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 Humans interfering with nature

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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Humans interfering with nature   Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:07 am

This is quite a compelling video of how the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone Park has affected the eco-system:



Scientific evidence suggests that it isn't as simple as the video implies. Humans interfere with nature all the time with the introduction of wildlife to new habitats and the destruction of others in their normal habitat. We assume that we are in control, but we are less so than we like to think we are: 
http://www.popsci.com/article/science/have-wolves-really-saved-yellowstone

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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Humans interfering with nature   Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:50 pm

I didn't read the article.  However, just seeing it as a topic reminds me that the "reintroduction" of any species is because we have stolen their habitat or destroyed the resources that they need to survive.  The same applies to all living things.  Most American Indian tribes had the sense to live in harmony with nature.  If only we could have learned from them.  We have so much land and so many resources that we could have shared everything rather than the way it has turned out.  It seems that the more our mind turned to accumulating wealthy the more it turned from the harmony of the natural world that was created perfectly.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Humans interfering with nature   Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:04 pm

Balance is achieved by non-human interference: animals will interfere at their peril and be forced to find their own way of surviving. When humans interfere, they have an incredible knack of getting it wrong, considering that they credit themselves with the ability to reason. Sometimes that ability works against them, and they end up creating a problem that did not exist before.

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PostSubject: Re: Humans interfering with nature   Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:07 am

dkchristi wrote:
I didn't read the article.  

Nobody reads these days: facts are shunned. I've been unfriended a number of times on facebook because I have an insatiable thirst for facts and knowledge. Not everyone has the same desire; many prefer opinion to facts. They become upset and angry when facts are presented that go against their opinions. Their desire to believe what they want to believe is greater than their desire for knowlege and understanding. We live in a world of fake news where no one is interested in the truth.

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PostSubject: Re: Humans interfering with nature   Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:31 am

Truth and reading are good topics.  We have a president who does not read which sets an abominable example.  My eyes aren't what they used to be so I reserve them for work I must do and quick reads of many things.  I do appreciate facts from sources that are legitimate for the topic and untainted by political bias - which is pretty difficult these days.  Many people post "facts" on blogs with impressive sounding names as though they are "news" and "reports" but are really just opinions and then the unaware repost them as from a valid source.  Thus, the cynicism toward those who actually use unbiased, factual reporting.

I, for one, have always counted on your fact-checking and attention to detail and there won't be any unfriendings from me!  Since I'm familiar with the pitfalls of Florida restoration projects, I felt able to comment on this topic in general.  I have participated in some projects here and actually produced an award-winning film about the Everglades.

I have a great Florida story.  In the Everglades at Blair Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary they are a bird sanctuary, especially for Wood Storks that nest there.  It is a critical migratory stop that is important to "saving" the Wood Storks.  So much habitat around the sanctuary was gone to housing and development that they were not finding enough variety of food and were not stopping to nest.

In hopes of attracting them specifically to the sanctuary, several large ponds were made in the marsh and stocked with their favorite fish.  Sure enough, "build it and they come" in flocks!  So many that they cleaned out every single fish from every pond with none left to reproduce - more than once - until the pond idea was abandoned.

However, as nature will do, the ponds filled with unwanted cattails.  These cattails provided cover for other small, water loving animals and so the effort was not entirely a waste.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Humans interfering with nature   Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:40 am

We form opinions based on our input.  Fact-checking is becoming more important than ever before.  Often a reference to a source appears to be politically motivated.  Even the source must be questioned.  We are inundated with information.  Many will scan information and not delve into the meat of the story unless there is some appeal.  As writers we realize this when trying to grab the attention of the reader.  We learn that there is a niche for our story and that niche may become the target or our appeal. 
I’m especially drawn to stories about the environment and take scientific evidence seriously.  I liked the story about the wolves and the part they may play in our eco system.  I agree with DK about the Native Americans and how they cared for the environment.  The cause of problems is of interest to me.  That includes conflicts at home and abroad.  Why do people hate us?  Why did we invade?  Do the problems we have result from our past actions? 
Those who have studied history may reach conclusions not widely accepted.  Currently there is much reference, especially on FB, comparing actions of Trump with those of Hitler.  There are similarities that cannot be ignored. 
It doesn’t take a scientist to know that oil spills create problems.  The oil affects drinking water as well as plant life.  The nuclear disaster in Japan with radioactive water is affecting sea life – food that we eat.  Smog from oil and coal burning furnaces is causing respiratory problems.  When it is concentrated, attention is given to the problem.  Considering the emission from automobiles together with the emissions from industrial plants over an extended period of time it appears obvious to me that it will affect our environment.  Many who dismiss the effects or cause of climate change are more concerned about protecting their source of income. 
Nuclear proliferation is a real threat.  It is not just nuclear weapons, but also the use of nuclear power as a source of energy.  The Chernobyl nuclear disaster has long-lasting effects. http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/chernobyl/backgrounder/en/ 
 
