Environment Portal & Search Engine
Empowering the Environmental Sustainability Movement
Bright green environmental analysis by Dr. Glen Barry highlighting severity of global ecological crises and rigorous biocentric responses for global ecological sustainability
May 21, 2013
Protect Papua New Guinea Indigenous Cave Dwellers from Rainforest Destroying Mafia
By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal
Notorious Malaysian illegal loggers Rimbunan Hijau [search] have diversified into mining in primary rainforests, in East Sepik threatening unique nomadic cave-dwellers and their 20,000 year old ancient stenciled cave art. Support the local resistance and demand an end to indigenous genocide and rainforest ecocide in the name of false development that is little more than pillaging and plundering of cultural and biological diversity.
April 27, 2013
ESSAY: Freedom Isn’t Free, Terrorism Is Pervasive
Enduring occasional acts of random terror is the cost of living in a free society. Giving up civil liberties does not provide security, but rather enslaves you in a state of pervasive terror. The human family is threatened by systematized eco-terrorism and other assaults by the elite upon the poor far more than by infrequent criminal acts which the courts can and should handle.
Terrorism is the act of inspiring terror in others by harming presumed innocents. For many, unjust postmodern life on a dying planet is full of PERVASIVE TERROR. The term terrorism has been usurped by the nanny military state to mean only politically motivated violence that targets the public. While such murder is never justified, in fact it occurs rarely and is not a high-profile threat to most. It is one of the manageable costs of being free.
Infrequent criminal acts, of the sort that recently occurred in Boston and occur much more frequently around the world, are tragic but best handled by the criminal justice system. America has become such a drama-queen nation that it continues to incautiously react to such dastardly acts with endless pundit pontificating, needlessly giving up hard-earned revolutionary civil liberties, and lashing out militarily in a counterproductive manner. Doing so breeds the next generation of criminal terrorists and ensures further blowback.
America is not special. In fact, many acts of terror occur around the ecologically and socially collapsing Earth for which America is responsible. The far greater threat issues from systematic targeting of the poor and of nature by America’s and other nations’ privileged elite. The rich and their corporations, police, and military routinely practice systematic terrorism that is much grander in scale, with devastating impact.
To name but a few: two billion people live on less than $2 a day, at least 3,000 kids die daily from bad water, and millions of innocents fear random drone attacks. Where are the outrage and the manhunts to bring those responsible for these preventable tragedies to justice? Their terror is no less heartfelt than that of the pampered elite.
April 20, 2013
ESSAY: What Would John Muir Say... About the Sierra Club?
What would Muir say about the Sierra Club being led by Michael Brune, Accountant-in-Chief and old-growth forest logging apologist? On the occasion of Muir's 175th birthday, we are certain he would not be pleased and would say so strongly. As we celebrate Earth Day, will Madison Progressives see through Brune's greenwash of logging ancient, sacred wildlands for toilet paper and books?
"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness." - John Muir
"Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away; and if they could, they would still be destroyed -- chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got..." - John Muir
"The battle we have fought, and are still fighting for the forests is a part of the eternal conflict between right and wrong, and we cannot expect to see the end of it." - John Muir
“By choosing to sell FSC-certified wood, The Home Depot is walking its talk.” - Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club
John Muir was one of the greatest protectors of forests and nature who ever lived. He was connected to my hometown Madison, Wisconsin, where he attended college. He later went on to drive the creation of the National Park system and to found the Sierra Club.
Most important, Muir took an uncompromising position that old-growth forest wildernesses must be protected for their intrinsic values. He was bold and brash, and he waged verbal and written warfare with the likes of Gifford Pinchot, the founder of the U.S. Forest Service, over the fate of old-growth forest wildernesses. Their battle over the relative merits of preservation versus conservation of natural wildlands continues to rage today as Earth's last remaining naturally evolved primary forests are industrially cleared and diminished.
Given Muir's absolute commitment to not logging primary forests, I am certain he would be deeply troubled over the ascendency of old-growth logging greenwasher extraordinaire Michael Brune as the head of the Sierra Club. Mr. Brune spoke Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin, and was not expected to mention his years promoting old-growth forest logging.
April 7, 2013
ALERT! Demand India Protect Old-Growth and Abandon Coal
India is a thriving democratic nation with tremendous potential to achieve just, equitable, and ecologically sustainable national development that could last forever. Yet India is heading towards social and ecological collapse unless it stops burning coal and clearing its natural ecosystems, especially important old-growth forest remnants. The momentum of unfettered economic and population growth sweeping India is so severely damaging to the environment that failure to stop burning and cutting threatens the nation's reliable climate, food and water supplies, and its future potential for sustained national advancement. India is an amazing place in so many ways. There is still hope that they will come to understand the importance of a different development model.
March 24, 2013
ESSAY: The Green Liberty Party
The "Earth is dying if we let it. Without ecology there can be no economy. Stop burning and cutting, work less and live more. Live free and green, or die" Political Philosophy.
