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Twenty Genetically Modified Foods Coming to Your Plate | Wake Up World

24 Nov
GloFish fluorescent fish. Genetically modified...

GloFish fluorescent fish. Genetically modified. Danio rerio. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a scary world that mega corporations are creating! Frankenfoods are already on the supermarket shelves and not many are labeled GMO free. Monsanto and the other companies genetically engineering our food, are on a mission to control our food supply – not only vegetables and fruit but also meat and fish! Continue reading

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A Storm Gathers for North American Birds | The Audubon Birds & Climate Change Report

25 Sep

I love to watch and photograph birds – the more I watch and photograph the more fascinated I become. Last summer a family of five kestrels (2 adults and three babies) spent a few weeks in my backyard. I watched the adults teach the youngsters how to fly and forage for food. They grew accustomed to me with my camera as the days went by. ( see Kestrels Came to visit here)

 © 2013 afroditi katsikis

©2013 afroditi katsikis … Click the photo to see my gallery of the kestrels

Not all the photos were beautiful photographs but still the ones I did not publish taught me more about them. I watched the fledglings climb up the shed walls to reach the rooftop to eat the insects (mostly spiders) that they found. Watching the youngsters play and practice quick turns and dives, was fascinating!

One day I heard the parents chattering  in the cottonwood tree. They were hard to see even with my long lens since the tree was leafed out wand, leaves and branches were in the way.  I had no idea what they were doing until I was previewing images on my computer. They were mating and were interrupted by another kestrel that  they shooed away!

After reading this article by Audubon (link to full article below) I was upset and depressed at the same time.  Why is this happening? Why has our government turned a blind eye to the devastation by the oil industry? They are partially to blame but we, as consumers of petroleum products, are also at fault. Please tread lightly on mother earth, share rides, ride a bike to the store, stop buying throw away plastic products, and recycle everything are just a few of the things we can do.

It’s also very important to tell our elected officials how we feel. The two best actions we can take is write a handwritten letter and call their offices. These days handwritten letters stand out amongst the typed letters and emails and add a personal touch while emails and typed letters could be produced in mass and may be difficult to ascertain if they are sent by the signers or not, while handwriting is unique to all of us.

You can find contact information for federal, state, local, or tribal governments and elected officials at:

Government Agencies and Elected Officials. You can contact  federal government agencies here  (ie., Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Council of Environmental Quality, Environmental Management (Energy Department), Environmental Protection Agency, Fish and Wildlife Service, etc.)

If you want to contact a Member of Congress Who Does Not Represent You,  you can:

  • Send a message to the Representative or Senator that represents you, and ask his or her office to forward it for you.
  • Go to the website for the member of Congress you wish to contact to find a postal address and mail a letter.
  • Call the United States Capitol switchboard at 1-202-224-3121.  The switchboard operator will connect you with the office you request.

 

This is an excerpt of the article A Storm Gathers for North American Birds by Audubon:

 

“Western North Dakota is famous for its birds. The land here is checkered with neat squares of farm fields and native prairie overlying a scatter of pothole lakes, their curving shorelines shaped tens of thousands of years ago by chunks of melting glaciers. This rich landscape provides critical breeding grounds for millions of birds, from the that pour out of the so-called “duck factory” to the Bobolinks of the tallgrass prairie.

 

But the region is changing fast. Even as birds continue to flock here every summer, expanding agriculture has eaten away at their habitat, and since 2008 the area has witnessed an energy boom of global proportions. Today the fields, prairies, and badlands are punctuated with hundreds of rectangles of raw, orange dirt, each studded with its own set of trailers, storage tanks, and nodding pumpjacks. Every day, companies use hydraulic fracturing to extract nearly a million barrels of oil from the Bakken formation, a layer of shale that lies about two miles beneath the prairie. Roughly 8,000 wells are operating already, and an additional 40,000 could be drilled and fracked in the next 20 to 30 years. In line at one brand-new convenience store, a woman carrying a hardhat sums up the prevailing attitude: “Patience are for doctors.” In the Bakken, the time is now, and the future is a long way off.

