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Ebola impacting Chimps and Gorillas even more than humans
January 25, 2015 08:38 AM - Kevin Mathews, Care2

While the whole world is aware of the many human fatalities from the Ebola epidemic in Western Africa, you may not realize that the disease has claimed hundreds of thousands of other victims in the area. Unfortunately, Ebola is simultaneously working its way through gorilla and chimpanzee populations with no sign of stopping. In the past 25 years, Ebola has wiped out 33% of all apes, reports the Daily Beast.

Apes are already up against a number of obstacles that threaten their lives like poaching and habitat destruction. The last thing they need is to have a highly fatal disease reduce their numbers further. It’s even more devastating when you reflect on the fact that many of these primate species that are ravaged by Ebola were already officially listed as endangered.

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Why Certification is Critical for the Industrialization of Bamboo
January 19, 2015 12:35 PM - Contributing editor

We’ve been down this path before; a new species, a new crop, a new product. A silver bullet plant that can be grown on degraded land and provide exactly what industry needs. And yet typically such plants go one of two ways; the way of Jatropha, which after a few years of being touted as the miracle plant of the biofuel industry, simply faded into nothingness; or the way of oil palm, where industrialization boomed, and with it came a mile wide trench of environmental devastation.

No plant is inherently green. And bamboo is no different. It can be grown well, and sustainably. Or it can be the cause of deforestation, conversion of natural ecosystems, and subsequent environmental and social degradation.

So why is bamboo forging a path that is likely to be different? Simply, the foremost player currently responsible for the plant’s industrialization at a global and commercial scale is setting a benchmark of sustainability in front as they pioneer and grow the plant at scale, rather than in their wake as an after thought.

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» Read More from Ecosystems Topic

SPOTLIGHT

We Reside Here - Earth is Easter Island

Jesse David The’

The ocean surrounding Easter Island is vast and great, so large it seems impossible that one could ever sail away and find a home away from home.  Trees and animals fill the land to the very coast, a paradise, a home.  This is where the Rapanui reside, a great Polynesian people, a great nation.  They built great Moai to their gods. They ripped the trees from their roots, used them for rope, homes, fire and boat.  Their people reached in the tens of thousands, vast and great.  This is where the Rapanui reside, in their island, in an ocean so far from anything, so alone.  They did not take notice to the consequences of destroying their land, they did not notice that the destruction of nature was the destruction their home, their paradise.  For many generations they lived taking what they wanted from the island, and despite the changes their home had gone through they still did not change their ways.  The droughts, the famine, the changes, in their home happening too slowly for them to notice in time.  The lack of food, the starvation of the poor, the absence of other life.  Even if some of them had known what was to come if they stayed their course it did not matter, and once the very last tree on Easter island was slain their fate was sealed.  The death of an entire people, an extinction.  This is where the Rapanui reside, in the dirt, in their tombs, lost, forgotten, the only thing left are their great Moai, and one day they will be gone too.

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