Innovation and discovery have always been a double edged sword. While our society and culture progress with new inventions, these same inventions can tend to create new problems. It’s a story as old as time. The printing press helped spread knowledge and educate the masses, but also provided a tool for propagandists. Nuclear energy has helped provide electric power to countless households without the need for fossil fuels, but has also allowed for the engineering of weapons of mass destruction. The list goes on.
In the 21st Century, the Internet has helped give everyone a voice; it has connected people and alerted them to injustices taking place halfway around the world, but it has also helped facilitate atrocities. In a recent article, the BBC has highlighted the dangers of sharing newly discovered species on the Internet. While we should rejoice in learning of wildlife discoveries, the article tells of a sordid twist of fate. Due to the rarity of many such species, writing about them can help them become objects of desire for limitless illegal wildlife collectors worldwide. While wildlife enthusiasts read of discoveries around the world, so do smugglers and traffickers.
This reality puts conversationists in a bind. It is difficult to raise money for new discoveries and conservation efforts without sharing findings but sharing findings can make their work more challenging. Some conservationists argue that listing species as endangered can seal their fate. The BBC article offers no solutions to the problem but we ask you: How would you solve this dilemma?
Read the BBC piece here.
Elephant dung powers zoo in Munich Germany, through the utilization of “bio-gas”.
Scientists at Fujitsu have finally built “K”, a computer that surpasses the human brain by computing four times faster and holding 10 times as much data.
Leopards are described as vulnerable by South Africa’s National Environmental Management Act, meaning the face the risk of extinction in the medium term. One of the main causes for this is a growing demand for leopards skins. Tristan Dickerson, co-ordinator of the leopard programme at global charity Panthera, would like to persuade those who demand the fur to use faux fur instead. Click the image for more.
Researchers find that Native Hawaiian islanders began practicing reef conservation activities during the 1400s, and the ecosystem recovered over the next 400 years.
Lake Ellsworth could hold clues to climate change and on evolution of life on other extra-terrestrial environments. It could also uncover new forms of life previously unseen on earth, according to UK engineers and a scientist. The challenging drilling operation to reach the lake will begin in November.
Minneapolis is America’s No. 1 Bike City with 4% of residents biking to work from home, beating out Boulder, Portland and San Franciso despite the state’s famously ferocious winters.
There’s a new postal stamp that will raise money for wildlife conservation, created by the Oklahoma City Zoo and the U.S. Postal Service.
The special semipostal stamps cost 55 cents each, 11 cents more than a regular stamp, and are available for purchase now, according to the postal service. The extra cost of the stamps will support efforts to save endangered animals such as apes, elephants, rhinos, tigers and turtles through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Mr. Knights, of WildAid, said that if the decimation of shark populations continued, all the money in the world would not provide shark fins for diners. “This is unsustainable,” he said, “and the question is, do you end it now or do you wait until there are no sharks left?”
Mark Evans profiles us in The Globe & Mail!
Serial entrepreneur Greg Sukornyk looked at the activities of charities online and the growing popularity of online gaming, and figured there was an opportunity to marry them in a way that could benefit charities while still entertaining game players. Since the first game was launched a couple of months ago…more than 10,000 people have played, while the non-profits involved have been enthusiastic about the concept and business model.