Did cruise ship guards have to kill polar bear?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS AND FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 

Did cruise ship guards have to kill polar bear? Experts say maybe — but blame climate change

by Kalhan Rosenblatt / 
Image: TOPSHOT-NORWAY-ARCTIC-ANIMALS-POLAR-BEAR

A dead polar bear lies on the beach in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago on July 28, 2018. Norwegian authorities said the polar bear was shot after it attacked and injured a polar guard who was protecting a group of tourists from a cruise ship.Gustav Busch Arntsen / Scanpix via AFP – Getty Images

A German cruise line has received a wave of backlash after its crew members shot and killed a polar bear that had attacked a guard whose job it was to spot and prevent interactions with the animal.

The cruise, a Hapag-Lloyd ship called the MS Bremen, was traveling near the northernmost island of the Svalbard archipelago, between mainland Norway and the North Pole, had intended to show the bears off to a group of tourists — and it appears guards on the vessel attempted to scare the bear off before resorting to lethal force, officials said.

Police spokesman Ole Jakob Malmo told the Associated Press that two members of the Bremen’s 12-man crew that set out ahead of tourists on Saturday first tried to ward off the bear “by shouting and making loud noises as well as firing a signal pistol, but to no effect.”

In a statement, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises had said the attack happened when a four-person bear guard team, went on land ahead of the tour.

“One of the guards was unexpectedly attacked by a polar bear that had not been spotted and he was unable to react himself. As the attempts of the other guards to evict the animal, unfortunately, were not successful, there had to be intervention for reasons of self-defense and to protect the life of the attacked person,” the statement said. The guard who was injured is in stable condition, according to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises spokesman Moritz Krause.

Experts warn that, as climate change continues to shrink the polar bear’s habitat, the animals are finding themselves face-to-face with humans more often.

“With climate change there’s a lot less sea ice and bears have to spend a lot more time on land. There is definitely more chance of interaction between people and bears,” said Sybille Klenzendorf, senior biologist and senior species expert for the World Wildlife Fund.

“And this is not just for tourism. This is for communities, this is for industry, anybody operating and living in the Arctic has this chance of higher encounters so we have to be prepared in a preventive and proactive manner to prevent conflict with polar bears,” she noted.

Experts told NBC News that in most cases guards have and are able to use a host of methods to deescalate bear encounters before resorting to killing the animal.

“Deterrent methods are extremely successful,” said Brian Horner, the founder and director of LTR Training Solutions in Anchorage, Alaska, which includes bear-guard instruction.

Horner said there are several steps guards can take before killing the animal. A guard who sees a bear can first try to shoot a projectile firework that will cause a bang and scare the animal off, although this requires a precise shot in order to scare the bear backwards rather than forward. Guards also must take care not to start a fire with the flare, Horner said.

Guards can also use a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with blank rounds.

“All it does is make the shotgun make a really big bang. We like those, but our clients don’t like them because it’s 161 decibels, and if you’re not ready, you’re going to have an ear ache,” Horner said.

The next line of defense is rubber bullets before a final non-lethal option: bean bag projectiles. But they can be risky.

“When you’re using bean bags, you’re so close that if it decides it doesn’t like the bean bag, it’s going to run toward you,” Horner said of polar bears.

Klenzendorf said that there are specific rules of engagement that cruise lines are supposed to follow in the region where the killing happened over the weekend, and that polar bear guards are required to limit the chance of interaction between humans and bears. But even to the trained eye, in the Arctic, it’s not an easy task.

“It’s very hard sometimes in the arctic environment to actually see them,” Klenzendorf said of polar bears.

Horner agreed that it can be a challenge for bear guards to spot the animals.

“Polar bears are smart. They’re really smart … and they have to hunt a lot. Polar bears go from curious to interested quickly,” Horner said, adding that “polar bears are sneaky” and likely crept up on the guards.

Fortunately, Klenzendorf said, polar bear guards don’t often end up having fatal interactions with the animals.

“Given that it’s only been the second bear in 20 years of the cruising industry in Svalbard that has been killed, it shows there must be high standards that are being followed for interactions,” she said.

Tibetan Medical Technology Ancient And Current Genius

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News)

Technology boosts medical practice in Tibetan hospitals

SEED germinators and western medical equipment are no longer novelties in Tibetan hospitals, as researchers and doctors become increasingly technologically adept.

Tashi Tsering with the Biological Research Institute of Tibetan Medicine at Lhasa’s Men-Tsee-Khang — a traditional Tibetan hospital founded in 1916 — has been growing meconopsis aculeata under controlled conditions for six years.

