Category Archives: Environment

Global Warming – Major Scam or Impending Reality?

Global Warming Scam or Reality
Global warming is the gradual increase in average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere

Global warming seems to be one of the most debated issues of modern civilization; everyone has a strong opinion about it one way or the other.

Global warming causes fights at family gatherings, and discords between friends. But how many people really understand the arguments on either side of the debate? It seems like people form their opinions based on how they feel, or what they want the answer to be, rather than based on information or evidence.

We’ll break down the arguments on both sides, and then let you decide for yourself whether global warming is all smoke and mirrors, or if you might want to go out and buy a hybrid vehicle.
Continue reading Global Warming – Major Scam or Impending Reality?

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Open Letter: Aussies Stop Killing The Great White Shark

South African great white shark
The endangered great white migrates to Australian waters where a culling operation is now in progress. As top-level predators, sharks regulate the marine life they feed on by removing the sick, weak and injured — click to enlarge

Open Letter to the Honorable Premier of Western Australia, Mr. Colin Barnett:

Dear Mr. Premier,

I’m writing to you about the Australian Shark Cull Policy, which targets various shark species, including the endangered great white. This policy was initiated late last year following a spate of fatal attacks in 2011. Despite widespread criticism in Australia, you have refused to back down, claiming your catch-and-kill policy is justified.

South Africa is a world leader in shark research and the killing of great white sharks is prohibited in South African waters.

Australia should not be allowed to make unilateral policy decisions that affect the global ocean environment. Furthermore, the Australian cull policy violates international laws. It targets various shark species, including the endangered great white. An independent study has found that there is no proof that this initiative will reduce attacks and shows that it would probably have an adverse effect on the environment. Continue reading Open Letter: Aussies Stop Killing The Great White Shark

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5 Fishing Tips For The Eco-Friendly Fisherman

Make your next fishing trip an eco-friendly one
Make your next fishing trip an eco-friendly one

If you’re reading this, it can be assumed that you love to fish. But perhaps this is the first time you’ve stopped to consider that you can do it in a way that’s kinder to the environment.

“Keep an eye out for sensitive flora and other natural elements”

If this is the case, then please continue to find out how you can make your next fishing trip an eco-friendly one.

Fishing gear
Your fishing trip starts by packing your tackle box and it is here where your eco-friendly efforts should start as well. Get rid of all – or most – of your lead equipment and purchase biodegradable bait and line products instead. If your search for these proves unsuccessful, opt for fishing gear made from tin.
Continue reading 5 Fishing Tips For The Eco-Friendly Fisherman

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Save Geyser Energy While Staying Warm

Mayan Hot Chocolate Winter warmer
Mayan Hot Chocolate Winter warmer — Image: Foodista

Summer is well and truly gone. That probably became obvious when you had to pile on some extra blankets to not shiver yourself to sleep.

Winter can be wonderful, with its call for hot chocolate and staying in with a book. But cosiness has a cost, which you’ll see reflected on your energy bill at the end of the month.

Here are some tips to keep your energy usage down, while still keeping your environment toasty.

Mind that geyser
A big energy guzzler in your home is your geyser. There are a few things here you can do to make it more efficient.
Continue reading Save Geyser Energy While Staying Warm

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Sunset on The Bot River Estuary #6

sunset on the Bot River Estuary
The sun dips behind the Kogelberg mountains at sunset on the Bot River Estuary — click to enlarge

It’s 17:53pm as the sun dips behind the Kogelberg mountain range.

The windless and warm conditions and the absolute silence magnify the beauty of the Bot River Estuary.

This estuarine system lies on the eastern border of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve on the Southern tip of Africa.

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Dramatic Changes On The Banks Of The Bot River Estuary

Bot River Estuary
Looking North over the Bot River Estuary, the renowned Arabella Estate is visible at centre on the opposite bank. In the middle distance, just left of centre, a group of four pelicans is feeding in the shallows — click to enlarge.

It’s amazing to see the changes that have taken place in the last six months, on the the Bot River Estuary.

Everywhere the banks of the estuary are taking on a more beach-like appearance. On clean white sand, sea shells, sea weed, red-bait and cuttlefish are in evidence.

The water tastes salty and it’s not unusual to see large shoals of tiny fish being preyed upon by diving sea birds, kestrels and duikers.

In the middle of August 2012, the mouth of the Bot River Estuary was artificially breached. This was done after consulting with the Bot River Estuary Forum (BREF), and estuarine specialists (9 Images, click here for Flickr slideshow).

Continue reading Dramatic Changes On The Banks Of The Bot River Estuary

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Gold In The Sky At Sunset On The Bot River Estuary

Sunset On The Bot River Estuary
Sunset On The Bot River Estuary -- click to enlarge

Here on the southern tip of Africa it’s 7:50pm and the sun is sinking on the beautiful Bot River Estuary.

One can just make out the estuary mouth at extreme left on the horizon.

The estuary mouth remains closed to the sea for long periods, sometimes years, before it opens naturally to start a new breeding cycle for the many species of fish that populate the estuary.

Image: John L Bradfield

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Southern Right Whale Placenta Washes Up On The Beach

Southern Right Whale placenta washed up on the beach
This Southern Right Whale placenta was washed up on the beach on the Southern Coast of Africa near Hermanus -- click any photo to enlarge

One beautiful sunny morning, a few days ago, while walking the long stretch of beach named Grotto Beach near Voëlklip on the Hermanus coastline, I came across this amazing sight — the after-birth of a Southern Right Whale, washed up on the beach. At least, that’s what I think it was.

The whale that is seen most often in Walker Bay is the Southern Right Whale, so my assumption is that it once belonged to a Southern Right. However, other species do make an appearance occasionally so one can’t be certain.

I didn’t know what this was at first. It looked alien lying there half buried in the sand. I took these photographs and it was only a few days later, after doing some on-line research that it finally dawned on me — it was a whale’s placenta.

You can get an idea of the size (once you’ve gotten over the gross factor) by comparing the footprint in the sand on the next photograph. At about 3 meters (10 feet) long it’s huge (3 Photographs).
Continue reading Southern Right Whale Placenta Washes Up On The Beach

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Fish and Fishing in the Bot River Estuary

Fishing in the Bot River Estuary
Fishing in the Bot River Estuary is not what it seems . .

It seems that Fishing in the Bot River Estuary, one of the largest estuaries in the Cape Province, is not as straight forward as one would think.

This vast expanse of water is the subject of a study carried out by researchers of the Department of Zoology at the University of Cape Town in the mid 1980’s. The estuary teems with over 32 varieties of fish.

Conventional wisdom, and experience, has it that garrik, steenies and large mullet are the most likely catches. These along with leervis, steenbras and elf are popular angling and table fish. Continue reading Fish and Fishing in the Bot River Estuary

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Native Indian Class Action Lawsuit Scores $680 Million From USDA

North American Native peoples
North American Native peoples -- click to enlarge

On Thursday this week a nationwide class action lawsuit was settled. The historic Keepseagle settlement agreement requires the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to pay $680 million in damages to thousands of Native Americans and to forgive up to $80 million in outstanding farm loan debt.

The Indians filed the Keepseagle class action lawsuit 11 years ago. They alleged that for three decades Native American farmers were denied the opportunity to obtain low-interest rate loans and loan servicing from the USDA. The Indians alleged that this resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in economic losses for Indian farmers. They said that these loans were given instead to their white neighbors.

Native American Indians once inhabited the present United States from Coast to Coast. Today they number 4.9 Million (2008). Apart from language, the differences between Indian tribes is barely perceptible. They were once grouped into eight radically distinct languages, four of which are still in existence today.

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