 

Yet the Audubon Report, a groundbreaking new study by Audubon scientists, suggests that this place will become even more important for birds as the planet warms. For the 26 grassland bird species whose breeding ranges are projected to decrease dramatically by 2050, North Dakota will become an increasingly rare island of viable habitat and suitable climate conditions, one of their few remaining refuges. Protecting a portion of the region for birds could mean the difference between survival and extinction for some species.

 

That’s just one of the critical findings from Audubon’s seven-year investigation into the expected effects of climate change on North American bird populations. And taken together, the news is grim indeed. By 2080, the climate model projects, dozens of avian species across the country could be hurtling toward extinction—and not just birds that are already in trouble. Both the American Avocet and the Yellow-headed Blackbird, familiar sights in western North America, may be under threat before the end of the century. In the Great Plains, the Chestnut-collared Longspurs range could shrink by 70 percent, while suitable breeding grounds for the Baird’s Sparrow could disappear entirely. The Piping Plover, an icon of the Atlantic Flyway, may vanish from many eastern shores.”

 

 

Read the entire article here: A Storm Gathers for North American Birds | The Audubon Birds & Climate Change Report.

 

Know Your Rights: Demonstrations and Protests | American Civil Liberties Union

17 Aug
Local issues are often the subject of free speech.

Local issues are often the subject of free speech. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are going to take to the streets to protest, read this article first. All you need to know about your civil rights when attending a protest: Know Your Rights: Demonstrations and Protests | American Civil Liberties Union.

 

Since 1920, the ACLU has been protecting the civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The resources below were created by ACLU staff as handy guidelines to your rights in various situations. read more at Know Your Rights – Essential Resources From the ACLU

Jane Kleeb vs. the Keystone Pipeline via NYTimes

17 May
17- Nelson and Kleeb

17- Nelson and Kleeb (Photo credit: Fighting For Our Health)

Activists and advocates — take a lesson from Jane Kleeb! Her activities in building awareness and motivating people to take action against TransCanada pipelines are working! This article by Saul Elbeinmay reads like a ‘how-to guide’ for successful campaigning to protect the environment. 

Read about Jane Kleeb (aka Jane Fleming) and her efforts to motivate and educate ordinary folks into protecting their way of life and how she fights against TarSands pipeline in this article by Jane Kleeb vs. the Keystone Pipeline – NYTimes.com

 

 

 

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Seismic Airgun Testing: Overview

9 Feb
Humpback Whale Spouts as seen from Morro Strand State Beach, Morrow Bay, California by Mike Baird

Humpback Whale Spouts as seen from Morro Strand State Beach, Morrow Bay, California by Mike Baird

.

Everywhere we look, our oceans and land are under attack by big oil companies that want to drill or explore. Their proposed method using airguns are not healthy for the oceans nor for the marine mammals that live there. The seismic airgun testing on the Atlantic was defeated but unfortunately the Pacific is still under consideration. We can’t let them do this on the west coast! Big oil’s business interests should not be considered more important than destruction of habitat!

“Seismic airguns are used to find oil and gas deep underneath the ocean floor. Airguns are so loud that they disturb, injure or kill marine life, harm commercial fisheries, and disrupt coastal economies. These dynamite-like blasts—which are repeated every ten seconds, 24 hours a day, for days and weeks at a time—are 100,000 times more intense than a jet engine. Seismic airgun testing currently being proposed in the Atlantic will injure 138,500 whales and dolphins and disturb millions more, according to government estimates.”

Read the rest of the story at: Oceana: Seismic Airgun Testing: Overview

Take action and send your comments on Draft Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammals  to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) BEFORE March 13, 2014. 

Draft Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammals click HERE

Humpback whales are well known for their songs...

