; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Just the Facts?: Humans are Plague on Earth -- Living Beneath 'Sin City' -- Call for Cat Eradication in NZ

Attenborough: Humans are plague on Earth

The television presenter said that humans are threatening their own existence and that of other species by using up the world’s resources.

He said the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.

“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now,” he told the Radio Times.

Sir David, who is a patron of the Population Matters, has spoken out before about the “frightening explosion in human numbers” and the need for investment in sex education and other voluntary means of limiting population in developing countries.

“We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there. They can’t support themselves — and it’s not an inhuman thing to say. It’s the case. Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a coordinated view about the planet it’s going to get worse and worse.”

Sir David, whose landmark series are repeated from Monday on BBC2, starting with Life on Earth, has also spoken out about the change in wildlife documentaries during his lifetime.

The 86-year-old said commentary from presenters like himself are becoming less necessary as camera work is able to tell a story.

“I’m not sure there’s any need for a new Attenborough,” he said. “The more you go on, the less you need people standing between you and the animal and the camera waving their arms about.

“It’s much cheaper to get someone in front of a camera describing animal behaviour than actually showing you [the behaviour]. That takes a much longer time. But the kind of carefully tailored programmes in which you really work at the commentary, you really match pictures to words, is a bit out of fashion now … regarded as old hat.” - Telegraph

Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate (New in Paper) (Princeton Science Library)

Too Many People?: Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis


Living Beneath 'Sin City'

Beneath the gaudy, blinding lights of Sin City, where the famous Las Vegsa Strip never goes dark, untold number of homeless people have taken of residence in the sewer tunnels, where the sun never shines.

Las Vegas attracts high-rollings gamblers, big spending tourists and the biggest names in music and Hollywood - but it also has the highest foreclosure rate in the nation and fourth-highest rate of homelessness.

The dank tunnels are dangerous. Every time it rains in the city above, the draining water causes flash floods in the sewers below - washing away everything the subterranean residents have accumulated. Anyone in the tunnels can be carried away, too.

On average, one homeless person drowns in the tunnel each year.

However, rain is infrequent in desert Las Vegas and so the homeless continue to flock to the tunnels.

The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that many of the residents of the tunnels feel that they have nowhere else to go. The city has an estimated 12,000 homeless; it is unknown how many live in the tunnels.

The collapse of the housing market resulted in tens of thousands of families losing their homes. Even before that, Las Vegas has developed a reputation for being one of the most unfriendly to the homeless in the country, the newspaper reports.

A city ordinance prohibits anyone from giving food to 'vagrants' in public parks, according to the newspaper. - Daily Mail

Homeless in Las Vegas: Stories from the Street

Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas (Travel Holiday Guides)


Coast Guardsman reappears after 3 months

A Coast Guardsman has reappeared after vanishing and being declared a missing person more than three months ago, Honolulu police and the Coast Guard said Tuesday.

Petty Officer First Class Russell Matthews returned home Sunday night, police said. Police say he was incoherent and taken to a hospital for observation.

Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Gene Maestas said the service doesn't know where Matthews, a Hawaii-based rescue swimmer, has been and what he's been doing since his wife reported him missing on Oct. 9.

Coast Guard investigators dispatched to see him confirmed his identity after he called his command from Castle Medical Center in the Honolulu suburb of Kailua, Maestas said. He's now being evaluated at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu.

Coast Guard investigators looking into his disappearance won't question him until he's released by doctors, Maestas said. But the service will probe the incident.

"We'll try to find out why he disappeared and all the details surrounding his case," he said.

Police found the 36-year-old guardsman's car abandoned at Kaena Point, a remote area of Oahu, when Matthews was reported missing in October.

Crews from the Coast Guard, Navy, state, county lifeguards and Honolulu fire and police departments together searched more than 10,000 nautical square miles — on land and at sea — for Matthews. The search was called off on Dec. 13.

Honolulu Police Sgt. Kim Buffett of Crimestoppers said Matthews isn't giving the police a statement because he's in the hospital. Detectives have no reason to pursue the case as it's not against the law to be missing, she said.

The police case is closed now that Matthews has been found, she said.
It's unusual for a Guardsman to go missing for months and then reappear, Maestas said.

"This is not the norm for the Coast Guard. In my 28 year career in the Coast Guard, I have never come across a case like this," he said.

Matthews, an aviation survival technician, has been in the Coast Guard for 15 years. He's been assigned to Hawaii since 2007. - Yahoo


Loren Coleman's angst vs. Cryptomundo

Loren Coleman recently posted the following: Time For Transformation, Transition, and Transmutation: Loren To Change His Blogging Presence At Cryptomundo

The continued grumbling is getting a bit old, in my opinion. For the most part, I respect Loren Coleman's blogs and his knowledge of cryptids. But he really should strike out on his own and cut ties with Cryptomundo if he's not satisfied. Enough said...


Economist calls for cats to be eradicated in New Zealand

Cat lovers are outraged over a call for cats in New Zealand to be eradicated. Economist and businessman Gareth Morgan has set up a website called Cats to Go that encourages people to make their current cat their last. "That little ball of fluff you own is a natural-born killer," his website says.

"Every year, cats in New Zealand destroy our native wildlife. The fact is that cats have to go if we really care about our environment." Morgan said his website "deals with some of the myths and white lies we tell ourselves" to justify owning a cat. I am advocating responsible pet ownership, not for people to bop their pets on the head ... When their cat dies, I think people should consider not replacing it."

However, Morgan's website goes as far as to suggest people euthanise their current pets as "one option" for pet owners. "We appreciate the fact that you have an emotional connection with your pet and that pet ownership is a rewarding experience ... but there's a real problem with cats - they kill for pleasure." SPCA Canterbury chief executive Barry Helem said Morgan's views were "a bit extreme".

"To reduce the over-population of cats, it is important that pet owners de-sex their cats to reduce the number of stray, unwanted animals that may become a problem to native birds." He said some people believed cats were "more of a benefit than a threat" to native bird life as they were an effective population control measure for rodents. "A cat may kill one native bird, but a rat will clean out an entire nest of eggs. Cats actually help maintain the natural balance of native birdlife more by eradicating rodents," he said. - Stuff

Animal Rights: What Everyone Needs to Know

Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy