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    News — endangered species

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    Emotional Stories of Whales and Whalesongs Led to Protecting Wildlife

    link  Marchs, boycotts, protests outside embassies, fiction, recordings of whalesongs along with general distrust of lying institutions and politicians during the Vietnam War- all led to the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Pelley amendment.   Friends and I circulated petitions, oranized writing  letters  to newspapers, printed save the whale t-shirts, read Mind in  the Waters and John Lily's books, Merwin's poems,  bought whale books,  organized groups, got films and speaker about wildlife, hosted Greenpreace talks, etc.....

     

    News for February 2022

    Wolves:

    Good News-

    On 2-10-22, most wolves in the US were put back under the federal protection of the Endangered Species Act! This reverses the earlier delisting on the west coast and in the Midwest.

     

    Bad News-

    However, the hundreds of wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming have been slaughtered recently. Baits, traps, night hunting, snares, and dogs are being used. 24 Yellowstone wolves were killed. Wolves can be hunted year round in Idaho. 223 were killed in MT.

     

    What to do: 

    Write letters to your newspapers and contact your representatives, senators, and Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland. Ask that the wolves of the Northern Rockies (ID, MT, WY) be put back under the protection of the Endangered Species Act.

     

    For more info:

    Endangered.org:  Court Restores Gray Wolf's Endangered Species Protections

    BiologicalDiversity.org:  Federal Court Restores Gray Wolf's Endangered Species Act Protection

    Ban Lead to Help Wildlife:

    Ban Lead Fishing Tackle:

    Lead fishing weights kill loons, pelicans, geese, ducks and seals.  6 states have banned fishing weights.  Obama banned them nationally in 2017, but Trump overturned the ban.
    Solution:  ask your state and federal politicians to ban lead in fishing tackle and in ammunition.

     

    Lead Ammunition Reduces Eagle Reproduction:

    Condors and eagles are affected by lead ammunition.

    For more info:
    Wildlife.org - Lead Poisoning is Suppressing Eagle Populations
    2017 Article on the End of Lead in Sinkers & Ammo
    The Sacramento Bee - Popular Fishing Tackle would be Banned under New California Bill
    Minnesota Center - PDF - States that have Banned Lead Sinkers

     

    Peace and Preventing Nuclear War:

    Nuclear War Would Wipe Out Humans-

    Peter Kuznick says that a large nuclear war would wipe out all large animals- including humans. This is because a nuclear war raises so much dust that almost plant life would die for many years from lack of sunlight. Without plants there would be no food for animals and humans. The US and Russia have 13,000 nuclear weapons. A small, regional war with 100 nuclear weapons would cause so much dust that most plants would die for several years -that over 2 billion people would die.

    Solution:

    Kuznick says there should be a nuclear weapons summit between Putin, Biden, Xi Jinping, Scholz, Macron, and Modi.  Join peace groups. Support more peaceful contact between countries. Stop demonizing other countries. 

    The US should rejoin the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) , which bans missiles being placed on the borders of Russia in Europe, where they are “first -strike weapons. 

    Missiles should be taken off of “launch on warning hair trigger” alert status, so there is time for the US and Russia to communicate urgently before misinterpreting something as a nuclear attack.

    The US should remove offensive and defensive missiles from near the borders of Russia in Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Ukraine. Russia fears that the defensive missile sites would be turned into offensive missile sites. Russia should not put nuclear bomb missiles near the US border or in countries near the US,

    Do not make highly accurate missiles as they contribute to the temptation to launch a “nuclear first strike”.

    Russia and the US should renew the ABM treaty, which limit the number of antiballistic missiles – this is to prevent both of them from launching a “nuclear first strike”. 

    Pledge "No First Use" of nuclear weapons. 

    The US and Russia should sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 

    Russia and the US need to take preventive steps to have peace and to avoid an accidental nuclear war. Once Russia almost launched its missiles when a Norwegian rocket launching a satellite had a path similar to a missile attack on Moscow. The US almost launched its missiles when a large flock of geese coming over the Arctic looked like incoming missiles or bombers on the radar. Again the US almost launched all its missiles when a training tape showing a war game simulation of an attack was put into the war computer.

     

    Create a treaty against cyber warfare. Cyber attacks can be camouflaged so they appear to come from a different country. Attacks can disrupt dams, nuclear power plants, bank, water treatment facilities, sewage treatment plants, banks, refineries, industrial facilities, power lines, pipelines, hospitals, etc.

     

    For More Info:

    Democracy Now - Activists Abolition of World's Nuclear Weapons

    Friends Committee on National Legislation - Endless War

    Friends Committee on National Legislation - Eliminating Nuclear Weapons
    Project Censored - On US - NATO Tensions with Russia and Ukraine - Avoid Catastrophic War

    Ukraine:

    Weapons-making companies and countries want war, so they can sell more weapons- tanks, jets, missiles, drones, and bombs. NATO keeps expanding and surrounding Russia, and such former USSR and now, new NATO countries have bought over $17 billion in arms from the US.

    The US oil, gas, and fracking companies want to sell its US liquified natural gas to Europe, so they want to stop Russia's brand new Nordstream 2 natural gas pipeline to Germany.

    Oil and natural gas companies want the possibility of war, so they can use it as an excuse to raise prices. Russia fears more NATO bases next to its borders where NATO and the US can launch quick" first strike" missiles and intermediate range missiles. Also, NATO and the US place defensive missiles in Poland and Romania to shoot down Russian planes and missiles .

    Putin has imperial aims to dominate more of the former USSR and Europe. Russian nationalists push Russia to reclaim its former territory.

    US geostrategic war hawks want to be in control of the world. Putin, Biden, and others wish to appear strong in order to get more support from their citizens and to distract from criticism.

