Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
"I can't believe I am living long enough to see it actually happen," said Phyllis Clausen, 87, of Vancouver, Wash., who with other citizen activists has fought for restoration of the White Salmon as a free flowing river since joining the "Friends of the White Salmon":http://friendsofthewhitesalmon.org/, a non-profit citizens' conservation group, in 1976. "We kept working on things for the river, and it just became our obsession," she said.
What she centers on as she talks about the long campaign that will be rewarded with a boom on Oct. 26, when the dam is breached, was the power of persistence. It wasn't any one letter or hearing or action that got the job done, she said, but just staying with it, even when it seemed hopeless.
Phyllis Clausen and Friends of the White Salmon fought for restoration and dam removal on the White Salmon for decades, even when it seemed hopeless. Photo courtesy, Phyllis Clausen
"Situations change over many years, and what seemed impossible at early times might become possible, just because situations surrounding the issue change. That occurs slowly, but if you are tuned in to take advantage of those moments, like the moment when the dam came up for re-licensing, then you may be able to accomplish something," Clausen said.
"It took a number of people, and it certainly wasn't just me. I felt, it was that this river was so important to so many people, I think it for a lot of us, it's a home, really, and it has the same beauty to us. I could go down and sit there on a cliff side with my feet dangling and eat a picnic lunch and watch dippers down in the water and birds flying all around there, and I would remember that, long after I left."
Monday, December 05, 2011
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Friday, December 02, 2011
To see a series of his fish-people images, visit the Symbiartic blog at Scientific American.
I wonder what he'd do with me?
Thursday, December 01, 2011
US per capita food waste has progressively increased by ~50% since 1974 reaching more than 1400 kcal per person per day
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Walking through Qingdao's restaurant district I found row after row of live fish in tanks, ready for diners to order and eat. Not only fish, of course, there were also lots of sea cucumbers, clams, lobsters, etc. Some from nearby, no doubt, but many brought from some distance. Like the freshwater-farmed carp not widely grown in the area near this seaside city.
The tanks are small, and there's no way to see these animals as living peacefully in a native pond. But there is a definite sense of of visiting with a fish in the water when shopping for dinner. There's something about a live animal that transcends the particulars of the time and place of contact.
Live fish markets tunnel through distance and unknown supply chains and make fish seem local even if they come from far away.
A live fish market isn't the only way to do this, traceable and transparent supply chains have some of the same benefit. Buy a red snapper from the Gulf of Mexico's Gulf Wild program, and you can bring the fish closer with a few clicks. Enter the fish tag number on the Gulf Wild website and you'll look eye-to-eye with the fisherman who caught it and see a spot on the map where the fish was caught. This is another good approch for making your Mississippi red snapper an "almost local" fish in Idaho. Why not? It's better fish for the land-locked.
Watch the video below, and see middle Americans talk about how Joe Tess brings fish closer to customers, giving them fish that "tastes like it's just out of the water."
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
This is a good start in transparency for tuna. The big tuna companies could have done this a long time ago. They track their tuna to minimize costs in the case of recalls of unsafe tuna.
Now all we need is sustainability information like how it's caught and whether fishing is sustainable. What do you say John West? Will you collaborate with eNGOs on adding sustainability information to your website? Tweet
Sunday, October 09, 2011
Churned by surf, fish, or boats, glowing ocean waters are the result of microbes that glow when disturbed, in the case of the photo at right, a red tide in California.
Click here for a fun video of surfing bioluminescence.
Thanks to DEEP BLUE HOME Tweet
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Instead, the Japanese whaling fleet will have more protection from anti-whaling protesters this year.
With both sides promising to get tougher, this could be a troubled year for Japan's whaling effort. Tweet
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
That's a turnaround, Chinese regulators stopping a questionable food import from overseas. Maybe we need to take another look at food safety; it's not just health risks caused by bad people from far away.
The oyster problem arose in Washington state in the US because ofoysters contaminated with an annoying bacteria Vibrio parahaemolyticus. In case you're skeptical, here's the US FDA announcement on the problems with Washington oysters. Tweet
Monday, October 03, 2011
Waste from agriculture and burning of fossil fuels are the suspected cause. This is bad news, and could lead to increasing ocean "dead zones" where oxygen is depleted and many of our favorite ocean animals flee or die.
I always wonder about the demand-side effect on nitrogen that might occur in changed ocean ecosystems based on my experience with rivers. In some streams with healthy ecosystems, increased nitrogen causes increased growth of animals like fish. This happens in a "tightly coupled" ecosystem where fertilizer efficiently moves through plants to herbivores to predators. So the demand side of the system sucks up increased nitrogen supplies.
This effect is so pronounced that it's exploited by people in some places by fertilizing streams with nitrogen to increase the growth of desirable fish.
