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Friday, June 19, 2009

Pollution drives Mekong River Dolphins to edge of extinction

According to an article written by Patrick Falby of the Agence France-Presse,which appeared in the Friday June 19,2009 edition of the Edmonton Journal newspaper,

"Pollution in Southeast Asia's Mekong River has pushed
freshwater dolphins in Cambodia and Laos to the brink
of extinction." The World Wide Fund For Nature
(WWF) said only 64 to 76 Irawaddy dolphins remain in
the Mekong after toxic levels of pesticides,mercury and
other pollutants were found in more than 50 calves who
have died since 2003.

The Mekong River, (see map below,the river is represented in the color blue) approximately 4180km in length, originates from Tibet and runs through Yunnan province of China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam.

"These pollutants are widely distributed in the environment and so the source of this pollution may involve several countries through which the Mekong River flows," said WWF veterinary surgeon Verne Dove in a press statement.

"The organization said it was investigating how environmental contaminents got into the Mekong, which flows through Cambodia,Laos,Myanmar,Thailand, Vietnam and the southern Chinese province of Yunnan."

"The WWF said it suspects that high levels of mercury found in some dead dolphins came from gold mining activities."

"It added that Irrawaddy dolphins in Cambodia and Laos urgently needed a health program to counter the effects of pollution on their immune system."

"The Mekong River Irawaddy dolphin, which inhabits a 190-kilometer stretch of Cambodia and Laos, has been listed as critically endangered since 2004," said the WWF....there numbers were cut by illegal fishing nets and Cambodia's drawn out civil conflict, in which dolphin blubber was used to lubricate machine parts and fuel lamps."

"The Cambodian Government, however has been promoting dolphin-watching to attract ecotourism and has cracked down on the use of illegal nets which entangle them."

"The river is the World's largest inland fishery, producing some 2.5 million tonnes of fish per year valued at more than $2 billion."

source of map:

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.