Top 10 endangered species on earth

The Sumatran elephant native to the Indonesia island of Sumatra. the Sumatran elephant has been classified ascritically endangered by IUCN as the population has declined by at least 80% over the last three generations.

This orangutan is native to the island of Borneo in the South Pacific. Bornean orangutans are also the slowest breeding of all mammals. their low reproduction rates may cause these orangutans to be the first of the great apes to become extinct.

The saola, is one of the world’s rarest large mammals, a forest-dwelling bovinefound only in the Annamite range of Vietnam and Laos. The Saola is currently considered to be critically endangered.

The Malayan tiger recognized as a tiger subspecies that inhabits the southern and central parts of the Malay Peninsula, and classified as Critically Endangeredby IUCN in as the population was roughly estimated at 250 to 340 adult individuals in 2013.

The hawksbill sea turtle is a critically endangered sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae. It is the only extantspecies in the genus Eretmochelys.

This is the most endangered rhinoceros in the world, with only 63 animals surviving in a national park in Indonesia. They are also potentially the rarest large mammals on earth. Very little is known about the Javan rhino’s way of life.

The Vaquita is the world’s rarest marine mammal. It is on the edge of extinction with only 30 individuals still alive. This small porpoise lives in the northern Gulf of California.

There are between 15 and 20 Hainan gibbons surviving. Pressures from hunting threaten this primate, and previously habitat destruction was a major contributor to its decline.

The kakapo, is a species of large, flightless, nocturnal, ground-dwelling parrot of the super-family Strigopoidea endemic to New Zealand.

The Kakapo is critically endangered, the total known adult population was 154 living individuals.

The Amur leopard has adapted to live in the cold, temperate forests of southeast Russia and northeast China. It’s estimated there are only about 60 of these unique cats left.

With such a low population, a distinct threat to their survival is inbreeding.

Published by The Resistance 1687

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“Trump’s New Budget Gives 31% Slash In E.P.A. Budget: What That Means to the Environment” By Dean Alexander

This here is my first article writing for Berning Media, and I look forward to writing much more about current events, politics, and a load of other stuff as well!
I will write about Trump’s dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency, and how it may affect our environment and country as a whole. The EPA is an omnipresent and ever so important agency in the protection of our planet. As the country that has the most global power, we must be a leader in the fight against climate change and we must work to move our world towards renewable energy. We were the first to the moon and we shall be the first world power to transform our energy system to protect the Earth from climate change. Read any scientific study that wasn’t funded by the fossil fuel companies and you will find that CO2 emissions are rising at an unprecedented level unlike any other period in history. The earth is changing at an alarming rate and we as a species are nearing the point of no return.
With our planet suffering, we can and should, lead the world in fighting an existential threat to all of the humanity. But when a country that can have a very powerful say in the battle, looks the other way, and its president believes China, made up climate change, to prevent the growth of the U.S. economy, there is much need for worry. The cuts proposed are a threat not just to the sustainability of our planet, but also to the water supply of many cities around the nation. The Government in the past has given 4 billion to the EPA for grants and other assistance programs to give to states. Since the beginning of the presidency, the money has been all frozen. The budget has been cut from 8.1 billion to 5.7 billion. The EPA took more cut in a budget than any other government agency, 38 programs will be eliminated. The department of research and development has been cut by 42% to nearly $250,000,000. This budget would discontinue the Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan was put forward by the Obama Administration. Although this plan will make a mere dent in carbon emissions it does set reasonable goals for doubling fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks by 2025. The end to this plan shows just how delusional this administration is. It is still not certain how Trump will act on the Paris Climate Accords, but one thing that is certain about this presidency is that he is unpredictable. While the accords are a step in the right direction, they are still nowhere near the amount of effort the world must put into the global fight against climate change. Another troubling fact is that the budget will not let the EPA give grants to states to clean up brownfields. Brownfields are abandoned industrial lots that pose a risk to people living around them consisting of hazardous pollutants and contaminates. There are an estimated 450,000 brownfields nationwide. In addition, the colossal Chesapeake bay cleanup project’s budget has been lowered from $73,000,000 to just $5,000,000. Lastly, under the budget, Trump has stated he aims to remove the “Waters of the United States” rule under the Clean Water Act. The Obama Administration put the rule in in 2015 to clear up any confusion about the act and was there to protect the water supply of 117 million Americans. As the environmental group Earthjustice stated, Trump is “demonstrating that he puts the interests of corporate polluters above the public’s health.” I agree!
Most of you reading this know that Obama was not very effective in combating climate change during his presidency. However, there is no denying that he had moved us in the right direction. President Trump rolling back the few things that the Obama Administration put forward in combating climate change is setting us back in the fight. If you look at the U.S. Constitution article 1, section 8, it states, “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” This is where I would love to see the “constitutionalist” wing of the Republican Party get involved. The effect the Industrial Revolution had on our global temperatures is a major scientific discovery. Richard Nixon was the president that created the EPA, and George H.W. Bush passed the Clean Water Act you can sense how drastically to the right, the Republican Party has moved. What we must do is organize, and express our opposition by getting on the phones, and calling our elected officials! There is nothing that can’t be accomplished when millions of people fight back and demand change! History proves it…

