As cognitive dissonance goes, this is a classic. President Biden’s explicit policy goal is to reduce U.S. oil and gas production, limiting the global supply of fossil fuels in the name of fighting climate change. Yet his Administration is now imploring the OPEC oil cartel to pump more oil so U.S. gasoline prices don’t rise more than they already have on Mr. Biden’s watch.
Oil prices climbed to a six-year high on Tuesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia failed to agree on increasing production quotas. Last spring OPEC slashed production quotas after crude prices plunged to $20 per barrel amid economic lockdowns and a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
But energy demand has snapped back in much of the world as Covid-19 vaccines roll out, governments ease lockdowns, and freight shipments surge. U.S. petroleum consumption is now roughly where it was at this time in 2019. OPEC estimates that oil demand in industrialized countries will increase by 2.7 million barrels a day this year.
In early June OPEC modestly raised production quotas, but demand is still rebounding faster than supply. The upshot is that crude prices are averaging around $74 a barrel, up 45% or so this year. OPEC countries naturally want to take advantage of the pandemic recovery to boost production and generate more petrodollars to fund their governments.
But a squabble between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates over quotas is blocking an agreement, sending U.S. gasoline prices to a near seven-year high. Enter the Biden Administration. A White House spokesperson on Monday said it is urging OPEC and its allies to quickly come up with a compromise “that will allow proposed production increases to move forward.”
The Administration is worried that higher gas prices could undermine Mr. Biden’s climate agenda and spending plans. Republicans have been linking his veto of the Keystone XL pipeline with higher gas prices. The two aren’t directly related. But no Keystone does mean that more crude from Canada and the northern Bakken Shale will have to move by rail to U.S. refiners.
This is contributing to higher freight demand and prices, as well as supply-chain bottlenecks, all of which are adding to inflationary pressure. Consumers feel the pain at the pump and on their utility bills as natural gas and propane prices have also surged. Rising energy costs are also feeding into the higher price of goods more broadly.
Mr. Biden knows surging prices for gas and other goods hurt middle-class Americans and could undermine his Presidency. This is one reason he refused a proposal to pay for the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure deal by increasing the gas tax.
But note the irony that Mr. Biden is now urging OPEC to open its taps even while his Administration is pursuing policies with the goal of shutting down U.S. oil and natural gas production. His Administration has sought to halt new leases on federal land, suspended leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and is expanding endangered-species protections to limit oil production on private land, among other policies designed to punish fossil fuels.
But reducing U.S. production means reduced global supply even as demand surges. This means more pricing leverage for OPEC and Russia—and for Iran if Mr. Biden lets Tehran escape sanctions on its oil exports as part of a renewed nuclear deal. So Russia and Iran will benefit from Mr. Biden’s fossil-fuel disarmament while Americans pay more for energy.
The way out of such contradictions would be to let U.S. producers respond to higher prices without new political obstacles. He can tell the climate lobby it beats political defeat.
WSJ Opinion: Meet Joe Biden’s New Entitlement State
By Jeevan Ravindran, Stephanie Halasz, Allegra Goodwin and Sharon Braithwaite, CNN
Updated 12:49 PM ET, Wed September 15, 2021 The carcasses of white-sided dolphins lie on a beach after being pulled from the blood-stained water on the island of Eysturoy on Sunday, September 12, 2021.
(CNN)More than 1,400 white-sided dolphins were killed Sunday night in the Faroe Islands, in what local authorities said was a traditional whaling hunt. The killing has been denounced by marine conservation group Sea Shepherd as a “brutal and badly mishandled” massacre, and the largest single hunt in the Danish territory’s history. The organization said a super-pod of 1,428 Atlantic white-sided dolphins was corralled by speed boats and jet skis onto Skálabotnur beach on the island of Eysturoy, where they were then killed.
More than 1,400 dolphins were killed in the hunt.The Faroe Islands are an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark, lying about halfway between Scotland and Iceland in the Atlantic Ocean.
The annual whale hunt, or grindadráp in Faroese, has been a part of local culture for centuries — but it usually involves the hunting of pilot whales. Although it has long been criticized by animal rights groups, locals have defended the practice.
41-year-old Kristian Petersen, who is originally from the Faroese town of Fuglafjørður but now lives in Denmark, said he began participating in whaling at the age of seven — but in his village, dolphins were never targeted. “I have experienced that firsthand and also participated a bit,” Petersen told CNN. “As long as it has been for food only, I have supported it. But this recent catch that was this weekend, I’m against how it went on.
