Humane Issues in the News...

Each week we post links to news about humane education & humane living, and items connected to humane issues, from human rights to environmental preservation, to animal protection, to media, consumerism and culture.

New study reports that coal-fired power plants do “$62 billion in environmental damages” in (10/19/09)
“Also factored into the final costs was damage done to recreational activities and outdoor visibility. All told, the reduced or damaged crop and timer yields, the damage done to building materials, the strain on placed on outdoor recreation, the hampered visibility in certain environments, and the toll taken on human health brings the cost of coal to $62 billion a year in the US.”

Poachers killing100 elephants a day in Africa - Scientific American (blog) – (10/19/09)
“Over the last few years, CITES has allowed several one-off sales of ivory stockpiles, mostly from elephants that died of natural causes. But according to IFAW, this has fed consumer demand and created opportunities for the black market to mask its operations. The world financial crisis has made things even worse: Many African nations have had to cut back on their antipoaching operations, giving illegal wildlife traders even more incentive to profit from their operations.”

Report shows possible connection between music lyrics & children’s behaviorCBC News (10/19/09)
“The report's authors cited research findings that children who listen to explicit and violent music lyrics and video may become more aggressive, antisocial and promiscuous ‘Definitely there's a relationship that has been demonstrated,’ Gonzalez said, particularly for children and teens who are vulnerable because of their social environment.”

Cheap meat in Europe has devastating cost - Guardian (10/16/09)
“Cheap meat has become a way of life in much of Europe, but the full price is being paid across Latin America as vast soya plantations and their attendant chemicals lead to poisonings and violence. Much of the cheap meat and dairy produce sold in supermarkets across Europe is arriving as a result of serious human rights abuses and environmental damage in one of Latin America's most impoverished countries, according to a new film launched in conjunction with the Ecologist Film Unit.”

Offshore oil spill going on 7 weeksDaily Green (10/15/09)
“A spill at an offshore oil rig in the East Timor Sea has been leaking about 400 barrels -- that's 16,800 gallons -- every day for seven weeks, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts and the West Australian. That's enough oil to fill an Olympic sized pool, and a second pool one-quarter full.”

“Burning bunnies for biofuel”Scientific American (blog post) (10/14/09)
“According to Der Spiegel, stray rabbits in Stockholm are being shot, frozen and then shipped to a heating plant to be incinerated.”

Animals killed according to religious methods feel the pain, study saysNew Scientist (10/13/09)
“Brain signals have shown that calves do appear to feel pain when slaughtered according to Jewish and Muslim religious law, strengthening the case for adapting the practices to make them more humane.”

Coal plants working for cleaner air creating polluted water - New York Times (10/13/09)
“’It’s like they decided to spare us having to breathe in these poisons, but now we have to drink them instead,’ said Philip Coleman, who lives about 15 miles from the plant and has asked a state judge to toughen the facility’s pollution regulations. ‘We can’t escape.’”

David Suzuki wins Right Livelihood Award (the “alternative Nobel”)CBC (10/13/09)
“The prize citation describes Suzuki as ‘one of the most brilliant scientists and communicators about science of his generation,’ adding he has shown a ‘lifetime advocacy for the socially responsible use of science.’"
Thanks, Treehugger, for the heads up.

FAO says food production must increase by 70% - BBC (10/12/09)
"’The combined effect of population growth, strong income growth and urbanisation... is expected to result in almost the doubling of demand for food, feed and fibre,’ FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf told delegates at a forum entitled How to Feed the World 2050. The FAO said that even if governments increased agricultural investments, there could still be 370 million people suffering from famine in 2050.”

Some schools giving Columbus “more balanced perspective”AP (10/11/09)
"’The whole terminology has changed,’ said James Kracht, executive associate dean for academic affairs in the Texas A&M College of Education and Human Development. ‘You don't hear people using the world 'discovery' anymore like they used to. 'Columbus discovers America.' Because how could he discover America if there were already people living here?’"

Book explores assumptions about gender at early ageWashington Post (10/11/09)
“Our assumptions ‘crystallize into children's self-perceptions and self-fulfilling prophecies.’ Girls' slightly lesser interest in puzzles and building toys is reinforced instead of challenged, and it turns into a gap in spatial skills and map reading. Parents and teachers see a boy lagging in reading and verbal skills and shrug it off with, ‘But of course, he's a boy.’"
Thanks, Public Education Network, for the heads up.

Who knew clotheslines were so controversial?New York Times (10/10/09)
“The new laws have provoked a debate. Proponents argue they should not be prohibited by their neighbors or local community agreements from saving on energy bills or acting in an environmentally minded way. Opponents say the laws lifting bans erode local property rights and undermine the autonomy of private communities.”

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