerkat has clocked up more than 100 published studies since 1994. The manatee has been the subject of just 14, and academic neglect may be a vital factor in its currently parlous position. "Scientists are people too," says Morgan Trimble, a conservation scientist at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, who carried out the study. "And many of them want to work with the big and furry stuff."
For years, conservationists have wrestled with the problem that high-profile species draw the most attention, and therefore the most money. It is no accident that conservation group WWF is known by its distinctive panda logo.
It's led to an important debate on how conservationists focus their please for funding and how they think about endangered species. Do we focus on a habitat? An umbrella species, which in protecting a characteristic species you save a whole bunch of other lesser known species that are in the same area? Or do we have to take a holistic approach, in that without the habitat, without biodiversity, all the cute fuzzy creatures don't matter very much in the end?
It's a paradox that I believe the conservation community has created in order to bring much needed attention to endangered species but now that things have become more dire, that a larger number of species are under threat, there needs to be a newer approach.
A fish with hands? No seriously?
These fish, pardon the pun, need a hand. There are 14 species of fish with hand-like fins. And nine are in danger of extinction. Don't you hate it when you discover something amazing, only to find out that it's almost gone?
Such is the case here. CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia, says nine new species of handfish are described in research that says there's an urgent need to better understand and protect the diversity of life in our oceans.
"Handfishes are small, often strikingly patterned or colourful, sedentary fish that tend to 'walk' on the seabed on hand-like fins, rather than swim," according to Daniel Gledhill, a taxonomist with the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship.
And for some cute, here's an Otter teaching her babies to swim.
And some manatees that were rescued just in April because of injury and illness. Okay, I think they are cute.
(All times Eastern!)
Sunday Train by BruceMcF Sundays @ 7-8PM Wind Power Series by Jerome a Paris Various EcoAdvocates Wednesdays @ 8-9PM EcoJustice Mondays @ 10PM ECSTASY Sundays @ 1PM Thursdays @ 10PM Dawn Chorus Birdblog by lineatus Sundays @ 9AM Foraging Diaries by wide eyed lib Sundays @ 4PM DK GreenRoots Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays @ 9PM eKos Earthship Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays @ 10:30-11PM This Week in Dirty Coal by DWG Mondays @ 1-3PM Climate Change News Roundup by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse Sundays @ 10PM This Week in Climate Change Wednesdays @ 4PM Alternative Energy Round-Up by mark louis Mondays and Thursdays @ 6PM Macca's Meatless Mondays by beach babe in fl Mondays @ 6PM Green Diary Rescue by Meteor Blades Thursdays and Sundays @ Midnight
Today's eKos diaries:
Author Diary Time Tags Green Bean It isn't news. 05/24/10 12:19AM Pacific The News, The Gulf, Catastrophe, Exploitation, Media wbramh BP - When Chaos Becomes Policy in Place of Solutions 05/24/10 01:55AM Pacific BP, oil spill, Gulf, solutions, President Obama EyeOfSouthGwinnett My message to whitehouse.gov 05/24/10 02:35AM Pacific obama, deepwater, deepwater horizon, bp, oil seesdifferent How the top kill would (hopefully) work (with animation) 05/24/10 06:01AM Pacific oil, BP oil leak, gulf oil leak, British Petroleum, Blowout preventer PhotogHog Updated 2 TIMES - Deepwater Horizon appears to be erupting from seabed 05/24/10 08:10AM Pacific deepwater horizon, BP, new leak, top kill, recommended Frenchy Lamour Did BP Oil Hit the MS Sound Yesterday? (With Video of Sea Turtle) 05/24/10 08:22AM Pacific oil, BP, disaster, environment, Gulf Coast Frank Palmer The 4 consequences of rising atmospheric CO2 05/24/10 08:39AM Pacific Global Warming, oceanic acidification, CO2, eKos mwmwm Gulf gusher: a sort of requiem 05/24/10 08:45AM Pacific dk-greenroots, ekos, environment, green, oil wade norris (video)The BP Oil Disaster and why this endorsement matters-DK Greenroots 05/24/10 09:05AM Pacific dk greenroots, eKos, Andrew Romanoff, Colorado, Senate rperks Music Saves Mountains: Concert recap, photos and more! 05/24/10 09:05AM Pacific appalachia, bigkenny, dave matthews, emmylou harris, mountaintop mining Bev Bell Environment and Food in Haiti: Two Crises, One Solution 05/24/10 09:07AM Pacific Haiti, Haiti Earthquake, Help Haiti, Haiti Aid, Agriculture Sue Sturgis Special investigation: Coal's dirty secret 05/24/10 09:18AM Pacific coal, coal ash, dirty coal, dirty energy, epa Avenging Angel Sarah Palin's Supposed Energy Expertise Backfires. Again. 05/24/10 10:26AM Pacific Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, John McCain. Oil Spill, BP, Deepwater Horizon possum Science Tidbits 05/24/10 12:32PM Pacific Science, Teaching, Learning, eKos gchaucer2 Oil and Gas Exemptions in NEPA 05/24/10 01:28PM Pacific National Environmental Policy Act, NEPA, eKos slinkerwink The Government Can Federalize The Oil Spill! 05/24/10 02:31PM Pacific oil spill, government, BP, 2010, eKos beach babe in fl Macca's Meatless Monday...Tofu On The Hill 05/24/10 03:02PM Pacific recipes, .vegetarian, vegan, Meatless Monday, health Andrew Romanoff CO-SEN Live Chat With Andrew Romanoff 05/24/10 03:32PM Pacific eKos, Andrew Romanoff, Michael Bennet, 2010, Senate Francis Thicke Iowa Ag Sec.--Who's Afraid of Francis Thicke? 05/24/10 03:32PM Pacific Francis Thicke, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, 2010 election, peak oil, ammonia fuel jamess What 'Legitimate Claims' look like -- It's time to Raise the 75M Cap 05/24/10 03:33PM Pacific BP, Legitimate Claim, Liability, Social Costs, Economic Impact
