Youth and Education News
Sept 7, 2005 Issue 156 Volume 4
"It is time to talk with our Brothers and Sisters of other nations, colors and beliefs. The ideas and philosophies of yesterday may be the key to the world family's future." Edward Benton-Benai, Ojibwe
Global Warming IS a Fact
A NASA image shows the Arctic Polar ice cap in 2004. The 1979 ice boundary is superimposed. Compared to 1979, the north polar ice cap is now 20% smaller during the summer. Arctic temperatures are rising twice as fast as they are in the rest of the world.
The planet IS warming
b Over the last century, the world's average temperature has increased about 1° Fahrenheit.
b In the Northern Hemisphere, spring thaw begins 9 days earlier than it did 150 years ago, and the fall freeze starts 10 days later.
b The hottest years on record are 1998, 2002, 2003, 2001, and 1997.
There is more warming at higher latitudes
b In the past 50 years, average temperatures have increased 4 -7° Fahrenheit in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia.
b In Barrow, Alaska, average temperatures have risen 4° Fahrenheit in 30 years -- almost twice the global average.
b The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says global temperatures will rise up to 10° Fahrenheit by century's end.
Arctic ice is at risk
b Rising temperatures have a dramatic impact on Arctic ice, which serves as an "air conditioner" at the top of the world. Since 1978 Arctic sea ice area has not only thinned, but it's shrunk 9% per decade.
b ACIA projects that at least half of the Arctic's summer sea ice will melt by century's end, and that the Arctic region is likely to warm 7-13° Fahrenheit during the same time.
The Arctic impacts affect people and animals
b Coastal Indigenous communities report shorter periods of sea ice, causing more ocean storms and coastal erosion.
b Increased snow and ice melt causes rivers to rise.
b Thawing permafrost ruins roads and other infrastructure. Some communities have been forced to move from historic coastline locations.
b Sea ice loss is devastating for animals like polar bears and ringed seals and Antarctic penguins. They depend upon that environment to live.
b Greenland's ice sheet could melt. Over the very long term, Greenland's massive ice sheet holds enough melt water to raise sea level by about 23 feet. The ACIA predicts this ice sheet will melt throughout the 21st century.
Glaciers are shrinking
b In 1910, Montana's Glacier National Park held some 150 glaciers. Now fewer than 30, greatly shrunken glaciers, remain.
b Tropical glaciers are in even more trouble. The snow on Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro 19,340-foot peak have melted by 80% since 1912 and could be gone by 2020.
Sea levels have risen
b Average global sea level rose 4 - 8 inches in the 20th century
b Sea levels could rise between 4 - 35 inches by 2100. A 1.5-foot sea level rise in flat coastal areas would cause the coastline to retreat by 150 feet. 100,000,000 people worldwide people live within 3 feet sea level.
b Rising seas would promote flooding in many areas, including Florida, Louisiana and many South Sea Islands.
b The Indian Ocean nation of Maldives, whose maximum elevation is 8 feet, has built a sea wall around the capital, Male, to protect it.
Warming could alter the ocean conveyor belt
b The ocean's circulation system is known as the ocean conveyor belt. It moves tropical heat around the planet to help balance global temperatures. With freshwater input from melting ice caps, for instance, this system would lose it's balance, creating unforeseen and fast-paced change.
b Extreme weather could become common. Global warming could cause more frequent and extreme weather conditions such as storms, hurricanes, heat waves, fires, and droughts.
Human activities have contributed to global warming
b Since the 1860s, industries and shrinking forests have helped raise the atmosphere's CO2 level by almost 100 parts per million. b In the Northern Hemisphere, temperatures and greenhouse gasses have forced even larger increases since the 1950s.
b Water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas. Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide also contain heat and help keep Earth's temperate climate balanced. Human activities, burning fossil fuels and clearing forests produced these gases faster than plants and oceans can soak them up. The gases remain in the atmosphere for 100 years. Even an complete halt in emissions would not stop the warming for many years.
Global warming affects plants, birds and amphibians also
b Since the 1950s, many European plants flower a week earlier and lose their leaves 5 days later.
b Birds and frogs are breeding earlier in the season.
b Some butterflies now range 2 - 150 miles farther north than they did a few decades ago.
Warming could cause plant and animal extinction
b By 2050, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could force the extinction of more than 1,000,000 of Earth's land-dwelling plants and animals.
Coral reefs are also affected
b Coral reefs worldwide are "bleaching." As water temperatures rise above 85° in warm, sunny weather, coral reefs are losing key algae and organisms. Many species cannot adapt to this change within interdependent ecosystems.
