DISSING THE PLANET

‘diss’ 1980-85, Americanism; from dis-
extracted from such words as disrespect and disparage
show disrespect for; affront.disparage; belittle.

Synonym trail for ‘diss’

damage
decay
decline
decompose
decrease
decry
deduct
defame
deflate
degenerate
degrade
denigrate
deplete
deprave
deprecate
depreciate
depress
derelict
deride
derogate
desolate
destroy
deteriorate
detract
devalue
devastate
dilapidate
diminish
discredit
disintegrate
disparage
dispraise
disrepair
dissipate
dissolute
dissolve
downgrade
dump on
dwindle

 

New York Skyline

The home of the consumer dream injects its poison into the sky

 

Greed and Fear

Inside the Bankster’s Head

Hermetically sealed from the realities of life the banksters, hedgers and all those who feed on the crumbs from their table cannot comprehend the concept that Enough is Plenty,
But how many shirts can you wear or meals can you eat at one time?

 

Blindness

The U.S.A became exceedingly rich during the second world war and Britain, for one, was seriously in hoc to them with a debt which was only paid off some 60 years later. The U.S. enjoyed its prosperity and the influence it brought and the Roosevelt administration set about creating a system which would maintain that affluence. This was articulated most succinctly and famously by the retail analyst, Victor Lebow in the spring of 1955.

“Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption”.
They achieved this so successfully that now, with only four percent of the worlds’ population, they consume thirty five percent of the world’s resources and create thirty percent of the worlds’ waste. To feed this demand has required a new form of imperialism.

With hindsight, it would appear that a political decision was made that the safest and most profitable place for the British was behind U.S. coat tails and the City of London have taken up the cause with relish.

All of those involved are blind to the consequences of their daily business and the true cost to the planet.

The Donald

Backpfeifengesicht is a German compound word that loosely translates to “A face badly in need of a fist” meaning this is a person that needs to be punched. Alternate translations list the given action as “slap” rather than “punch” or the given weapon as “crowbar” rather than “fist”.

 

The WRONG Branch

Homo Sapiens – The ‘thinking ape’ who didn’t think it through and took the wrong branch. Our species is the only one of its kind which fails to live within its ecology.

Anthropocene

The Anthropocene defines Earth’s most recent geologic time period as being human-influenced, or anthropogenic, based on overwhelming global evidence that atmospheric, geologic, hydrologic, biospheric and other earth system processes are now altered by humans.
The word combines the root “anthropo”, meaning “human” with the root “-cene”, the standard suffix for “epoch” in geologic time.
The Anthropocene is distinguished as a new period either after or within the Holocene, the current epoch, which began approximately 10,000 years ago (about 8000 BC) with the end of the last glacial period.
he sixth extinction or Anthropocene extinction, is the ongoing extinction event of species during the present Holocene epoch, mainly due to human activity. The large number of extinctions spans numerous families of plants and animals, including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and arthropods. With widespread degradation of highly biodiverse habitats such as coral reefs and rainforest, as well as other areas, the vast majority of these extinctions is thought to be undocumented. The current rate of extinction of species is estimated at 100 to 1,000 times higher than natural background rates.
The Holocene extinction includes the disappearance of large land animals known as megafauna, starting at the end of the last Ice Age. Megafauna outside of the African continent, which did not evolve alongside humans, proved highly sensitive to the introduction of new predation, and many died out shortly after early humans began spreading and hunting across the Earth (additionally, many African species have also gone extinct in the Holocene). These extinctions, occurring near the Pleistocene–Holocene boundary, are sometimes referred to as the Quaternary extinction event.
The arrival of humans on different continents coincides with megafaunal extinction. The most popular theory is that human overhunting of species added to existing stress conditions. Although there is debate regarding how much human predation affected their decline, certain population declines have been directly correlated with human activity, such as the extinction events of New Zealand and Hawaii. Aside from humans, climate change may have been a driving factor in the megafaunal extinctions, especially at the end of the Quaternary.
The ecology of humanity has been noted as being that of an unprecedented “global superpredator” that regularly preys on the adults of other apex predators and has worldwide effects on food webs. Extinctions of species have occurred on every land mass and ocean, with many famous examples within Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, North and South America, and on smaller islands. Overall, the Holocene extinction can be characterised by the human impact on the environment. The Holocene extinction continues into the 21st century, with meat consumption, overfishing, ocean acidification and the amphibian crisis being a few broader examples of an almost universal, cosmopolitan decline in biodiversity. Human overpopulation (and continued population growth) along with profligate consumption are considered to be the primary drivers of this rapid decline.
It has been suggested that human activity has made the period following the mid-20th century different enough from the rest of the Holocene to consider it a new geological epoch, known as the Anthropocene, which was considered for implementation into the timeline of Earth’s history by the International Commission on Stratigraphy in 2016. In order to constitute the Holocene as an extinction event, scientists must determine exactly when anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions began to measurably alter natural atmospheric levels at a global scale and when these alterations caused changes to global climate. Employing chemical proxies from Antarctic ice cores, researchers have estimated the fluctuations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane gases (CH4) in the earth’s atmosphere for the late Pleistocene and Holocene epochs. Based on studies that estimated fluctuations of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere using chemical proxies from Antarctic ice cores, general argumentation of when the peak of the Anthropocene occurred pertains to the timeframe within the previous two centuries; typically beginning with the Industrial Revolution, when greenhouse gas levels were recorded by contemporary methods at its highest.