We as individuals should be aware of causes and effects based on our actions.  Our actions affect our environment – good and bad.  The environment that I reference is not limited to the fallout from industrial sources, but also human relationships.  The attitudes/actions of humans can be poisoned by false information and prophets.  Religion is once again playing a role in politics.  We don’t need to be told that one is a Christian or a Moslem.  Their actions tell us who or what they are.
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PostSubject: Re: Humans interfering with nature   Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:28 pm

I clicked the link to read article, Abe, but it wasn't there. Did you read the scientific account about wolves and the eco-system? 
http://www.popsci.com/article/science/have-wolves-really-saved-yellowstone

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PostSubject: Re: Humans interfering with nature   Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:53 pm

Yes I did, Shelagh.  I referenced that in my previous post.  Concerning Chernobyl, try this one or just Google Chernobyl.  https://www.rt.com/news/155072-chernobyl-images-now-then/
I recall the Chernobyl event and the impact it had.  I was in Germany at that time.  We received warnings especially about the effect the fallout was having on food products.  Mushrooms that were imported from Russia were at the top of the danger list.  Grocery stores removed these mushrooms from their shelves.  We were fortunate to have these warnings.  The product was easily identified due to the requirement that "country of origin" is stated on the label. 
Consumers should know the source and content of their food.  I remember the days in the US when a list of ingredients was stated on the label.  Many included the product origin.  That was eliminated with de-regulation.  In Germany, truth in labelling was ramped up.  The ramp-up occurred when horse meat was found in ground beef and in sauces containing ground beef.  Horse meat was not harmful, but the consumer has a right to know what they are buying.  Instead of less regulation, we need more, especially when it comes to the food we eat. 
In my book:  “They Plotted Revenge Against America”, the weapon used by the would-be terrorists was a virus that was introduced into the food chain.  Although the book is fiction, it is a timely read considering the immigration issues that are currently in the news.  How one can enter the country undetected is part of the story.
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PostSubject: Re: Humans interfering with nature   Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:44 am

The article concludes:

Quote :
Generally it's accepted that there is a lot more involved in balancing an ecosystem. “But some still believe carnivores are somewhat special in their top-down effects on the ecosystem,” she says. Wolves generate a lot of emotion as well as attention because they've become a bell-weather for the fate of wilderness. “Everywhere wolves exist,” says Marris, “they tell stories about how people and wild things make peace, or don't make peace, in the 21st century.”
What's most at risk as we debate the role of wolves in the ecosystem seems to be our hope for a really straightforward story that explains what's going on around us.

Emphasis added. Simplifying nature is now commonplace. Everyone has an opinion of how the world works based on an over-simplistic mathematical model, usually: humans + fossil fuel production = global warming.

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PostSubject: Re: Humans interfering with nature   Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:40 am

Call it what one wishes, I lived in California smog that has now been reduced by California's belief that automobiles and industry made the air polluted.  Pollution is negative to life.That's enough for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Humans interfering with nature   Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:08 am

It's enough for me, too, DK. Pollution damages the environment and affects quality of life. Climate change is more complex and has been around since the world came into existence, changing mainly because of the solar system. We have to adapt to the world around us, instead of believing that we can control the climate.

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Humans interfering with nature   Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:50 am

DK & Shelagh, I think that we are basically talking about the same thing - the effects of pollution on our environment.  What is controversial and complicates the issue is when the pollution is associated with “Weather Change”.  Whether or not one believes that the weather is changing due to pollution is left to the experts – the Scientists.  What is causing the melting of the Ice Packs & Glaciers?  Something is causing this change.  Can we take the chance that it is a normal phenomenon occurring every “X” thousands of years?  It seems to me that being on the side of caution is prudent.  
Most of us can give examples of things that have been affected by pollution from water to the air we breathe.  In Germany, along the high-speed autobahn, trees were dying and it was attributed to the carbon monoxide from automobiles.  The action they took was to reduce the speed in certain affected areas as well as to place more regulation on auto emissions.
 
We are hearing rhetoric about reviving coal mines to put people back to work.  The run-off from coal production has polluted streams & rivers affecting drinking water and wildlife.  Instead of strengthening environmental controls, these controls are being eliminated for short-term monetary gain. Clean energy is available.  Countries that recognize the hazards of fossil fuels and nuclear power are taking steps to eliminate them.  Why is America lagging behind?  Instead of taking the lead, they are becoming reluctant followers.  Greed appears to be the culprit.
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