Human growth in population and industry, at the expense of ecosystems is destroying the natural world, causing mass extinction, abrupt climate change, and economic as well as biosphere collapse. The challenge facing humanity, the greatest challenge of all time, is to foster a political, social, and economic transformation that realigns the human project with its ecosystem habitat.
The corporate-owned American two-party duopoly has proven to be corrupt, unethical, and profoundly ecologically unsustainable. It is time for a political agenda that values all species and ecosystems and plans for the long-term well-being of humanity and all life. It is time for global political Earth revolution to sustain land, water, and air and to achieve universal human rights and economic fairness.
Earth Meanders by Dr. Glen Barry
Personal essays from Earth's Newsdesk with Ecological Internet
Earth is collapsing and dying. Humanity is systematically destroying the biodiversity, ecosystems, climate, and biosphere upon which all life depends. Earth's ecosystems continue to be plundered for profit as if air, land, water and oceans have no intrinsic value. Climate change is an important yet singular part of a more widespread collapse of the global biosphere – the thin mantle of life arrayed in ecosystems surrounding the planet – as industrial growth destroys nature for stuff.
There remains only a short time to stop the industrial growth machine from irreparably destroying the biosphere. There is NO replacement, no backup biosphere. Either the human family comes together now to cut emissions and protect ecosystems, or being may well end – certainly well-being.
The central tenets of a Green Liberty political philosophy affirm that abrupt climate change, global ecosystem loss, and biosphere collapse threaten the well-being of the entire human family and of all life. This crisis is only survivable if we drastically cut emissions and move at once to protect natural ecosystems. Continued exponential human and industrial growth at the expense of life-giving ecosystems can only end in ecological and social collapse. We have met ecocide, and it is us. Yet not even this ecocidal state of affairs excuses loss of humanity's inherent rights, freedom, and duties.
March 16, 2013
ALERT! Massive Chinese Dam Threatens Cambodia's Cardamom Rainforests
By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal
The Areng Valley's rainforests in the Cardamom Mountains [search] of south-west Cambodia is threatened with flooding by a Chinese hydropower dam. This biodiversity gem - home of the Siamese crocodile and indigenous Khmer Daeum - is to be destroyed for a relatively small amount of electricity. Standing large, connected, and ecologically intact old-growth forests are required for local and global ecological sustainability and well-being.
March 10, 2013
Tell Avon, New Jersey: Old-Growth Rainforest Boardwalks Cause Abrupt Climate Change
Tiny Avon, New Jersey, is moving forward with plans to rebuild their ocean-front boardwalk - recently destroyed by Hurricane Sandy – for the second time in 20 years using ill-gotten old-growth rainforest timbers. Loss of primary rainforests is a primary cause of abrupt climate change [search], as well as mass extinction, social disintegration, and ecosystem decline. Unless we break the cycle of destroying ecosystems for luxury consumption, we can expect further climate weirding and biosphere collapse. Tell Avon to please follow New York Cities lead and use readily available alternatives.
February 24, 2013
EARTH MEANDERS: Earth Is Dying, Yet Climate and Forest Movements Lack Urgency and Substance
Human industrial growth is systematically liquidating the natural ecosystems that are the habitat for humans and for all life. Earth is dying, one logged old-growth tree and tank of gasoline at a time, yet most environmental groups are shilling solutions that are inadequate and ill-conceived – such as logging old-growth forests to protect them. Nothing shows this better than Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network – in an age of mass extinction, abrupt climate change, and ecosystem collapse – wanting us to wipe our asses with toilet paper from "certified" old-growth forest pulp.
A profound lack of understanding exists, even amid the supposedly radical environmental movement, of the seriousness of merging ecological crises. If Gaia – the Earth System or biosphere – is alive, as science has come to understand, then clearly she can die as key ecosystems are destroyed and biogeochemical processes fail. To survive, much less thrive, humanity must stop scraping Earth's land of life, spewing waste into our air and water, and claiming it can all be certified as sustainably done, while calling it "development."
Industrial growth's destruction of ecosystems is undermining the habitability of the planet, threatening the maintenance of conditions necessary for life, by destroying the ecosystems required for a living planet. As key ecosystems are lost, indications are humanity will soon be going extinct, quite possibly taking the biosphere and all life with us.
February 17, 2013
OLD-GROWTH ALERT! Protest Continued Tasmanian Old-Growth Logging in Proposed World Heritage Area
An important new report finds that while the Australian government has made pledges to protect Tasmania's priceless temperate rainforests [search], yet shockingly industrial clearcut logging of old-growth continues in what is to be a World Heritage Area. Important forest wildernesses covering some 170,000 hectares and including Butlers Gorge; and the Florentine, Weld and Styx valleys, have been nominated to be added to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and could finally be given protection after decades of protests. Alarmingly, however, industrial scale clear felling is still continuing within those forests, with timbers being sold as "eco ply" by the Malaysian timber mafia. From the top of the "Observer Tree" in the middle of this ancient forest, conservationist Miranda Gibson is calling for your help to protect these globally significant forests. Miranda's action is part of long running grassroots campaigns to protect Tasmania's forests, which Ecological Internet has successfully participated in for nearly 20 years, including leading international protests which helped get notorious Gunns logging to stop logging old-growth forests. We need your help again to call on the Australian government to honor their international obligations and protect these World Heritage nominated old-growth temperate rainforests from industrial destruction.
