Posts tagged ‘yahoo’

June 26, 2011

Save the Dolphins of Belize

It is our continuous struggle to fight greedy corps looking to make money while ravaging the earth and the indigenous populations be they human or animal. This struggle seems to be endless so be vigilant and support these causes in whatever way you can.

In the peaceful waters just off the coast of Belize, oil companies are preparing to drill in the Barrier Reef.
Secret government deals have given these companies the right to send booming sound waves from oil-seeking air guns reverberating through the reef, hurting sensitive dolphins – and even leading them to beach themselves and die.
But with your help, we can protect these dolphins and the reef they call home. Oceana is working with the people of Belize to put a national referendum in place that would stop offshore drilling in Belize for good. Will you join the fight and donate $40? We have just $13,000 to go to meet our $30,000 goal! Belize’s citizens should decide the future of the reef – not oil companies in secret back-room deals.
That’s why, with your help, we’re working with the people of Belize to run a nationwide campaign that includes educational ads on the dangers of drilling, developing scientific reports that underscore the importance of the reef, and house-to-house canvassing so every citizen knows what’s at stake.
But we need to match the oil companies’ money, influence and connections. Your support today will help ensure we have the resources to win, and that the people of Belize can act to protect their dolphins and barrier reef from deadly offshore drilling.

May 13, 2011

Bears Find Love

bears find love after years of torture

I came across this article and it is all too sad what humans do to animals. We humans have been gifted with superior intelligence and to me that makes us responsible to all other creatures. Instead as often happens we exploit them, torture them and use them for our own gain without thinking of the pain we inflict on them mentally and physically. So when I read about someone like the woman in the article below I take heart as you should that there are those who are doing something about the cruelty that exists between man and animal.

In 1993, British-born Jill Robinson was gasping for air on the damp floor of a dungeon in Southern China. As an undercover investigator, Jill found what she’d come looking for and it was worse than she’d imagined. The darkness of the chamber was blotted with the silhouettes of moon bears, rows upon rows of moon bears, locked in tiny metal cages. This particular group had been imprisoned for 13 years and Jill was simply too sad to cry.

A Promise Fulfilled As Rescues Begin

For the past 18 years, Jill has made good on that promise and today, her organization called Animals Asia leads the crusade to shut down bear farms across the continent where it’s estimated that tens of thousands of bears are locked in tiny cages and ‘milked’ daily for the bile from their gall bladders, which is prized for its use in analgesics, wines and even shampoo. The specific details of the bile extraction are too tragic to describe here, but suffice it to say that this is indeed one of the deepest forms of cruelty on earth.

Because of Jill and her team at Animals Asia, there is a powerful campaign to close down the bear farms and hundreds have been rescued and are now discovering what it’s like to live as a bear inside of the organization’s sanctuaries in China and Vietnam. Once the bears are taken from the bear farms, they undergo complete veterinary examination, which typically includes surgery to repair their wounds.

Bears Surprised to Experience Freedom & Peace

“When they wake up here in their recovery cages it makes you glow with joy,” Jill said. “Slowly coming around from their anesthetic, you see them stretching their limbs to the point where the bars of their old prisons used to be. Then they begin to realize that something has changed and, in an anesthetic stupor, they continue stretching wobbly limbs further and further out — to the point where they can stretch properly for the first time in their lives.”

“Colin made us gulp back tears as we saw him standing up after the anesthetic had worn off,” she continues. “He realized that he had a bowl full of food at the end of his cage, but seemed to be concerned that the size of his new home would reduce again if he moved his whole body over to his food to eat. So he skillfully maneuvered himself so that his head and mouth could reach the food, while one of his back feet stretched out behind him and rested against the back of the cage.”

Sleep Well Sweet Bears

“They now have straw where a bed has never been,” Jill continues looking out on the park-like grounds of one sanctuary complete with climbing structures, a swimming pool and even bear-sized hammocks for naps. “Bedding-down had never been an option for these animals that are simply seen as a ‘resource’ for farmers who wouldn’t spend a cent on anything like basic care. Hamster is a bear Leanne (veterinarian) and I nicknamed. She had told me that he loved straw, but didn’t seem to realize what it was for. I joined her as he pulled it down from the roof of his recovery cage — strand by laborious strand, in what seemed like the whole afternoon, before he finally made a bed and then immediately curled up like a hamster and fell asleep.”

For most of us, for nearly all of us, saving thousands of bears from extraordinary suffering would surpass any natural expectations we have for ourselves as animal lovers. But Jill is a world class climber, and this is her Everest. She’s on the job seven days a week, although she refuses to call it work, and she firmly believes that she’ll see an end to bear farming in her lifetime.

