Scientist who identified global warming threat to polar bears wins settlement

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2013:


WASHINGTON D.C.––Charles M. Monnett, 65, whose observation
of four polar bear carcasses floating in the Beaufort Sea in September
2004 drew global attention to the effects of global warming, on
November 15, 2013 accepted a six-point retirement agreement negotiated
by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel in settlement of a whistleblower
complaint against the U.S. Department of Interior.
Monnett, then a senior scientist for the Bureau of Ocean &
Energy Management, discovered the polar bear remains while doing an
aerial search for endangered bowhead whales with colleague Jeffrey
Gleason, who later left the BOEM. The bears were 125 to 185 miles from
the nearest sea ice. Only 12 polar bears had been observed swimming in
the preceding 25 years of aerial marine mammal surveys, and none had
ever been found dead at sea.

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Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

 Ignoring Nature No More:  The Case for Compassionate Conservation Edited by Marc Bekoff The University of Chicago Press,  Ltd.  (427 East 60th St.,  Chicago,  IL 60637), 2013. 456 pages.  Paperback $38.00.  Kindle $19.89.

When I was a child,  the Earth seemed huge and full of exciting places where wild animals roamed,  where as yet no human had set foot.  There were only three billion of us back then. Feeding us all seemed to be the main problem.   Read more

EXCHANGE: The long and winding road to environmentalism

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2013: (Actually published on October 8,  2013)

I have been involved in animal rights since 1985,  and am grateful for the way that our movement has grown and evolved.  When I first began practicing animal law,  the idea that animals had rights to which we must pay heed was revolutionary.  Courageous activists went to jail to put it on the agenda. Read more

BOOKS | Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  November/December 2012:

Full Planet,  Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity by Lester R. Brown Earth Policy Institute (1350 Connecticut Avenue NW,  Suite 403,  Washington, DC   20036),  2012. 141 pages,  paperback.  $15.00.
Publicity materials for Full Planet, Empty Plates credit Lester R. Brown with producing more than 50 books,  including the annual Worldwatch reports he edited for 30 years as founder of the Worldwatch Institute.  Leaving in 2001,  Brown formed the Earth Policy Institute to continue amassing and evaluating economic data that helps to predict environmental trends. Read more

Sanitation role of Indian street dogs quantified

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2012:

NEW DELHI-The Supreme Court of India on September 3, 2012 weighed the ecological and public health role of street animals in a case brought by the nonprofit organization Safai Karmachari Andolan on behalf of the poorest of the poor.

Describing itself as “a national movement committed to the total eradication of manual scavenging and the rehabilitation of all scavengers for dignified occupations,”  Safai Karmachari Andolan extracted data from the 2011 national census to show that of 2.6 million public dry latrines still in use in India, 1.3 million discharge illegally into open drains, 794,000 are cleaned manually by humans, and 497,000 are cleaned entirely by animals– mostly dogs and pigs. Read more

EDITORIAL: Agribusiness, green politics, & the art of compromise

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2012:

Editorial feature: Agribusiness, green politics, & the art of compromise

KFC sells dead chickens from 17,000 sales outlets in 105 nations. Part of the $66.5-billion-a-year PepsiCo. empire, KFC boasts revenue in the U.S. alone of $4.6 billion.

Founded by honorary Colonel Harlan Sanders in 1952 as Kentucky Fried Chicken, KFC would not appear to need much help defending itself in any defensible cause. Even a 10-year-old PETA “Kentucky Fried Cruelty” campaign, attacking abuses in the KFC supply chain that were captured on video camera, appears to have accomplished relatively little against KFC corporate intransigence. Nonetheless, the far-right advocacy front Consumers Alliance for Global Prosperity on June 11, 2012 appealed to supporters and media to “Help Fight The Attack On The Colonel!” Read more

Cattle gifts put habitat, humans, and animals at risk in southern India

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2012:

Cattle gifts put habitat, humans, and animals at risk in southern India

KOCHI, Kerala, India–A livestock gift scheme meant to increase the incomes of 30 families living within the nominally protected Vazhachal Forest, within the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve buffer zone, is putting the forest, the families, and the donated cattle at risk, Wildlife Division of the Kerala Forest Research Institute chief E.A. Jayson told K.S. Sudhi of The Hindu in May 2012. Read more

BOOKS: Carbofuran & Wildlife Poisoning: Global Perspectives and Forensic Approaches

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  June 2012:

Carbofuran & Wildlife Poisoning:  Global Perspectives and Forensic Approaches
Edited by Ngaio Richards   *  John Wiley & Sons 
(111 River Street,  Hoboken, NJ 07030),  2011. 
304 pages,hardcover.  $49.95.

Thirty-nine experts in various related disciplines contribute chapters to Carbofuran & Wildlife Poisoning:  Global Perspectives and Forensic Approaches.   The contributors might outnumber the readers who will ever peruse this first book-length examination of carbofuran and wildlife mortality from cover to cover.

Published nearly 50 years after Rachel Carson in Silent Spring sparked enduring concern about the effects of pesticides on wildlife, Carbofuran & Wildlife Poisoning might also be read as an exposé,  but almost everyone who encounters it will already be aware that carbofuran kills wildlife in many different ways–and probably kills more birds and mammals than any other pesticide still in use.  The primary purpose of Carbofuran & Wildlife Poisoning is simply to pull together within one set of covers all of the information that people encountering possible effects of carbofuran may need to know,  whether to diagnose the problem or to organize a litigative or political response. Read more

Free downloads from

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  May 2012:

Climate,  Food Security,  & Growth:   Ethiopia’s Complex Relationship With Livestock  (22 pages)
by Mia MacDonald & Sangamithra Iyer
Cattle,  Soyanization,  & Climate Change:    Brazil’s Agricultural Revolution  (42 pages)
Skillful Means:  The Challenge of China’s Encounter With Factory Farming  (28 pages)

both by Mia MacDonald & Justine Simon   *   Brighter Green,  2011.

Free downloads from:  <>

    Like Veg or Non-Veg?  India at the Crossroads,  reviewed in the March 2012 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE,  these slightly earlier reports from the Brighter Green ecological think-tank on the growth of animal agriculture in Brazil,  China,  and Ethiopia present a wealth of footnoted data,  summaries of economic and environmental challenges,  evaluations of the factors driving agribusiness in each nation,   and recommendations specific to each nation,  urging its government to de-emphasize promoting the livestock industry. Read more

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