February 4, 2013
ECOLOGY SCIENCE: Terrestrial Ecosystem Loss and Biosphere Collapse
By Dr. Glen Barry, scientific journal article under preparation
Planetary boundary science defines key thresholds in the Earth System's ecological conditions that precede local or global ecosystem collapse and threaten human well-being. Terrestrial ecosystems enter into the nine originally defined planetary boundaries only indirectly, through boundaries such as biodiversity and land use. This observational study and literature review aggregate what is known regarding the quantity and quality of terrestrial ecosystems - particularly old-growth and primary forests - necessary to sustain the biosphere. The study seeks to answer the question: what extent of landscapes, bioregions, continents, and the global Earth System must remain as connected and intact core ecological areas and agroecological buffers to sustain local ecosystem services as well as the biosphere commons? Two preeminent considerations are connectivity of large ecosystem patches, enabling them to persist as the matrix for the landscape, and critical collapse of the dominant large habitat patch – or "percolating cluster" – into smaller, more isolated habitats, in a sea of human development. This transition, which has been found to occur at about 40% habitat loss in landscapes and bioregions, is likely to be similar at a continental and global scale. An example of the importance of connected ecosystems is illustrated by the effort to maintain Asian elephants as a viable umbrella species in the Western Ghats bioregion of India. Elephants moving across landscapes are emblematic examples of the myriad types of flows on a connected landscape that make life possible.
A new planetary boundary threshold is proposed: that across scales 60% of terrestrial ecosystems must remain, setting the boundary at 66% as a precaution. It is concluded that sustaining the biosphere requires that natural and semi-natural ecosystems, and their biogeochemical flows, must remain the context for human endeavors. This in turn requires large core ecological areas and geographically well-connected ecosystem processes and patterns as the majority of the global and fractal landscape matrix. Further, again based on ecology's percolation theory, two-thirds of the 66% of terrestrial ecosystems to be maintained must be protected as ecological core areas, for the ecological patterns and processes of the other third - composed of human managed ecosystems - to be sustained as buffer and transition zones. Thus strict protection is proposed for 44% of global land, 22% as agro-ecological buffers, and 33% as zones of sustainable human use. Because humanity is now the major force shaping the biosphere, up to 50% of Earth's land surface has already been transformed from mostly wild to mostly anthropocentric; thus the biosphere may already have lost its global percolating cluster. If so, with diminished connectivity, the global ecosystem now exists as islands of nature within a sea of humanity, and it is urgent to protect large, relatively intact terrestrial ecosystems that remain, especially old-growth and primary forests. To ensure global ecological sustainability, it will be necessary to re-connect matrices of intact ecosystems across scales, so that globally the biosphere can percolate back to connected nature as the provider of context to all life. Otherwise, it is hypothesized the global biosphere may collapse, and Earth System perish.
*Version 1.1 making edits to shorten for publication from paper presented at Kerala Eco-Conference.
January 19, 2013
ALERT! Ecuadorean Tribe Will "Die Fighting" to Defend Rainforest
By Ecological Internet's Rainforest Portal
Please support Ecuador's Kichwa villagers, who the Guardian newspaper reports vow to resist oil prospecting by state-backed company Petroamazonas at all costs. The Kichwa tribe has said they are ready to fight to the death to protect their rainforests which cover 70,000 hectares, adjacent and part of Yasuni [search] National Park, and huge additional Ecuadorean rainforests are threatened by new industrial oil auctions as well. Industrial development of rainforests for oil in the Amazon has a long history of destroying ecosystems including fouling water. Tell President Correa standing, intact old-growth forest ecosystems are a requirement for local advancement, and local and global ecological sustainability; and demand the invasion of indigenous nations' rainforests be halted.
December 29, 2012
ALERT! Without Justice for India's Amanat, Can Be No Sustained National Advancement #DelhiGangRape
We are witnessing the rise of India as a modern, global power. Yet the absence of the rule of law – as shown by the recent dramatic gang-rape and death of "Amanat" (treasure) in New Delhi – in what is otherwise a largely vibrant democracy, threatens national justice, fairness, and sustained advancement . Ecological Internet has long taken an expansive view of planetary ecological sustainability. To sustain Earth we must sustain ourselves and each other. It is profoundly hoped that Amanat's loss will trigger an Indian movement to create a safe society for women. Equality, justice, and protection for women and children, as well as respect for the rule of law, will be crucial to India's continued just, fair, and ecologically sustainable development.