Writer: Alexander Dean

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Sources:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/jun/03/hillary-clinton/yes-donald-trump-did-call-climate-change-chinese-h/

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/01/23/trump-administration-tells-epa-to-freeze-all-grants-contracts/?utm_term=.a398bfb067e4

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/budget-reflects-trumps-vow-to-cut-epa-in-almost-every-form/2017/03/15/0611db20-09a5-11e7-a15f-a58d4a988474_story.html?utm_term=.3e8061c8ee58

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/03/14/trump-is-poised-to-issue-a-sweeping-order-dismantling-obamas-climate-plan-this-week/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.154dcf40c1b5

 

www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/28/517016071/trump-aims-to-eliminate-clean-water-rule

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/03/01/white-house-proposes-cutting-epa-staff-by-one-fifth-eliminating-key-programs/?utm_term=.b6cc3163d663

Fracking in the USA by Patrick Vinson

Hydraulic Fracking has rapidly become a popular source for getting oil in America. The term ‘fracking’ has become well known around smaller towns, but why?  Some would say it is because of luck, while others say the lack of regulations in these areas has caused a boom in the fracking industry. We have witnessed a plague of earthquakes erupt around these fracking centers that are popping up around the country. Fracking is the process of shooting a pressurized water/sand mixture to bust through rocks and reach the oil. This process leads to contaminated well water, dirtier air quality, and many more environmental problems.
Something has been happening around many of these fracking sites; they’re now being referred to as frack-quakes. Many states have seen an increase in seismic activity. Kansas, Oklahoma, for example, has seen a large leap in the number of small quakes in the state. The U.S. Geological Survey showed that within 5 years there were 2,547 small quakes in total in the town.  Nearby Jonestown is located right next to a fracking site that pumps out 4 billion barrels of wastewater per month!  These same scientists also discovered that seismic activity from the Jones area accounted for 20% of the overall region. Fracking earthquakes have also been subject to criticism in other states such as Ohio, Texas, and Arkansas.

There are many arguments that come up when debating fracking and its environmental impact. When talking about the effects it has on our groundwater, the EPA has been wishy-washy on until a recent release.  States such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Texas have all had hundreds of complaints of contaminated drinking water.

“The AP found that Pennsylvania received 398 complaints in 2013 alleging that oil or natural gas drilling polluted or otherwise affected private water wells, compared with 499 in 2012. The Pennsylvania complaints can include allegations of short-term diminished water flow, as well as pollution from stray gas or other substances. More than 100 cases of pollution were confirmed over the past five years.” According to USA Today

Three Pennsylvania families were awarded a $1.6 million settlement with the drilling company. Over the last 8-10 years, fracking has lead to a boom of natural gas seen across our nation. Doing so has slowed down a number of imports and saved companies money and landowners grew richer. With this industry comes the harm of the environment around it. We all know how the big oil companies work in the United States; we know congress has a nice deal with them as well.