In our oceans, how much of the excess nitrogen would get cycled into fish biomass if the ecosystems were healthy? Is there a demand-side effect that we neglect to include in our analyses? Does anyone out there know the answer? I've seen tidbits of research that suggest it matters, but never a clear and precise study. Tweet
Friday, September 30, 2011
Two independent research teams report today in Science that they've taken key strides toward harnessing the energy in sunlight to synthesize chemical fuels. If the new work can be improved, scientists could utilize Earth's most abundant source of renewable energy to power everything from industrial plants to cars and trucks without generating additional greenhouse gases.Let's dream the impossible dream of clean green fuel!
Thanks: Revkin Tweet
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Here's a good idea...a single green score for products. US consumers want a single green score that says what products cost the environment and people.
More than 80 percent of U.S. shoppers want a single sustainability rating for all products that 75 percent say should be displayed as a numerical score and produced by an independent organization with no profit motive, according toOne Green Score for One Earth.Nice idea, who's going to set the scores, using what criteria?
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
That's life in the deep sea where sex partners can be hard to find. A new study shows that male Octopoteuthis deletron attempt to copulate at the first sign of another member of their species, without bothering to learn first whether it's a female.
They deposit spermatophores on the backside of other squid using a long penis-like organ, and the lucky deposits made on females are absorbed and used to fertilize her eggs.
Just one of many strange ways that deep sea creatures reproduce.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
If you're really interested, you can follow the 3 year restoration project with the webcams.
Why is this a big deal? Washington's Elwha River once hosted miraculous salmon runs, with fish up to 100 pounds. But two big dams blocked the river near it's mouth almost a century ago, so the salmon fizzled out despite pristine habitat. Ironically this is one place where salmon could still be thriving in the lower 48. Most of the Elwha River watershed is pristine and protected in Olympic National Park.
It's a good day for river restoration and fish conservation. Tweet
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I think the ads are funny. What do you think?
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Why would this fishing group oppose ocean conservation? Seems nonsensical, doesn't it? Conservation means more fish, but RFA thinks that's not OK if it means creating no-fishing areas.
As if taking on Wal-mart isn't enough, the RFA is already supporting a boycott of Safeway, the 2nd largest retail grocery chain in the US.
Spending by anglers does matter, but it's hard to believe that these Quixotic moves will have an impact. Will we really see the "nationwide protests" that RFA expects? Or is the campaign more about driving traffic to the button on the RFA's website (top left)?
A quick search of the news provided no evidence of boycotts or protests against Wal-mart by fishermen. In fact, it looks like anglers will have to wait in line to get attention for their boycott, behind other groups that are targeting Wal-mart for other reasons.
Here's a group calling itself "Boycott International," a group who's reason for being is to organize boycotts in "recognition of the power of individuals in situations where governments have chosen to, or are unable to, influence companies that exploit children and/or violate basic human rights of their workers."
Watch this space for news about retail giants crumbling (or not) under the pressure of anglers upset about ocean conservation harming their "right to fish." Tweet
Monday, September 05, 2011
Sunday, September 04, 2011
Friday, September 02, 2011
The Port of Delcambre (Louisiana) has a new direct sale website that lets you check what local fishermen are catching and make phone orders that you can pick up at the dock. Fresh seafood.
Here's shrimper Jimmie Dupre to tell you a little bit about buying shrimp direct, and a few other things as well.
This is a great new way to connect seafood producers and customers, always a good thing.
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Fish have a way of keeping us humble. Just try to catch one, or even worse, try to predict what they'll do.
This year the infamous Fraser River (British Columbia) sockeye are causing problems once again. Just as a high-level panel is discussing what caused their collapse, they're doing better. How ironic to autopsy a corpse that stubbornly insists on coming back to life.
Last year's record sockeye run of 34 million fish began the trend. Now this year's 4 million is about equal to the 50-year average, and well above the record low of 1.7 million fish seen in 2009.
Are the problems over? No. But the fish are surprising us by coming home to spawn in good numbers again this year, confounding our attempts to understand them.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
That's good news after the catastrophic collapse of the Newfoundland cod fishery two decades ago. Since then, we've learned a lot about the effects of overfishing on ocean ecosystems, and the mysterious non-recovery once fishing was stopped.
One problem has been that fishing wasn't actually stopped, and remaining low-level fisheries inhibited recovery.
One worrisome sign is that the fish are smaller than they used to be, what's up with that? Is it a blip that will go away, or a changed system?
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Monday, August 08, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
These characters are cultural "elites" used to getting their way, so why should they be worried about climate change or anything else? The lesson here: you can't win arguing "facts" with one of these "cool dudes." Because ideology trumps facts and their ideology has them feeling secure.
It's the "white male effect," those with power are less worried because they feel like they control their own destiny. So there's no point in arguing facts, it's ideology that has them blithely unconcerned.
