Frogs: Charismatic and Beautiful: Mass Extinction Around the World

I would like to introduce you to an amazing young man who is out to save all the frogs in the world.  His name is Justin.  When I first met him,  he was a first grader (2017-18).  Justin has an amazing website  ForTheLoveOfFrogs.com 

For the Love of Frogs
          For the Love of Frogs

He and other kids like him are going to change the future of our planet.  They need your support. Just look at what Justin has done.  Hoping that someday he’ll become the head of the EPA.  Working as a naturalist would be just as good too.

4 Frogs 4 Earth and World Peace

I love frogs, especially tree frogs.  Apparently many people do not consider these animals cute, beautiful and charismatic creatures. I cannot imagine this.

I remember hearing that Frog populations were beginning to disappear fifty years ago.  They were considered to be the above ground canary warning us that something was wrong with our environment.  In the past, miners took canaries into the mines to detect poisonous gases, such as carbon monoxide.  Need I tell you, that a canary belly-up was a bad sign.  The dying off of frogs are due to deforestation, and in time rising seas will wipe out many too as the islands they live on are taken over by the sea.

sohfrogc2sohfrogc1bWhat’s really killing amphibians, tree frogs focused on here, is the “first major wildlife disease outbreak in the world.” (National Geographic).  A water borne pathogen called chytrid fungus is the culprit that is decimating amphibian populations.  Some amphibians such as the American Bullfrog are resistant to this disease though they may be carriers of this disease (amphibian ark).

Cusuco National Park, a cloud forest, in Honduras is one of the most biodiverse natural habitats in the world, especially for amphibians.  The populations of the extremely diverse group of tree frogs that live in this Park are disappearing rapidly.  Local inhabitants who have the pleasure to see these beauties everyday, for they are everywhere, are saddened by the loss these animals and fear there extinction.

Critically Endangered in Honduras.  In the last 10 years, 80% of them are gone.

Please!
        Mossy Red-Eyed Frog

Fortunately, Jonathan Kolby, a biologist and National Geographic explorer, has set up the Honduras Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Center (HARCC), to study and treat those infected.  There is a cure.  When free of the disease they are returned to wild. HARCC is running a fundraiser right now (10/17/16).  Please support them.

Do know that some species are the most poisoness animals on earth and can be deadly if handled.  This is their defense against so many predators that if they could would devour them.  Even so, they are one of the cutest animals in the world.

Cusuco Spike-Thumb Frog
                  Cusuco Spike-Thumb Frog

We lost this one.

goldentoadextinct

Hoping to get a movement going, the Get Loud for Endangered Species Movement, I have made t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, mugs, etc. to wear or give as gifts.  Though I’ve included many kinds of animals in my shop, this ad focuses on frogs.  Watch, it’s fun too.

Turn up the Sound

 

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

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The Pale Blue Dot: Homage to Carl Sagan

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On October 13, 1994, Carl Sagan (American astronomer, cosmologist,astrophysicist, astrobiologist and author — Cosmos and more) gave a public lecture at Cornell University reflecting on the Voyager 1’s photograph of the earth taken on February 14, 1990 (13 years after its launch).  Voyager 1 had travelled 6 billion kilometers (4 billion miles) from earth when Carl Sagan asked NASA to turn Voyager’s camera toward our home and photograph it.  Thank you!

images-30Pale Blue Dot

The following are excerpts of this magnificent lecture.  If you wish to read the entire lecture, just google it.  It is my suggestion that one needs to revisit The Pale Blue Dot often to remind ourselves of how fragile our planet is, and how amazing it is that we have had the privilege to live where life thrives.

The Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan

“That’s home.  That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.

. . . every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child. . . every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on the moon of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

“. . . how frequent their misunderstandings.  How fervent their hatred.  Our imagined self- importance.  The delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic card.  In all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

Like it or not, for this moment, the earth is where we make our stand.

There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceit than this distant image of our tiny world . . . it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the blue dot.  The only home we’ve ever known.”

Voyager 1 Launch – Sept. 5, 1977 –
Voyager 1
              Voyager 1
Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

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Essay: Thoughts on Climate Change, GMOs and more

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

According to E.O. Wilson, (biologist, researcher in sociobiology, biodiversity etc.) we know very little about our planet, tens of thousand species are unknown to us.

Everything exists for a reason, even if it’s an evolutionary experiment that doesn’t work. Which of these animals, bacteria, insects, fungi, plants are crucial to the health of the ecosystems that they live in?  Which may cure certain cancers or Parkinson’s disease, etc.?  All of these and more possibilities are going to disappear if we don’t do something to change the environmental path we are on NOW.  Why is it we treat our planet and all that lives on it with such disregard that we ultimately destroy the only thing that we can live on.  It doesn’t make sense.

In our society, there are quite a few that believe that God will fix the problem, and therefore nothing needs to be done. And of course there are climate change deniers or people who don’t believe that we humanoids are causing global warming. First, God’s not going to fix it. Get over this. What about free will and being stewards?  That’s in the Bible too.  It is our responsibility.  

Our brain has evolved in linearly with our technologies which, as evidence by the nuclear threat and global warming, have had extremely dangerous consequences.  In part, it will be technologies that will help save us from the latter threat.  We can choose to use technologies to help or to destroy.  

Once upon a time, not long ago, the earth had lived in a reasonably balanced state for quite a few thousand years.  The carbon cycle (more on this later) remained stable, and as a result, life was given the chance to thrive.  That is no longer the case.  There are also some brilliant natural solutions to part of the problems we face.  These will be talked about in this section.

All of this began innocently enough as industrialization came into being, despite early warning signs: toxic rivers, plenty of belly up  fish, and deadly fogs in London were clear signs that the byproducts of an industrialized life had detrimental effects on the environment.   And, yes, they took measures to fix those problems.  At the time, the earth seemed to big to imagine that what we were doing could, especially in such a short amount of time, result in today’s fight for our lives.  

Though we had known for a long time that the rain forests are the lungs of the earth, it hasn’t stopped people from cutting them down.  Time and time again, greed and big money interests ‘win’ the battles over environmental wisdom.  

Then too, there is the dodgy topic of overpopulation.  One almost has to whisper this else knives be thrown.  We casually talk about how by the year of . . . the population will be 6 billion folks on our planet.  Though questions of sustainability is on the minds of concerned people, and many are attempting to figure out new technologies to sustain such a large population, does anyone think about what happens after 6 billion: 10 billion, 20 billion?  For GMO’s haters, GMO’s will be a part of our future, and may be the only answer to feeding an increasingly human take over of the earth.  Frankly, I’d prefer trying to figure out a way to make Global Zero Population Growth rather than large families something to celebrate.  Don’t misunderstand me, I understand the appeal of having a large family for those who want them.  However, what will their future look like.  I talk to expectant mothers all the time, and many simply don’t think about what their kids are inheriting.  A world of starvation will not be pretty.

SBLotusbMind you, we have been genetically modifying all sorts of things not long after humankind picked up a spade.  For example, apples originally came from Afghanistan.  They were very small and not particularly tasty.  How many varieties do we have today?  Long before laboratory manipulation of genes came into being, we created many new types of apples, as well as roses, breeds of dogs, etc..  Do you think it’s possible that plants have manipulated us to become more diverse as a species?  Check out Michael Pollan’s book, Botany of Desire: A plant’s eye view of the world (good read).  Think about everything that’s new before jumping on any no bandwagon.  For example, GMO’s. Yes, I think it’s better to eat organic vegetables for many reasons, though I do question if organic vegetables will be able to sustain our growing population.  Caution is warranted and we’re going to find out the effects, if any to eating these plants.  Yes, if some people get cancers or other maladies from eating these foods, that would be awful.  Is there a greater good scenario that comes out of this.  We don’t know yet.  And, if I am only thinking for myself, I would certain be happy to try a nut without oxalates – I don’t even know if a nut would be a nut without oxalates, but I sure do miss eating them. Life is one big experiment.  Whether one likes it or not, there has been great good that has come from the Industrial Revolution, unfortunately, if we don’t do something quickly, the negative consequences will be catastrophic. 

