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Kiana Herold – THE RIGHTS OF NATURE: INDIGENOUS PHILOSOPHIES REFRAMING LAW

Indigenous battles to defend nature have taken to the streets, leading to powerful mobilizations like the gathering at Standing Rock. They have also taken to the courts, through the development of innovative legal ways of protecting nature. In Ecuador, Bolivia and New Zealand, indigenous activism has helped spur the creation of a novel legal phenomenon—the idea that nature itself can …

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Helena Norberg-Hodge – LOCAL ECONOMIES: TIPPING THE SCALE

“Wherever something is wrong, something is too big.” ― Leopold Kohr Most of us reject generalisations. We recognise that the real world is complex, messy and full of contradictions. We’re understandably sceptical of one-size-fits-all solutions, and wary of people who stand on a soapbox saying, “I have the answer!” For these reasons I have found myself in a rather difficult …

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Austin Bailey – 1,000,000,000 Birds – Just Gone

Graphic from the State of North American Birds report. The just released State of North America’s Birds report is grim reading.  Based on a comprehensive evaluation of species population size and trends, ranges and threat severity the assessment reaches a stark conclusion.  A billion birds have disappeared from North America since 1970, and a third of bird species across the continent are threatened …

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Look What We’ve Done: Human-Made Epoch of Nightmares Is Here

There’s no question about it. A new epoch—the Anthropocene—has begun. So says an international group of geoscientists, in a paper published Friday in the journal Science. They point to waste disposal, fossil fuel combustion, increased fertilizer use, the testing and dropping of nuclear weapons, deforestation, and more as evidence that human activity has pushed the Earth into the new age …

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Humans began altering natural world 6,000 years ago

Scientists have found an abrupt change about 6,000 years ago in how terrestrial plant and animal species coexisted, right about the time human populations were ballooning and agriculture was spreading around the world. The findings suggest that human activity had reached a tipping point where hunting and farming were impacting the natural world in irreversible ways — changes that have …

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Progressive Commentary Hour – 12.29.15

Professor Henry Giroux holds the Global Television Network Chair of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in Ontario Canada. He was previously the Waterbury Chair Professor at Penn State University and Director of the Forum in Education and Cultural Studies. Professor Giroux is a leader in the field of critical and public pedagogy which describes the nature of spectacle in our new media, body politic and corporate education. He is a prominent advocate of radical democracy, which opposes the powers of neoliberalism, corporatism, and religious fundamentalism that diminishes our sense of civic virtue, free-thought and well being. He has also been named among the top fifty educational thinkers of the modern Period. Henry has authored many books including “Disposable Futures” and more recently this month “America’s Addiction to Terrorism”. His website is HenryAGiroux.com

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Life on Earth likely started 4.1 billion years ago — much earlier than scientists thought

UCLA geochemists have found evidence that life likely existed on Earth at least 4.1 billion years ago — 300 million years earlier than previous research suggested. The discovery indicates that life may have begun shortly after the planet formed 4.54 billion years ago. The research is published today in the online early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National …

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William Lynn – Setting aside half the Earth for ‘rewilding’: the ethical dimension

A much-anticipated book in conservation and natural science circles is EO Wilson’s Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, which is due early next year. It builds on his proposal to set aside half the Earth for the preservation of biodiversity. The famous biologist and naturalist would do this by establishing huge biodiversity parks to protect, restore and connect habitats at …

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Buzz the alarm: Climate change puts squeeze on bumblebees

Global warming is putting the squeeze on bumblebees. In the most comprehensive study ever conducted of the impacts of climate change on critical pollinators, scientists have discovered that global warming is rapidly shrinking the area where these bees are found in both North America and Europe. Researchers examined more than 420,000 historical and current records of many species of bumblebees–and …

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Unregulated Capitalism Is Destroying the Planet

We are in the middle of the first great mass extinction since the end of the age of the dinosaurs. That’s the conclusion of a shocking new study published Friday in a journal called Science Advances. The study, which was conducted by a group of scientists from some of the United States’ leading universities, found that over the past century-plus, vertebrate species …