Youth and Education News
November 17, 2004, Issue 142 Volume 4
"The role of food is important, but it's gotten to the point where we become gluttons.... We could spend a lot more time really thinking about what's going on in our world and giving more thanks." Flying Eagle, chief of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
Global warming real, already altering climate
Global warming is not a possibility -- it's a serious reality that's transforming sensitive parts of the globe. Two recent reports say Earth's climate has warmed by about 1 degree since 1900. In the Arctic, which is most affected by carbon dioxide, many regions have experienced a rise of 4 - 7 degrees in the last 50 years. That warmth has reduced snowfall, melted mountain glaciers and shrunk the Arctic Ocean's summer sea ice cover. Huge areas of Alaskan permafrost are thawing into soggy bog. In the mainland United States, spring arrives two weeks earlier than it did 50 years ago, and tropical bird species have appeared in Florida and along the Gulf Coast. Scientists say these changes should be taken as a "very clear signal" that climate change will have significant effects in coming decades. The two reports which have raised this alarm are Global Climate Change by the Pew Center, and the Arctic report-by the Arctic Council. The Bush administration argues that not enough is known about climate change to justify major efforts at forestalling or preventing future warming.
Alaska's tundra now releasing carbon dioxide
Alaska: Scientists have found evidence that the North has now become a source of atmosphere-warming carbon dioxide. A new study from the Pew Center on Global Climate change says the Arctic tundra is no longer absorbing carbon dioxide, but is rather releasing it. Scientists have estimated that Arctic soils have accumulated up to 33% of the entire earth's organic carbon. "For many thousands of years Alaska has sucked up quite a lot of carbon from the atmosphere and put it into long-term storage as part of the frozen tundra," said Camille Parmesan of the University of Texas. "The carbon bank has now turned into a carbon exhaust."
Download report: http://www.pewclimate.org/global-warming-in-depth/all_reports/observedimpacts/index.cfm
Bush Stifles Global Warming Evidence, Scientist Alleges
James E. Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, says the Bush administration is trying to stifle scientific evidence of the dangers of global warming in an effort to keep the public uninformed. "In my more than three decades in government, I have never seen anything approaching the degree to which information flow from scientists to the public has been screened and controlled as it is now," Hansen told a University of Iowa audience. Hanson twice briefed a task force headed by Vice President Dick Cheney on global warming but says the administration wants to hear only scientific results that "fit predetermined, inflexible positions." Evidence raising concerns about the dangers of climate change is often dismissed as not being of sufficient interest to the public. He also said reports that outline potential dangers of global warming are edited to make the problem appear less serious. "This process is in direct opposition to the most fundamental precepts of science," he said. "This, I believe, is a recipe for environmental disaster."
Scientists uncover possible new species of human
Scientists working on Flores Island have uncovered the bones of a human dwarf species marooned for eons while modern man rapidly colonized the rest of the planet. This hobbit-sized creature appears to have lived as recently as 18,000 years ago on the remote Indonesian island. It was a kind of tropical Lost World populated by giant lizards and miniature elephants. Near one skeleton were stone tools and animal remains, including teeth from a young Stegodon, or prehistoric dwarf elephant, as well as fish, birds and rodents. Some of the bones were charred, suggesting they were cooked. Just how this primitive, remnant species managed to hang on and whether it crossed paths with modern humans is uncertain. Geologic evidence suggests a massive volcanic eruption sealed its fate some 12,000 years ago, along with other unusual species on the island.
Great Lakes Alien Invasion Revealed
A new nonnative species is introduced to the Great Lakes every eight months, according to the National Wildlife Federation. Invasive species are wreaking havoc at both ends of the food chain by out-competing predatory fish for food and habitat while depleting lower organisms. Carried into the Great Lakes by ships, invasive species often have no natural enemies to limit their reproduction. Of the 162 aquatic exotics that have entered the Great Lakes, the most infamous include:
YThe predatory sea lamprey: an eel-like fish that attaches to other fish and drains them of blood and bodily fluids. An adult lamprey can kill up to 40 pounds of fish in a 12- to 20-month period.
YThe round goby: an aggressive fish that empties the nests of smallmouth bass by consuming the eggs. To offset the population decline of bass, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources restricted anglers from catching the fish in Lake Erie during May and June.
YZebra and quagga mussels: mollusks that reproduce rapidly and consume incredible amounts of microscopic plants and animals, depriving native species of food. Researchers also blame these mussels for toxic algal blooms that foul drinking-water supplies.
Gray wolf found in northern Lower Peninsula
Michigan: Michigan biologists have confirmed that a gray wolf has appeared in Presque Isle County. It's the first wolf in Michigan's Lower Peninsula since wolves began returning to Michigan 15 years ago. The 70-pound female, part of a wolf pack in the central Upper Peninsula, had been fitted with a radio-tracking collar last November, and was last detected Feb. 26 in Mackinac County. The wolf was still wearing the collar when it was found Oct. 23 in a coyote trap and killed by a trapper who mistook it for a coyote. Once found in all 83 Michigan counties, the last recorded wolf in the Lower Peninsula was in 1910. They began naturally returning to the UP via Canada and Wisconsin in the late 1980s. Today, Michigan's Upper Peninsula is home to at least 360 wolves.
