Books on global warming

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2008:

The Hot Topic:
What We Can Do About Global Warming
by Gabrielle Walker
& Sir David King
Harcourt (6277 Sea Harbor Drive,
Orlando, FL 32887-6777), 2008.
256 pages, paperback. $13.00.

Six degrees:
Our Future On A Hotter Planet
by Mark Lynas
National Geographic Books
National Geographic Society (1145 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036), 20
335 pages, hardcover. $26.00.

“Agriculture accounts for about 13% of
global greenhouse gas emissions, approximately
the same amount as transport,” Gabrielle Walker
and Sir David King acknowledge on page 105 of The
Hot Topic, in their first and only more than
fleeting mention of the contribution of animal
husbandry to global warming.

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Global warming: Animals at risk from drought in Zimbabwe, flooding in India and Bangladesh

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2007:


change” does not really describe the impact of
global warming on Zimbabwe, northern and eastern
India, and Bangladesh.
Zimbabwe has always consisted largely of
dry forest and high desert, plagued by frequent
drought. Heavy monsoons have often battered
northern and eastern India. The floods of the
past three summers just accentuated the trend.
Bangadesh, 90% of which lies 10 meters
below sea level, was inundated in 1988 and 1998,
as well as 2007.
The disasters of 2007 afflicting much of
Zimbabe, India, and Bangladesh are the result
not of climatic change but of climatic norms
intensified by global warming to extremes beyond
the capacity of people and animals to adequately

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Melamine fed to fish

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2007:
VANCOUVER–The potential for global ecological disaster as
result of cheating in international trade was illustrated on May 8,
2007, when the Vancouver-based Canadian division of Skretting
International recalled fish food sold to 25 Oregon Department of Fish
and Wildlife hatcheries because it contained melamine.
As melamine is water-soluable, it does not accumulate in the
bodies of fish, unlike heavy metals such as mercury and chemical
compounds, such as PCBs.
“We do not believe this poses any significant human health
threat,” said FDA food safety chief David Acheson.
But melamine itself was not the cause for worry. The greater
concern was what if the contaminant had been more volatile,
longer-persisting, or biologically active?

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Greenhouse gases are invisible– as is “green” recognition of meat as source

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2007:
NORWALK, Connecticut– Posting “Ten easy
steps to cutting out the #1 contributor to global
warming: farmed animals!” on April 6, 2007,
the Earth Day Network could not have been more
explicit about the most helpful action that
average citizens can take to cut greenhouse gas
emissions and slow the pace of climate change.
But the Earth Day Network message barely reached
the celebrants.
Among more than 8.9 million web postings
worldwide about Earth Day 2007, 26% mentioned
food, mostly as a component of festivities.
Only 1% mentioned “livestock,” “cattle,”
“vegetarian,” or “vegan” in any way.
Yet “vegan” was mentioned in 88,300
postings. Greenhouse gases, so named because
they contribute to the earth-warming “greenhouse
effect,” were mentioned in only 83,700 postings,
and methane, the most damaging greenhouse gas,
emitted mainly by livestock, got just 71,800
The “Green Tips for Earth Day” web site,
posted by Earth 911 with the support of the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, omitted any
notice of animal production and meat-eating.
Noting that Earth Day is now more a
cultural celebration than a day of
awareness-raising and protest, Vermont
environmentalist author Bill McKibben and friends
organized “Step It Up 2007,” a “National Day of
Climate Action” held on April 13, a week ahead
of Earth Day, to try to increase attention to
global warming.
More than 1,400 organizations headquartered in
all 50 states and many nations abroad took part.
“What do you feel guilty about not
doing?” New York magazine writer Tim Murphy
asked New York City “Step It Up 2007” coordinator
Ben Jervey.

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Mother Nature fights the seal hunt

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2007:
ST. JOHNS, Newfoundland– Climatic
conditions appeared likely to do the annual
Atlantic Canadian seal hunt more economic damage
in 2007 than all the protests and boycotts
worldwide combined.
As ANIMAL PEOPLE went to press on April
25, sealers were still assessing the combined
cost of a sealing season that was almost without
ice in much of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, while
drifting sheet ice trapped and badly damaged
sealing vessels along the Labrador Front,
northeast of Newfoundland. A dozen crews had
abandoned their boats after ice cracked the hulls.
“Two Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers,
the Ann Harvey and the Sir Wilfred Grenfell, are
trapped in the ice along with the sealing
vessels. Helicopters are flying food and fuel to
the stranded crews on the ice,” reported Paul
Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
As many as 90 sealing boats were trapped
in ice, as of April 23, up from 60 ten days
earlier, according to the St. Johns Telegram.
The icebreakers had managed to free only about 10
boats in five days of effort, before becoming
stuck themelves.