Yesterday's eKos diaries:
Author Diary Time Tags BruceMcF Sunday Train: Getting Ohio's 3C Line Into Cincinnati 05/23/10 04:11PM Pacific ekos, learning, Brawny Recovery, Living Energy Independence, passenger rail slinkerwink BP Won't Change Dispersants In Oil Spill Despite EPA 05/23/10 04:13PM Pacific BP, dispersants, EPA, 2010, oil spill gchaucer2 EPA, British Petroleum and Debarment 05/23/10 04:17PM Pacific Recommended, EPA, British Petroleum, Deepwater Horizon, debarment Laurence Lewis Vampire Blues 05/23/10 05:00PM Pacific Ken Saro-Wiwa, Ogoni Nine, Shell Oil, Exxon, Valdez Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse Cheney's BP Energy Extremes Must End 05/23/10 07:00PM Pacific climate change news roundup, BP, Gulf oil disaster, environment, ekos dpwks Solar linear clothes dryer technology (Updated #4) 05/23/10 07:04PM Pacific Recommended, energy conservation, clothes drying, restrictive covenants, energy A Siegel Do we have a new 9/11 and Katrina in terms of an opportunity for national transformation? 05/23/10 08:44PM Pacific five percent solution, deepwater horizon, eKos, Recommended 8ackgr0und N015e BP numbers suggests 111,000,000 gallons and counting. 05/23/10 09:03PM Pacific bp, british petroleum, deceptive business practices, business as usual, mything the point Interceptor7 Overnight News Digest: Dirty Laundry 05/23/10 09:10PM Pacific Overnight News Digest, OND, group diary, eKos Meteor Blades Green diary rescue & open thread 05/23/10 09:22PM Pacific green diary rescue & open thread, eKos James Paton Walsh New Orleans, canary in a coal mine 05/23/10 10:04PM Pacific BP, oil, global warming, New Orleans, Katrina jamess It's Deja vu all over again, from the Timor Sea 05/23/10 04:58AM Pacific Rachel Siewert, Australia, Green Party, Corexit, Dispersants lineatus Dawn Chorus Birdblog 05/23/10 06:08AM Pacific birds, birding, dawn chorus, hiatus, eKos Crashing Vor The Difference 05/23/10 06:41AM Pacific New Orleans, Louisiana, oil spill, eKos, Deepwater Horizon gravlax Avoiding Deforestation There Helps Farmers Here 05/23/10 07:20AM Pacific Deforestation, Agriculture, Ohio Corn Growers Association, Avoided Deforestation Partners, Biofuels Kristina40 Sorry Sarah, money can't fix this. Updated: Sarah and WH trade jabs 05/23/10 09:12AM Pacific BP, Sarah Palin, oilpocalypse, eKos lipowg Betty Boop and John Prine help explain why Kerry-Lieberman won't and shouldn't pass 05/23/10 09:21AM Pacific Kerry-Lieberman, Climate, Global Warming, 1957 Civl Rights Act, Social Security Edger The End Of The Beginning? 05/23/10 09:40AM Pacific eKos, Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming, Pollution Horace Boothroyd III Wildlife Wind and Oil 05/23/10 11:53AM Pacific ekos, Windpower, Birds, Oil wide eyed lib Free Food: Foraging Sometimes Means Waiting 05/23/10 01:00PM Pacific Foraging, Botany, Survival Skills, Teaching, Spring Hayate Yagami Deepwater Horizon: The first 30 days [minor updates#1] 05/23/10 01:23PM Pacific eKos, Deepwater Horizon, Gulf Oil Spill, BP, Oil wade norris The Next Dem. Primary Senate Candidate You Should Know About (DK Greenroots) 05/23/10 02:56PM Pacific eKos, Bill Halter, Primary, 2010, senate Benintn What Obama is doing about the BP oil spill 05/23/10 03:00PM Pacific Recommended, open government, new media, BP oil spill, Deepwater Horizon response DWG Rumors of debarment for BP 05/23/10 03:27PM Pacific Recommended, oil, dirty energy, BP, Deepwater Horizon FishOutofWater 9 Scariest Words "I'm From BP and I'm Here to Help" 05/23/10 03:47PM Pacific Recommended, eKos, environment, oil, BP oil spill
This project was inspired by the Earth Day @ DKos Blogathon. In case you missed it, we had 31 participating environmental diaries, all of which were linked to in the Mothership. During the event we had several requests for an eco-mothership diary series in the mould of the Earth Day effort.
eKos is all about promoting community eco-diaries. Daily Kos already showcases several series, but sometimes the work of dedicated green diarists pass off the recent diary list hardly noticed. Our goal is to make these diaries more accessible. In the process we hope to build community and bring in a broader audience to the exceptional environmental writing here at DK.
How eKos Works
If you want a diary included in the list, please let us know by leaving a comment. We'll do our best to search out green diaries, but are bound to miss a few. For eKos to live up to it's full potential, eco-diarists will need to post a link to the mothership at the end of their diary. This will provide readers with easy access to other recent environmental diaries.
eKos is meant to be inclusive, but we will have standards for quality and content of listed diaries. (As long as you don't violate site rules and have a modicum of relevant, original content, you should be fine.)
If your diary gets listed, we'll ask you to add the eKos tag to your diary.
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In no particular order:
Regina in a Sears Kit House
Please give them some mojo if you see them, they deserve it!