Apr 4, 2024

#Elephants belong in the wild — not trophy cases

----- Forwarded message ----
From: Kierán Suckling, Center for Biological Diversity <bioactivist@biologicaldiversity.org>
Date: Tue, Apr 2, 2024, 4:32 AM
Subject: Elephants belong in the wild — not trophy cases
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A super-tusker elephant was shot and killed in Africa last month by a U.S. trophy hunter.

Super-tuskers are male elephants with at least one tusk weighing more than 100 pounds. As few as 50 remain in the wild, and this was the third such killing in the past six months.

Please help us save elephants and other imperiled species with a gift to the Saving Life on Earth Fund. Thanks to a group of wildlife champions, your gift today will be doubled.

U.S. trophy hunters play an outsized role in killing African animals for sport.

Yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, despite public outcry, continues to let Americans import the body parts of elephants, rhinos, leopards and other imperiled species after thrill-killing them overseas.

The Service adopted new rules on elephant trophy hunt imports — but they're weak and don't do nearly enough to discourage the outdated, violent practice of killing these majestic animals abroad and shipping their bodies home.

The only acceptable solution to this brutal practice is banning the importation of the killing spoils from threatened and endangered species.

Such a ban would deter hunters and send a powerful message: To combat extinction, the United States will not condone the killing of these extraordinary animals for sport.

Elephants are irreplaceable icons of the natural world.

But African savannah elephants have declined 50% in the last 75 years. Forest elephants have declined 80%.

They deserve to live out their lives in the wild — not get shot by rich trophy hunters to become living room decor.

We face a dire loss of biodiversity in the coming years, with 1 million species at risk of extinction.

That crisis must be met with a bold, uncompromising response.

Please help us fight for elephants and wildlife on the brink by making a matched gift today to the Saving Life on Earth Fund.

For the wild,

Kierán Suckling

Kierán Suckling
Executive Director
Center for Biological Diversity


P.S. Monthly supporters who give steady gifts of $10 or $20 sustain the Center's swift and continued action to save wildlife. Do your part by starting a monthly donation.

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Mar 30, 2024

#USA : Victory! #Washington Becomes First State to #BanOctopusFarming

----- Forwarded message ----
From: In Defense of Animals (IDA) <idainfo@idausa.org>
Date: Sat, Mar 30, 2024, 12:02 PM
Subject: Victory! Washington Becomes First State to Ban Octopus Farming
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Victory! Washington Becomes First State to Ban Octopus Farming

In a historic win for octopuses, Washington state passed a law prohibiting octopus farming to prevent any future attempts to exploit these magnificent animals. This ban is the first crucial step in making the world a safer place for cephalopods.

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USA: We’ve got to start with our forests and lawns

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Rob Moir <rob@globalwarmingproblemsolvers.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 16, 2024, 8:25 AM
Subject: We've got to start with our forests and lawns

To combat the climate catastrophe, we have to save our lands – from our massive forests down to our very own lawns.

George Perkins Marsh said that deforestation leads to desertification way back when he addressed the Agricultural Society of Rutland County, Vermont in 1847. He noted that once lush lands had become deserts around the Mediterranean from Morocco across the Sahara to the Steppes of Asia and Mongolia, saying, "the operation of causes set in action by man has brought the face of the earth to a desolation almost as complete as that of the moon."

Temperatures are rising faster than models predicted because our lands are stripped of vegetation and degraded. But if we can work together with activists, governments, and stakeholders, we can change course for future generations.

State parks and other protected spaces popped up all over the country to keep forests timbered and help protect watersheds, but today, the problem is too large to be solved with public parks. We need to harness market forces with a carbon offset fund that pays the value of the timber harvest.

States with forests are obligated by law to raise revenue from timbering. For participating states, the Let Forests Grow Carbon Offset Fund would be matched by local private funds to pay the value not to cut timber on public lands. Private woodlot owners who have registered a timbering plan would also be paid the value at harvest time to leave the forest standing. Market forces reward those who reduce the destructive practice of clear-cutting, let trees pull down carbon dioxide to store more carbon, and let the soil become a bigger sponge to hold more water.