Humpback whales are well known for their songs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Social Media Tools great for Activism and Advocacy

7 Feb

These tools are relatively new social media sites that are easy to use and are great activism or advocacy tools. We must learn how to use more social media tools if we hope to change what is wrong with our environment and governments. Step up to the plate with these great tools:

Thunderclap.it 

Thunderclap Amplifies your message with the power of the crowd

WHAT IS THUNDERCLAP?

Thunderclap is the first crowd-speaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

If enough people support it, Thunderclap will blast out a timed Facebook Post or Tweet from all your supporters, creating a wave of attention.

WHO’S USING IT?

From passionate individuals with a message to share, to organizations such as The White House, Levis and the United Nations.

Read more about it HERE

Join Thunderclap.it HERE

AskThem

AskThem, from the Participatory Politics Foundation (PPF), is a free & open-source website for questions and answers with public figures. Launching on 2/10/14

AskThem is a project of the Participatory Politics Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, with support from the Knight Foundation’s Tech For Engagement initiative. AskThem is free, open-source, non-profit, and non-partisan, with open data for civic engagement.

Ask questions and get answers – Every elected official nationwide and any verified Twitter account.

Here’s how AskThem works for online public dialogue:

  • For the first time in an open-source website, visitors enter their street address to see all their elected officials, from federal down to the city levels, or search for a verified Twitter account.
  • Individuals & organizations submit a question to their elected officials – for example, asking a city council member about a proposed ban on plastic bags.
  • People then sign on to the questions and petitions they support, voting them up on AskThem and sharing them over social media, as with online petitions.
  • When a question passes a certain threshold of signatures, AskThem delivers it to the recipient over email & social media and encourages a public response – creating a continual, structured dialogue with elected officials at every level of government.

Learn What it’s about and How It Works HERE

Join AskThem HERE

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Withering Whales

2 Feb

Wake up people! Humans are poisoning the world! Animals are dying and species are going extinct because of the greed manifested in many people (er I mean corporations) that continue to exploit all the natural resources to fill their bank accounts with something that can not be taken to their graves! Oceans should not be a dumping ground – directly or indirectly! Keep in mind that the pollution we put into the air will come back down into the oceans. Oceans cover 71% of the world and is the largest habitat!

 

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Walking with the Alligators

Pilot_whale_spyhop

A Long-finned pilot whale spyhopping
Picture credit:  Barney Moss

 

An update to this story

The news is worse yet today, even more Whales have been found dead and again their stomachs were empty, but the thing that is most disturbing is the fact that these whales normally  live in very deep waters and that they are probably coming into shallower waters now because something is terribly wrong where they live in the Gulf. Once again my suspicions are toxins from either the BP oil spill or the chemicals used to clean it up. These family oriented mammals will all follow even one sick member to their own deaths. It is tragic.  Regardless of what is the cause this time,  we are killing our  sea life and poisoning the sea. God help us all.

About 25 pilot whales found dead in southwest Florida

 

Each day as I watch our local news, I keep hoping that this will all end…

View original post 363 more words

#Blackfish! What More Can You Do? | #CyberWhaleWarrior

19 Dec

#Blackfish! What More Can You Do? | #CyberWhaleWarrior.

December 19, 2013 by 

They should be free!

They should be free!

The documentary Blackfish is as big a phenomenon as The Cove movie ever was. Being aired on CNN, however, it has been broadcast to a much larger audience and it is taking the world by storm.  Both films are incredibly powerful in that they leave the viewer vowing to never visit a marine mammal attraction facility. With many of us, they also strike a chord deep inside causing us to wonder what more can we do to help these poor souls.

As with any cause, spreading awareness is the key to attaining a favorable outcome. This can be done in a number of ways.

TELL your family, friends and neighbors about BlackfishWhile you may be able to adequately convey the premise of the film, nothing could be more effective than having them watch it themselves. Tell them just enough to peak their curiosity so that they will be intrigued and want to learn more.

