- for species diversity: plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, or fishes?
- and in which of these four categories: diversity, risk, endemism (distinctiveness of species), and extincions?
Guess first, then look (no peeking)…. Continue reading
Guess first, then look (no peeking)…. Continue reading
Gretchen found this frog sleeping in the okra:
One eye open:Continue reading
The forest beside the stream also changes after beaver occupation. When beavers cut down trees for food and for building their dams and lodges, they select the species of trees that they prefer, and leave other tree species standing. Consequently, after many years, the forest beside a beaver pond is usually dominated by different tree species than it was before beaver occupation, and in the gaps where the beavers removed trees, bushes and saplings now grow and with them the animal species that live in the early stages of forest regeneration (Barnes and Dibble 1986; Johnston and Naiman 1990; Pastor and Naiman 1992; Donkor et al. 2000). In addition, when the beaver pond is formed by the dam, water floods and covers the roots of trees that formerly stood along the stream bank. These flooded trees die because the standing water prevents their roots from getting air….
In Wyoming, a survey showed that owners of private lands believed that they benefited from beaver engineering because Continue reading
There are only two applications that have been commercialized in these twenty years of genetic engineering. One is to make seeds more resilient to herbicides, which means you get to spread more Roundup, you get to spread more Glysophate, and you get to spread more poison. Not a very desirable trait in farming systems. Especially since what Monsanto will call weeds are ultimately sources of food.It gets even better from there.
These are illusions that are being marketed in order for people to hand over the power to decide what we eat to a handful of corporations.Vandana Shiva is the keynote speaker at the Georgia Organics conference in Savannah, 11-12 March 2011. There’s still time to sign up!
Here’s Part 1: Continue reading
A Call for Skepticism
by Steven K. Roberts
If ever we needed a demonstration that the fundamental flaw in many arguments is a lack of discrimination regarding information sources, we have it in the Nels Konnerup article, “Toxicology 101 Defended,” in the March 26 issue of the S/C News.
The author makes a “plea for cogent thought, rather than a visceral reaction to the use of pesticides and herbicides,” and cites a number of references “authored by highly qualified and respected scientists.” So far, so good.
But just for fun, I spent a few minutes researching some of these sources to see if I could determine the affiliations and biases of their authors.
“No tilling, just seed, spray, and harvest.”Adriana Alvarez, who lives next door to an Argentinia GM soy field, says:
“They came from this side and sprayed the entire field. Here he turns, spraying all the time.”The farmer was wearing a mask. That’s more than no-till farmers around here do.
Interesting statistic that in Argentina soy production increased 35-fold between 1996 and 2003 while Roundup use increased 56 times. And eventually it doesn’t work at all, because it breeds resistant weeds. In Georgia it took only ten years to produce mutant pigweed that not just Roundup but not even paraquat can kill. Many farmers are realizing that it’s cheaper, more effective, and more profitable to plow the weed under in the fall and plant a winter cover crop. Even mutant weeds are not resistant to cold steel.
The documentary points out many products in German stores that include GM soy. In Argentina, it’s even worse, with increasing numbers of birth defects.
“The hemispheres do not separate, like you can see here. If you look closely you can see one brain. Glyphosate can cause this kind of mechanisms, for it is an enzymatic toxin.”
Monsanto refused an interview, responding in writing:
“Monsanto is convinced of the safety and usefullness of its products and its contribution to efficacious agriculture.”As Dr. Carrasco has been known to say:
“Son hipócritas, cipayos de las corporaciones, pero tienen miedo. Saben que no pueden tapar el sol con la mano.”
“They are hypocrites, those corporate lackeys, but they are afraid. They know they can’t cover the sun with their hand.”
The documentarians interviewed Gilles-Eric Seralini in Caen, France.
“To human cells glyphosate is already toxic in a very low dose. A farmer uses a much higher dose on the field. Roundup is even more toxic than glysophate, for that is only one of the ingredients in Roundup.”Roundup says none of this applies to humans and Roundup is safe. Seralini says:
“Transgenics are toxic for human health.”