An alternative?

Bonobos are one of humankind’s closest living relatives, yet most people are not even aware that bonobos exist. These great apes are complex beings with profound intelligence, emotional expression, and sensitivity. The most unusual and compelling feature of bonobos is their society–matriarchal, egalitarian, and peaceful. Bonobos are also well-known for their creative and abundant sexual activity. Their gentle and amorous nature has led some people to call them the Make Love, Not War primate. The last great ape species discovered, bonobos could be the first to become extinct unless concerted action is taken now to protect them and their rainforest home.

 

The Unfulfilled

The ‘ Unfulfilled’ start as a very personal emotional peice about the death of someone I have loved very deeply whom I would never see again and I would never be able to engage with
a final conversation and understanding.

It had a further incarnation as the statement about the waste of life in the 1914 -18 war.( It inspired a song by Glenn Ross

Clearly it has an even more poignant relevance to the loss of animal and plant species. Each of one of which diminishes Life on our planet.

Broken Wheel of Peace

An unspoken war has been declared.

Fractured

For many centuries often in the name of religion, large elements of Humankind
has launched a relentless assault on the natural world.

Our relationship with Nature is Fractured.

And even the smallest most inoffensive creatures like the hedgehog and the badger have become victims of our “ progress .”

Mother Nature on the Run

 

Dissolution

Angry Eagle

Imagine
An eagle
Flying high above the earth
Looking down with bitter inflamed eyes
As they witness
The destruction of the wild places
The betrayal
Of all life

 

 

Retreating Ice

The effects of global warming in the Arctic, or climate change in the Arctic include rising temperatures, loss of sea ice, and melting of the Greenland ice sheet with a related cold temperature anomaly, observed in recent years. Potential methane release from the region, especially through the thawing of permafrost and methane clathrates, is also a concern. The Arctic warms twice as fast compared to the rest of the world. The pronounced warming signal, the amplified response of the Arctic to global warming, it is often seen as a leading indicator of global warming. The melting of Greenland’s ice sheet is linked to polar amplification. According to a study published in 2016, about 0.5◦C of the warming in the Arctic has been attributed to reductions in sulfate aerosols in Europe since 1980.

The polar regions are important drivers of the world’s climate. When the “everlasting ice” melts at an increasing rate, the rest of the world is affected. Global sea levels are rising, dark meltwater pools absorb warmth from the sun which white ice would reflect back into space. Fresh water flows into the sea, changing ocean currents and the living conditions for marine organisms.

Antarctica has lost ice for the whole of the past 20 years. In addition to the relative proportions of ice that have been lost in the northern and southern hemispheres, we can also see there’s been a definitive acceleration of ice loss in last 20 years. So together Antarctica and Greenland are now contributing three times as much ice to sea levels as they were 20 years ago. Melting ice from both poles has been responsible for a fifth of the global rise in sea levels since 1992, 11 millimeters in all. The rest was caused by the thermal expansion of the warming ocean, the melting of mountain glaciers, small Arctic ice caps and groundwater mining. The share of the polar ice melt, however, is rising.
Greenland is melting fastest.
Although the Greenland ice sheet is only about one tenth the size of Antarctica, today it is contributing twice as much ice to sea levels. Greenland is certainly the larger player, probably just because it is at a more equatorial latitude, further from the North pole than Antarctica from the South pole. The ice on Greenland is also melting on the surface, because of increasing air temperatures.
If the Greenland ice sheet were to melt completely, sea levels could rise by seven meters.