April 12, 2011

I’m Jacked Up About Starbucks

Starbucks logo and sign

Starbucks Coffee sign

The Treehouser is a coffee drinker. It’s true and I’m proud of it. There is no doubt that Starbucks has great coffee and for that matter their lowfat blueberry crumb cake rocks. But the best thing about Starbucks now is their willingness to join in and contribute to recycling and saving environmental resources.

Starbucks has made some impressive commitments to reducing the environmental impact of their packaging, but without a clear tracking system its difficult to see the progress being made.

The company has promised to serve a quarter of its drinks in reusable cups in an effort to reduce paper and plastic waste, but doesn’t keep track of how many costumers actually use them and rarely promotes the ceramic cups and travel mugs for sale in the store.

The goals that Starbucks is working towards are great and we would love to be able to track their progress. The coffee chain is one of the most popular and well-known, giving them an opportunity to make a change in the industry by setting a eco-friendly example.

A Savory Delight

Now here’s another cool thing about Starbucks, they give you info about making coffee on their website. Read on;

The 4 Fundamentals

The recipe for a great cup of coffee. Proportion, Grind, Water and Freshness. Understand and follow the guidelines for each of them, and you’re on your way to brewing a great cup of coffee every time.

Use the right proportion of coffee to water. This is the most important step in making great coffee. For the most flavorful cup of coffee, Starbucks recommends using two tablespoons of ground coffee (10 grams) for each six fluid ounces (180 milliliters) of water. If coffee brewed this way is too strong for your taste, you can add a little hot water to your cup of brewed coffee.

The shorter the brewing process, the finer the grind. Different brewing methods have different grind requirements, so grind your coffee for the brewing method you use. The amount of time the coffee and water spend together affects the flavor elements that end up in your cup of coffee, and the design of your coffee maker dictates how long the coffee and water sit in direct contact during the brewing process. For instance, coffee ground for an espresso machine should be very fine, in part because the brew cycle is only 19 to 22 seconds long. But for a coffee press, the coffee should be coarse ground, because the water and coffee are in direct contact for about four minutes.

Use fresh, cold water heated to just off the boil. A cup of coffee is 98 percent water. Therefore, the water you use to make coffee should taste clean, fresh, and free of impurities. Water heated to just off a boil (195° to 205° F or 90° to 96° C) is perfect for extracting the coffee’s full range of flavors. Any cooler and the water can’t adequately do the job. Automatic coffee makers heat the water for you. Make sure the one you use gets the water hot enough.

Use freshly ground coffee. Think of coffee as fresh produce. The enemies of coffee are oxygen, light, heat, and moisture. To keep coffee fresh, store it in an opaque, airtight container at room temperature. Storing coffee in the refrigerator or freezer for daily use can damage the coffee as warm, moist air condenses to the beans whenever the container is opened. Whole bean coffee stays fresh longer because there is less surface area exposed to oxygen. For the best results, coffee should be ground just before brewing and used or stored immediately.

I’m not saying that Starbucks is the best coffee in the world but it is certainly up there as far as the corporate coffee companies go. Not so much for the coffee taste aroma or the experience of sitting in a Starbucks and working your laptop. But for it’s acknowledgment that they must do something to help our environment. So for that reason and I do like the coffee I am giving a thumbs up to the coffee giant.

Let Starbucks’ President and CEO Howard Schultz know that you appreciate the effort that the company is making and that they have an excellent opportunity to be an eco-friendly leader in the coffee shop industry.

April 7, 2011

Bees Take Over Porsche

Here’s something you may not know; The working memory of bees “robust and flexible.” If working memory is part of general intelligence, and honeybees have working memories as good as those of pigeons and monkeys, there’s no reason to assume pigeons and monkeys are a lot smarter than honeybees. Hence bees are not stupid. Given the choice of a new home to build a hive why wouldn’t bees seek out a nice comfortable place with luxury leather seats, stereo music and air conditioning?

Ok so get a load of this, a woman doing errands in her Porsche was very surprised to find thousands of bees massing together in the back of her vehicle. Initially she assumed it was just a few buzzing around outside the vehicle and when they dispersed, she continued on her way. However, after her child notified her that the bees had not gone away, but were actually forming in a tight bunch in the hatchback area, she knew she had a problem. Handling the bees in an aggressive and damaging way was not acceptable to the Pest Control Manager who answered her phone call, as he was aware of the large declines in bee populations recently.

