Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

85906-songhua-starboard77606-wutaishan-anhui-44-sternThere was a curious confrontation between the New Zealand navy this month and three notorious boats illegally poaching in the waters near Antarctica. The Navy caught the boats red-handed poaching and using illegal nets. The Navy called over for the three rust buckets to stop the illegal operation and the boats simply refused. The Navy called over again that it wanted to board to check their documentation and the boats said know. They simply continued to poach in front of the Navy and then the New Zealanders let them leave without firing a shot. This was called a victory by the New Zealand Navy but I am not sure why.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

washington-flag-sealIn what some regard as an affront to both free speech and whistleblowing, Washington legislators Joe Schmick, J. T. Wilcox, June Robinson, and Vincent Buys sponsored House Bill 1104 introducing the new crime of “Interference with Agricultural Production.” The bill, if signed into law, will have the effect of criminalizing whistleblowing and the free speech activities of those seeking to publicize allegations of animal cruelty and other concerning farming methods under the guise of protecting agribusinesses from economic harm.

The bill also provides for troubling retributions against those who have traditionally revealed acts of cruelty to animals and shown food safety abuses by several farms and businesses.

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la-alligator-secret-ktlaThere is an interesting case developing in California over an alleged serial killer that has prowled around a neighborhood for years. The alleged culprit is Jaxson, a female eight-foot alligator believed to be 40 years old, that was kept illegally by a Van Nuys family without a permit. The “Anatomy of a Murder” aspect of the case comes in with the findings of the police in the hidden box of Jaxson — two dead cats. The police are asking neighbors to report other missing cats. I am sure it was unintentional but one article reported the suspicion about missing cats before adding “[t]he house is a family residence with multiple occupants, but no children were found there.” I do not think Jaxson is to blame.

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earth-screensaver_largeA new study in the journal Science suggests that humanity is on the very of causing “a major extinction event” in our oceans while another study has found that 2014 was the hottest year in 135 years of record keeping. In the meantime, Pope Francis has again raised climate change and called environmental destruction a “sin” and affront to God.

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220px-Foie_gras_DSC00180Foiegras4Another food ban has been struck down by a court. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson struck down the two-year state California state prohibition on foie gras as a violation of interstate commerce. The court issued its final decision on January 7th in Ass’n des Eleveurs de Canards et D’oies du Quebec v. Harris and found that the state law is trumped by the federal Poultry Products Inspections Act. Wilson acknowledged that there are few people in the middle of this debate: “This action for declaratory and injunctive relief touches upon a topic impacting gourmands’ stomachs and animal rights activists’ hearts: foie gras.”

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Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 10.22.08 AMIt is bad enough that police officers now routinely turn their backs when New York Mayor Bill de Blasio approaches. Now the Staten Island Zoo has declared that neither he (nor any future mayor) will be allowed to hold Staten Island Chuck after he killed the last groundhog.

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200px-Tony_Abbott_-_2010220px-Feminist_Suffrage_Parade_in_New_York_City,_1912Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been widely criticized (including by the author) for his comprehensive attack on environmental protections in Australia from stripping pristine areas of protection to his selection of pro-development environmental officials to his endangering of the Great Barrier Reef. However, even when others change the subject, Abbott returns to one of his most controversial measures. When asked on the country’s leading morning show what he thought was his biggest achievement as Australia’s Minister for Women, Abbott said . . . repealing the carbon tax.

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