Petersen is one of several whaling supporters who have condemned Sunday’s killing, saying there were “so many errors,” including pursuing a large flock and prolonging the dolphins’ suffering by not having enough people on the beaches to kill them.
By killing whales, is Japan trying to revive a dying industry?In recent decades, the practice has come under strict regulation from the Faroese government, with guidelines for the authorization of hunts and how they should be conducted.Many, including Petersen, have questioned the legality of Sunday’s killing, with allegations that the local foreman, who is involved in regulating whaling in the area alongside the district administrator, was not informed in line with regulations. Sea Shepherd also claimed that several of those involved did not have the required licenses to participate.One foreman, Heri Petersen, has been quoted by local media outlet In.fo calling for accountability and confirming there were too few killers involved, meaning the dolphins struggled for breath on the beach until they were killed.The Faroese Executive Order on Hunting Pilot Whales and Other Small Whales, issued in January 2017, states either the district administrator or foreman must approve any hunts and gives them the responsibility to “ensure that enough people are available on shore to kill the whales.”Bjorg Jacobsen from the Faroe Islands Police told CNN the hunt had been legal, but he declined to comment further.
Iceland to let more than 2,000 whales be killed within the next five yearsIn a written statement, Faroese government spokesperson Páll Nolsøe told CNN the “notification about the sighting of the whales was given to the district administrator, and the district administrator, in consultation with the whaling foremen, designated the authorised whaling bay the whales should be driven into.” He said it “was organised and carried out in accordance with Faroese legislation” and “there were no breaches of law and regulations,” adding that this had been confirmed by the Faroese Ministry of Fisheries. Nolsøe added that everyone involved in killing must complete a pilot whaling course, and said hunting white-sided dolphins was a sustainable practice, with a yearly number of around 250, although it “fluctuates greatly” — making Sunday’s catch almost six times as large. “The meat from each whale drive provides a large amount of valuable food, which is distributed free in the local communities where the whale drives take place… the meat of the 1,400 dolphins caught on Sunday has likewise been distributed among the participants in the catch and the local community,” he added.However, Sea Shepherd alleged locals had said there was too much meat from Sunday’s hunt and there were fears it would have to be discarded, pointing to interviews published in Danish outlet Ekstra Bladet.
Striking new underwater traffic circle opening in the Faroe IslandsThis claim was contradicted by Steintór, a 61-year-old lobster fisherman from the village of Oyri, who did not wish to give his last name for fear of being targeted by anti-whaling activists. He said the meat from the dolphins would equal roughly 200 whales, and so was “not too much.””I think it’s very necessary to kill whales,” he said, arguing it was a sustainable practice favorable to the importing of beef. “And we do it in a very humane way, using veterinarian-certified tools … The problem in the Faroe Islands is that we have a public slaughterhouse. So everyone can see what is going on.”Although he said some locals were frustrated by the “not so well organized” hunt, and he was “surprised by the sheer number of the dolphins,” the killing itself was a “normal thing” and did not come as a shock, he said.Sea Shepherd further alleged that several dolphins had been run over by motor boats and “hacked by propellers,” resulting in reports to local police. The Faroe Islands Police did not respond to a CNN request for comment on the allegations.
“Considering the times we are in, with a global pandemic and the world coming to a halt, it’s absolutely appalling to see an attack on nature of this scale in the Faroe Islands,” Sea Shepherd Global’s CEO, Alex Cornelissen, said in a statement.The Faroe Islands Whales and Whaling body has continued to stand by the practice in recent years, stating on its website, “the average catch of around 800 whales a year is not considered to have a significant impact on the abundance of pilot whales, which are estimated at around 778,000.”
Time to turn your eyes to the sky! 🛰️@Space_Station flyover TONIGHT (look to the NW sky around 8:20PM) 🌕Full moon rises at about 7:30PM Monday night 🍂First day of astronomical fall on Wednesday w/ the Autumnal Equinox at 3:20PM. #PAwxpic.twitter.com/lgKQR9EmZl
In yet another segment of the Fauci horror show, new documents emerged that show how the NIAID spent almost half a million in taxpayer dollars to fund abusive experiments on dogs even though the research had already been conducted.
The White Coat Waste Project used the Freedom of Information Act to uncover disturbing documents that detailed how Fauci and the NIAID, in an effort to test the effectiveness of drug treatment, intentionally infested healthy beagles with flies that were carrying disease-causing parasites.