SHARE Blackfish with most everyone you come in contact with. Wherever you go, you will find yourself in a position to speak to someone. Whether it be at school, work or in line at a checkout, this is the perfect opportunity to spread awareness. Even at a convenience store, you can get the clerk wanting to watch the documentary. See “How to Share ‘The Cove’ Movie in 30 seconds.

You don’t always have to start the conversation. Wearing shirts, hats and jewelry that display orcas or dolphins will attract compliments from people. Even tattoos are a way to show your support for these incredible beings that are on death row. If you want, you can go all out and buy the official Blackfish shirt which looks really cool! Get yours here.

INVITE people over for dinner and a movie. You could treat your friends to a meal and educate them at the same time. You may even want to have a raffle for Blackfish poster. But whatever you do, don’t serve fish! I don’t think that would go over too well.

GET Blackfish on DVD or Blu-ray. I suggest you keep a copy on hand but you may also want to donate copies to anyone who would be likely to share the news of the movie to others or have a screening. Give a copy to your local school or library. Your hairdresser is a good candidate and so is a taxi driver. Whoever comes in contact with a lot of people and does a lot of talking needs to see Blackfish!

Have a stare-down. Imagine pulling up to a busy intersection and seeing people on every corner wearing the Blackfish t-shirt. They aren’t chanting or waving signs. They are just looking at you and making eye-contact. You wouldn’t be able to get it out of your head. All day you would be thinking of nothing but: “Blackfish. Blackfish!”

Blackfish T-shirt

During the winter months, you may want to have your stare-down indoors. A shopping mall is the perfect place. You and your friends could be standing at strategic intervals throughout the mall or you may just decide to walk laps. People will see your Blackfish shirts again and again as they do their shopping. You can even get a poster and lay it on the floor. You and your friends could stand in a circle looking down at the poster while wearing your shirts. Be ready for people to ask questions. This will be your opportunity to shine. Also, try to get photos and video of your events to share online. I, for one, would love to see them.

RIDE AND READ. You and your friends could ride the bus or the train wearing your Blackfish shirts while each reading a copy of Death At SeaWorld. Your destination could be a place like Starbucks or a park. There’s a lot you can do to spread awareness for this cause. Use your imagination! Once again, be sure to document it for the world-wide web.

USE the #Blackfish tag. Whether you are on Facebook, Tumblr, Google+ or Twitter you can use the tag when sharing pictures, videos or information about dolphins and/or orcas. After you use the tag, click on it to see who else is using it. If you are on Twitter, for example, you will want to ReTweet other people’s comments. By doing this, you are helping to trend the tag and you will be joining the ranks of other cyber whale warriors worldwide. Click here now to see who’s using the tag on Twitter. For more on this subject, read #Blackfish and the #CyberWhaleWarrior Cry and Why Tweet? Why ReTweet?

HOOK-UP with other Blackfish supporters. One of the best places to do this is on Facebook. Organizations and people like yourself are fighting to see dolphins and orcas free from captivity. I recommend you start connecting via Save Japan Dolphins and Fins and Fluke. Save Japan Dolphins is the official page for the organisation that was the focus of the academy award-winning documentary The Cove. With more than eighty-thousand supporters, you are bound to make some friends at Save Japan DolphinsFins and Fluke, on the other hand, has a dedicated crew that will be happy to address your needs and answer your questions. They are also a hub of information for events and rallies, both online and in your neck of the woods.

Organize a protest near you. You don’t have to be near a marine mammal theme park to have a rally. There are businesses that support SeaWorld and other dolphin prisons that you can target. For example, Georgia Aquarium proudly displays a list of its supporters. Click here to see who likes dolphins in captivity. Just do a little research to find out who supports SeaWorld, Marineland or any other dolphin hell hole.

START your own blog, website or vlog. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy and you don’t have to be a skilled writer. We simply need as many anti-captivity websites as possible so that people can’t go online without hearing of Blackfish or The Cove. Be sure to link back to organizations like Save Japan DolphinsSea Shepherd Conservation Society and the Animal Welfare Institute.

