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Gender: Male
Hometown: California
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 26,396

About Me

Inveniet quod quisque velit; non omnibus unum est, quod placet; hic spinas colligit, ille rosas.

Journal Archives

Scientists Are Recording 24-Hour Soundtracks of Rainforests

In the dense rainforest of Papua New Guinea's Adelbert Mountains, birds-of-paradise, flightless cassowaries, frogs and insects are constantly making noise. But as the forest gets more developed, that could be changing. A group from the Nature Conservancy is keeping tabs on the health of the ecosystem by listening to its soundtrack.

The researchers have been working with community groups in the region for 15 years, trying to help them establish land use plans that sustain the growing communities and the forest’s native flora and fauna in the face of logging, clearcutting and farming. They had been doing small-scale sound recording, but now, with new technology, the group is recording day-long tracks and using a new technique to analyze the sound they record.

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Bioacoustics give the researchers a broad picture of what’s going on in the ecosystem without them having to painstakingly count individual animals, the way they would in a traditional fauna survey.

“Sound is terrific because it captures a lot of stuff that is localized,” Game says. “We can look at indexes of sound as a gross measure of what’s happening in the landscape. Frogs, bats, insects, birds, they’re all vocalizing, and in an ideal intact forest, they all vocalize at different frequencies and patterns. As you lose species, you lose pieces of that spectrum.”

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Why beef is the new SUV (CNN)

This is the story of a giant pile of beef.

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But before I get into the business of explaining where this meat came from, and why eating this stuff has a massive, unexpected effect on climate change, I feel the need to confess something: That huge slab of brisket, which came to me by way of Snow's BBQ, a delightful shack of a place out here in the heart of Texas beef country, easily was one of the most food-orgasm-y things I've tasted.

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But eating beef, as I'll explain, has come to be seen, rightly, in certain enviro circles, as the new SUV -- a hopelessly selfish, American indulgence; a middle finger to the planet. It's not the main driver of global warming -- that's burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat and transportation -- but it does contribute significantly.

Globally, 14.5% of all greenhouse gas pollution can be attributed to livestock, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the most reputable authority on this topic. And a huge hunk of the livestock industry's role -- 65% -- comes from raising beef and dairy cattle.

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Nice long article tracing the climate impacts in the beef supply chain (and well-written, aside from some gratuitous snark about Vice-President Gore...)

I'm going to nominate another: The Cloud, by Percy Bysshe Shelley



I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.
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