Sad news: There’s been an oil spill on New Zealands coast, pouring 350 tons of oil into the ocean. WTF! This is crazy! There’s more oil in the ocean than salt right about now. And it’s taking its effect on the environment and animals in said environment. And now? The penguins need sweaters, so they don’t preen their feathers and ingest the oil. Sheesh. That’s sad. But look at that penguin! So cute!
That’s the sad news, here’s the bad news: While they no longer need any more sweaters, in the instructions for making them, they said the sweaters could only be made of wool* for some reason? I guess we could have used reclaimed wool? I don’t know. Maybe we should start our own cotton sweater drive? I’m a great driver!
I’m just reading though that this is not the first penguin sweater craze—makes sense, as it’s not the first oil spill. Penguin sweaters over the years:
South Africa, 2000. He’s all, “you guys look like CLOWNS.”
It’s sad circumstances and it’s horrible that animals suffer so much because of our greed and neglect—but damn it, those penguins do look sharp in sweaters!
*A bit about wool and cruelty. It does appear mulesing is being phased out in New Zealand, so that’s good. But while mulesing is the cruelest practice in wool production, I don’t think things are that sunny for the sheep at non-mulesing wool operations. There’s still being castrated without meds, packed into a warehouse, violently shaved in a speedy fashion (time is money), and all that other good stuff. So don’t wear wool, even if you’re a cute penguin. OMG are you thinking what I’m thinking? Say it with me: PENGUIN WETSUITS! THEY EXIST:
Tsunami dolphin saved. There have been some bittersweet animals stories coming out of Japan, not the least of which is the rescue of a little baby dolphin in a rice field. There is a picture on the other end of this link, boy is there a picture.
Breast milk from cows. Um, in China, they are totally creating cows that produce human milk. I’m sure they are treating the cows really great too. People seem grossed out but how is it any grosser than drinking regular cow milk? I ask you. Both come out of cow nipples.
I saw this picture and had to share it! It’s a damn MONKEY holding a PUPPY! Can you handle it? It’s actually a downer as the monkey is said to be saving the puppy from the terrible pipeline explosion that just happened in Nanjing, China. Several people died and a ton of people were injured. But the monkey saved the puppy!
Do we have any readers in China? I can’t get any info on this besides the picture. What’s the deal with this monkey? What’s he wearing? It’s either some sort of contraption to keep him captive or he’s totally into S&M.
There’s not even that much info online about the accident at all but according to Time.com, this is one of a growing number of industrial accidents in China. This is especially interesting because I didn’t know Time still existed. Time also has pictures of a recent oil spill in China, though not a single one addresses any animals that may have been affected.
Moral of the story: monkey saves puppy!
UPDATE! There’s evidence that the picture is from 2008? WTF? NowPublic.com is lying to me! Why does everyone lie to me?! Well there was a pipeline explosion and there was an oil spill but as far as monkeys saving puppies, the jury is out.
New moral of the story: WTF and can anyone shed light on this?
"Oil spills are bad, but wind turbines kill more birds than anything ever, so suck on that, hippy." If you haven’t heard it before, then get ready, because it’s coming soon to one of those chain emails from the right-wing nutters in your family. The American Bird Conservancy doesn’t think much of it either, so here are some stats on annual bird deaths that you can cut-and-paste back:
Building strikes: 100 million to 1 billion Car strikes: 200 to 300 million Communication towers: 4 to 50 million Power lines: around 75 million Cats: 365 million (1 million per day) Wind farms: 100,000 to 300,000
So there you have it. One outdoor cat kills as many birds as the wind energy to power about 600 houses. But what if wind power were to really take off? Wouldn’t more birds die?
The study estimates that wind farms and nuclear power stations are responsible each for between 0.3 and 0.4 fatalities per gigawatt-hour (GWh) of electricity while fossil-fueled power stations are responsible for about 5.2 fatalities per GWh.
Translation: even without taking global warming and oil spills into account, fossil fuels kill 15 times more birds than wind. Add in all that other stuff (like climate-related mass extinctions), and it’s no surprise that even the Audubon Society supports wind power. So there you have it. Oil, not wind, kills birds. Tell your friends/annoying family members.
Maybe it’s just my corner of the world, but everyone I know is having the week from hell: overworked, overstressed, or cleaning up after coworkers who keep dropping off the face of the earth. “But how ‘bout that weather, Bob?” is only a small consolation; I’m stuck indoors after the sun burned my face off at Beats and Brunch on Saturday. (CAUTIONARY TALE: wear sunscreen. You will want to sit out there for hours. Trust your Vegansaurus on this one; it’s the best outdoor brunch in San Francisco history, but leatherface is too high a price to pay.)
But white whines aside (poor me, my weekend brunch was too leisurely), the Gulf oil spill is shaping up to be the biggest oil disaster since the Exxon Valdez, inducting this week into the Worst Week Ever Hall of Fame. If you have money or time, listen to Laura and help out IBRRC. And next time IBRRC has an oil spill response training, listen to me and go sign up.
All because this insane world is obsessed with oil. You’d think that during an epic disaster, everyone would be clamoring for clean energy, and the “drill baby drill” crowd would STFU for maybe a second. When Arizona passed their anti-brown-skinned immigrants law, people were (rightly) pissed off. They marched in the streets and launched crippling boycotts, and there is no doubt in my mind that the racists will find themselves on the wrong end of an open can of frothy backlash.
So where’s the anger over the wholesale destruction of the Gulf of Mexico? Where are the protests over the deaths of an uncountable number of birds and marine life, the economic ruin of the Gulf, or hell, even the eleven people who died on the platform? All we’re getting is “shit happens, let’s clean this one up, and go back to pretending like everything is fine and dandy” from the President all the way on down.
I’m glad there’s been a swift response to the spill, but can you spot what’s missing from the 10 Things You Can Do to Help the Gulf Coast Clean the Oil Spill list? Anything about ending the world’s oil addiction. Anything about passing the climate bill that is now completely stalled and watered down into oblivion. Anything about ending offshore drilling.
And don’t tell me that vague form letters urging nothing in particular from the Sierra Club’s website counts as anything. Compare the response to Arizona. Any major cities boycotting BP? Any marches against offshore drilling? Any new campaigns to boost public transit, or bikes, or wind, or anything running alongside the disaster and to connect people’s daily habits with the spill? No, just more clicktivism and form letters.
I know politics is boring and unseemly, but it’s like everyone really wants to believe this oil disaster is some kind of an isolated incident, or bad luck. ”We’ve had problems with car design, but you don’t stop driving. The Challenger accident was heart-breaking but we went back to space,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the architects of the stalled climate bill, about offshore drilling. Even Obama is calling it “premature" to consider reversing his plans for oil exploration.
All the finger-pointing at BP is irrelevant. Yes, it’s convenient to have a single villain, and yes, BP really did fuck up. But a spill of this size was inevitable, and it’s going to keep happening over and over again like Groundhog Dog until people stop whining about gas prices and actually give a shit about breaking the economy’s addiction to oil. Our politicians may be too timid and pathetic to make that point, but surely they can be jolted into paying attention?
Fuck, I don’t know. Anyway, don’t let this rant turn you off to doing the 10 things on that list, because that isn’t the point. Disasters of this size require immediate response and prevention. Unfortunately, other than a few mostly-ignored eco-blogs, you won’t read a single word about prevention. Because no one wants to admit that every person alive is responsible for that spill, even you and me, and the only way off this ferris wheel is to get rid of oil, starting now.
Or, starting after watching videos of adorable sneezing animals, because we all need a reason to live, and make sure to skip the bear. Something’s just not right about that one.
Just your weekly reminder that offshore drilling fucking sucks, and the people who demand it the loudest are fucking assholes who deserve a kick in the face. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is not only an economic disaster for fisheries, but it’s a hell-on-earth for the birds and marine life who live in the Gulf and on the coast of Louisiana.
Courtesy of the New York Times comes this shocking infographic showing which species are now in peril from the spill. Want a sneak preview? “The Gulf of Mexico is the only spawning ground for the Western Atlantic population of the bluefish tuna, which is at the peak of spawning season.” America, FUCK YEAH!
The antidote to this shit is clean energy, like the offshore wind farm off Cape Cod that was approved this past week by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Unfortunately, groups are already suing to block its construction because they say the wind farm will block the views from their mansions endanger marine life and commerce. Because birds and fish are just choking in wind-slick from leaky wind turbines. Quick, someone call in the emergency windbreaker and visor crew! These feathers aren’t going to comb themselves back into place.
The International Bird Rescue Research Center wants to train YOU in oil spill response »
Remember in 2007 when the Cosco Busan shipping barge spilled 53,500 gallons of oil into the San Francisco Bay, killing and maiming tens of thousands of birds, seals, and other wildlife in the process? That was so much fun. The worst part of it may have been all the volunteers who went down to beaches to help with bird rescue and clean up, but were turned away and told that their help wasn’t wanted at the beginning of the spill, when most of the damage happens. Truly fantastic. Well this is your chance to get trained up and ready to be part of the official response to the next oil spill (and there will be a next time, DEPRESSING but guaranteed) as part of a statewide effort to not suck next time this happens.
The International Bird Rescue Research Center is now accepting applications to join their Oil Spill Response Team. You must submit your application by Mar. 26, and the training orientation will take place on April 10 at their bird center in Fairfield.
I went out there after the Cosco Busan spill and managed to get in a brief training, which amounted to watching a video explaining all the ways exposure to oil can make you sick. And that’s really all they can do when volunteers try and get trained during a disaster instead of before. In the end, I was qualified to refill pans of water while more capable hands scrubbed very confused looking ducks with toothbrushes and dishwashing soap. This is going to be much more intensive, with field trips, three training sessions, and 160 volunteer hours before you can graduate. You will come out of it as a bird-rescuing GOD.