Buffalo to be moved from Catalina Island to South Dakota
California: Nearly half the buffalo herd that runs free on Santa Catalina Island will be rounded up and shipped to a Lakota reservation in South Dakota next month. The move will return the animals to their ancestral home and easing ecological pressure on the island. The island's buffalo, descendants of 14 brought there for a movie in the 1920s, are a favorite with tourists and island residents. But since 1972, some have been removed every few years to keep the herd from growing so large that island plants are ravaged and the buffalo begin to starve. Currently, about 250 buffalo live on the island.
Buffalo Quarantine Comment Period Extended until 5 PM on November 24th
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the USDA plan to capture, quarantine, and slaughter up to 200 Yellowstone buffalo calves in the next two years. They plan to test a hypothesis about the effectiveness of brucellosis serologic tests. The Buffalo Field Campaign, who protects America's only continuously wild buffalo herd, is gathering public comments at their web site to protect the herd. http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/legislative/quarantine.html.
Animal Planet to Air Documentary on the Yellowstone Buffalo
The Yellowstone buffalo will be featured in an Animal Planet special to be aired this on Thursday, November 18, at 8pm and 11pm EST. The program will include information on the natural history of America's only continuously wild herd as well as news of the buffalo's current plight and an interview with Mike Mease of the Buffalo Field Campaign.
Marionettes share Makah Tribe wisdom
Washington: "Q'we-ti: Tales of the Makah Tribe" is a special collaboration between the Makah tribe of Neah Bay and the Northwest Puppet Center. Q'we-ti consists of seven legends of the Makah people. "When we do a story outside of our culture, we really try hard to work with someone of that culture," explains Chris Carter from the center. "The best thing that came out of this show is the connection with the Makah tribe, and many years later [we're] still close friends." "Q'we-ti" (pronounced "kwa-tee") is told with elaborately carved marionettes of yellow cedar by Northwest sculptor Duane Pasco. The Carters spent a year traveling back and forth between Seattle and Neah Bay, listening to five storytellers and showing the elders the puppets in progress. Each time, the elders would suggest a small detail that would make the puppets more authentic. "They wanted us to do it first for their children, so we could perform it for the young people in their tribe to know these stories," Carter said. "And they also wanted us to share it with the kids of the whole state. They wanted their culture known by all the people."
Northwest Puppet Center: www.nwpuppet.org
Stolen Taos Art Located On EBay
New Mexico: A painting valued at $38,000 was found on EBay by the art dealer from whom it was stolen. Robert L. Parsons, owner of Robert L. Parsons Fine Art gallery in Taos, alerted police in time to prevent the scheduled sale of the piece the next day. Police say the incident may be a valuable lead in an ongoing investigation of other art thefts in Taos and Santa Fe over the last 18 months. The painting, E.I. Couse's 'Return of the War Party,' was being sold on E-Bay by a California antique and fine art auction house which did not realize the painting was stolen.
Iqaluit teens point cameras at southern ignorance
Nunavut: Guests at Iqaluit's Astro Theatre recently watched films created by aboriginal youth groups. The film exhibition called Tauqsijiit, or "people sharing," involved young Inuit and Aboriginal artists and mentors faced with the questions: "Who am I and what does it mean to be young and from an indigenous group in today's society?"
Among the films:
*Sivunivut, which means "Towards our future," shows youth asking people in Toronto questions about Canadian Inuit. Asked whether Inuit still lived in igloos, random Toronto residents answered "yes." But then they got stumped when one youth asked: "If the North doesn't have trees, how do we make houses?" The point was to get southerners thinking about an area and culture they knew little about.
*A young group of Inuit girls from Ottawa named YUMI (for "young, urban, modern Inuit") filmed calm, quiet images from the North with pictures of harried urban life. At the end of the video, Cynthia Pitseolak delivers the group's message: "We all share the same past, but today's our own choice."
*Another video, produced by De-Ba-Jeh-Mu-Jig, shows three aboriginal characters from the past, present and future watching television. They get a taste of what TV would look like if the dominant population of Canada was native. The programs included trapping raccoons in the city, a commercial for "bear grease hair gel," a weather segment telling viewers about a rain dance performance, and a version of Canadian Idol that features Ojibway singing.
Book details history of Native Americans in America's pastime
The American Indian Integration of Baseball is a new book by Dr. Jeffrey Powers-Beck. The American Indian Integration of Baseball “describes the experiences and contributions of American Indians as they courageously tried to make their place in America’s national game during the first half of the twentieth century.” (Book's dust cover) “This book is about Indians in organized baseball at all levels, not just the Major Leagues,” said Joseph B. Oxendine in the book's forward. Before Jackie Robinson’s became the first black major-league baseball player in 1947, Louis Sockalexis of Penobscot lineage debuted in the big leagues in 1897. American Indians have had a presence in professional baseball ever since. Unfortunately, that presence has not always been respected-- Native athletes have faced racism and prejudice throughout their careers. “It tells many stories that have never been told about baseball in the federal boarding schools for American Indians, such as Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania and Haskell Institute of Lawrence, Kansas,” said Powers-Beck. The American Indian Integration of Baseball work is the first book on the subject.
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