Notes from a rare planet: Mexico will ban shark fishing as global sanctuary movement grows


Mexico will ban shark fishing as global sanctuary movement grows (The New York Times)

  • “Conservationists estimate that about 73 million sharks are slaughtered each year mainly for acquiring their fins, and they fear that the uncontrolled and illegal fishing of sharks will drive 30 percent of shark species to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s classification of threatened or near threatened with extinction.”

Economists see global trade as a win-win proposition, but resource limitation turns it into a win-lose, zero-sum contest (New York Times)

  • “Energy will give us serious and sustained problems over the next 50 years as we make the transition from hydrocarbons — oil, coal, gas — to solar, wind, nuclear and other sources.”
  • Jeremy Grantham “rates soil erosion as the biggest threat of all. The world’s population could reach 10 billion within half a century — perhaps twice as many human beings as the planet’s overtaxed resources can sustainably support, perhaps six times too many.”
  • “Grantham believes that the best approach may be to recast global warming, which depresses crop yields and worsens soil erosion, as a factor contributing to resource depletion. People are naturally much more responsive to finite resources than they are to climate change”.

Growing temperatures make for smaller fish (NewScientist)

  • “It is well established that cold-blooded species get smaller as the climate heats up, says Andrew Hirst of Queen Mary, University of London. Experiments show that, on average, 1 °C of warming reduces their adult body mass by 2.5 percent.”
  • Hirst says “changes in the size of species could prove critical in that such changes will affect what food animals can eat and what can prey on them in turn. If you start changing the copepods, you could cause all sorts of unpredictable knock-on effects in the ecosystem.”

HRH Prince Charles “If we lose the battle against tropical deforestation, we lose the battle against climate change.” (The Prince’s Charities)

  • “The Prince’s Rainforests Project believes that emergency funding is needed to help protect rainforests and to encourage rainforest nations to continue to develop without the need for deforestation. If we don’t take action, we could lose another 100 million hectares of tropical forests over the next 10 years – that’s an area the size of Egypt.”

The majority of the world will pay the costs for a warmer Arctic (The Economist)

  • “On September 9th, at the height of its summertime shrinkage, ice covered 4.33m square km, or 1.67m square miles, of the Arctic Ocean, according to America’s National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC).”
  • “The Arctic is reckoned to hold around 15% of the world’s undiscovered oil reserves and 30% of those of natural gas.”

China’s new forests aren’t necessarily green- they include alot more than just natural trees (MongaBay)

  • “Most of [the gain in forests] results from the increase in tree crops such as fruit trees, rubber and eucalyptus, not recovery of natural forest, yet Chinese data do not record this shift. The change threatens ecosystem services, particularly watershed protection and biodiversity conservation,” Jianchu Xu writes.
  • “Xu recommends that China employ the best science possible in its tree-planting initiatives with a focus on payments for restoring natural forests, not planting artificial ones.”