Breakfast of Biodiversity- Reaction

February 29, 2008

   Breakfast of Biodiversity was a pretty enjoyable read.  I learned a lot about the rainforest and about the banana companies who are operating in the Latin American rainforest.  One thing that stood out that I found particularly interesting was the point made about the rainforest not being as fragile as everyone perceives it to be.  The rainforest is actually able to bounce back from a lot of damae.  In addition, it was interesting how the book dispelled the misconception that cutting down trees is the real problem in rainforests.  The real problem, ecologically speaking, is agricultural and what is done with  the land following its being cleared.


Reaction for Breakfast of Biodoversity

February 29, 2008

This was a very informative book as it shed some light on the global problems that rainforests face and how politics come into play. This book presented a lot of facts that were helpful in understanding the background behind deforestation while remaining interesting, as it was not as thick and heavy with the facts like some of our previous books. It is interesting to learn what is affecting these rainforests, that it is not just large corporations but also a problem with poverty and the search for food. These areas are relief valves. The book brought to my attention a whole other field of study that I never really thought of: political ecology, as politics are ever increasing and needed for ecology to be effective in today’s society. The book gave some valuable insight into ecological problems plaguing the world and methods that can be done to solve them.


Fossil sea monster big enough to ‘bite a car’

February 27, 2008

Sea Monster

New 50-foot fossil was found that can apparently “bite a car” found in Arctic Norway. Crazy.

-Nick W

Giant Meteor Fireball Explodes Over Northwest U.S.

February 27, 2008

Apparently early Tuesday, 5:30AM Pacific, a meteor exploded over the northwest U.S. skies most likely impacting Oregon by possibly littering its skies with marble-to-basketball sized space rocks. The meteor was bright enough to wake up people who even had their shades pulled down and apparently a sonic boom from the explosion rattled windows, scattered dust, and scared peoples pets. Experts are currently hoping that they will be able to recover fragments of the meteor although they say it may be unlikely since the fragments will be very small and landing in rural area.

Earth First! activists arrested

February 27, 2008

Palm Beach County, Florida, February 19, 2008- Early Monday morning, a dozen activists protesting the construction of Florida Power and Light’s West County Energy Center locked themselves together through metal pipes as 200 supporters rallied around them at the main entrance of the construction site.  The blockade stopped work at the site for six hours before 27 people were arrested.  The activists say they took this action to protect the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, which lies 1,000 feel from the power plant site and to protect the larger Everglades ecosystem.

Read more from the article: 


Gray Wolves Coming Off Endangered Species List

February 27, 2008

“BILLINGS, Mont. – Gray wolves in the Northern Rockies are being removed from the endangered species list, following a 13-year restoration effort that has seen the animal’s population soar.

An estimated 1,500 wolves now roam Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. That’s a dramatic turnaround for a predator that was largely exterminated in the United States in the early 20th century.”


Project Proposal

February 26, 2008

Volcanic Tourism


This project will cover aspects of volcanoes, volcanism, and tourism related to volcanism. It will not focus on one single volcano, however, it will focus on roughly 8 different volcanoes that are either extinct, dormant, or active, and the tourism on or around said volcano. The project will cover what a volcano is, i.e. the different types of magmatic activities that occur at each active volcano, and what makes a volcano active, dormant, or extinct. It will then go over tourism, i.e. what tourism is, what it is about volcanoes that is so appealing, and how volcanoes affect tourism (either by increasing or decreasing revenue).

The bulk of the project will focus on each volcano and the tourism related to it; both the past and present tourism and what effects volcanic activity at said volcano had/has on the tourism industry in that area. For instance, Hawaii is part of a volcanic island arc located on a hot spot in the Pacific Ocean. Mt. Kilauea is a shield volcano, meaning that it has a very flat slope compared to a volcano like Mt. St. Helens, and has been erupting a low-viscosity (fast flowing) lava for roughly 30 years. Some people travel to Hawaii just for the name, others travel to climb on this active volcano to the summit to watch the eruption. People also travel to Hawaii to see the black sands that formed from the erosion of cooled lava.

On the other hand, volcanic activity is, obviously, extremely dangerous and can divert potential tourists from destinations near an active or dormant volcano just because of the underlying danger. It can also disrupt some tourist’s vacation if there is a warning and evacuation but an eruption never occurs. This case also does more harm than good to the destination because of “unsatisfied” or scared tourists, resulting in decreased revenue.

Overall, this project is focusing on numerous aspects of volcanic tourism, namely it’s popularity, pros and cons, and background information.

Read the rest of this entry »

Norway builds ‘doomsday vault’ – Max

February 25, 2008


A vault in the artic has been built that is aimed at providing mankind with a Noah’s Ark of food in case of some global catastrophe. The vault, which has been carved into the permafrost of a remote Arctic mountain just some 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) from the North Pole, is filled with samples of the worlds most important seeds (it has the capacity to hold up to 4.5 million batches of seeds,  making it possible to re-establish plants if they disappear from their natural environment or are obliterated by major disasters). It is being built to safeguard the world’s food supply against nuclear war, climate change, terrorism, rising sea levels, earthquakes and the ensuing collapse of electricity supplies. “If the worst came to the worst, this would allow the world to reconstruct agriculture on this planet,” says Cary Fowler, director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust (link to their site, link to their wikipedia page), an independent international organisation promoting the project. The diversity of plants is incredible — there are over 100,000 varieties of rice alone. It has been said that each sample will remain property of their countries of origin.
 – Max

Nature Reaction

February 25, 2008

I hated Nature.  It was very difficult, unappealing, and highly uninteresting.  It had some relevant information, but that was it.

Rare Cooperation to Save Gorillas

February 24, 2008

Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda have all agreed to work together to help save the great apes that only live in the area connecting these three countries. Current estimates say that there are only 700 gorillas left. The main reasons for their plummeting numbers are: illegal poaching, spread of the Ebola virus, and destruction of the gorilla’s mountain forest habitat. The majority of the gorillas left reside in Virunga national park and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest reserve. These three countries realize that the gorillas attract many tourists and greatly help the economy. Their plan is to initiate a 10-year conservation effort that will encourage local people to protect the gorillas’ habitat by agreeing to give the communities portions of the tourist revenue. It is very apparent from this article and the one I posted two weeks ago on rhinos that when it comes to conservation of endangered animals, local support is where it’s at! Read the full article here.