The Life Slant - Page 3

Smart, Screaming, Carnivorous Bees, Kith and Kin

MEXICO CITY – Our comrades, the bees, are intriguing wee creatures and vital to a healthy natural world.

Nobel laureate Karl von Frisch (1886-1982) was the first to discover that the elaborate language of honeybees revolves around complex dances. In addition to deciphering their communications, von Frisch was also able to train honeybees to arrive at feeding stations in three, four and five separate periods within 24 hours. The fact that bees possess a memory for time is astonishing.

The waggle dance is one of the most extraordinary forms of communication in the animal kingdom. The dance conveys precise information about food, water and tree resin location, including its direction and distance from the hive as far as 13 kilometres (8mi). See my book, The Incomparable Honeybee for a detailed explanation of the waggle dance and the angle of the sun. Credit: Yemin Deng

Years later, my colleagues from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama showed that social bees have a bigger brain area for both learning and memory compared to solitary bees. And like people, bees show the effects of aging. For example, honeybees’ memories fade and their ability to learn decreases. One way we both can slow down aging is by getting restorative sleep.

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Terrified Asian honeybees, just like us, other primates, birds and meerkats, shriek when faced with a life-threatening situation. When giant Asian hornets attack the hive, honeybees release a “rallying call for collective defence”. It eerily sounds like bloodcurdling human screams. When these colossal merciless hornets storm the colony, they feast on larvae, decapitate adult bees and feed severed body parts to their young.

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Australia Greenlights Two More Giant Fracking Mines, Armageddon

ALICE SPRINGS – Are you fed-up with the worst, least qualified and most unscrupulous citizens, the world’s leaders, lying about reducing emissions and failing to address the climate emergency? 

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison just greenlit two humongous fracking mines in the Northern Territory (NT) and Western Australia (WA). Morrison blatantly disregarded the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) warning that there can be NO more new coal, oil and gas extractions if we are to limit temperature increases to below the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees. 

Morrison’s most recent planetary destructive fracking decision followed on the heels of U.S. President Joe Biden’s move to auction off oil and gas leases across 32.4  million hectares (80M ac) of the Gulf of Mexico. Old boys business as usual.

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A Football Field of Native Forests Annihilated Every Second

MELBOURNE – Native forests need wildlife to thrive. We “wise apes” need native forests to save us from the man-made climate crisis. If we lose those forests, we die.

Destruction of Native Forests
Our beloved oxygen-makers, carbon storehouses, intercontinental rain-makers, cloud-makers, climate stabilisers, medicine chests, wildlife-rich glorious native forests are unique to planet Earth. Credit: Fancis Eatherington

At the recent twenty-sixth climate talks in Glasgow, the world’s leaders refused pleas by environmental groups and forest biologists to protect earth’s best climate stabilisers, its native forests. Instead, the world’s negotiators delayed an agreement greenlighting another decade of forest plunder.

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Gen Zs Deplasticising Oceans

Almost 400 million metric tons, or, the equivalent weight of the human population, of subsidised petroleum-based plastics are manufactured annually. Thirteen million metric tons of those plastics are entering the oceans and poisoning everything.

About 12 per cent of the world’s petroleum {12 million barrels daily (mbd)} is poured into plastics. By mid-century, unless corrective action is taken, that figure is predicted to grow to be almost 18 mbd.

The shale gas industry has been trying to build demand for fossil fuels from its fracked oil and gas wells by promoting the construction of a new petrochemical corridor in America’s Rust Belt and expanding the corridor on the Gulf Coast. Credit: Desmog.com

Meanwhile, petrochemicals are expected to account for more than one-third of global oil demand growth by 2030 and approximately half of demand growth by 2050, according to the world’s energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency (IEA). At the current pace of consumption, plastic could surpass coal’s emissions by 2030.

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The Great Forest, A Wonderful Book

The Great Forest is a stunning book that is loaded with intriguing information and many beautiful images.

Ecologist David Lindenmayer along with photographers Chris Taylor, Sarah Rees and Steven Kuiter have presented the finest tabletop forest book that I have ever read.

These skilled Aussie forest defenders help us understand the mesmerising wet forests of Victoria’s ancient Central Highlands, and that the Indigenous Peoples are the rightful caretakers of these lands. This exquisite book showcases the majestic oxygen-making mountain ash, the world’s tallest flowering trees and many of its unique animals.

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COP26: Heal the Natural World, Protect All Old-Growth Forests

GLASGOW – Old-growth forests are the planet’s largest and most carbon-rich biodiverse assemblages. Protecting these earthly temples is central to the survival of all life.

As the twenty-sixth United Nations climate talks get underway, the only issue that matters to Mother Earth and the two million known species is, how to slow down the infernal man-made climate heat, climate droughts, climate fires, climate floods and strengthening climate hurricanes and climate cyclones?

The answer is really quite simple. Reduce combustion emissions immediately. Dovetail all industries to produce a zero-combustion global economy by 2035. And end all fossil fuel subsidies, $5.9 trillion annually, without any further delay.

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Heal The Oceans, Protect All Fish

LONDON – Each year, fisheries are annihilating as many as one hundred trillion creatures. Additionally, fisheries’ bottom-trawlers are destroying the ocean floor, accelerating the man-driven Sixth Mass Extinction and unlocking the largest planetary carbon storehouse to cook everything alive.

This terrible hatred of marine life must come to an end otherwise all life is doomed. Thankfully, there is a salubrious alternative.

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American Bumblebee, Dead Buzz

CHICAGO – Since 2000, the American bumblebee population has crashed and burned by 89 percent. These handsome, big, black and yellow bees are abandoning Earth en masse. Scandalous.

Once upon a time, their range encompassed southern Canada, much of continental United States and northern Mexico. Today, American bumblebees have died out in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon and Wyoming.

In New York State their population has plummeted by 99 percent.  In nineteen other states across the Southwest and Midwest populations of American bumblebees have plunged by more than 50 percent.

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Oslo Murders 575 Planet-Saving Whales

OSLO – Over the previous four months, subsidised Norwegian whalers slowly and methodically tortured and eventually killed 575 minke whales.

A fleet of fourteen vessels equipped with rocket launching harpoons tipped with penthrite grenades and state of the art satellite technology mercilessly hunted our brethren and sistren, the filter feeding whales. Perhaps as many as three-quarters (~430) of the defenceless whales were pregnant.

Whaling in Norway
Norway is one of the world’s largest exporters of oil. They are looters and polluters of the North Sea. Hiss. Credit: Scanasia

Norway’s government is as crooked and cruel as the day is long. This well-to-do miniscule nation of less than six million citizens makes its living from killing, poisoning and cooking the Earth alive.

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