What You Can Do To Help!
|1. Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions by
about 500 pounds per year: Replace your current washing machine with a low-energy,
low-water-use machine. (440 pounds).
Wash your laundry in warm or cold water, instead of hot. (60 pounds).
2. Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions by about 1,000 pounds per year: Wrap water heaters older than 5 years in an insulating jacket.
3. Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions by about 550 pounds per year: Keep your water-heater thermostat no higher than 120° F.
4. Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions by about 450 pounds per year: Replace old, energy inefficient appliances with newer efficient models. For list of energy-efficient appliances, visit: (www.energystar.gov).
5. Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions by about 1,000 pounds per year: Reduce your garbage by 25% and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
6. Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions by about 850 pounds per year: Recycle aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic, cardboard, and newspapers.
7. Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions by about 1,000 pounds per year: Caulk and weather strip around doors and windows to plug up leaks.
8. Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions by 1,590 pounds per year: Leave your car at home two days a week and walk, bike, or take public transit.
9. Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions With your Car: Find a car that gets more miles to the gallon. The potential carbon dioxide reduction for a car that gets 32 miles per gallon is 5,600 pounds per year.
10. Make the Right Move: Move closer to work and reducing your commute.
11. Turn Off: Turn off your TV, video player, stereo, computer, and lights when you aren't using them, and you start saving within a minute or two.
12. Baby your Car: Tune-up your car and could boost your miles per gallon from 4- 40%. A new air filter could increase mpg by 10%. Take your roof rack off your car when you aren't using it.
Hawaiians Speak Out Against Telescope Project Atop Mauna Kea
Hawaii: Mauna Kea is a site of deep spiritual and cultural significance to native Hawaiians. However, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration would like to build six new telescopes atop the 13,769-foot summit. "At some point, enough is enough. Our aloha has been shaken," said opponent Reynolds Kamakawiwoole. Mauna Kea is already home to the Keck I and II telescopes. NASA said new construction would have little effect on the mountain's native Hawaiian archaeological sites. But Hawaiian cultural groups oppose further construction and plan to provide intense opposition. "I am repeating what I and other Hawaiians have said before: no further development on Mauna Kea," said Mikahala Roy of Kona. "Construction has done irreparable damage to our sacred mountain."
Aboriginal astronomers see emu in sky
Australia: Aboriginal Australians were the first to document stars in the southern hemisphere. Some still use the stars to guide them while hunting and gathering food. The stars also provide moral instruction passed down through oral history. Now Dr. Ragbir Bhathal of the University of Western Sydney is researching written information about aboriginal astronomy. He also plans to travel to Arnhem Land to hear Aboriginal stories first-hand. "Just like the Greeks had mythologies about gods and goddesses in the sky, the Aboriginal people have built their own mythology about the night sky," Bathal said. Early Indigenous astronomers named the constellations after animals which shared their continent, including kangaroos, cockatoos and fish. For example,
The constellation Orion represents an emu;
The Milky Way is a river filled with fish and lily "sky people;"
The Magellanic Clouds represent an old man and woman by a campfire;
And the Sun is an egg thrown into the sky by a brolga after an argument with an emu over whose chicks are the most beautiful.
Bhathal, the director of the university's observatory, says Aboriginal astronomy should be taught to children show how different people understand their universe. "I think every child in Australia should know about Aboriginal astronomy; it is part our heritage," he said.
Lost Sea offers science, history, humor to tourists visiting cave
Tennessee: 100 years ago, a 23-year old boy discovered the world's second-largest underground lake. Today, that 4½-acre pool of water is 300 feet below the entrance to the Lost Sea Cave, which averages 150,000 visitors a year. Tourists like the tours and rides in glass bottom boats on the lighted lake; scientists like the Lost Sea's scientific value. It is a U.S. Registered Natural Landmark and contains rare spiky crystal formations called anthodites, also known as cave flowers. In addition, 20,000-year-old bones and ancient jaguar tracks have been discovered in the cave. Although driven out by humans, thousands of bats inhabited the cave during the Civil Waw. Civil War soldiers collected bat guano to get potassium nitrate, or saltpeter, to make gunpowder. "So basically the Civil War was fought with bat poop," one guide joked.