A rare member of the poppy family, the flowering plant grows only at high altitude and is used in 257 traditional remedies, principally for liver complaints.

As global warming pushes the snow line upward, the plant’s habitat has shifted from 3,000-4,000 meters above sea level to 5,000. This, coupled with a growing demand, has resulted in even greater scarcity, Tsering said.

He and his team surveyed 37 counties in Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Tibet and Yunnan before their first attempt to cultivate the plant.

“We scored zero on our first try,” he said. No seeds sprouted in 2011 at the test site in Lhasa, despite the light, temperature, moisture and soil having been meticulously controlled to simulate the natural habitat.

In the second year, the germination rate rose to 17 percent. In 2015, the team harvested their own seeds for the first time and this year almost 90 percent of them sprouted. Despite the achievement, it is too early to begin celebrations until technical assessment and lab tests confirm the reliability of the home-grown product.

Traditionally, Tibetan medical practitioners spent years learning to gather herbs, with instructions so sophisticated that they had to memorize which part of each herb to pick under which weather and seasonal conditions and at which time.

The institute has grown 27 endangered herbs in artificial conditions over the past decade and a new laboratory now houses a variety of equipment including germinators, climate incubators, soil testers and imaging systems.

“To meet the rising demand for Tibetan medicine, artificial cultivation of medicinal herbs is a must,” Tsering said.

Tibetan medicine’s influence is expanding beyond the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

For example, An’erning granules, a remedy for the common cold in children and approved by the State Food and Drug Administration, is a leading pediatric patent medicine nationwide.

Considered incurable

Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, considered incurable in western medicine, is claimed to be 94 percent successful in the Arura Hospital in Xining where Tibetan doctors use a holistic approach including medicated bathing, special diets and psychology.

Konchok Gyaltsen, honorary president of the hospital, believes it is the combination of philosophy and herbalism that creates and maintains a healthy mind and body.

Dorje, director of the Qinghai Provincial Tibetan Medicine Research Institute, argues that Tibetan medicine was advanced even in ancient times, with Tibetan physicians performing brain and cataract surgery 1,000 years before their western counterparts. At the Qinghai Tibetan Culture Museum in Xining, dozens of surgical instruments used 1,300 years ago are on display.

Thousands of scientists issue bleak ‘second notice’ to humanity

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

Thousands of scientists issue bleak ‘second notice’ to humanity

 November 13 at 3:14 PM

Planet Earth (NASA)

In late 1992, 1,700 scientists from around the world issued a dire “warning to humanity.” They said humans had pushed Earth’s ecosystems to their breaking point and were well on the way to ruining the planet. The letter listed environmental impacts like they were biblical plagues — stratospheric ozone depletion, air and water pollution, the collapse of fisheries and loss of soil productivity, deforestation, species loss and catastrophic global climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

“If not checked,” wrote the scientists, led by particle physicist and Union of Concerned Scientists co-founder Henry Kendall, “many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know.”

But things were only going to get worse.

To mark the letter’s 25th anniversary, researchers have issued a bracing follow-up. In a communique published Monday in the journal BioScience, more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries assess the world’s latest responses to various environmental threats. Once again, they find us sorely wanting.

“Humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse,” they write.

This letter, spearheaded by Oregon State University ecologist William Ripple, serves as a “second notice,” the authors say: “Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory.”

Global climate change sits atop the new letter’s list of planetary threats. Global average temperatures have risen by more than half a degree Celsius since 1992, and annual carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 62 percent.

 Play Video 2:08
Government’s dire climate change report blames humans
The government’s National Climate Assessment released on Nov. 3 cited human influence as the “dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” (Patrick Martin/The Washington Post)

But it’s far from the only problem people face. Access to fresh water has declined, as has the amount of forestland and the number of wild-caught fish (a marker of the health of global fisheries). The number of ocean dead zones has increased. The human population grew by a whopping 2 billion, while the populations of all other mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish have declined by nearly 30 percent.

The lone bright spot exists way up in the stratosphere, where the hole in the planet’s protective ozone layer has shrunk to its smallest size since 1988. Scientists credit that progress to the phasing out of chlorofluorocarbons — chemicals once used in refrigerators, air conditioners and aerosol cans that trigger reactions in the atmosphere to break down ozone.

“The rapid global decline in ozone-depleting substances shows that we can make positive change when we act decisively,” the letter says.

The authors offer 13 suggestions for reining in our impact on the planet, including establishing nature reserves, reducing food waste, developing green technologies and establishing economic incentives to shift patterns of consumption.

To this end, Ripple and his colleagues have formed a new organization, the Alliance of World Scientists, aimed at providing a science-based perspective on issues affecting the well-being of people and the planet.

“Scientists are in the business of analyzing data and looking at the long-term consequences,” Ripple said in a release. “Those who signed this second warning aren’t just raising a false alarm. They are acknowledging the obvious signs that we are heading down an unsustainable path. We are hoping that our paper will ignite a widespread public debate about the global environment and climate.”

Read more:

The Earth’s ozone hole is shrinking and is the smallest it has been since 1988

Fossil fuel emissions will reach an all-time high in 2017, scientists say — dashing hopes of progress

Trump’s top environmental pick says she has ‘many questions’ about climate change

Dear Mr President (POEM)

(THIS POEM WAS CREATED BY ELLIE HARETUKU ON HER WEBSITE LOCATED AT HTTP://ELLIEHARETUKU.WORDPRESS.COM)

POETRY

Dear Mr President (POEM)

It’s not real, it’s a conspiracy, it just doesn’t exist.
A concept created by China to destroy the US.
It’s a complete delusion and irresponsible too,
To spread propaganda and call it “Fake news”.

With higher altitudes it’ll effect you last,
Higher tides, a lack of drinking water, it’ll be slightly warmer.
Meanwhile we’ve lost Fiji it’s been reclaimed by water.

When you accept and acknowledge that the problem is there,
And it’s a lot more real than your fake head of hair.
Then we can finally get together to right our wrongs,
I would hate to imagine if we waited too long.

So with water levels rising and the earth’s surface heating up,
Two more degrees and basically we’re f—-d.
If that’s all that stands between us and total destruction,
The last thing we needed was your deduction.
By leaving an agreement that was meant to start the healing,
Of a broken planet we are all depleting.

The weather changes,
The melting snow,
The continuously growing ozone hole.
And our incessant desire to destroy our rain forests,
Demolishing trees that we actually need!

When you turn your mind away from business deals,
Profit margins and personal gain,
And recognise that the US is fifteen percent to blame.
Fifteen percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions,
Fifteen percent of the effected atmospheric conditions,
Fifteen percent of the reason why the planet wastes away,
Fifteen percent why we have a limited amount of time.

So until we reunite together and decide on a plan to fix a world in strife,
In desperate need of attention to help sustain our lives.
Remember that two degrees is all it will take to destroy everything we know,
Essentially deciding our fate.

Don’t leave it up to a man who clearly doesn’t understand,
I guess it wasn’t in the job description to care about our lands,
Or the air we breathe,
And the water we so desperately need.

But what more can we expect from a campaign,
Derived from hate with the power to segregate.
Whose ideas rested on bricks and mortar.
The ones he promised would protect the US border.
When the threat you so blatantly deny is bigger than any wall you can build to hide.

 

China’s Xi calls for ‘smooth transition’ in relationship with U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)

China’s Xi calls for ‘smooth transition’ in relationship with U.S.

By Jeff Mason | LIMA

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday called for a “smooth transition” in Beijing’s relationship with Washington and praised outgoing President Barack Obama for strengthening ties between the two nations.

During a meeting in Peru, Obama repeated the U.S. urging that all sides in the dispute over the South China Sea reduce tensions and resolve their disputes peacefully.

The meeting is expected to be the last between the two leaders before President-elect Donald Trump enters the White House. Trump has been sharply critical of China.

“We meet at a hinge  moment in the China-U.S. relationship,” Xi said at the start of the meeting, through an interpreter.

“I hope the two sides will work together to focus on cooperation, manage our differences and make sure there is a smooth transition in the relationship and that it will continue to grow going forward,” he said.

Trump, a Republican, has accused China of being a currency manipulator and promised to slap big tariffs on imported Chinese goods. He has also called climate change a “hoax” designed to help Beijing.

“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” Trump wrote in a tweet in 2012.

Obama and Xi pushed for the international community to back an agreement forged in Paris to combat global warming. Obama called that an example of the benefits of the two countries working together.

“Now we face the work of making sure our economies transition to become more sustainable,” he said.

Trump’s election has raised questions about whether the United States would try to pull out of the accord, a key legacy accomplishment for Obama, a Democrat.

China also helped negotiate the Iran nuclear agreement, another big piece of Obama’s foreign policy that Trump has threatened to dismantle.

Neither Xi nor Obama mentioned Trump in their remarks in front of reporters.

“Mr. President, I would like to commend you for the active efforts you’ve made to grow this relationship,” Xi said to Obama.

Obama noted that the two leaders would discuss areas of disagreement, including “the creation of a more level playing field for our businesses to compete, innovation policies, excess capacity and human rights,” he said.

“I continue to believe that a constructive U.S.-China relationship benefits our two people’s and benefits the entire globe,” he said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Mary Milliken and David Gregorio)

Tibetan Medical Technology Ancient And Current Genius

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News)

Technology boosts medical practice in Tibetan hospitals

SEED germinators and western medical equipment are no longer novelties in Tibetan hospitals, as researchers and doctors become increasingly technologically adept.

Tashi Tsering with the Biological Research Institute of Tibetan Medicine at Lhasa’s Men-Tsee-Khang — a traditional Tibetan hospital founded in 1916 — has been growing meconopsis aculeata under controlled conditions for six years.

A rare member of the poppy family, the flowering plant grows only at high altitude and is used in 257 traditional remedies, principally for liver complaints.

As global warming pushes the snowline upward, the plant’s habitat has shifted from 3,000-4,000 meters above sea level to 5,000. This, coupled with a growing demand, has resulted in even greater scarcity, Tsering said.

He and his team surveyed 37 counties in Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Tibet and Yunnan before their first attempt to cultivate the plant.

“We scored zero on our first try,” he said. No seeds sprouted in 2011 at the test site in Lhasa, despite the light, temperature, moisture and soil having been meticulously controlled to simulate the natural habitat.

In the second year, the germination rate rose to 17 percent. In 2015, the team harvested their own seeds for the first time and this year almost 90 percent of them sprouted. Despite the achievement, it is too early to begin celebrations until technical assessment and lab tests confirm the reliability of the home-grown product.

Traditionally, Tibetan medical practitioners spent years learning to gather herbs, with instructions so sophisticated that they had to memorize which part of each herb to pick under which weather and seasonal conditions and at which time.

The institute has grown 27 endangered herbs in artificial conditions over the past decade and a new laboratory now houses a variety of equipment including germinators, climate incubators, soil testers and imaging systems.

“To meet the rising demand for Tibetan medicine, artificial cultivation of medicinal herbs is a must,” Tsering said.

Tibetan medicine’s influence is expanding beyond the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

For example, An’erning granules, a remedy for the common cold in children and approved by the State Food and Drug Administration, is a leading pediatric patent medicine nationwide.

Considered incurable

Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, considered incurable in western medicine, is claimed to be 94 percent successful in the Arura Hospital in Xining where Tibetan doctors use a holistic approach including medicated bathing, special diets and psychology.

Konchok Gyaltsen, honorary president of the hospital, believes it is the combination of philosophy and herbalism that creates and maintains a healthy mind and body.

Dorje, director of the Qinghai Provincial Tibetan Medicine Research Institute, argues that Tibetan medicine was advanced even in ancient times, with Tibetan physicians performing brain and cataract surgery 1,000 years before their western counterparts. At the Qinghai Tibetan Culture Museum in Xining, dozens of surgical instruments used 1,300 years ago are on display.

Donald Trump News And Sarah Palin

This is a copy paste that I hope you will like. I by no means am a computer savvy person.

Donald Trump News
Palin Says Voters, Not Insiders, Should Decide GOP Nominee

Sarah Palin says voters will “rise up” in opposition if Republican power brokers try to take the presidential nomination away from Donald Trump or Ted Cruz at the GOP convention this summer.

The 2008 vice presidential nominee told The Associated Press on Thursday that GOP voters have the right to decide the party’s nominee and will rebel if House Speaker Paul Ryan or some other “white knight” is chosen at a contested convention. Ryan said this week he will not seek or accept the nomination.

Palin said voters know better than to be fooled by party leaders.

“How dare they?” Palin asked, denouncing “arrogant political operatives who underestimate the wisdom of the people.”

Special: Natural Secret Weapon Helps Keep Your Prostate Normal-Sized

If party leaders try to intervene at the July convention, “we will rise up and say our vote does count, our activism does count,” she said.

Those who try to thwart the will of the people “are the ones who need to leave,” she said. “We don’t need to leave.”

Palin, who has endorsed Trump, said she is confident he will win the GOP nomination, but that she can support Cruz if he emerges as the nominee.

She said she backs Trump because he is “so reasonable and so full of common sense and knows that for America to be great again we have to develop our natural resources” such as oil and natural gas.

The former Alaska governor was in Washington to promote a new documentary that seeks to debunk what it calls myths and hype about human-caused global warming. The movie, “Climate Hustle,” questions whether there is a genuine scientific consensus about global warming and features more than 30 scientists who reject mainstream climate science.

Palin said she wants viewers “to feel empowered to ask questions about what is being fed them by the scientific community.” The movie opensMay 2.

On other topics, Palin said Ryan has failed as House speaker because he did not ensure that the House approved a budget. And while she said she does not regret staying out of the presidential race, she did not rule out a possible presidential bid in the future.

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