He didn’t have a product that could cause the bees to vacate the car without harming them, so he called a beekeeper. A special vacuum was used to gently suck them up, and they were relocated without harm. Not all people are aware of the large dip in bee populations, called Colony Collapse Disorder. Luckily, the pest control manager did know and respected the bees enough to make the right choice in how to deal with them. Instead of having pest control personnel kill them, it may be much wiser to call a beekeeper if you ever have such a bee situation. Bees in spring often leave their old hives and set out to establish a new one.

Now isn’t it humane to treat these vital creatures in this way? I suggest we “look to the beekeepers”. Treat each other in this manner, respect others right to live and thrive. Hopefully they won’t be nesting on your front lawn!

Read more:

April 5, 2011

Bald Eagles Get Their Own Show

It’s really great that we get to watch the birth of a bald eagle. Something that is very hard to witness in nature. Unbeknownst to them, a pair of bald eagles in Decorah, Iowa are being watched by millions of online viewers as they prepare to hatch three eggs. I think it’s food for the soul to witness nature as it is supposed to be. We go about our lives focusing on jobs, navigating freeways and finding the best deal on TV’s, cars, clothes etc. Every now and then pausing to think about the natural world around us and how powerful it is in its ability to regenerate and reproduce puts things in perspective.

bald eagles nestingBob Anderson, director of the Raptor Resource Project, set up the camera to capture footage for a documentary. The footage has gone viral since the eggs were laid in February, captivating viewers from around the world who are getting a rare glimpse into the secret life of raptors. The scene at the nest is now being broadcast live on Ustream and can be watched live 24/7.

The pair have been together for four years and have raised eight chicks.

Although bald eagles are no longer listed under the Endangered Species Act they are still protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Lacey Act.

The following are videos of the first and second hatchings. You can watch them live on Ustream to catch the third, which is expected to hatch in a few days.

March 30, 2011

Help Turtles and Whales Survive

beluga whale swimming

Artic Beluga Whale

Turtles and Whales Need Your Help

The Earth has a delicate ecosystem that is disrupted by every mis-shap we humans inflict on it. There are too many horrific examples to mention here. But it is incumbent upon we humans as the dominant species to look after those species who cannot help themselves. If we don’t we upset the system that has been developed over millions of years and catastrophic results abound.

Sea Turtle swimming

Sea Turtle

Wherever offshore drilling happens, oil spills are inevitable. They put hundreds of thousands of innocent animals at risk – from walruses and whales in pristine Alaskan waters to sea turtles and dolphins in the warm Atlantic ocean.

We don’t have to imagine what a tragic oil spill could be like – we only have to remember last summer and the millions of gallons of oil ceaselessly gushing into the Gulf for months.

Attempt after failed attempt to stop the BP leak is a brutal example that we simply aren’t prepared for oil spills, no matter where they happen. And spills will happen…unless we prevent them.
Speak up by March 30 to prevent new offshore drilling for the next 5 years.

October 20, 2010

First Energy-Efficient Tree House Community

An ‘Eden of Sorts,’ Finca Bellavista Blends into Costa Rican Rainforest

The treehouse platform

Treehouse platform for zip lines

Energy-efficient communities are popping up around the world; from Masdar, the first carbon-neutral city, near Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., to an off-the-grid treehouse enclave in the Costa Rican Jungle. There, just off the Pan-American Highway, a rocky path leads from the windy road up a mountain, winding into the rainforest.
“You can literally see the line where the rainforest begins, and that’s when you get to the community of Finca Bellavista, an Eden of sorts,” Matt Hogan says, driving a beat-up truck. Hogan, a former motocross racer, is co-founder of Finca Bellavista, the solar-powered tree house community he built from scratch with wife Erica after moving from Colorado and joining an environmental movement toward taking communities off strained electrical grids. “It’s a win-win; we’re protecting the environment and creating ‘green’ jobs building the infrastructure,” Hogan says of what’s billed as the world’s first modern, planned, sustainable tree house community.

It consists of about two dozen sky-high structures, with more than 40 other properties sold and planned for development. All told, there are about 80 two-acre lots, which have been selling fast, the founders say. The first stage of “pre-infrastructure” lots is sold out, they say, and there are six more in Phase Two, starting at $55,000 for a lot.