Briefly, there are ways in which we can help nature to begin to heal itself, and one has to do with reestablishing the natural way that the Carbon cycle operates in our environment. Carbon dioxide (too plentiful in the atmosphere = global warming) with the help of the sun is processed in plants, photosynthesis, breaking the bonds between Carbon and Oxygen.  The carbon is retained in the soil and oxygen is released in the atmosphere.  Carbon rich soil results in creating a soil ecosystem that supports a diverse population of thousands of beneficial organisms, and water is absorbed into the soil, resulting in an above ground oasis.  Many habitats have been completely restored in only a few years. It is suggested that the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere could be reduced to below pre-industrial numbers using this method to be discussed shortly.  This does not mean that emission of CO2 and other poisons into the atmosphere also need to be curtailed.  See article entitled, Meet Allan Savory and read Cows Save the Planet by Judith D Schwartz. 

Meanwhile, back to GMOs.  This is not to say that anything goes or that we don’t need to keep an eye on what’s going on in the GMO world.  The morality of some of experiments must be addressed, e.g. turkeys  that cannot walk because their breast are too big–never mind what we might be ingesting because we really like white meat.  In so saying, one needs to consider the potential benefits.  Manipulating genes are curing some cancers and so on.  The thing is, we have a brain that reaches for the stars, and because of this you cannot stop humans from trying new things all the time–some will be great, and others terribly flawed.  Ethical issues need to be balanced with the common good, and inhumane practices, in my opinion, need to be outlawed.  Making a mouse chirp seems an unkind way to treat a mouse, particularly if it’s done just to see what happens, which seems to be the case here.  On the other hand, there maybe some unintended consequences that prove to be extremely beneficial, at least for the human population.  We don’t know.  Meanwhile, as long as animal experimentation exists, I hope the mouse is treated well and loved. 

If God exists, I believe s/he or it, would be very unhappy with our treatment toward this rare and fragile miracle called earth. It is all about the Mystic Law of Cause and Effect.  If we do nothing significant in a short time to change the direction we have caused, the effects of humankind climate change may be extinction.  If you believe that you go to hell after you die, think again, hell is already here.  The despair one experiences when watching their child die of starvation is hell.  If you think you are immune.  Think again.  Imagine what will happen when worldwide hunger, diminishing drinkable water, and refugees from disappearing lands, or uninhabitable regions descend on the few areas left that will be able to temporarily sustain life.  Imagine the suffering.

There really is hope.  There are great causes happening all over the world that point to restorative concerns of environments, some species coming back.  Next time I write, I will tell  you about some of the great strides that have been taken to stop the progression of climate change.  We don’t have to be doomed.  

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

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A Plea to Get People Working To Fix our Planet

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

As a Nichiren Buddhist, it is my goal to help end suffering and bring happiness to all human beings.  Our practice involves  protecting our environment too.  Now, most of us focus on helping people, and though this is my mission too, my specific area of interest is the environment and has been for over forty-five years.  If we don’t change our path, imagine the suffering of everything that will come.

Our planet is a rare jewel in the universe–a very tiny speck that just happened to fall into a fertile area for life to exist, and yet we have treated it as if it is indestructible as if there is somewhere else to go. If quantum mechanics notion of parallel universes is true, perhaps their are places to go.  This habitable zone is called the Goldilocks zone, a metaphor from the fairy tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”– not too large, not too small, not too hot, not too cold, ah! “just right.”

We’ve lost many of our natural wonders to pollution, over-use, littering and so on and on and on.  We have even lost our night sky in much of the world from light pollution, which is known to upset migratory paths of birds and insects. I remember looking up at the Milky Way (our galaxy) as a kid in Los Angeles.  Imagine that, in Los Angeles.  I wonder how many people even know what the Milky Way is or that it appears in our sky.  The Milky Way is our solar system.  In other words, we have lost touch with the natural world, and, as such, we haven’t given it much regard until now: now that the effects of our actions are being felt by all of us whether recognized or not, i.e. climate change which are directly connected to our actions.  A coming soon article in this section, entitled Meet Allan Savory and read Cows Save the Planet by Judith D Schwartz, discusses how humankind has depleted our soil of carbon, resulting in an increasing rate of desertification throughout the world and contributing to rising CO2 levels in our atmosphere equal if not greater than the Carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels.  The cure for this is quick and simple, and, for the most part, nature does the work.  