It's important to remember that standing trees provide much more carbon drawdown and water storage than planting new trees. Researchers have found that despite conventional wisdom, an eighty-year-old forest has more than twice the carbon stored annually and wildlife values than a forty-year-old stand of trees. The oldest one percent of trees hold 30% of the stored carbon in the forest.

And these same ideas apply to our lawns as well – the soil beneath our lawns can be massive carbon catchers, but only if they're done right.

Whenever plants use photosynthesis, they draw down carbon dioxide and manufacture liquid carbon in the form of carbohydrates (lipids and sugars). For most plants, two-thirds of the carbon goes to their biomass, and one-third is pushed out of roots to feed the soil. Grasses are exceptional. Salt marsh hay, sea grass, and lawn grasses are the champions. They always exude half of the manufactured carbohydrates from their roots and keep only half for their biomass. Walk on the grass or cut it, and the grass is stimulated to draw down more carbon dioxide to repair itself and provide more for the soil. A New England lawn can put down an inch of soil in one year, weather permitting.

Applied nitrogen burns soil microbes and kills beneficial nematodes unless quick-release fertilizer is spread on the lawn. The grass plants become addicted to food and water from above, and the plants are pushed apart so roots may be at the surface. The bare spots, called sun spills, bake in the sun. The soil compacts and dies, and only the toughest weeds can grow there. The wimpy leaves restricted to a fertilizer diet provide easy munching for pests. The lawn care company comes to the rescue, punching holes, spreading more seeds, and spraying herbicides and pesticides. A chemical lawn has replaced a natural lawn.

If, instead, established residential lawn owners did not apply quick-release fertilizer, the plants would stay closer together, and roots with fungi and bacteria would go down, opening the soil for living organisms, which include mites, springtails, insects, and worms. Bacteria provide enzymes, make accessible minerals, and fix nitrogen. A fertilizer-free lawn supports complex food webs topped by apex predators, foxes, hawks, and owls.

The Slow Water Carbon Offset Fund incentivizes residential property owners to have natural lawns and to add more lawn grass by paying those who pledge not to use quick-release fertilizers and harmful chemicals $1.00 per square foot of lawn up to 1,000 square feet. $1,000 is the maximum amount granted to a property owner for making the lawn care pledge.

The Slow Water Carbon Offset Fund would also pay property owners to slow the runoff by installing green infrastructure with a grant program modeled on Maryland's Stormwater Program and Los Angeles County's Safe, Clean Water Program (SCWP). Granted funds would be distributed to residents installing rain barrels, green roofs, permeable pavers that provide a hard surface that can also infiltrate water, and native plant gardens designed to absorb water.

Our folly is to believe we can fix the climate without addressing what we are doing to the land. Our actions causing climate change resulted in the hottest year on record in 2023, but we could have avoided damage from droughts by taking better care of the land. We have worked against water instead of with it. We strip vegetation, bare the land, and destroy soils. Erosion and sedimentation carve and smother. We dry the land with hardened surfaces and spillways. Then, we blame climate change, extreme weather, and people's use of fossil fuels.

The Let Forests Grow and Slow Water Carbon Offset Funds do much more than offset our carbon footprints. The funds restore the natural cycles of water and carbon to advance responsible stewardship of the land. By acting locally, beginning at home, in our neighborhoods and states, we benefit everyone with a healthier, more verdant, and cooler Earth.

Steady on,


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Jan 20, 2024

GOOD MOOS! Baltimore MD is first USA city to declare January "Veganuary" Month

My Jan 14, 2024 entree 🍎 

Yes! Congrats #Baltimore ❗✌🏽👏🏻👌🏿🐝🌲🦎🦋🍏🥕🍄

Baltimore Makes History as First US City to Declare January "Veganuary" Month

Nov 2, 2023

Global extent of bird armageddon

Please follow Arthur Firstenberg and Cellular phone task Force for information about dangers of 5G and related technology. And thank you for any action steps🙏.

"The last 62 newsletters, including this one, are available for viewing and sharing on the Newsletters page of the Cellular Phone Task Force.  This newsletter is published there both as a webpage and as a PDF. It is also on Substack."
----- Forwarded message ----
From: Arthur Firstenberg <info@cellphonetaskforce.org>
Date: Wed, Oct 18, 2023, 12:31 PM
Subject: Global extent of bird armageddon

Anders Brunstad alerted me to the installation of one of the most powerful radar stations in the world on the Varanger Peninsula in Finnmark, Norway just before tens of thousands of birds fell dead all over the peninsula. The southern and eastern coasts of the peninsula also have 4G+ and, increasingly, 5G service, added recently.