JOIN SEA SHEPHERD. If you are serious about doing something epic, here is your chance! There are Sea Shepherd chapters throughout the globe. You can start off as an onshore volunteer and eventually you may be able to actually serve in a local campaign or on one of their ships at sea. To learn more about SSCS, visit their site at SeaShepherd.org.

Watch The Cove PSA below!

Blackfish

Blackfish (Photo credit: howardignatius)

#Blackfish and the #CyberWhaleWarrior Cry

11 Dec

The documentary Blackfish is an eyeopener about orcas in captivity! Thanks to astute tweeters and the use of the hashtag #Blackfish, twitter is ablaze with tweets about the injustice to orcas and other captive marine mammals. Read this blog to learn more about advanced twitter techniques to use to end the madness and cruelty associated with orcas in captivity!

 

#CyberWhaleWarrior

After being offline for a couple of months, I am quite pleased to see the activity in cyberland. The new documentary, Blackfish, has created quite a stir and cyber-activists have taken advantage of this by literally taking the internet by storm. The Blackfish tag is trending on most any social media platform even as you read this. On Twitter, for example, you can conduct a search for “#Blackfish” or simply click on the tag [try it now >>#Blackfish] to see a constant stream of cries to free sentient beings from captivity.

In March of 2011, I noticed that SeaWorld San Antonio was using the hashtag #SWSA. A few friends and I infiltrated the tag with anti-captivity articles and videos, prompting $eaWorld to abandon use of the tag. Currently, SeaWorld is using such tags as #SeaWorldCares and #SeaWorldRescue. If you understand hashtags, you know that…

View original post 491 more words

TWEETSTORMS for Orcas in Captivity

4 Dec
Type C killer whales in the Ross Sea. The eye ...

Type C killer whales in the Ross Sea. The eye patch slants forward. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

Orca, also referred to as orca whale, killer whale and less commonly blackfish belong to the oceanic dolphin family and are found in all of the world’s oceans and most seas. Orcas are a highly social, emotional and intelligent species with some of their populations composed of matrilineal family groups, or in other words a system by which all descendants’ can be traced through the mother and maternal ancestors. Orcas have unique hunting techniques directly related to their diet, unique vocal behaviours, such as different dialects in different populations and wild orcas are not considered a threat to humans.

Many orca (killer whales or blackfish), have been taken from the wild, ripped from their families, to live in conditions not true to their nature.

In the wild, orca females can live an average of 50 years but can live as long as 80-90 years while male orcas live and average of 30 years but can live as long as 50-60 years. Captive orcas have a much shorter life span, in spite of what SeaWorld claims, living an average of 20 years. In the wild, orcas natural behaviours include foraging for food, travelling up to 160kms a day, acrobatics such as breaching, spy-hopping and tail slapping. Captivity for orcas on the other hand is a vast change to their natural environment with force-feeding to learn ‘tricks’ and ‘performances’ to entertain loud, noisy audiences, an assault on their intelligence, their natural born ways and their senses., not to mention forced family groupings with different populations.

These highly intelligent animals soon become bored and frustrated at their lessened quality of life. They attack their trainers’ which has resulted in three recorded deaths and numerous injuries. SeaWorld denies the intent of the orcas to cause injury and routinely blames the incidents on the trainers. The trainers themselves (via blackfish) have told you that orca are not happy in captivity and as a result, horrific injuries to both the cetaceans themselves and humans that interact with them have occurred and will continue to occur until we can end their captivity.

TAKE ACTION: We will be holding/sharing various tweet storms relating to various orca in captivity with a vision to encourage future trainers, the general public and cetacean advocates to shed light on the TRUE facts about orca in captivity and the heartache it brings. It is vital that people DO NOT go to see a show, so the more people aware the better. EDUCATION IS KEY.

….until all orca are released from their life prison sentence.

JOIN THIS FACEBOOK EVENT:  TWEETSTORMS for Orcas in Captivity.

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