When pumping water & minerals into the ground to pulverize the rock in the attempt of reaching these natural gasses, some water returns to the surface and leaks into the ground above. This water can contain high levels of metals, sodium and other drilling chemicals, which are hazardous to the environment. All of these chemicals unfortunately seep back into our ground water going through our aquifers.  Levels of benzene, a flammable liquid used in fuel, were 50 times above the allowable limit, in the case in Pavilion, Wyoming. The chemicals in this instance were contaminating the area around it from being dumped in unlined pits surrounded by cement barriers which did nothing.
“Using publicly available information and freedom of information requests, DiGiulio and Jackson have published a report in Environmental Science & Technology that examines what went wrong at Pavillion. The research finds that workers were drilling at very shallow depths, as little as 700 ft underground, placing the fracking operation uncomfortably close to the drinking water aquifer that supplies the wells used by Pavillion residents.” – The Guardian

This Wyoming incident was clearly due to poor safety and consideration of the environmental impact it would have in the area. The depths they were drilling was shallow and they knew the dangers. If they weren’t then they obviously need to do some reevaluations of their fracking sites. Thanks to loopholes, the oil, and gas industry aren’t required to disclose the chemicals they use, but research has found that many are known endocrine disruptors and carcinogens. How many of these CEO’s and workers behind this faulty work see jail time? None because in America corporations’ buy their way out of any wrongdoing. Communities with fracking have seen declines in property values, increases in crime, and losses in local tourism and agriculture. Pipelines, oil trains and other infrastructure to support fracking add to these harms.
But water isn’t the only resource fracking is damaging. Fracking also affects the air quality in the surrounding areas. That’s right, besides the wonderful commodities fracking brings such as water pollution. It also brings us the joy of air pollution. A number of emissions being put off by the trucks, generators, and flares are all adding to the pollution. There fumes & emissions have made parts of Wyoming seem like an inner city plagued with smog on a bad day.  There have been studies done in regards to the quality of air in Wyoming towns affected by fracking. The study below is by Compendium of the scientific evidence, the expert’s organizations Physicians for Social Responsibility and Concerned Health Professionals of New York summarized some of the harms:
“Air pollution associated with fracking is a grave concern with a range of impacts. Researchers have documented dozens of air pollutants from drilling and fracking operations that pose serious health hazards. Areas with substantial drilling and fracking build-out show high levels of ground-level ozone (smog), striking declines in air quality, and, in several cases, increased rates of health problems with known links to air pollution. Air sampling surveys find high concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), especially carcinogenic benzene and formaldehyde, both at the wellhead and at distances that exceed legal setback distances from a wellhead to the residence. In some cases, VOC concentrations exceeded federal safety standards by several orders of magnitude. Evidence implicates the U.S. shale gas boom in the recent global spike in atmospheric methane. Drilling and fracking operations in North Dakota’s Bakken oil and gas field alone contribute two percent of global methane emissions and directly impact air quality across North America. Ethane is both a greenhouse gas and a precursor for ozone formation.”

You can find in another study done New York State, concluded from its health and environmental reviews, “The total operations associated with good drilling can be assigned to three “types” of potential sources of air emissions: 1) combustion from engines, compressors, line heaters, and flares; 2) short-term venting of gas constituents which are not flared; and 3) emissions from truck activities near the good pad… there are potentially significant adverse health impacts associated with increased levels of particulate matter, ozone, diesel exhaust, and volatile organic compounds.”
All of these gasses and emissions being added to our already warming atmosphere, with no indications of stopping anytime soon. These corporate polluters are getting more and more regulations cut to help them profit more. We must stand up against eminent domain abuse used by these fracking companies, and stand up and demand people over profit. With all of these pollutants in the air and water, this only leads to health problems for the surrounding communities. Another check left on the table of the people to pick up more medical bills.
Many of the chemicals used in fracking are known to be cancer causing. When we improperly store these chemicals or waste after it comes back on the surface, we risk it seeping back into our groundwater. Physical sickness on top of all the negative effects it already takes on the environment around it. Towns being impacted by fracking have seen health issues such as rashes, respiratory problems, spikes in infant deaths and more. Physicians for Social Responsibility and Concerned Health Professionals of New York summarized some of the harms:
“By several measures, evidence for fracking-related health problems is emerging across the United States. In Pennsylvania, as the number of gas wells increases in a community, so do rates of hospitalization. Drilling and fracking operations are correlated with elevated motor vehicle fatalities (Texas), asthma (Pennsylvania), self-reported skin and respiratory problems (southwestern Pennsylvania), ambulance runs and emergency room visits (North Dakota), infant deaths (Utah), birth defects (Colorado), high risk pregnancies (Pennsylvania), premature birth (Pennsylvania), and low birth weight (multiple states). Benzene levels in the ambient air surrounding drilling and fracking operations are sufficient to elevate risks for future cancers in both workers and nearby residents, according to studies. Animal studies show that two dozen chemicals commonly used in fracking operations are endocrine disruptors that can variously disrupt organ systems, lower sperm counts, and cause reproductive harm at levels to which people can be realistically exposed.”
Benzene is a widely used chemical in the United States, from drugs to detergents, rubbers, dyes and even pesticides. It is also an additive used in gasoline but has been reduced in recent years. Being exposed to high levels of Benzene have been linked to people getting cancer, and respiratory problems.

“Rates of leukemia, particularly acute myeloid leukemia (AML), have been found to be higher in studies of workers exposed to high levels of benzene, such as those in the chemical, shoemaking, and oil refining industries.
Some studies have also suggested links to childhood leukemia (particularly AML) as well as acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and other blood-related cancers (such as multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma) in adults. However, the evidence is not as strong for these cancers.
There is much less evidence linking benzene to any other type of cancer” – American Cancer Society
These chemicals are being allowed to seep back into our group water and these emissions are spreading disease through the local communities. The highest possible exposure has been linked to the workplace, meaning we also should worry about protecting workers health rights. Common workplaces that these are found are in rubber factories, chemical plants, gasoline industry and even shoe manufacturing plants. All of these are places where workers can come in contact with high level of Benzene.
Finally are the impacts that fracking has on the climate. As we all know, the oceans have been rising, glaciers have been melting and we are seeing record-breaking temperatures around the globe. Methane is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gasses and the warming of our planet. Methane is 86 times as toxic as Carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and grows more toxic over time. Physicians for Social Responsibility and Concerned Health Professionals of New York summarized the threat to the climate system:
“Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. An increasing number of studies reveal high levels of methane leaks from gas drilling, fracking, storage, and transportation, undermining the notion that natural gas is a climate solution or a transition fuel…Multiple lines of evidence point to the central role of unconventional oil and gas extraction as the driver of recent increases in global greenhouse gasses, especially methane. These include the atmospheric pattern of increased methane concentrations directly over intensively fracked areas of the United States; sharp upticks in global methane and co-occurring methane levels that correspond to the onset of the U.S. fracking boom; and documentation of catastrophic amounts of methane released from storage facilities and other “super-emitting” sites…Drilling, fracking and expanded use of natural gas threaten not only to exacerbate climate change but also to stifle investments in, and expansion of, renewable energy.” – Frack Action

The data doesn’t lie, thanks to the boom of the fracking industry in the last decade. We have seen a sharp increase in the levels of Methane released into our atmosphere. With very little regulations on fracking in these towns, the pollution continues to plague the environment around it. Making our planet heat up and the citizens of the world sick. Why haven’t our governments stepped up against these big oil companies yet? Besides for the fact that they are lobbying for these politicians that will help with their end goal: profit over people.  The ocean temperatures are rising, and the emissions being put off by these fracking sites aren’t slowing it down. We must come together to combat big oil for the future generations of this planet.  The examples we used are only a few states affected by fracking daily. There were over one-thousand fracking incidents last year. That doesn’t include those who have become ill from the pollution fracking brings. For more information on fracking, please check out the videos I have posted links to below.
Videos:
Frackopoly:

Fracking Explained: Opportunity or Danger

Fracking Hell: The Untold Story

Sources:
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/benzene.html
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/05/some-states-confirm-water-pollution-from-drilling/4328859/
http://www.frackaction.com/what-is-fracking/health-impacts/

Life Cycle Assessment and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Animal Agriculture

Approx running time: 20 mins

This video, made by the Livestock & Poultry Environmental Learning Center

talks about the carbon footprint made from the animal agriculture industry.