At Ekkerøy Nature Reserve, on the southern coast of the peninsula, at least 15,000 endangered kittiwakes died at the end of July and beginning of August 2023. They nest there in the summer on high cliffs where they are directly in the line of fire of the radar, which is 50 kilometers away. The restaurant at Ekkerøy was forced to close for the summer because it was "raining down" dead birds. The total population of these seabirds in Norway was only about 50,000. Dead terns and other kinds of gulls have also been collected. Half of the cranes at Ekkerøy have died.
The radar, called Globus III, was built by the United States on the island of Vardøya in Vardø, the easternmost city in Norway, which is across a bay from northern Russia. It appears to be part of a civil defense network called the Space Fence. Details about this site have been kept secret, but I found a Request for Information published on February 22, 2022 on the U.S. government's website, SAM.gov. It states:
"This system is a one-of-a kind design which will be fielded in 2023. The program is a bi-national, collaborative specialized collection system. The GLOBUS program is a dual band ground-based radar system consisting of an S-band solid state phased array, an X-band dish antenna, an Integrated System Controller (ISC), and a Mission Communications Suite (MCS) hosted at an Outside Continental United States (OCONUS) location."
Other Space Fence radars are located on Kwajalein Island in the Marshall Islands, and in Western Australia. These S-band (2 GHz to 4GHz) phased array radars each have 36,000 transmitting antennas, a peak power of 2.7 MW and, when focused into a narrow beam that scans the sky in all directions, a peak effective radiated power of several billion watts.
The conflagration is not confined to Finnmark, or to Norway. Last summer I reported on mass deaths of nesting seabirds in locations near new antennas in the Netherlands and France (Birds on Texel Island; Sea Birds' Last Refuges). This summer the situation is immensely worse. The continued proliferation around the world of 4G and 5G cell towers and antennas, as well as offshore wind farms, has killed millions of wild birds on five continents, together with foxes, skunks, raccoons, fishers, badgers, martens, black bears, grizzly bears, bobcats, lynx, mountain lions, wild boar, otters, Virginia opossums, seals, penguins, and other animals.
Last year, 40% of the Dalmatian pelicans nesting in Greece died, along with 20% of those in Romania, and large numbers in Montenegro and Albania. By May 2023, more than 50,000 dead wild birds of all kinds had been reported in the United Kingdom, 40,000 in eastern Canada, and tens of thousands in the United States. By July 31, 2023, China was reporting 5,100 dead birds in Tibet. Reports of mortality have come from every state in the United States, across 129 species of birds. Huge numbers of bald eagles have died. Just in November and December 2022, more than 50,000 seabirds died along the coast of Peru, including 16,890 Peruvian pelicans and 4,324 brown boobies, both endangered in Peru. In Chile, as of January 1, 2023, perhaps 10,000 seabirds had died, including pelicans, kelp gulls, Belcher's gulls, grey gulls, guanay cormorants, Peruvian boobies, elegant terns, and turkey vultures.

On May 9, 2023, the Chilean government reported the deaths of 27,977 seabirds, and on July 21, 2023, the Peruvian government reported the deaths of 519,541 seabirds. These represented birds of 65 species. In addition, Chile reported the deaths of 2,517 Humboldt penguins, 460 Magellanic penguins, 16,856 sea lions, and smaller numbers of dolphins, porpoises, otters and other kinds of seals, while Peru reported the deaths of 9,314 sea lions and 100 other sea mammals. According to a report by the OFFLU, a global network of expertise on animal influenza, Chile has lost at least 13% of its Humboldt penguins, Peru has lost at least 36% of its Peruvian pelicans, and Chile and Peru together have lost at least 9% of their sea lions.

Ornithologists are all blaming this catastrophe on avian influenza, in spite of the fact that most of the dead birds are testing negative for any influenza virus, and the ones that test positive have all different variants of the virus so could not be transmitting it to one another, let alone to bears and penguins. For example, 233 dead birds were examined for flu virus by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute between August 14 and October 1, 2023. They found highly pathogenic H5N1 virus in 8 birds, highly pathogenic H5N5 in 2 birds, highly pathogenic H5Nx (other subtypes) in 2 birds, low pathogenic H5Nx in 6 birds, "other Influenza A virus" in 8 birds, and no virus at all in 207 birds.

