Learning Lessons from Invaded Forests

awkward botany

In 1946, North American beavers were introduced to the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America in an attempt to start an industry based on beaver fur. Although this industry has not thrived, beavers have multiplied enormously. By cutting trees and building dams, they have transformed forests into meadows and also fostered the spread of introduced ground cover plants. Now numbering in the tens of thousands in both Chilean and Argentinian parts of the archipelago, beavers are the target of a binational campaign to prevent them from spreading to the mainland of these two nations. — Invasive Species: What Everyone Should Knowby Daniel Simberloff

Beavers in South America are just one example of the series of effects a species can have when it is placed in a new environment. Prior to the arrival of beavers, there were no species in the area that were functionally equivalent. Thus, through their felling of trees and…

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green fire dying

Image result for wolf green eyesWe reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes – something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that fewer wolves meant more der, that no wolves would mean hunter’s paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view. Aldo Leopold

Our Planet Is So Fucked That Some Women Are Choosing to Not Have Kids

Our Planet Is So Fucked That Some Women Are Choosing to Not Have Kids

by Linda Yang

“It sounds dramatic, but I’m just being realistic. The way we live currently simply cannot sustain more people.”

Climate change is real, anthropogenic, and only getting worse. In September, atmospheric carbon levels reached an irreversible tipping point, one that scientists have been warning us about for years.

Despite this extremely worrying fact, president-elect Donald Trump—who once tweeted, “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”—recently announced that he had picked Myron Ebell, an active climate change denier, to lead the transition of the Environmental Protection Agency.

This bodes poorly for us, and even worse for our potential offspring: Research shows that future generations will be the ones to suffer the worst consequences of climate change, not us. In light of this fact, some women are starting to rethink the idea of having children.

Harriet Spark, a social media coordinator and dive instructor living in Sydney, Australia, is one of them. “I work in environmental advocacy, so every day I’m reading and learning about the myriad of issues our world faces,” Spark told Broadly. While at work, Spark encounters head-on the disastrous and already-evident consequences of climate change, such as the mass coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.

Spark’s reasoning for abstaining from having children is two-fold: She does not want to contribute to pre-existing resource depletion by adding another human to this planet, and she does not want to bring a child into a world she sees as doomed. “It sounds dramatic, but I’m just being realistic,” said Spark. “The way we live currently simply cannot sustain more people.”

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