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Saturday, August 22, 2009

How serious a problem is global warming? This serious....

U.S. Bans Commercial Fishing in Warming Arctic
"The Obama administration approved a management plan yesterday for Arctic fisheries that prevents the expansion of commercial fishing into vast swaths of sea whose ice is being melted by rising temperatures."

"As Arctic sea ice recedes due to climate change, there is increasing interest in commercial fishing in Arctic waters," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in a statement yesterday. "We are in a position to plan for sustainable fishing that does not damage the overall health of this fragile ecosystem. This plan takes a precautionary approach to any development of commercial fishing in an area where there has been none in the past."

"Crafted by the regional fishery management council in Alaska, the new Arctic Fishery Management Plan closes about 150,000 square nautical miles, an area larger than California and five times larger than all national parks combined."

There is currently no significant commercial fishing in the area, but fisheries managers expect it to become a target for commercial fishers chasing cod and snow crab as ice melts and fisheries shift north. The council drafted the plan to protect the area until researchers can determine what fishing is sustainable in the fragile ecosystem.

Fishers and scientists are seeing fish populations shift around Alaska as waters warm. Walleye pollock, the cornerstone of the state's fishing industry, are moving north as temperatures rise. And some fishers have seen Pacific and jack mackerel -- usually found in California waters -- off the southeastern coast of Alaska.

The effort to ban fishing in the northernmost Arctic waters has been endorsed by Audubon Alaska, Oceana, the Ocean Conservancy and the Pew Environment Group.

Environmentalists said today that they hope the administration's approval of the plan is a signal of more precautionary policy for the Arctic, which is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. Janis Searles Jones, vice president of the Ocean Conservancy, called it a "landmark decision" that indicates the tide is turning for Arctic policy.

"The Arctic is our planet's air conditioner, and it plays a key role in regulating global climate," Searles Jones said. "Expanding industrial uses in a region that is poorly understood and already under enormous stress could have dire consequences, not only for the Arctic but for the planet as a whole."

The plan is also backed by Alaska's major commercial fishing group, the Marine Conservation Alliance, which represents about 70 percent of the state's groundfish and crab industry.

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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.