This is the same Monsanto that made Fox rewrite 80 times about RBGH in Florida cows.
The same Monsanto that was convicted by the French Supreme Court of lying about leaving the soil clean.
The same Monsanto that was fined $2.5 million by the U.S. EPA for selling genetically modified cotton seeds without labeling them as such.
Who should you believe? A corporation repeatedly convicted of deception, or scientists who say that GM crops cause liver and kidney damage in animals, according to research using Monsanto’s own data.
Roundup, mas algo! mas algo!It’s time to say:
Roundup, more and more!
PS: Credits to the German TV consumer series ‘plus minus’:Detlef Flintz and Mathias Rauck. Translation and highlighting provided by TraceConsult. Broadcast Tue, 08 Feb. 2011 | 9:50 PM.
A study released by an Argentine scientist earlier this year reports that glyphosate, patented by Monsanto under the name “Round Up,” causes birth defects when applied in doses much lower than what is commonly used in soy fields.Why should Argentina care? Continue reading
The study was directed by a leading embryologist, Dr. Andres Carrasco, a professor and researcher at the University of Buenos Aires. In his office in the nation’s top medical school, Dr. Carrasco shows me the results of the study, pulling out photos of birth defects in the embryos of frog amphibians exposed to glyphosate. The frog embryos grown in petri dishes in the photos looked like something from a futuristic horror film, creatures with visible defects—one eye the size of the head, spinal cord deformations, and kidneys that are not fully developed.
“We injected the amphibian embryo cells with glyphosate diluted to a concentration 1,500 times [less] than what is used commercially and we allowed the amphibians to grow in strictly controlled conditions.” Dr. Carrasco reports that the embryos survived from a fertilized egg state until the tadpole stage, but developed obvious defects which would compromise their ability to live in their normal habitats.
Matt Flumerfelt’s writeup actually conflates two different county commission meetings, but gets the gist right:
The fate of the tree canopies lining the rural road were thought to hang in the balance. Several residents spoke in favor of the paving, citing dangerous conditions along the road during periods of stormy weather.Oh, the beaver will be mad. I forgot to mention the beaver.
John and Gretchen Quarterman, whose ancestors lent their name to the country lane, led the fight to preserve the road in its original pristine dirt-road condition.
The forest along Quarterman Road is “a scrap of the longleaf fire forest that used to grow from southern Virginia to eastern Texas,” said John Quarterman following the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This forest has been here since the last ice age.”
Quarterman Road, pre-paving, was the kind of dirt road down which Huckleberry Finn might be envisioned skipping barefoot with a fishing rod projecting over one shoulder.
It was the kind of road near which Thoreau might have planted a cabin.
“Many people don’t know that a longleaf pine forest has more species diversity than anything outside a tropical rain forest,” Quarterman said. “In our woods, we have five species of blueberries, …
For pictures of what lives in the forest, see longleaf burning gopher tortoises, snakes, frogs, bees and butterflies, spiders and scorpion, and raccoon, and beautyberry, pokeberry, passion flower, pond lily, ginger lily, Treat’s rain lily (native only to south Georgia, north Florida, and a bit of Alabama), thistle, sycamore, palmetto, mushrooms, lantana, magnolia, grapes, yellow jessamine, dogwood, and native wild azaleas.
The VDT has a good picture of Gretchen cutting the ribbon.
But it’s not over just because one road project is completed:
“More people around the county seem to be paying attention these days. Commissioners tell us that already another road in the county has had its canopy saved during paving, and the commission has promised residents of Coppage Road that if their road is paved, their canopy will be saved. Commissioners even seem to like the idea of recognizing canopy roads as a feature of quality of life for residents of the county and for visitors.”
We have a forest. The county just has roads.
Now let’s go see what they’re doing to the rest of our roads. And schools, and waste management, and biofuels, and industry…. If you’d like to help, please contact the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.