JUST IN: #Fauci & NIAID spent almost half a million in taxpayer funds to infect dogs w/ parasites
The research had already been conducted on other animals – Scientists called it completely unnessecary
Once the dogs were no longer needed, they were killed
The records detail how the once-healthy dogs ‘vocalized in pain’ throughout the abuse and suffered for months before being euthanized, some were even bitten to death by the parasites. 360p 720p 1080p Auto (360p) About Connatix
If they endured the cruel tests, and once the researchers had no use for them anymore, the poor dogs were killed.
Multiple other scientists have admitted that the experiment was completely unnecessary, pointing to the fact that this research had been extensively performed on other animals.
“Experimenters admit this investigational drug, ‘has been extensively tested and confirmed…in different animal models such as mice…Mongolian gerbils…and rhesus macaques….’”
Basically, Fauci wasted over $400,000 in taxpayer dollars to fund his psychopathic hobbies that include abusing animals.
White Coat Waste Project went on Fox News to talk about their recent revelations from their FIOA request:
“Justin Goodman, a WCW Project vice president, told Domenech that the testing was likely a case of “not following the science”, adding that the FDA reportedly has said testing on canines isn’t always compatible to human-drug interactions.
“The EPA and the VA have ended dog testing,” he added.
Fox Nation host Lara Logan also joined the discussion, as well as her own pet dog, Honey, seated on her lap.
“We know these things happen, but should they be happening with taxpayer money? Dr. Fauci is increasingly becoming Dr. Evil. Over and over again, the decisions that he made that have just destroyed millions of lives all over the world are becoming more apparent by day,” Logan added.
“We still don’t know so much about what he’s doing. We don’t know what they’re doing at the NIH with animals. We don’t know what research they’re funding with gain of function,” she continued.”
This is not the first time documents have shown unethical and abusive experiments conducted under Fauci. In 2016, WCW exposed how the NIH was funding similar experiments to buy beagle puppies and strap capsules of infected flies to their skin.
The group also exposed how Fauci’s 2021 taxpayer-funded budget for conducting his ‘research’ is $6 billion, and that “roughly half,” and likely more, will be used for experimenting on animals.
Back in May, the Gateway Pundit reported on what’s probably the most horrifying example of Fauci’s sick ‘research’ – the barbaric experiment of grafting human fetus scalps onto living mice.
A new report for Congress, prepared by retired naval officers Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle and Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, at the behest of Republican legislators, claims the United States Navy is an “institution adrift,” is not prepared for war, and is struggling through a “crisis” of woke leadership, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The report, commissioned by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (AK), and Reps. Mike Gallagher (WI), Dan Crenshaw (TX), and Jim Banks (IN) was designed to uncover whether the ongoing efforts to improve “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) training was affecting military readiness — and whether the DEI efforts were impeding the duty of the United States Military.
“The impetus for the report was a series of recent catastrophes—a ship burning in San Diego last year; two destroyer collisions in the Pacific in 2017,” WSJ noted, adding that the legislators were concerned that “larger institutional issues that are degrading the performance of the entire naval surface force.”
The two retired naval officers “conducted long-form interviews with numerous active-duty and recently retired or detached officers and enlisted personnel about their insights into the culture of the United States Navy following a series of high-profile and damaging operational failures in the Navy’s Surface Warfare community.”
Among the key findings: “Many sailors found their leadership distracted, captive to bureaucratic excess, and rewarded for the successful execution of administrative functions,” rather than for their readiness for combat, per WSJ.
“I guarantee you every unit in the Navy is up to speed on their diversity training,” one “recently retired senior enlisted leader” reportedly told the outlet. “I’m sorry that I can’t say the same of their ship-handling training.”
“Sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers than if we’ll survive a fight with the Chinese navy,” one “anonymous active-duty lieutenant” told investigators per Fox News.
The report added that the Navy does not spend enough time or money on training its surface warfare officers, leaving its war rooms “ill-prepared.” The Navy’s deployments are too long, the report noted, risking efficiency, and commanding officers are trained to be “risk-averse,” because of a culture of “brutal accountability” for administrative decisions.
Retired Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery spoke about the report to Fox News on Wednesday, blasted the Navy’s apparent lack of preparedness, and suggested that relative peacetime has made the Navy a bureaucracy rather than a fighting force.
Montgomery “noted that there were ‘suspicions’ of ‘underinvestment in officer training and under-resourced ship maintenance,’ however, ‘what we didn’t know was how perceptive the young sailors, the men and women who crew our ships are,’” Fox reported. “Montgomery went on to say that the report showed that the sailors indicated there was an ‘overfocus’ on administration and training, which was ‘pulling us away from our focus on warfighting.’”