Among the amenities are running water, electricity, refrigeration, complete bathrooms, including a shower and head, and even Wi-Fi. And the tree houses that the Hogans built themselves are completely powered by the sun. The community of the Finca includes professionals working out of their tree houses, young families with kids and retirees — about 100 residents in all now, some full-time. Most of them are American or Canadian, but Costa Ricans have been looking as well, the Hogans say. The Hogans took out home-equity loans against their Colorado home to buy land from local owners who had been trying to sell it for timber. They then sold the parcels to community residents, using the proceeds to make improvements.
The first full-time resident was a Zen-like website manager from Canada who goes by the name Kevin. His tree house is known to have the best Wi-Fi on the Finca.

The Hogans were living in Crested Butte, Colo., four years ago when they decided to fly to Costa Rica in search of a surf-shack hideaway. Erica was a writer and editor at a local newspaper. Matt co-owned a company that made roofing tiles from recycled tires.Finding Inspiration in ‘Star Wars’
After taking a tour of a lot of secondary-growth rainforest in the mountainous Southern Zone of Costa Rica, advertised for potential timber logging, Erica Hogan suggested using the jungle to build an Ewok village in the trees, similar to the one on the moon of Endor in the film “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” The conversation could have ended there, but her husband liked the idea. “It’s funny, the Ewok village was only featured for a split second in ‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,’ but it left such a lasting impression there are few people who don’t know what the Ewok village is,” he says.

So Matt and Erica Hogan broke free from their commitments, followed through on their idealism and bought property in the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica.If they hadn’t, the forest may have been lost to loggers, something environmentalists say has happened to half the tropical forests in the world in the past century. The Hogans spent the next four years building their version of an energy-efficient community. And, today, the Finca is indeed what they had imagined, a community of off-the grid tree house dwellers, living with nature, with access to 300 acres of secondary-growth rainforest. It’s a place where everyone — including the resident star Kimbo, the half-blind bulldog — uses zip-lining as a primary means of transportation. They ride on cables, zipping between platforms that rise as high as 90 feet from the forest floor, soaring across the mountaintops and waterfalls.

“It’s a real source of transport,” Matt Hogan says, walking through the forest. “Even the building materials for the tree house are brought in via zip line.” There are already 23 lines up, with more in the works as the community grows toward a target population of 200 people.

October 13, 2010

Destruction Of The Indonesian Rain Forest

It’s hard to keep up with major corporations and their willing ness to destroy natural habitats in the quest for large profits but writer Laurie Sophie Schnee does a great job of exposing Wilmar International, Asia’s leading agribusiness group in the following article.Rainforest being decimated by Wilmar coproration

The world’s most influential palm oil corporations, especially Wilmar International Limited, drive a large number of palm oil plants in Indonesia.
The recent financial crisis, had a great negative impact on Wilmars economic situation. But a corporation lacking responsibility must not be rewarded by sourcing its shortsighted cropping projects. Palm oil is included in almost every product of our daily lives, just as for instance peanut butter, a large number of cosmetics or instant soups. The increase of palm oil consumption, though, has lead to a high variety of crimes against humanity commited for the end of our luxury.
The native population are brutally expelled from their land, which often is illegally bought by Wilmar. To make the land arable, precious rain forest, being home not only to indigene cultures, but also to a large amount of species, including also orangutans, is burnt down and substituted by a monoculture of oil palms. After three years, the successful cropping requests the intense use of fertilizers, due to the laterite containig soil, which, after contact with oxigene, becomes infertile.

The beautiful rainforests of Indonesia

Rainforest of Indonesia

The native people have no choice but to work on the plants -under horrible conditions. Low-paid and not even equipped with basic work protection measures, the workers are slogging under completely inhumane conditions and threatened and persecuted in case of slightest criticism. Due to the infertility of the soil, the damage done to the primary rain forest is irreversible. No forestation project can ever restore the unique ecological community destroyed by bulldozers and “casual” bush and forest fires.


One of the world's most interesting primates

One of our closest relatives in the evolution of mankind, the orang-utan is robbed its home, helpless orang-utan babies are made orphans by killing their mothers. A sad fate is awaiting them: If not killed by farm workers or starvation, they are sold to the end of entertainment of paying spectators, forced to endure endless tortures and to lead unhappy, very mournful lives. It is brought into scientific discussion including great apes into the genus of mankind for them feeling and reflecting very similarly to the way we do. The destruction of Indonesian rain forest by Wilmar not only affects the biodiversity, but also the providing of human rights to Indonesian’s indigenous population.

Tell World Bank President Robert Zoellick you neither appreciate Wilmar’s attitude towards human rights nor its sourcing by World Bank’s funds, which is also fed by your hard-earned taxes!