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The Life Slant

Polluted Oceans, Dead Dolphins

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*Around the globe, the dolphins are showing scientists that the planet has become unlivable. Dolphin deaths are piling up.

The economics of extinction is quickly driving bluefin tunas off the planet. Individual fish sell for $3.1M.  Image credit: CNN

Globally, 44,000 floating slaughterhouses are marauding the oceans 24/7/365. Measuring a total of 13 million miles, with a couple of billion legal and illegal hooks, they are wiping, tunas, sharks, rays, sea turtles, cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises), sea birds and so many other masterpieces off the planet at an unprecedented rate. Keep Reading

College Cash Calamity

*As the French say: “Those that profit from crime are guilty of it.” Your parents slid $50k to a university official and got you in to the college of your dreams. Some of the parents had people doctor their children’s SAT tests so that the higher score would smooth their way to getting into an elite college.  One of the “internet sensation” applicants spoke of the excitement of “game days” and “parties” and, for some strange reason, never mentioned long hours in the library researching hypnotic age regression, poring over financial reports to find the best company for which to write a paper, or going to the math lab for help with calculus.

Ah, college, all of the great memories; not having money, driving and older car hoping it doesn’t break down, lack of sleep, staying up late for tests the next day, the pressure of exam week, and all for the reward of letters and emails of rejection. They’re glad you got that degree, not that it means anything to them, mind you. Well worth it. Keep Reading

A Billion Painted Ladies Dancing Across Southern California

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*This week, Nature’s pageantry afforded Angelenos and others a rare and glorious spectacle. A cool wet winter has unleashed a super floral bloom and along with this magnificence came the throngs of painted lady butterflies.

California’s state flower is a gorgeous poppy Image credit: Reese Halter

From San Diego to Camarillo, these splendid butterflies danced across the sky. An estimated billion painted ladies brought smiles to millions of people, helping to officially usher the kaleidoscope of spring colors. Keep Reading

Trump Throws Wolves Under Bus

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*This week, the Department of the Interior, led by acting secretary David Bernhardt, announced plans to delist wolves from the Endangered Species Act across America. A small exception of 114 critically endangered Mexican wolves of Arizona and New Mexico could be spared.

Alpha male (712) of the Canyon pack in the Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park. Image credit: Jim Peaco/National Park Service

In the early 1970s, masterpiece grey wolves were hunted to near extinction, a horrifying non-stop bloodbath. Keep Reading

Secrets of Bees and Flowers

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*People and honeybees share many similarities including some of the same genes and brain neurons. It’s one of the many reasons why I am awed by these masterpiece creatures.

For my entire professional life, I have followed Senegalese conservationist Baba Dioum’s dictum: “In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.”

honeybees
Honeybees can add, subtract and count. Image credit: Nat Geo

The more we discover about the incomparable honeybees, the more respect they rightfully garner. Keep Reading

The Peaceful Rebellion

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*Millennials and Generation Zs are terrified. The accelerating combustion of fossil fuels, the Man-driven Sixth Mass Extinction and the annual 250 billion metric tons of Man-made long-lasting poisons have compromised all life.

save the earth
Greta Thunberg addresses the largest ever climate demonstration in Finland. Image credit: Common Dreams

The youth of the planet are not sitting back quietly. They are forming peaceful movements. For example, Greta Thunberg, a teenaged Swede, began striking against school to bring attention to the climate crisis. Her actions have spawned a global outcry. Hundreds of thousands of school children from around the globe are striking for the climate. Keep Reading

Death, Starving Animals, Soaring Bank Profits

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*While the U.S. banks celebrate a record windfall from the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion tax cuts, our planetary life support systems are blinking code red emergency. The accelerating Man-driven Sixth Mass Extinction is smashing head on into the Man-made climate crisis.

Starving Animals
10 days after the rainfall some cows are still stranded in three feet of water. Image credit: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Accelerating fossil fuel emissions, along with the annual 250 billion metric tons of Man-made pernicious endocrine-disrupting chemicals, are laying waste to our brethren, the animals, around the globe. Keep Reading

Fossil Fuel Ocean Heat, Pacific Kelp Collapsed

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*Accelerating fossil fuel combustion has caused atmospheric and oceanic oxygen levels to plummet. Why is Man knowingly asphyxiating Mankinds only home?

Many of the luxuriant kelp forests surrounding all continents have collapsed. It’s a catastrophe for kelp-dwelling marine life. No home. No animals.

fossil fuel combustion
A 2011 marine heatwave cooked a 600-mile stretch of Western Australia’s kelp forests. Image credit: Dr Hamish Malcolm

Welcome to the insane Man-driven Sixth Mass Extinction occurring as fast as 10,000 times the previous five others as it collides with the Man-made climate in crisis from burning subsidized fossil fuels. Hideous biological annihilation.

93 percent of all fossil fuel heat has been stored in the oceans. The oceans drive Earth’s climate. The oceans heat is in lockstep with accelerating fossil fuel emissions. Every year in the last decade was among the 10 warmest ever measured in the oceans. In fact, 2018 was the hottest global ocean temperature ever recorded.

Everything in Nature is interconnected and interdependent. Keep Reading

Peace sign on hedge

Perennial Peace

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*Dona nobis pacem.  Grant us peace.  Sounds like church, or Christmas.  Not everyday words, but nice.  Like Namaste, Shalom and Aloha, Peace is at once a greeting and a good-bye, a well wish for you and a hope for all, a concept and a reality.  Peace is something to strive for and enjoy along the way; to both dream of and experience.

Peace doesn’t get much press these days except during the holidays.  That’s when illuminated doves and signs spelling out PEACE and old-school Peace Signs come out of hiding along with Jesus and the manger and Santa, as if they all were members of a high school debate team that still gets together once a year.

The lights and decorations are beautiful and remind us that it is a special season and most of us do slow down a bit; try to be a little more patient and understanding and peaceful.  By New Year’s Day the lights are gone and the debate team is again confined to the box and peace goes back into hibernation with the others, both in physical space and (perhaps?) in our hearts.  But, Peace is not a Christmastime thing! Keep Reading

Western Monarchs 99.4% Vanished

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*A couple weeks ago, a majestic western monarch butterfly fluttered by me en route to feed upon the nectar of pretty purple lantana flowers. It whispered, “Don’t forget to tell the world of our plight, too!”

The iconic monarchs are mysterious pollinators, which intrigue children and adults alike.

Monarch Butterflies
Monarch butterflies cannot fly if their body temperature is below 86 degrees. They will bask in the sun or shiver their wings to warm up. Image credit: Texas A&M
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