Our (people concerned about our environment) campaign to stop continuing on the path of self-annihilation that we are on needs to be very loud.  It’s the people that are going to get government to act.  Many changes are already occurring overseas.  However, we all need to act fast and do more. If we can make enough noise with enough people, they won’t be able to ignore us. In essence, if they choose not to move and move quickly and if we choose not to take action, then down the road we all may well be seen as mass murderers of an entire planet and near all that lives on it. The majority of us are good people, some greedy, some frightened of change, many controlled by big money, some just plain lazy and so on.  Regardless, it is my belief that Buddha Nature is within all, and the Wisdom of the Buddha is ours, and so a human revolution for the good is possible.  In order to do disrupt the path we are on, we are going to have to tackle big issues, oil, population growth, changing economics, turning lawns into meadows, changing our method of farming, etc. – no easy task. Everyone, regardless of age, sex, race, ethnicity, and social class can get involved and work together, after all we’re all equal from the earth’s point of view, and mine too.  It is always so wonderful to see all people working together after a collective crisis. No one is asking how much money do you make, or segregating jobs. No one cares how much education one has when they’re digging people out of collapsed buildings.  Let’s stop the destructive path we are  before we get into crisis mode, and let’s unite as one to save the planet.  Everyone has something to offer toward making the changes needed, respect all.  Else I am afraid will end up being a dog eat dog world–the law of the jungle. It doesn’t have to be.  I have faith in our abilities to do something great.  I have faith in the human heart to start doing the right thing for all.

I know we can all learn to work together in harmony with each other, treating all with dignity and respect as we must learn to treat our planet the same. We are here as stewards, let us act as such. Let’s get started.  Each day we waste is one day closer to crossing over the line of nothing we can do.  It is up to all of us.  These and other items related to this movement are available at Cafe Press Earth and World Peace

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Some Rhinos are Making a Comeback

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 Even though two species of Rhino are doing quite well, there species aren't. They still need your help. Their habitats also needs protection too.
Even though two species of Rhino are doing much better, the other three species of Rhino need immediate help.  They need your help. Habitat protection also very important.  Read the following and discover the world of Rhino Ranches–those farm designed to negatively exploit these and other animals must be made illegal. Greed.

Now for a bit of good news.  The White Rhinoceros is making a  comeback on the African Savanas, and Black Rhinos are over populating their preserves.  Fortunately the World Wildlife Fund’s Black Rhino Range Expansion Project is relocating these wonderful animals to many other areas in Africa. By the way the White Rhino isn’t white.  They have a very wide mouth that looks much like a vacuum cleaner, and someone in the past confused wide for white–that’s one theory anyway.

This is great news when one considers that in the last forty years the decline in their population was 80%.  Black Rhinos population once numbered 500,000 thousand.  Today there are 29,000.  In 1885, the White Rhino was thought to be extinct until fifty of them were discovered in Umfolozi.  There are now 12,000.  Very cool.  

The extinction rate of these magnificent animals is the result on one thing, their horns–composed of they same stuff as our fingernails.  In Yeman, Rhino horns were favored as the most beautiful handles for a knife called jambiya.  Fortunately, education initiatives and a fatwa (laws) against rhino horns has reduced this practice. 

However, the medicinal use of Rhino horns in China to cure or help people with a variety of ailments is the primary reason for why Rhinos are still being poached all over Africa today– this practice started thousands of years ago.  If you have the stomach for it, you can see how horrible this is, just search for pictures of Rhinos and you’ll run into some very ugly and sad pictures of mutilated Rhinos, some still alive and scared for life.  Many scientists have looked into the fingernail properties of Rhino horns and find nothing medicinal about them, and yet this hasn’t stopped people from selling these product, and why wouldn’t they.  On the black market, Rhino horn clippings are worth three times the value of gold.