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BOOKS: Writing Green: Advocacy & Investigative Reporting About the Environment in the Early 21st Century

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2006:

Writing Green: Advocacy & Investigative Reporting About the
Environment in the Early 21st Century
by Debra Schwartz, Ph.D. Apprentice House
(, 2006. 179 pages, paperback. $18.95.

In absence of animal issues specialists on the staffs of most
news media, environmental beat reporters produce about half of all
mainstream news coverage pertaining to animals, with the rest
scattered among beats including farm-and-business, general
assignment, local news, lifestyles, and even sports. Conversely,
about half of all environmental beat reporting involves animal
issues, albeit mostly pertaining to wildlife habitat and endangered
Exactly half of Writing Green examines how Ocean Aware-ness
Project founder David Helvarg, Tom Meersman of the St. Paul Pioneer
Press, and Paul Rogers of the San Jose Mercury News produced
award-winning exposes of oceanic oil drilling, the impacts of
invasive species in the Great Lakes, and federal grazing subsidies,
including extermination of predators by USDA Wildlife Services.
Helvarg, Meersman, and Rogers are all longtime ANIMAL
PEOPLE readers and occasional sources, as are several other Writing
Green contributors. Humane concerns were not among the topics of
their award-winning work, but I am aware through direct acquaintance
that most of the Writing Green contributors take humane concerns into
consideration, among many other values and pressures, when they
write about animals. They often do not reach the same conclusions
that animal advocates would. Yet understanding how they evaluate
their material could be quite valuable to animal advocates who are
seriously trying to be more influential to the world beyond the
already persuaded.

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War hurts wildlife

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2006:

Scarce wildlife habitat in both Lebanon and Israel took a big
hit from the July and August 2006 fighting.
“Huge swaths of forests and fields across northern Israel
were scorched by Hezbollah rocket strikes,” reported Associated
Press writer Aron Heller. “Charred branches stick out of the ground
like grave markers at the Mount Naftali Forest overlooking Kiryat
Shemona. In all, rocket fire destroyed 16,500 acres of forests and
grazing fields, said Jewish National Fund forest supervisor Michael
Weinberger, the top administrator of Israel’s forests. About a
million trees were destroyed.

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United Nations Environment Program warns about ecological consequences of H5N1

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2006:

GENEVA–The United Nations Environment Program warned on
March 22, 2006 that, “Culling poultry [to control avian flu H5N1],
especially in developing nations where chicken is a key source of
protein, may put new and unacceptable pressure on a wide range of
creatures,” who may be hunted as alternate protein, “from wild pigs
to endangered great apes.”
UNEP also warned against culling wild birds and draining
wetlands to discourage congregations of waterfowl, who appear to be
victims of H5N1 more than carriers.
Now afflicting 45 nations, H5N1 has been found in 87 bird
species, including many of the most common and broadly ranging–and
carrion-eaters such as kites, crows, and buzzards, known to have
strong resistance to most pathogens.

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$36 million to Mozambique

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2006:

Jay Knott, USAid director for Mozambique, on January 27,
2006 announced a 30-year, $36 million plan to restore Gorongosa
National Park, whose large wildlife was poached to the verge of
extirpation during 11 years of occupation by Renamo rebels,
The Massachusetts-based Gregory C. Carr Foundation is to
“fund conservation services, create a wildlife sanctuary, and set
up the mechanisms to reintroduce Gorongosa as a tourist destination,”
said the Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, in Maputo.
Gorongosa Nat-ional Park director of tourism development
Vasco Galante mentioned “two main immediate objectives for the
park–to secure its biodiversity, and to work with the communities
who are living within the park boundaries.”
This resembled the rhetoric that USAid long used in support
of the Zimbabwean CAMPFIRE program [see page 12], which USAid also
introduced to Mozambique, but while anticipating that tourists might
start arriving as early as 2007, neither Knott nor Galante appears
to have mentioned hunting.

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