“When a Navy ship gets ready to get underway, it needs to focus on training and warfighting and not on administrative briefings on any issue or that issue,” he added but noted that with the right “investment” things could be turned around quickly.
“It’s got to be that focus on warfighting,” Montgomery said. “The way you get there is the proper investments of the sailor’s time and the government’s and the taxpayer’s money.”
“The sailors’ time is in warfighting, not briefings,” he continued. “The government’s money is in high-end simulations and in the maintenance of the ships.”
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Traveling with your cat can be a total pain, especially if she refuses to get inside her carrier.
All you want to do is make your cat comfortable in the very thing she needs for a safe ride in the car.
The Dodo spoke with Dr. Vanessa Spano, a veterinarian at Behavior Vets in New York City, to find out how to get your cat to actually enjoy her carrier.
Why your cat hates her carrier
The main reason your cat might dislike being in her carrier is because she associates it with things that aren’t exactly pleasant.
“Many times, it is because the only time they are placed in it [or] taken out of the house is to go to the vet’s, which is not always a fun experience for them,” Dr. Spano told The Dodo.
These negative associations could also include physical ailments, like car sickness.
“Additionally, if they are moved around a lot in the carrier or associate it with, for example, a car ride, and they experience motion sickness, they may associate being in there with not feeling well,” Dr. Spano explained.
It’s also possible that the carrier you have makes your cat physically uncomfortable.
So when you’re looking for a case, make sure you’re getting the right size.
“It should be large enough for your kitty to get up and turn around, or at least 1.5 [times] the length of the kitty from tip of the nose to their tail,” Dr. Spano said.
You also want to make sure your carrier will make your cat feel nice and secure.
According to Dr. Spano, the trick is to start with a clean slate.
“Get a brand-new, comfortable carrier, so that there are no pre-formed negative associations,” she said. “Associate this new carrier with only positive things, such as her favorite treats, toys, bedding, etc. This is to encourage her to investigate it on her own without being forced.”
🚨WANTED for FORCIBLE TOUCHING: Do you know this guy? On 6/28/21 at approx 8:10 PM, in front of 361 Stagg St in Brooklyn, the suspect tackled a 35-year-old female, reached into her shorts and forcibly touched her. Any info? DM @NYPDTips, or anonymously call them at 800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/HNYkIJpGQR
The organization shared on Instagram, “The Faroese eat dolphin meat and defend a tradition called ‘Grindadrap’, which allowed their ancestors to survive in a hostile climate while today, their supermarkets are full of food of all kinds and yet the hunting persists anyway. On average, 800 cetaceans are killed each year in the Faroe Islands in the name of ‘tradition’ despite less than 20 per cent of the islanders even consuming pilot whale meat and blubber anymore. Once we spread enough awareness and there is enough public outcry about this then barbaric traditions like this will stop once and for all.”
According to Sea Shepherd, 6,500 whales have been killed during the practice in the last decade. Robert Read, chief operating officer at Sea Shepherd, said in the Daily Mail, “The grindadráp is a barbaric relic of a bygone age. A needless hunt of hundreds of pilot whales and dolphins which should have ended a century ago which is not needed to feed anyone on the islands.”
Leading flea-control products have been found to be filled with toxic PFAS ‘forever chemicals’*. This, according to new laboratory test results posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. More specifically, the report found that popular pet flea collars and treatments contain high levels of toxic PFAS chemicals.
Popular flea and tick products were sent to a certified lab, which found that:
Frontline Plus for Dogs, a popular topical flea and tick product, contains 2,390 parts per trillion (ppt) of four different PFAS, including GenX. Frontline is a liquid pesticide applied between the pets’ shoulder blades once a month; it spreads throughout the skin and fur.
Seresto flea and tick collars contain 250 ppt of a long-chain PFAS. Seresto is a plastic band impregnated with insecticides and other ingredients that are released over time and coat an animal’s fur.
Why this is a problem
“One major concern is that people can be exposed to these products though their skin by petting and playing with their pets. And children face even greater risk through their frequent hand-to-mouth behavior.
A recent study found dogs and cats are highly exposed to PFAS and often exposed to concentrations well above the minimum risk level identified for humans.
