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Monday, July 27, 2009

Should humans dictate nature in the name of conservation?




Written by Alicia Chang-AP

"On naked patches of land in Western Canada and the United States, scientists are planting trees that don't belong there. It's a bold experiment to move trees threatened by global warming into places where they may thrive amid a changing climate.
Take the Western larch with its thick grooved bark and green needles. It grows in the valleys and lower mountain slopes in British Columbia's Southern Interior. Canadian foresters are testing how its seeds will fare when planted farther north – just below the Arctic Circle.
Something similar will be tried in the Lower 48. Researchers will uproot moisture-loving Sitka spruce and Western red cedar that grace British Columbia's coastal rain forests and drop their seedlings in the dry ponderosa pine forests of Idaho.
All of this swapping begs the question: Should humans lend nature a helping hand?
With global warming threatening the livelihoods of certain plants and animals, this radical idea once dismissed in scientific circles has moved to the forefront of debate and triggered strong emotions among conservationists.
About 20 to 30 per cent of species worldwide face a high risk of becoming extinct possibly by 2100 as global temperatures rise, estimated a 2007 report by the Nobel-winning international climate change panel. The group noted that current conservation practices are “generally poorly prepared to adapt to this level of change.”
Deliberating moving a species has long been opposed by some, who believe we should not play God with nature and worry that introducing an exotic species – intentionally or not – could upset the natural balance and cause unforeseen ripple effects. It has happened before with dire results. Two decades ago, zebra mussels were accidentally introduced into the Great Lakes and millions are now spent every year removing the pest from water pipes.
Others counter that given the grim realities of a warming planet, it would be irresponsible not to intervene as a conservation strategy. Otherwise, trees may suffer from ravaging disease epidemics while critters unable to head north may find themselves trapped in a declining landscape."

To read the remainder of this article please go to: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/science/should-humans-dictate-nature-in-the-name-of-conservation/article1224103/

Source of image of the Western Larches:http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2189/1761340118_bc0f7763d0.jpg

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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.