From the writeup in BigThink:
What is valuable about this study is what it says not just about conservative white men, but about all of us. This research confirms that who we are as people, at really fundamental levels, has a lot more to do with the way we see things than just the facts. All of us, not just CWMs. And not just on climate change. And what that means is that arguing issues based just on the facts isn‘t going to get us very far, since the facts aren’t really what we’re arguing about in the first place.Makes sense to me. What do we do about this problem?
Here are a few of the findings (based on analysis of Gallup surveys of public opinion between 2000 and 2010);
--- 14% of the general public doesn’t worry about climate change at all, but among CWMs the percentage jumps to 39%.
--- 32% of adults deny there is a scientific consensus on climate change, but 59% of CWMs deny what the overwhelming majority of the world’s scientists have said.
--- 3 adults in 10 don’t believe recent global temperature increases are primarily caused by human activity. Twice that many - 6 CWMs out of every ten – feel that waySo what is about CWMs that make them see the climate change issue this way? The “Cool Dudes” paper suggests that its partly because they’re WMs, and partly because they are Cs. The so-called “White Male Effect” in risk perception has found that white males between ages 18-59 are generally less afraid of things than white women or people of color of either gender. A famous “White Male Effect” paper suggested “Perhaps white males see less risk in the world because they create, manage, control, and benefit from so much of it. Perhaps women and nonwhite men see the world as more dangerous because in many ways they are more vulnerable, because they benefit less from many of its technologies and institutions, and because they have less power and control.”
The solution is obvious, though hardly easy. We have stop making climate change a zero sum if-you-win-I-lose battle. We have to frame the issue in ways that work within everybody’s underlying cultural/tribal perspectives. We have to realize that answers are more likely to be found, and solutions are more likely to be reached, if the goal is finding common ground, to one of the most serious threats humans - all of us - have ever faced.Tweet
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
small-scale fisheries in Peru are widespread and numerous (100 ports, 9500 vessels, & 37,000 fishers), and our observed effort constituted c. 1% of longline and net deployments. We suggest that the number of turtles captured per year is likely to be in the tens of thousands. Thus, the impacts of Peruvian SSF have the potential to severely impact sea turtles in the Pacific especially green, loggerhead and leatherback turtles.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times has some answers, based on years of reporting experience. If you're a typical activist, you won't like the results. They reinforce the model that most activists hate, put a face on the problem. Find a person struggling and making progress and show people how they can join this person.
What are Kristof's views on how to draw people to a worthy cause?
"We intervene not because of stories of desperate circumstances but when we can be cheered up with positive stories of success and transformation. For example, one experiment found that people are quite willing to pay for a water-treatment facility to save 4,500 lives in a refugee camp with 11,000 people in it, but they are much less willing to pay for the same facility to save 4,500 lives when the refugee camp is said to have 250,000 inhabitants. In effect, what matters is saving a high proportion of people, not just a large number of lives.There you have it, find a face to represent your cause, and make it a face that exemplifies progress and hope. I'm sorry to say it, but your statistics won't work. Tweet
If one lesson is the need to emphasize hopefulness, the second is that storytelling needs to focus on an individual, not a group. A classic experiment involved asking people to donate to help hungry children in West Africa. One group was asked to help a seven-year-old girl named Rokia, in the country of Mali. A second was asked to donate to help millions of hungry children. A third was asked to help Rokia but was provided with statistical information that gave them a larger context for her hunger. Not surprisingly, people donated more than twice as much to help Rokia as to help millions of children. But it turned out that even providing background information on African hunger diminished empathy, so people were much less willing to help Rokia when she represented a broader problem. Donors didn't want to help ease a crisis personified by a child; they just wanted to help one personand to hell with the crisis.
As we all vaguely know, one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. As Mother Teresa said, "If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will." Professor Slovic calls the first reaction "psychic numbing." But Slovic wanted to know at what point the number of victims triggers psychic numbing. He set out to find out, and his findings were deeply depressing.
In one of Slovic's experiments, people were asked to donate to Rokia or, in other cases, to a similar hungry boy, Moussa. In each case, research subjects were quite willing to help and donated generously either to Rokia or to Moussa. But when people were asked to donate to Rokia and Moussa together, with their photographs side by side, donations decreased. Slovic found that our empathy begins to fade when the number of victims reaches just two. As he puts it: "The more who die, the less we care."
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Here's one expert with an answer:
Most (green) marketing ... is ponderous, lacking in humility, humanity and humor...Guilt doesn't sell, but humor does. We need to sell green by poking fun at our silliest excesses, the stereotypes and ourselves.Green marketing should make people feel good. That's not exactly a strong point of the environmental movement. Usually we're busy making people feel bad for all the wrong things they do.
Take a look at the two ads, which do you like? Probably not the green one. Tweet