The troubling findings regarding PFAS in flea-control products comes after documents obtained from the EPA revealed the agency has received more than 75,000 complaints linking the Seresto flea collar to harms ranging from skin irritation to nearly 1,700 pet deaths. Yet the agency has taken no action in response to the reports such as recalling the product or issuing a nationwide warning to the public of its potential dangers.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal legal petition last month urging the EPA to cancel the registration of the Seresto collar, which is also linked to nearly 1,000 incidents of harm to humans.” (source)
*PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they do not break down and can accumulate in the human body, animals and the environment. They are associated with a variety of ailments, including suppressed immune function, altered gut microbiome, thyroid disease, testicular and kidney cancers, and liver damage. In addition to groundwater and drinking water, PFAS chemicals can be found in a wide variety of products including food packaging, nonstick cookware, bake ware and other products, cleaning products, firefighting foams, electronics, including laptop computers and smartphones, sporting equipment, waterproof and stain-proof items including carpets and upholstery, and much more. (source)
Washington, D.C.—Two imperiled plants threatened by fracking in northwest New Mexico took a big step forward toward protection today, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the Aztec gilia (Aliciella formosa) and Clover’s cactus (Sclerocactus cloverae) should be reviewed for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The positive 90-day findings for both species comes in response to scientific petitions filed by WildEarth Guardians calling on the Fish and Wildlife Service to list the gilia and cactus under the Endangered Species Act. Both imperiled plants inhabit the Grater Chaco Landscape of northwestern New Mexico. The region’s public lands, cultural integrity, and biodiversity continue to be threatened by fracking and oil and gas extraction.
Clover’s cactus is found only in Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and San Juan counties in New Mexico, while the Aztec gilia is found only in San Juan County. Both plants only live in a geological formation called the Nacimiento Formation. Unfortunately for the plants, this formation is also the site of intensive fracking that has been authorized by the U.S. Bureau Land Management.
“The Bureau of Land Management has been rubber stamping fracking in this region for decades, running roughshod over the Greater Chaco Landscape and communities,” said Rebecca Sobel, Organizing Director for WildEarth Guardians, a member of the Greater Chaco Coalition. “If unfettered fracking is not reined in, the health of the landscape and these endemic species remains in grave peril.”
Previous Freedom of Information Act requests to the agency revealed internal strife, oil and gas companies failing to comply with their Conditions of Approval and monitoring requirements, and poor record-keeping in regards to transplanted Clover’s cactus and their survival rates. The Aztec gilia population has declined steeply since 1995.
“Up to this point, the Bureau of Land Management has failed in its duty to preserve rare plants in the Nacimiento Formation from oil and gas drilling and associated development,” said Lindsay Larris, Wildlife Program Director for WildEarth Guardians. “The goal of WildEarth Guardians’ listing petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to make sure these rare species don’t get thrown under the bus for fracking, but instead get the Endangered Species Act protections they need to survive and thrive.”
Since the ESA’s enactment, 99 percent of listed species have avoided extinction, and hundreds more have been set on a path to recovery. The law is especially important as a defense against the current extinction crisis; species are disappearing at a rate much higher than the natural rate of extinction due to human activities, resulting in what some scientists term a “biological annihilation.” According to a recent United Nations report, over a million species are currently at risk of extinction. Researchers estimate that, if not for ESA protections, 291 species would have gone extinct since the law’s passage in 1973.
The North Bridger Range is a proposed wilderness. Photo George Wuerthner
In an article in the Bozeman Chronicle about the North Bridger Timber sale, the Forest Service justifies logging the forests based on what it calls “forest health”. The agency claims logging will “restore” resiliency. But few ask what exactly constitutes a healthy forest ecosystem?
The North Bridger Timber Sale area. Photo George Wuerthner
The agency defines forest health as a lack of tree mortality, mainly from wildfire, bark beetles, root rot, mistletoe, drought, and a host of other natural agents. To the Forest Service, such biological agents are “destructive,” but this demonstrates a complete failure to understand how forest ecosystems work.
This Industrial Forestry Paradigm espoused by the Forest Service views any mortality other than that resulting from a chainsaw as unacceptable.
The snag forest resulting from wildfire supports some of the highest biodiversity of all forest ecosystem types. Photo George Wuerthner
This perspective is analogous to how Fish and Game agencies used to view the influence of natural predators like wolves and cougars on elk and deer. Over time biologists learned that culling of the less fit animals by predators enhanced the survival of the prey species.
Similarly, wildfire, bark beetles, and other natural sources of mortality enhance the long-term resilience of the forest ecosystem.
