Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Elephant Societal Breakdown due to Humans

Elephants are raping and killing rhinoceroses; attacking villages with intelligence by blocking escape routes and pinning down humans before goring them to death; and are displaying psychological traits previously only observed in people.

This is a sad sad state of affairs. Researchers are thinking of this as a sort of emergent species-wide emotional breakdown resulting from human interference over long periods of time and the consequent destruction of important social bonds for the elephants.

The article requires a login but I am posting some of the text below.

These attacks have become so commonplace that a new statistical category, known as Human-Elephant Conflict, or H.E.C., was created by elephant researchers in the mid-1990’s to monitor the problem. In the Indian state of Jharkhand near the western border of Bangladesh, 300 people were killed by elephants between 2000 and 2004. In the past 12 years, elephants have killed 605 people in Assam, a state in northeastern India, 239 of them since 2001; 265 elephants have died in that same period, the majority of them as a result of retaliation by angry villagers, who have used everything from poison-tipped arrows to laced food to exact their revenge. In Africa, reports of human-elephant conflicts appear almost daily, from Zambia to Tanzania, from Uganda to Sierra Leone, where 300 villagers evacuated their homes last year because of unprovoked elephant attacks.

Elephants, when left to their own devices, are profoundly social creatures. A herd of them is, in essence, one incomprehensibly massive elephant: a somewhat loosely bound and yet intricately interconnected, tensile organism. Young elephants are raised within an extended, multitiered network of doting female caregivers that includes the birth mother, grandmothers, aunts and friends. These relations are maintained over a life span as long as 70 years. Studies of established herds have shown that young elephants stay within 15 feet of their mothers for nearly all of their first eight years of life, after which young females are socialized into the matriarchal network, while young males go off for a time into an all-male social group before coming back into the fold as mature adults.
What appears to be happening, due to humans encroaching on territory and the killing of many elephants is that male elephants who normally spend the first 8 years of life with their mothers are left parentless. They form gangs with other motherless young males and then proceed to go on rampages of rape, theft and killing.

If this sounds familiar don't be surprised. Humans are animals too. Unfortunately we aren't satisfied with just destroying ourselves.
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Monday, November 27, 2006

Liberal environment plan greener than the Greens

Please! Please! Please adopt this new Environment Plan!

Liberals Championed Kyoto for Canada and then dragged their heels implementing it. Its time to get back at it. This new environment plan is the way to get there. I just hope they adopt it at the convention.

This plan proposes:

- The creation of a new national energy strategy to reduce gas emissions through energy conservation and more efficient construction and appliances. Canada would get a ''Climate Change Action Office,'' reporting to the prime minister.

- Immediate environmental assessment of the oil sands development to address cumulative impacts on landscape, water use, air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. Tax breaks would be re-directed to other companies developing renewable energy and water recycling methods.

- Major energy users and producers would face mandatory emission targets within a year.

- Canada would adopt California's radical car-emission standards by 2010, there would be greenhouse gas emission standard for cars and light trucks while commercial fleets would face a mandatory 100 km/h speed limit.

- Consumers would get financial incentives to purchase energy efficient vehicles like hybrids, there would be a direct investment in freight and intercity passenger infrastructures like the Windsor-Quebec City high-speed train.

- Ottawa would reinstate programs like EnerGuide which helped consumers buy more efficient appliances and the much-maligned One Tonne challenge program would make a comeback to encourage conservation.

- Phase out within one year the 100 most harmful chemicals such as asbestos and mercury.

- Implementation of a national biodiversity monitoring program.

- An immediate ban on bottom-trawling in Canadian fishing waters.

This plan would make us greener than the Greens, and would probably get Elizabeth May's seal of approval.

Personally, I am ecstatic about the prospect of a biodiversity monitoring program (my reason d'etre), sorry Rona you should have looked out for those owls. Also, finally some balls on the bottom trawling file, sorry Loyola but in order to have fish, you need fish habitat.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

13 random things about me

As requested by Nicole from Naughty by Nature , here are thirteen random things about me.

1) I've spiked trees in the tropics.
2) Have been an illegal immigrant and worked as such (note: not in Canada!)
3) I speak really quickly.
4) Been engaged thrice, twice with women, once with a man whom I married.
5) If jesus is the first word out of your when speaking with me, its also your last.
6) I prefer to read science related literature.
7) My first choice of career was race car driving, my parents did not agree.
8) The only time I am truly at peace is when I am alone in a forest.
9) I love spicy food, the spicier the better.
10) I can curse up a storm in Spanish!
11) I despise fag hags. If you want to be my friend, fine. But if you have no luck getting a bf don't try to live vicariously through me.
12) I rebuilt a 1984 Monte Carlo SS from the ground up (just couldn't paint the damn thing)
13) Work 30 hour weeks on full salary with 2 months vacation and plan to retire by the time I am 55. Recommend this Post

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tim Hortons & Our Troops

Price of a medium coffee at Tim Hortons ; $1.25

Price of a donut : $0.75

Cost of having our soldiers enjoy Tim Hortons in Afganistan: Scandalous - $4,000,000.

Glad we can trust the conservatives to be fiscally responsible. Recommend this Post