What’s great is that the Rhinoceros is one of the big five most popular tourist attractions in Africa and has become a 10 billion dollar industry–the other four are lions, leopards, elephants and buffalo.  Cheetahs are sixth.

Now for the good and bad news. For $15,000, you can get a Rhino for your privately owned preserve.  In some cases, they are protected as best as possible by well trained teams of armed men who search the savanas everyday for signs of poachers. Obviously this is good.

However, there are many privately owned reserves that have commodified rhinos. In fact, name an animal and you’ll will find similar reserves popping up everywhere.  Many of the owners of these reserves boast that they are saving these animals from extinction.  What’s really going on is summed below. For more detail, read about it in the October 2016 National Geographic, article entitled Deadly Trade.  Bryan Christy and Investigative Journalist gave up his law practice to help those unable to defend themselves–animals. Here’s what is really going on with Rhinos and other animals at some privately owned reserves.  

In short, many of these reserves exist to attract American hunters interested in killing game that are not suppose to be hunted.  There are also Rhino Ranches where large population of these magnificent animals live in crowded fenced in spaces for the sole purpose of ‘farming’ their horns to be exported to China. The horns grow back.  As Bryan Christy says, these animals are “biologically dead” as they serve no purpose for their existence in the natural world. I would add that these beautiful beings have been sole murdered.  He met one rancher that simply killed them for their horns.  When asked about this the rancher said, they’re my property and I can do anything I want to to them.  His karmic journey is not going to be a pretty one.  What’s even more tragic is that South Africa is considering opening up the Rhino Horn Trade to the world.  Do pick up a copy of the October 2016 National Geographic to read more. 

Many people are working to change this and they need plenty of help.

Endanger Rhinos

The World Wildlife Fund is a great organization and is responsible for the protection of Rhinos.  Do consider visiting their website and donate to your favorite endangered animals. As well as the Black and White Rhinos, consider the Indian Rhino (Great One Horned Rhino) who looks like an armored tank, the Sumatran Rhino, seriously endangered, and the Javan Rhino — only 50 of this Asian species are left.  Three of the five rhino species all have a 5O% change of becoming extinct within 3 generations.

And check out saveanimalsfacingextinction.org and contribute to help these and many other animals facing extinction.  Thank you.

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Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

Beautiful Lizards

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

Appreciate Lizards
                                                 Appreciate Lizards

Most people don’t necessarily hear or possibly care about lizards.  All animals are precious and all animals are important to their biotas (the animal and plant life of a particular region, habitat, or geological period).  Any animal’s disappearance can dramatically affect  their specific ecosystem.  Imagine an increasing insect population as lizards and frogs disappear.  I suspect that some people my think that lizards are immune to a changing climate, they been around for a very long time.

Well, there is evidence that lizards are being affected by climate change.  With the exception of humans, animals cannot put on a jacket or light up the furnace to get warm.  And since lizards need to warm themselves to be active, one might think that global warming isn’t going to have an effect on these wonderful creatures.  Every animal has adapted to their biotas including a range of temperatures, their diets (broad or very specific), each have their predators and have various means to save themselves from predation and so on.  Animals cannot quickly adapt though, unfortunately, many viruses and some insects can.  Animals cannot simply pick up and move somewhere else.  If the animal that goes extinct is a keystone species,  the entire habitat may collapse without them, think of the beaver.  Any change in an environment has an affect, and all life is impacted by global warming.  Let’s not forget that entire islands will go under water as the seas rise in which case many unique habitats and animals will simply disappear forever.  We will not be able to save everything.

Now for the Lizard.  There is little data on the wellbeing of reptiles, though there is some.   The American Association for the Advancement of Science reports the following.  Having “compared recent and historical surveys for 48 Mexican lizard species at 200 sites,” they discovered that “Since 1975 12% of the local populations have gone extinct.”  Using this data, they “verified physiological models of extinction risk with observed local extinctions and extended projections worldwide.”  They estimate that since 1975, “4% of local populations have gone extinct worldwide.  By “2080 local extinctions are projected to reach 39%”– 20% species extinctions worldwide.  These “global projections were validated with local extinctions observed from 1975-2009 for regional biotas on four other continents.”  This suggests that “lizards have already crossed a threshold for extinctions caused by climate change.”

As global warming is accelerating more quickly than predicted just a few years ago, I would argue that the rates of local and worldwide extinctions for lizard populations have increased.  Lizard lovers, buy a t-shirt, and march. Get Washington acting now.  Make the 21st Century the Environmental Revolution, and do what you can to help change the path we are on.  I’m talking to millennial too, it’s your future.  Blessings to all.  With deep respect and love as always.

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Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

Elephants and Lions too.

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

Thirty thousand (30,000) elephants are KILLED each year.  In the last twenty (20) years, many African countries have lost ALL of their rhino population, and the worldwide population of lions have been cut in half.

Hi everyone,  Today I’m including African Elephants to my cache of endangered species.  They are quickly disappearing due to ivory poachers and habitat loss.  Some illegal Ivory has been traced to terrorist activities.  It is estimated that elephants, rhinos and lion populations will be extinct in the wild in fifty years or our lifetime depending on the species one is talking about.  Do not let this happen.  

Poaching Ivory as been taken over by organized crime syndicates using sophisticated tracking technology and high-powered weaponry.  Large numbers of elephants are killed at once, and these monsters cannot be tracked, so no one has been able to stop them.

The other day I received the following from Save Animals Facing Extinction.  “Domestic Ivory markets will be closed to prevent further laundering of illegal Ivory through legal systems.”  Good news except there are several countries refusing to acknowledge this vote–Japan, having large domestic ivory trade, being one of them.  

Then they sent this news, Oct 5, 2016. “…world leaders rejected a complete ban on the trade of elephant and lion parts”, making these magnificent animals ever closer to extinction in the wild.

Furthermore, “Zimbabwe is reportedly using bull hooks to coax baby elephants and lions in and out of containers”: destination China.  One young lion “allegedly captured” is said to be a male pride member of Cecil, the venerated lion killed by the American dentist Walter Palmer.  According to Save Animals Facing Extinction,  Zimbabwean Water and Climate Minister plans to expand the capture of live baby elephants to more countries.  These babies are stuffed into pens and forever separated from their families.  They are in great distress, abused and injured. 

Though laws exist to stop poaching elephants, lions and rhinos, so much more needs to be done.  In the wild, “an elephant is killed every 15 minutes.  A rhino is shot in Africa every 9.5 hours (just for their horns, and about five wild lions are killed everyday.  Go to Save Animals Facing Extinction and contribute to these or other animals in peril. Thank you.

There are thousands of government representatives and conservations meeting at this very moment in South Africa discussing how to save animals. Poachers must he held accountable.  Stop the Cruelty.

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

Endangered Species Buttons

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

As you can see, I have been working hard on my Save Our Home Buttons, Magnets and a Variety of other items including Ts. I will be adding more soon as there are an infinite number of issues that need to be addressed.

 

As a Nichiren Buddhist, I know we can all learn to work together in harmony with each other and all sentient beings.  Whether you focus on Carbon emissions, on revitalizing our soil, cleaning our oceans, rehabilitating habitats or protecting and saving animals, all is important.  Stay open to new ideas and beware of conspiracy theories.  We are all capable of treating all with dignity and respect as we must learn to treat our planet the same. We are here as stewards, let us act as such. Let’s get started.  Each day we waste is one day closer to crossing over the line of nothing we can do now.  It is up to all of us.  My designs are available for sale and there are many other vendors and organizations that sale or supply t-shirts for their specific causes.  Dress to save, to inform, to become a mass of individuals who are passionate and care.  Be peaceful in your efforts.  These and other items related to our environmental movement are available at Cafe Press Earth and World Peace

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

The Amazing Story of Yacouba Sawadogo

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If you have not heard of this wonderful man, you are in for a treat. I’m only going to give you a brief synopsis of his story.  Links to learn more, to buy or rent his video will be given at the end.

Yacouba Sawadogo comes from a semi-arid region between the Sahara Desert and the savannahs.  For many years the Sahara Desert was creeping ever closer to the town that he lived.  Farm lands were disappearing and people were in a desperate way.  Droughts and famine were frequent and widespread. One day, Yacouba began digging hole as one would to plant an orchard.  Since he was doing this during the dry season, off season for planting, the other farmers and towns people ridiculed him: considering him insane.  Despite this, he continued day after day, using this ancient African farming practice called Zai, pronounced Zaaaa I which he had heard about from family members.  He filled each Zai hole with manure and other biodegradable material to provide nutrients and to attract termites.  Tunneling termites help to break up the soil and retain water.  Seeds of trees, millet and sorghum were planted. Yacouba also  built a small wall, called cordons pierreux, made of fist-sized stones to keep the rainy season’s water from running off.  

          Reforestation 1975 -2005

Unknown-10As a result of his twenty year efforts, a 30 acre forest with over 30 species of trees was established and effectively stopped the desert.  Since then he has shared this technique with thousands of farmers whom are using this technique to stop desertification, and to provide food for their villages and towns.  A man who was ridiculed became revered and today is considered a genius.  He has spoken to many dignitaries including President Obama.  Sadly, his forest is being sold off to developers and Yocouba wishes to buy his forest to preserve it but doesn’t have the funds.  To read more about this, go to http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/09/soil/mann-text/6

There are many videos of Yocouba Sawadogo on youtube.  Watch the trailer for the film The Man Who Stopped the Desert  Yacouba Sawadogo

The Man Who Stopped the Desert is available for rent or to purchase at Amazon.com

When making recommendations of any kind, I receive no funds for doing so.  Yocouba Sawadogo rocks.

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

The Cat Family

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

More to come about Cats

Lioness
Lioness and Lions   Five wild lions are killed everyday.  It is estimated that if nothing is done about this, they will be extinct in the wild in our lifetime.  In the last 20 years, the worldwide lion population has been cut in half.     Dec. 1915  

As of December 2015, The good news is that several species of lion are now formally protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act including the critically endangered Asiatic lions of India and a subspecies now called P.l. leo found scatter throughout western and central Africa.  Other subspecies are listed as threatened: many living in protected restricted areas.

Throughout the various pages in this blog, habitat loss is one of the main causes of endangerment: in Africa, habitat loss is cause by human population growth and cattle farmers. Here’s a statistic that profoundly exemplifies what habitat lose looks like: less than   In West Africa, lions roam in less than 1 percent of their original space: throughout Africa, roaming territory has been reduced to less than one-quarter their original range (Scientific America).  Poaching and smaller populations of prey animals are also responsible for both lion and cheetah population decline.  In order to continue managing these populations of lions and the management of protected reserves requires a great deal of money.  If you love lions, there are plenty of donation and information sites online.

Chettah
                                            Cheetah

Having evolve in the Northern American Continent and traveling over the land bridge created by the last ice age, the Cheetah spread throughout Asia and into Africa.  They are now found only on the savannahs and grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa.  These beautiful animals numbers are dwindling in protective wildlife preserves in part due to increased competition from lions and hyenas.  On top of that, cheetahs tend to wander off the reserves placing them in danger of human conflict.  The smaller the population, the less diverse the gene pool, and the more fragile they become to diseases.  Attempts at breeding Cheetahs in captivity are very dodgy, and scientist are very concerned for their future (Scientific America).

Cheetah Conservation Fund

Check out The Smithsonian Institute for more information.

Cheetah Science Q  The Smithsonian

 

Snow Leopard
                                    Snow Leopard

Living on rugged, mountainous terrain in the Himalayas and Central Asia, snow leopards are able to leap up to 50 feet in the air.  They eat mostly wild sheep, goats, and smaller mammals such as pikas, zokors and marmots.  Other than habitat loss, diminishing food supply and the illegal wildlife trade, many herders also do revenge killings as they prey on livestock to survive.

WWF considers climate change as perhaps “the greatest long term threat to snow leopards” resulting in “the loss of up to 30 percent of the snow leopard habitat in the Himalayas alone.”

Contact the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) if you’d like to help.  They work on conservation projects to protect these animals with the local people, and supports research.  

Read more about Snow Leopards and a list of other animals at WWF 

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species