For example, the snag forests resulting from a high severity fire have the second-highest biodiversity found in forested landscapes. Large, high severity fires promote more birds, bees, butterflies, wildflowers, bats, fungi, small rodents, trout, grizzly bears, deer, elk, and moose.
Many species of wildlife and plants are so dependent on snags and down wood that they live in mortal “fear” of green forests. Some estimates suggest that as much as 2/3 of all wildlife species utilize dead trees at some point in their lifecycle.
Even worse for forest ecosystems, the Forest Service emphasizes chainsaw medicine to “fix” what they define incorrectly as a “health” problem. Chainsaw medicine ignores the long-lasting effects of logging on forest genetics.
The tiny light spots on this lodgepole pine are areas where the tree used sap to shed bark beetles that were attacking the tree. Some trees are able to repel beetles due to genetic adaptations. Photo George Wuerthner
Research has demonstrated that all trees vary in their genetic ability to adapt to various stress agents. Some lodgepole pine and ponderosa pine have a genetic resistance to bark beetles. Others are better adapted to deal with drought and so forth. Yet, a forester with a paint gun marking trees for logging has no idea which trees have such adaptive genetics.
Research has shown that thinning even 50% of a forest stand can remove half of the genetic diversity because it is the rare alleles that are important in the time of environmental stress. Perhaps one in a hundred trees may have a genetic ability to survive drought or slightly thicker bark that enables it to survive a fire.
Weeds are spread widely along logging roads, and is one of the unaccounted costs of logging projects for “forest health.” Photo George Wuerthner
There are numerous other known ecological impacts associated with logging that are minimized, overlooked, or ignored by the Forest Service. For instance, one of the primary vectors for the spread of weeds into the forest ecosystem is logging roads. Logging roads are also a primary chronic source of sedimentation that degrades aquatic ecosystems. Logging removes carbon that would otherwise be stored on the site. Even burnt forests store far more carbon than a logged/thinned forest.
So when the Forest Service asserts it is logging the forest to enhance “forest health,” one must ask whose definition of forest health are they using? The timber industry? Or an ecological perspective? So far, the agency is more a handmaiden of the industry than a custodian of the public trust.
About The Author
George Wuerthner is an ecologist and former hunting guide with a degree in wildlife biology
🌎 As much as NASA missions and scientists turn their gazes outward at the cosmos, we continue to spend the most time studying our own oasis and keeping fingers on the pulse of Earth's changing climate.https://t.co/OMAaX1JzFR
New Zealand’s Far Out Ocean Research Collective spotted a bottlenose dolphin caring for a young pilot whale, and this isn’t the first time the species has stepped in as a surrogate mom.
On May 17, the Far Out Ocean Research Collective, based in Paihia, New Zealand, shared that they observed a female bottlenose dolphin interacting with a pilot whale calf like the newborn was her own offspring. Researchers believe that the dolphin adopted the young whale over a month ago and has been caring for the little creature.
“An interesting observation of an adult oceanic bottlenose dolphin with a newborn long-finned pilot whale off north-eastern New Zealand. Earlier in the day, the dolphin was part of a mixed-species group of false killer whales, pilot whales, and oceanic bottlenose dolphins,” the organization announced on Facebook.
Far Out Ocean also noted that this is not the first time a bottlenose dolphin has been observed caring for the young of another ocean mammal. It is unclear why this species seems comfortable stepping in as a surrogate parent, but researchers have theories.
“It could be a misguided motherly instinct, or she lost her own calf,” said Far Out Ocean Jochen Zaeschmar, marine researcher, 1 News reports. “Pilot whales spend seven years with their calves. There is a good chance it will eventually join another pod of pilot whales as they often cross paths.”
Far Out Ocean has taken photos documenting the special relationship between the bottlenose dolphin and the young pilot whale they spotted this spring. The organization plans to continue watching the pair’s journey and sharing their findings with their social media followers.
“The individual is a well-known member of the north-eastern New Zealand offshore bottlenose dolphin population and regularly associates with pilot whales and false killer whales. We are hoping to re-encounter her to monitor this interesting phenomenon,” Far Out Ocean said on social media of the interspecies duo.
SAFE says since January, nine dogs have been killed and 395 dogs have been injured, including 54 with broken bones.
“Even one death is one too many. Between the deaths, injuries, and the recent doping scandal involving methamphetamine, we’re seriously concerned about the welfare of dogs in the racing industry,” Appelbe said.
“Grant Robertson needs to act now. Suspend racing and protect these dogs until the review is complete.”
In a statement, CEO of Greyhound Racing New Zealand Glenda Hughes says Sunday’s race “appears to be an outlier”.