    For More Info:
    Common Dreams - The Stakes are High with Ukraine
    Common Dreams - Bob Dylan, Masters of War and the Ukraine Crisis
    Common Dreams - US Gas Exporters Set to Benefit after Germany Halts Russian Pipeline
    Boulder Weekly - Ukraine Crisis, Fascist Menace and a Looming War
    Fair.org - Bryce Greene on Ukraine
    Democracy Now - US Prepares Troops for Russia Invasion
    WarreSisters.org - Statements and Analysis on Ukraine - January 2022
    Code Pink - Background on Ukraine Crisis
    TruthOut.org - Chomsky - US push to Reign Supreme Stokes Ukraine Conflict
    Code Pink - Write Congress about Ukraine
    Consortium News - The Growing Scandal of Missed Intelligence
    Project Censored - On US - NATO Tensions with Russia and Ukraine, Avoiding Catastrophic War

     

    Costs of War:  https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/papers/2021/ProfitsOfWar

    Merchants of Death
    There are 20 top 20 "War Profiteer" companies, from the US, Russia, Britain, France, and Italy. 

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/02/21/military-spending-defense-contractors-profiting-from-war-weapons-sales/39092315

    There are also some not on this list, such as the Chinese ones.

     

        "The Pentagon spending has totaled over $14 trillion (since 2001).  One-quarter to one-third of all Pentagon contracts in recent years have gone to just five major corporations: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman.  Weapons makers have spent $2.5 billion on lobbying over the past two decades, employing, on average, over 700 lobbyists per year.  Numerous companies overcharge the government or engage in outright fraud. In 2011, the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan estimated that waste, fraud and abuse had totaled between $31 billion and $60 billion.”  For example, in 2010 the defense industry spent $144 million on lobbying and donated over $22.6 million to congressional candidates.  Executives and employees of war profiteers get status and money when they can increase fear and war.  Joe Juhasz said that losing a war and can be more profitable than winning a war, and that a long war is more profitable than a short war. So a long losing war leads to more profits – Afghanistan and Iraq are good examples. Of course countries don't want to fight on their own land or to lose and become prisoners or be tried as war criminals. So countries look to wage war in other countries- hiring mercenaries, using drones, using aircraft and bombs and missiles. and avoiding the casualties of their own soldiers and civilians.

     
    Solutions:
    -Limit the Revolving Door between war profiteer companies and the leaders in the Defense Department, Congress, Pentagon and Homeland Security.

    -Limit the lobbying by defense companies.

    -Break up the big war profiteers, as their large size allows them claim that they have workers and politicians in most states of the US, so politicians vote for more spending to get money and jobs in their districts even if for weapons that don't work, are dangerous to our soldiers, or increase the risk of a war

     Also because weapons companies are large, they hire 700 lobbyists to persuade Congress to spend more money and to start more wars.

    -Ban members of congress from owning stock in weapons companies, oil companies and pipeline companies.

    Oil Wars - History:

    Many Wars are Done for Oil:

     CNN - Iraq War for Oil

     

    Iraq vs. Kuwait in 1990;
    Iran vs. Iraq 1980-1988;
    Attempts to overthrow Chavez and Maduro in Venezuela;
    the US and Britain into Iran to overthrow Mosadeggh;
    In Iraq and Iran it was to control which countries and companies drilled, refined, and sold the oil in the oilfields. US and other major oil companies did not want competition from other countries and companies.
    Reasons for War:
    -To prevent oil from being traded in Iraq's currency instead of US dollars
    -To control an area

    -For geostrategic aims
    -To counter an rival

    -To counter communists,
    -To counter socialists
    - To prevent independence and anti-colonial uprisings

    -To control a commodity: bananas in Central America; cobalt , gold and diamonds in the Congo and South Africa; over tea; over quinine for malaria from Cichona tree bark; nutmeg; spices;

    -To force a country to let in drugs: Britain forced China to allow British opium to be imported into China and used there  (Opium Wars- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_Wars).  The US has forced countries to allow in US cigarette brands and cigarette advertising.

    -To control neighboring countries - examples: US dominating Central America via the Monroe Doctrine (Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Cuba, Panama)

    -To control the land to grow cash crops for export: bananas, tobacco, sugar cane.
    -To control the Panama Canal, to control the Suez canal
    -To control shipping routes
    Russia has intervened in many countries:

    -Russia invaded Ukraine 2022, Russia invaded Chechnya 1999

    -USSR invading Afghanistan 1979-1989, Czechslovakia 1968, Hungary 1956
    -USSR started to put nuclear armed missiles into Cuba in 1962 after the US put nuclear armed missiles in Turkey in 1959 near the USSR
    -The USSR gave military weapons, training and trade support in Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam
    The US has intervened in many countries:

    Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia, Somalia, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Panama, Serbia, Bosnia, Korea, Libya
    NATO invaded Kosovo, Libya and Afghanistan.


    For More Info:
    GlobalPolicy.org - US Interventions

    Climate Chaos and other Human- Caused Unintended Consequences

    Climate Chaos and other Human- Caused Unintended Consequences

    Under a White Sky:the Nature of the Future interview  Elizabeth Kolbert in her new book visits cases where humans have "shot themselves in the foot" and examines whether attempts, such as geoengineering to block the sun and cool the planet, are crazy or better than not doing anything.  She goes into the problems of rabbits and cane toads displacing many creatures in australia and of canals allowing invasive species  such as zebra mussels to spread. -

    Scientists now consider using genetically modified gene drives to wipe out introduced species such as mice, rats, cats, snails, or goats that are themselves killing off native rare species such as albatrosses, ducks, which have evolved on islands and have no adaptation to survive the introduced species.  What could possible go wrong?

    NPR's Science Friday 3-12-21.

    Article by Elizabeth Kolbert