 

Retreating Ice 1

Retreating Ice 2


Retreating Ice 3

Retreating Ice 4 Desolation 1

Retreating Ice 5 Desolation 2

 

“I’ve seen melting ice caps with my own eyes and got very wet in the process. But, as a passionate promoter of economic, social and environmental sustainability, it is pointless campaigning against climate change or to ‘save the Arctic’ without addressing the root cause behind it and virtually every other environmental or indeed social issue we face: our unsustainable numbers on this planet. That is the real inconvenient truth.”

Adrian Hayes World-famous adventurer and sustainability ambassador, Adrian Hayes. will tell of his direct experience of humanity’s effects on the wild places and what we can do in our lifestyle to bring about the changes the planet needs

Urban Beach

I like to use discarded materials in my work both painting and sculpture.
This saves them from their becoming poison in landfill sites.

In this case I was not so pleased to have to use them.
Set on the ground of a discarded body board, all the items were found on Swanage beach.

The name of the work was supplied by the legend printed on the board.
Clear case of disrespect.

 

Beaches worldwide bear witness to the ugly impact of plastic debris on our oceans. Milk jugs, water bottles, cigarette lighters, diaper liners, jar lids, cheap toys, and goodness knows what else festoon tide lines today.
Microscopic bits of plastic have sifted, unseen, throughout the marine environment. The plastic not only litters the beach, it is—like fine bits of sand—becoming the beach.
• Ocean Litter Gives Alien Species an Easy Ride
U.K. researchers in Plymouth and Southampton, England, found that microscopic fragments of nylon, polyester, and seven other types of plastic are widespread in sediments around British shores. Beyond plastic-enriched shorelines, plastic particles are now common in the high seas. “Estimates for the longevity of plastic range from a hundred to a thousand years,We’ve only been mass producing plastics for 40 years, their longevity cannot be fully estimated.
The impact of larger plastic flotsam on marine wildlife is well documented. According to the U.K.’s Marine Conservation Society, a national environmental nonprofit, more than a million seabirds and 100,000 mammals and sea turtles die globally each year from entanglement in, or ingestion of, plastics.
Waterlogged plastic bags look like jellyfish to feeding turtles. Seabirds mistake raw plastic pellets spilled from container ships for fish eggs. Plastic sheeting has even been found in the stomachs of dolphins and whales.
While most plastics are non-biodegradable, the action of waves and the elements work to break plastic objects down into fragments tiny enough to be ingested by countless other marine organisms.
Many plastics contain toxic chemicals, including biocides (to prevent organisms colonizing their surfaces), colourings, and flexibility-enhancing agents known as plasticizers. These substances could be released if the plastics were eaten.
When plastics are floating in the seas, they will accumulate and absorb toxic chemicals that are present from other sources. These are hydrophobic chemicals that hate to be in water and cling to plastic as an alternative. These chemicals may then be transported to organisms that eat the plastic.
Such toxic chemicals include PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene), which are derived from pesticides and other manmade substances. These agents are known endocrine disruptors—chemicals that interfere with the reproductive, developmental, and immune systems of animals.
Endocrine disruptors have been linked to the masculization of female polar bears, egg development in male flatfish, and spontaneous abortions and declines in seal populations. Researchers in Long Beach, California, found that the mass of plastic fragments in parts of the central Pacific Ocean is six times greater than that of resident plankton.
Beach-goers are the biggest polluters, contributing 36.7 percent of litter found. Plastic items make up more than half of the total trash recovered. This included 5,831 plastic bags—the equivalent of 43 bags for each kilometer (0.6 mile) of coastline surveyed. The Marine Conservation Society,point out that every single piece of rubbish has an owner. And every single person can make a difference by making sure they take their rubbish with them when they leave the beach.

Midnight Blues

Despite knowing about biodiversity’s importance for a long time, human activity has been causing massive extinctions. As the Environment New Service, reported back in August 1999 (previous link): “the current extinction rate is now approaching 1,000 times the background rate and may climb to 10,000 times the background rate during the next century, if present trends continue [resulting in] a loss that would easily equal those of past extinctions.”
A major report, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, released in March 2005 highlighted a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth, with some 10-30% of the mammal, bird and amphibian species threatened with extinction, due to human actions. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) added that Earth is unable to keep up in the struggle to regenerate from the demands we place on it.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) notes in a video that many species are threatened with extinction. In addition,
• At threat of extinction are
◦ 1 out of 8 birds
◦ 1 out of 4 mammals
◦ 1 out of 4 conifers
◦ 1 out of 3 amphibians
◦ 6 out of 7 marine turtles
• 75% of genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost
• 75% of the world’s fisheries are fully or over exploited
• Up to 70% of the world’s known species risk extinction if the global temperatures rise by more than 3.5°C
• 1/3rd of reef-building corals around the world are threatened with extinction
• Over 350 million people suffer from severe water scarcity
Is this the kind of world we want, it asks? After all, the short video concludes, our lives are inextricably linked with biodiversity and ultimately its protection is essential for our very survival:

What kind of world do we want?, IUCN, December 2008 (Updated Jan 22, 2010)
In different parts of the world, species face different levels and types of threats. But overall patterns show a downward trend in most cases.

Proportion of all assessed species in different threat categories of extinction risk on the IUCN Red List, based on data from 47,677 species. Source: IUCN, pie chart compiled by Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2010) Global Biodiversity Outlook 3, May 2010
As explained in the UN’s 3rd Global Biodiversity Outlook, the rate of biodiversity loss has not been reduced because the 5 principle pressures on biodiversity are persistent, even intensifying:
1. Habitat loss and degradation
2. Climate change
3. Excessive nutrient load and other forms of pollution
4. Over-exploitation and unsustainable use
5. Invasive alien species
Most governments report to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity that these pressures are affecting biodiversity in their country (see p. 55 of the report).
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains the Red List to assess the conservation status of species, subspecies, varieties, and even selected subpopulations on a global scale.
Extinction risks out pace any conservation successes. Amphibians are the most at risk, while corals have had a dramatic increase in risk of extinction in recent years.

Threat status of comprehensively assessed species by IUCN. Source: IUCN, compiled by Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2010) Global Biodiversity Outlook 3, May 2010, p. 28 (visit for larger image)
The reasons vary from overuse of resource by humans, climate change, fragmented habitats, habitat destruction, ocean acidification and more.

Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 official video, Convention on Biological Diversity, UNEP, May 2010
Research of long term trends in the fossil record suggests that natural speed limits constrain how quickly biodiversity can rebound after waves of extinction. Hence, the rapid extinction rates mean that it could take a long time for nature to recover.
Consider the following observations and conclusions from established experts and institutions summarized by Jaan Suurkula, M.D. and chairman of Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Application of Science and Technology (PSRAST), noting the impact that global warming will have on ecosystems and biodiversity:
The world environmental situation is likely to be further aggravated by the increasingly rapid, large scale global extinction of species. It occurred in the 20th century at a rate that was a thousand times higher than the average rate during the preceding 65 million years. This is likely to destabilise various ecosystems including agricultural systems.
…In a slow extinction, various balancing mechanisms can develop. Noone knows what will be the result of this extremely rapid extinction rate. What is known, for sure, is that the world ecological system has been kept in balance through a very complex and multifaceted interaction between a huge number of species. This rapid extinction is therefore likely to precipitate collapses of ecosystems at a global scale. This is predicted to create large-scale agricultural problems, threatening food supplies to hundreds of millions of people. This ecological prediction does not take into consideration the effects of global warming which will further aggravate the situation.
Industrialized fishing has contributed importantly to mass extinction due to repeatedly failed attempts at limiting the fishing.
A new global study concludes that 90 percent of all large fishes have disappeared from the world’s oceans in the past half century, the devastating result of industrial fishing. The study, which took 10 years to complete and was published in the international journal Nature, paints a grim picture of the Earth’s current populations of such species as sharks, swordfish, tuna and marlin.
…The loss of predatory fishes is likely to cause multiple complex imbalances in marine ecology.
Another cause for extensive fish extinction is the destruction of coral reefs. This is caused by a combination of causes, including warming of oceans, damage from fishing tools and a harmful infection of coral organisms promoted by ocean pollution. It will take hundreds of thousands of years to restore what is now being destroyed in a few decades.
…According to the most comprehensive study done so far in this field, over a million species will be lost in the coming 50 years. The most important cause was found to be climate change.
…NOTE: The above presentation encompasses only the most important and burning global environmental problems. There are several additional ones, especially in the field of chemical pollution that contribute to harm the environment or upset the ecological balance.
Jaan Suurkula, World-wide cooperation required to prevent global crisis; Part one— the problem, Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Application of Science and Technology, February 6, 2004 [Emphasis is original]
Additionally, as reported by UC Berkeley, using DNA comparisons, scientists have discovered what they have termed as an “evolutionary concept called parallelism, a situation where two organisms independently come up with the same adaptation to a particular environment.” This has an additional ramification when it comes to protecting biodiversity and endangered species. This is because in the past what we may have considered to be one species could actually be many. But, as pointed out by scientists, by putting them all in one group, it under-represents biodiversity, and these different evolutionarily species would not be getting the protection otherwise needed.

 

Young Wolf – In the Eye of the snow storm

Originally, the Grey Wolf was the world’s most widely distributed mammal. It has become extinct in much of Western Europe, in Mexico and much of the USA, and their present distribution is more restricted; wolves occur primarily but not exclusively in wilderness and remote areas. Their original worldwide range has been reduced by about one-third by deliberate persecution due to depredation on livestock and fear of attacks on humans. Since about 1970, legal protection, land-use changes and rural human population shifts to cities have arrested wolf population declines and fostered natural recolonization in parts of its range and reintroduction in three areas of USA. Continued threats include competition with humans for livestock and game species, exaggerated concern by the public regarding the threat and danger of wolves, and fragmentation of habitat, with resulting areas becoming too small for populations with long-term viability.
Their original worldwide range has been reduced by about one-third, primarily in developed areas of Europe, Asia, Mexico, and the United States by poisoning and deliberate persecution due to depredation on livestock. Since about 1970, legal protection, land-use changes, and rural human population shifts to cities have arrested wolf population declines and fostered natural recolonization in parts of Western Europe and the United States, and reintroduction in the western United States. Continued threats include competition with humans for livestock, especially in developing countries, exaggerated concern by the public concerning the threat and danger of wolves, and fragmentation of habitat, with resulting areas becoming too small for populations with long-term viability. There is sustainable utilization of the species’ fur in Canada, Alaska, and the former Soviet Union and Mongolia.

Native:
Afghanistan; Albania; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Canada; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Estonia; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Greenland; Hungary; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Libya; Lithuania; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Mexico; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Myanmar; Nepal; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Saudi Arabia; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United States; Uzbekistan; Yemen
Possibly extinct:
Bangladesh
Regionally extinct:
Austria; Belgium; Denmark; Ireland; Japan; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Switzerland; United Kingdom

Obliterating the Elephant

African elephants once numbered in the millions across Africa, but by the mid-1980s their populations
had been devastated by poaching. The status of the species now varies greatly across the continent. Some
populations remain in danger due to poaching for meat and ivory, habitat loss, and conflict with humans.

Every 15 minutes an elephant is killed for ivory.

Black and Blue Elephant Oblivion

How many Elephants can you Find?

 

The Gardner

Keystone species are those species whose importance to an ecosystem’s structure, composition, and function is disproportionately large relative to their abundance. These species can be of any life form, but they have in common an effect on their environment that is always greater than what can be expected based on their biomass. Well-studied examples include sea stars, beavers, bears, corals, hummingbirds and elephants.

Elephants are so important because their future is tied to much of Africa’s rich biodiversity. Scientists consider African elephants to be keystone species as they help to maintain suitable habitats for many other species in savanna and forest ecosystems.
Elephants directly influence forest composition and density, and can alter the broader landscape. In tropical forests, elephants create clearings and gaps in the canopy that encourage tree regeneration. In the savannahs, they can reduce bush cover to create an environment favourable to a mix of browsing and grazing animals.

Many plant species also have evolved seeds that are dependent on passing through an elephant’s digestive tract before they can germinate; it is calculated that at least a third of tree species in west African forests rely on elephants in this way for distribution of their future generation

 

Nature’s Reclamation

Whatever works we have wrought upon it, nature inevitably finds a way…

Ironically, in this painting a combination of industrial paints and sprays were used to create the effect of moss as it reclaims the damage we have done.

Tableaux and other Sculptures

Remains of the last remaining Polar Bear

 

In just 20 years the ice-free periods have increased substantially, cutting short polar bears’ seal hunting seasons. The ice is freezing later too, but it is the earlier spring ice melt that is especially difficult for the bears. They have a narrower timeframe in which to hunt during the critical season when seal pups are born. As a result, average bear weight has dropped by 15 percent, causing reproduction rates to decline. Populations are considerably down.
The retreat of ice has implications beyond the obvious habitat loss. Remaining ice is farther from shore and less stable, also making it less accessible. The larger gap of open water between the ice and land also contributes to rougher wave conditions, making the bears’ swim from shore to sea ice more hazardous and the bears, particularly the cubs, can easily drown.

“I’ve seen melting ice caps with my own eyes and got very wet in the process. But, as a passionate promoter of economic, social and environmental sustainability, it is pointless campaigning against climate change or to ‘save the Arctic’ without addressing the root cause behind it and virtually every other environmental or indeed social issue we face: our unsustainable numbers on this planet. That is the real inconvenient truth.”
Adrian Hayes World-famous adventurer and sustainability ambassador, Adrian Hayes. will tell of his direct experience of humanity’s effects on the wild places and what we can do in our lifestyle to bring about the changes the planet needs at 11.30 today

 

Bagged Rhino

 

Robbed of Existence

(Created using number of found native carved wooden ornaments.)

Pangolins are hunted in many parts of Africa for bush meat.
Chinese medicine uses the pangolin scales in enormous amounts due to unfounded beliefs in East Asia that their ground-up scales can stimulate lactation, cure cancer or asthma. Over the past decade, over one million pangolins are believed to have been illegally trafficked, making it the most trafficked animal in the world.

Coupled with deforestation, this has led to a large decrease in their numbers. Some species, such as Manis pentadactyla have become commercially extinct in certain ranges as a result of overhunting. In November 2010, pangolins were added to the Zoological Society of London’s list of genetically distinct and endangered mammals. All eight species of pangolin are classified by the IUCN as threatened to extinction, while two are classified as critically endangered.

Although pangolins are protected by an international ban on their trade. In the past decade, numerous seizures of illegally trafficked pangolin and pangolin meat have taken place in Asia. In one such incident in April 2013, 10,000 kg (11 short tons) of pangolin meat were seized from a Chinese vessel that ran aground in the Philippines. In another case in August 2016, an Indonesian man was arrested after police raided his home and found over 650 pangolins in freezers on his property. The same threat is reported in many countries in Africa, especially Nigeria, where the animal is at the verge of extinction due to over exploitation.

Rhinos once roamed many places throughout Eurasia and Africa and were known to early Europeans who depicted them in cave paintings. Long ago they were widespread across Africa’s savannahs and Asia’s tropical forests. But today very few rhinos survive outside national parks and reserves. Two species of rhino in Asia—Javan and Sumatran—are Critically Endangered. A subspecies of the Javan rhino was declared extinct in Vietnam in 2011. A small population of the Javan rhino still clings for survival on the Indonesian island of Java. Successful conservation efforts have helped the third Asian species, the greater one-horned (or Indian) rhino, to increase in number. Their status was changed from Endangered to Vulnerable, but the species is still poached for its horn.
In Africa, Southern white rhinos, once thought to be extinct, now thrive in protected sanctuaries and are classified as Near Threatened. But the Northern white rhino subspecies is believed to be extinct in the wild and only a few captive individuals remain in a sanctuary in Kenya. Black rhinos have doubled in number over the past two decades from their low point of 2,480 individuals, but total numbers are still a fraction of the estimated 100,000 that existed in the early part of the 20th century.

 

Solitary Spirit

“ In the elephant

‘.. A beast of the moon with crescent tusks
Who has emerged from the churning of the seas …’

Brahma said he concealed wisdom

The elephant now has a depleted population the size Willesden
And we are not wise “

Heathcote Williams ‘Sacred Elephant’

 

Elephant’s Ghost

 

In 1851
With a perspicacity
Which many
Who since
Would be
Called wise
And powerful
Have not heeded

The red man
who walked free
through the illusion
of the white
and
yellow man’s
confusion
said

‘If all the beasts were gone…
Man would die from a great loneliness of spirit…
For whatever happens to the beasts – soon happens to Man!’

 

Beast of the moon
With crescents in its tusks

Hearing things
We cannot
Over distances
We can only
Imagine

They have trod
earth’s soil
With little to fear
But men

Their greed
Their superstition
Reducing
living beauty
To trinkets
And impotent potions

Spurious cures
For their sickness

living ugliness
That lies
Within eyes
Which can Only see
Worth in
material possessions

Not in spirit
And joy
Of the power
embodied
In its living
awesome frame

Or understand
It’s part
In the world
So much deeper

And greater
Than the one
Men create

Elephant ghosts
Haunt the dying
Of the world

 

‘At night
when the streets
of your cities and villages
are silent
and you think them deserted,
they will throng
with the returning hosts
that once filled them
and still love this beautiful land.’

 

 

Abandon Ship?

Two by two the animals are being forced to abandon Spaceship Earth.

(The animal figures are available to purchase at £1.50 ea from No More Dodos.)