“We continue to work on all aspects of our racing to ensure the safety of our dogs. We will be assessing all angles of the race day at Manukau to ascertain if there is any identifiable cause for Sunday as this appears to be an outlier.
“Over the last 4 months, we have had two euthanisations (one of which was Paris End in the Sunday Race) due to race day injuries in over 14873 starts. This is the equivalent of 10 starts per dog.”
A young tiger relaxes in his open enclosures at the Wild Animal Sanctuary on April 1, 2020 in Kennesburg, Colorado. These tigers are among 45 animals the sanctuary rescued from Joe Exotic’s Greater Wynnewood Animal Park in Florida. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)
The majority of the exotic animals seized this year by federal agents from a park made infamous by the “Tiger King” docu-series now reside in Colorado.
Pat Craig, executive director of the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, said that since January, his facility has taken in 50 animals from the Tiger King Park in Thackerville, Okla. That includes 10 tiger cubs with four mothers that were seized in January, and 36 adult lions, tigers and liligers — a hybrid lion and liger — that were seized this month.
Tiger King Park is owned by Jeff and Lauren Lowe, who were featured in the namesake documentary. Jeff Lowe was put in charge of Maldonado-Passage’s exotic animal park after the owner was sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot. The park was eventually closed — under disputed circumstances, according to Men’s Health — and Lowe announced plans for a new one in Thackerville, near the border of Oklahoma and Texas.
According to NPR, the Justice Department sued the Lowes in November for allegedly violating the Endangered Species Act and the Animal Welfare Act. The couple is accused of exhibiting the animals without a license and failing to adequately care for them.
An affidavit said, “inspectors found that the animals were receiving a nutritionally deficient diet, inadequate and untimely veterinary care, and insufficient shelter from the weather” during welfare checks conducted since December of 2020, NPR reported.
Located on a 789-acre tract of land in Weld County, the Wild Animal Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization that began housing animals rescued from Maldonado-Passage’s Oklahoma compound as early as 2017. The company also operates the Wild Animal Refuge on more than 9,600 acres in Springfield, Colo. and a Wild Animal Sanctuary on 41 acres in Boyd, Texas.
The company currently cares for more than 650 lions, tigers, bears and wolves, according to its website.
WildEarth Guardians files Endangered Species Act petitions for climate-threatened desert plant 5 – 6 minutes
Washington, DC –WildEarth Guardians has submitted emergency petitions (here and here) to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to immediately provide federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection for both the eastern and western species of Joshua tree, icons of California’s Mojave Desert.
Guardians submitted these petitions to list the Joshua tree on an emergency basis under the ESA, while simultaneously challenging the Service’s 2019 decision under the Trump administration to deny Joshua trees protected status as a “threatened” species in federal court—a listing decision that was prompted by a previous petition submitted by Guardians in 2015.
Guardians’ emergency petitions were submitted in advance of what is expected to be yet another severe fire season in Southern California. Last summer, the Mojave Desert reached a record-breaking 130 degrees while enormous wildfires like the Dome Fire also decimated thousands of acres of Joshua tree habitat, destroying an estimated 1.3 million Joshua trees.
Joshua trees have existed for over 2.5 million years, but multiple published, peer-reviewed climate models show that climate change will eliminate this beloved plant from the vast majority of its current range, including its namesake National Park, by century’s end without robust efforts to dramatically reduce carbon emissions and address threats from invasive grass-fueled wildfires.
“Over the past six years, more and more climate studies have come out validating the position raised by Guardians in its 2015 petition—that a significant amount of the Joshua tree’s current habitat will be rendered ‘climatically unsuitable’ within the next 30 to 70 years without human intervention and a government-driven change of course,” said Jennifer Schwartz, staff attorney at WildEarth Guardians. “Under the Trump administration, the Service irrationally dismissed the best available science. But we’re hopeful that either a court victory or these emergency petitions will force the agency under new leadership to do the right thing and grant Joshua trees the federal ESA protections they deserve.”
In addition to an abundance of new climate studies, the petitions point to a major change since the filing of the 2015 petition. In September 2020, the California Fish & Game Commission (CFGC) unanimous vote to grant western Joshua trees (the species found almost exclusively in California) candidate status under California’s version of the ESA, the California Endangered Species Act or (CESA). This decision was based, in part, on the best-available science confirming that increasingly frequent, higher intensity fires have resulted in significant, widespread mortality of Joshua trees and this trend is projected to continue into the future.