GENE-MODIFIEd CORN GONE FROM MEXICO, STUDY FINDS
Mexico: Each year, Mexico imports between 5 - 6,000,000 tons of maize from the United States. Almost half of that corn is genetically modified. In 2001, the Mexican region where modern corn originated showed signs of genetic contamination. The report raised alarm and sparked protest from global activists and groups around the world. Now according to reports from Ohio State University, the problem has disappeared. "We sampled maize seeds from 870 plants in 125 fields and 18 localities in the state of Oaxaca during 2003 and 2004," researchers wrote in their report. They tested more than 150,000 seeds and found no evidence of transgenes -- the spliced-in genes used to engineer the corn. "We now know that transgenic maize isn't growing in Oaxaca." said Exequiel Ezcurra, a former Mexican official who worked on the study. He credited an educational campaign that raised awareness among Oaxaca farmers. "If transgenic material had got into the community because people were planting imported grain inadvertently, then from 2001 onwards, the communities were well-informed and they knew how to avoid planting grain of unknown origin," Ezcurra said.
Historic film of Inuit saved from oblivion
Nunavut: A researcher with the Kitikmeot Heritage Society has rescued a priceless film showing some of the earliest footage of Inuit in the central Arctic. The film was tracked down by a KHS senior researcher who found it at the stored at the Danish Film Institute. "We don't have a lot of moving images from that time in Nunavut so anything that we can get our hands on is just incredible for people to be able to see because it just brings history to life," said Darren Keith. The hour-long film features Inuit at a seal camp on an island in Elu Inlet. They are helping members of the Fifth Thule Expedition led by Knud Rasmussen. Still in its original 35-millimetre format, the fragile film has been transcribed to digital format. The heritage society plans on holding a community-wide screening in October.
Local Powwow Dancer A World Champ
Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan's Conrad Medicine-Rope recently won the men's traditional powwow dance championship in Hartford, Conn. Medicine Rope prevailed with his dance depicting the triumphs of a hunter and warrior. His title means the Carry the Kettle First Nation is now home to three World Champion powwow dancers. Kevin Haywahe and Tim Eashappie, both from Carry the Kettle, have also won world championships. Between the three of them, they have taken 11 world titles in the competition's 13 years. The tiny community of Carry the Kettle has a band membership of about 2,200. Four other Saskatchewan residents also took top honours in Connecticut: Andrea Redmen from Standing Buffalo First Nation; Ivan Lonechild from the White Bear First Nation; Todd Papequash from the Kawakatoose First Nation; and Irene Oakes from the Nekaneet First Nation.
Carry the Kettle First Nation: http://www.carrythekettle.ca/
Dark Wind Paintball Team
Arizona: Team Dark Wind is the only All-Native American 7-Man tournament paintball team in the nation. The team of 7 males and 2 females represents several Native American tribes. Their objective: "Dark Wind will educate the Native American athlete, by encouraging participation, communication, team work, and achievement through the sport of paintball." Paintball began in the mid-eighties. Today, 12,000,000 participants spend over $225,000,000 each year on paintball equipment. Each year, the National Professional Paintball League holds tournaments throughout the United States. There are 5 divisions of experienced teams, starting from Division III (Rookie) to the Professional level. Team Dark Wind will represent all Native Americans and their sponsors by participating in Division III of the 2006 NPPL Super 7 series. Through determination, hard work and great sponsors, TDW hopes to be a positive role model for Native Americans and Paintballers everywhere.
To learn more about Dark Wind: http://www.DarkWindPaintball.com
NCAA Bans Native American Mascots in Postseason
Indiana: Starting in February, the NCAA will forbid most schools using American Indian nicknames from post-season tournaments. And by 2008, school mascots, band members and cheerleaders will also be barred from using ethnically "hostile" or "abusive" names or logos. The NCAA also recommended that schools follow the examples of Wisconsin and Iowa by refusing to schedule contests against schools that use American Indian nicknames. While NCAA officials admit they still can't force schools to change nicknames or logos, they are making a statement they believe is long overdue.
Schools Subject to Ban
|· Alcorn State (Braves)
· Central Michigan (Chippewas)
· Catawba College (Indians)
|· Florida State
· Midwestern State (Indians)
· Utah (Utes)
|· Indiana (Pa.) (Indians)
· Carthage College (Redmen)
· Bradley (Braves)
· McMurry University (Indians)
· Mississippi College (Choctaws)
|Newberry College (Indians)
· North Dakota (Fighting Sioux)
· SE Oklahoma State (Savages)
|· Arkansas State
· Chowan College (Braves)
· Illinois-Champaign (Illini)
Some schools are now working with tribes and the NCAA
to keep their names and/or mascots which are used in respectful ways.
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