Yet the United States is already stockpiling a vaccine against H5N1 in case it spreads to human beings and causes a pandemic.

The disappearance of bugs has also been in the news. Dr. Norman Leppla, a professor of entomology at the University of Florida, said that state's lovebug infestation has completely vanished. They used to come in massive numbers in the spring and fall around May and September with a little variation depending on if you are in the northern or southern part of the state. "It's not subtle, they're really not here this season," he said in an interview published October 5, 2023. But no one is blaming that on "avian influenza."

Wind farms are also devastating birds, as documented by German scientists in an article published in Nature on April 13, 2023. They found that populations of red-throated loons plummeted in the North Sea after five clusters of offshore wind farms were built there between 2010 and 2014. Their populations declined by an average of 94% within 1 kilometer of a wind farm and by 52% within 10 kilometers, with some population reduction at distances up to 24 kilometers.

Wind farms are also killing whales. At least 32 whales have washed up dead on the U.S. east coast in recent months, prompting a group of New Jersey legislators to call for an immediate moratorium on offshore wind farms in the area.

Communities that are waking up

Sanity has broken out in in Chhattisgarh's Gariaband district, in the Indian village of Lachkera, home to 600 families. A village resolution prohibits the installation of any cell towers in order to protect birds. "We have learnt that the transmission towers cause radiation that is harmful; we would rather prefer to live with weak network connectivity from the adjoining locations. It's a delight to welcome Openbill storks with the onset of the monsoon. They nest in the trees of our village and no one in the village disturbs them. We don't permit any mobile phone service provider to establish their tower despite the pressure and temptation from them," said Uday Nishad, the elected head of the village government.

They learned this from a field survey by scientists at C.V. Raman University that was conducted in 2017 of birds in the vicinity of the 9 cell towers in Bijapur district. Reviewing 113 studies on the ecological effects of RF radiation, the authors wrote:

"When birds are exposed to weak electromagnetic fields, they disorient and fly in all directions, which harm their natural navigational abilities. A large number of birds like pigeons, sparrows, swans are getting lost due to interference from the 'unseen enemy', i.e. mobile tower. It has also been noted of late that animals used near mobile towers are prone to various dangers and threats to life including still births, spontaneous abortions, birth deformities, behavioral problems and general decline on overall health. Electromagnetic pollution is a possible cause for deformations and decline of some amphibian populations too. Apart from birds and animals, electromagnetic radiation emanating from cell towers can also affect vegetable, crop and plants in its vicinity."

They visited the areas where each cell tower was located for 2 to 3 hours in the morning and 2 to 3 hours in the evening, every day for 6 months, and counted birds -- peacocks, wild ducks, crows, parrots, cuckoos, sparrows, wild pigeons, eagles, and woodpeckers. There were far fewer of every kind of bird in 2017 than there had been in a survey conducted in 2006 before the towers were erected.

It bears repeating, yet again, that influenza, whether in people, animals, or birds, is not caused by a virus and has never been demonstrated to be a contagious disease. In 1918, at the height of the Spanish influenza, attempts by medical teams in Boston and San Francisco to demonstrate the contagious nature of the flu met with complete and resounding failure. Such experiments in humans were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, and Public Health Reports. Such experiments in horses were published in Veterinary Journal. Chapters 7, 8 and 9 of my book, The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life, are devoted to a complete, detailed examination of the history and science of influenza. Chapter 16, the longest chapter in the book, is devoted in part to the effects of electromagnetic radiation on birds. Some diseases are caused by viruses, but influenza is not one of them. I suggest once again that all bird conservation organizations should acquire my book and read it carefully. 
Arthur Firstenberg 
P.O. Box 6216
Santa Fe, NM 87502
phone: +1 505-471-0129
October 17, 2023
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The last 62 newsletters, including this one, are available for viewing and sharing on the Newsletters page of the Cellular Phone Task Force.  This newsletter is published there both as a webpage and as a PDF. It is also on Substack.