“The California Fish & Game Commission took a pivotal step in protecting western Joshua trees by granting them candidate status under the California Endangered Species Act, and now we need bold action by the Service to ensure permanent, federal protections for both species,” said Lindsay Larris, wildlife program director at WildEarth Guardians. “Guardians is optimistic that the Biden administration’s historic recognition of climate science and affirmative policy actions to fight against catastrophic climate change will carry over into protections for climate-vulnerable species like the Joshua tree.”
While the Endangered Species Act is America’s most effective law for protecting imperiled plants and wildlife in danger of extinction, the Trump administration promulgated a series of regulatory changes that seek to weaken protections for critically imperiled species, for instance by precluding their listing based on threats from climate change and limiting the designation of critical habitat. Guardians, and a coalition of conservation groups, are seeking to reverse these changes through multiplelawsuits and consistent pressure on the Biden administration.
“Guardians is committed to the steadfast defense of the ESA and the species that rely upon it for their very survival,” said Larris. “After the end of the worst administration for biodiversity conservation in history, we believe that, under the leadership of Secretary Deb Haaland, there is opportunity for the Service to create a viable future for the Joshua tree and countless other dwindling species.”
Since the ESA’s enactment, 99 percent of listed species have avoided extinction, and hundreds more have been set on a path to recovery. According to a recent United Nations report, over a million species are currently at risk of extinction. Researchers estimate that, if not for ESA protections, 227 species would have gone extinct by 2006.
Given adequate sunlight and nutrients, phytoplankton populations can multiply into blooms large enough to be visible from space. That was the case on May 18, 2021, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this natural-color image of a phytoplankton bloom along the coast of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.
Some of the nutrients that fueled the bloom likely came from runoff from the Delaware River watershed. Farms, wastewater treatment plants, urban and suburban areas, and other sources all contribute nutrients that can encourage blooms.
“It’s always a challenge to be definitive about what MODIS is picking up in the coastal zone. There are a lot of things that provide color to the coastal ocean, including sediment, chromoporhic dissolved organic matter (CDOM), and phytoplankton,” explained Bob Chant, an oceanographer at Rutgers University. “But in this case, it sure looks like we are seeing the Delaware River plume, which contains all three of those elements of color, plus enough nutrients to fuel and sustain large blooms.”
The Delaware River plume may have also gotten some help from below the waterline. “Winds from the south often drive surface waters offshore due to Earth’s rotation and Ekman Transport,” said Chant. “This often causes nutrient-rich water to well up toward the surface in the summer.”
The tides likely also contributed to the appearance of this bloom. “The image occurred during a neap tide, a period with more moderate tides when the bay discharges more fresh water and the plume becomes larger,” said Chant.
On a global scale, phytoplankton are responsible for nearly half of Earth’s primary production, turning carbon dioxide, sunlight, and nutrients into the food that ultimately fuels almost everything in the sea, from finfish to shellfish and from zooplankton to whales.
Marine scientists are calling on the EU to adopt a comprehensive plan to protect dolphins and porpoises from fisheries bycatch in European waters. To help address the bycatch issue, which is the primary global threat to dolphins and porpoises, the researchers put forward a framework to reduce bycatch levels.
The scientists have outlined a two-step approach that involves establishing a quantitative management objective for each population and implementing monitoring programs:
To ensure an accurate estimation of bycatch levels, the experts recommend using electronic monitoring systems that allow a more comprehensive and representative sampling of the fleets.
The scientists also recommend regular formal assessments of small cetacean populations, including generation of estimates of abundance and bycatch mortality. If total bycatch has been estimated to exceed the calculated biological reference point, then a mitigation strategy needs to be put in place while monitoring is continued until levels are below the reference points.
“Bycatch of small cetaceans in European fisheries is widespread, including very large numbers of common dolphins in trawl fisheries and bycatch of the critically endangered population of harbor porpoise in the Baltic Sea…The failure to effectively conserve Europe’s dolphins and porpoises is not a result of a lack of scientific knowledge or difficulties in monitoring fisheries and bycatch. Instead, it reflects a lack of political will to ensure that these iconic animals are protected from unsustainable mortality in commercial fisheries throughout European waters. We can and must do better.”
-Professor Andrew Read, Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment
Journal reference: Emer Rogan, Andrew J Read, Per Berggren. Empty promises: The European Union is failing to protect dolphins and porpoises from fisheries by‐catch. Fish and Fisheries, 2021; DOI: 10.1111/faf.12556
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard