The Eco-Apocalypse in Indonesia That No One is Talking About


The Eco-Apocalypse in Indonesia That No One is Talking About

by Alex Pietrowski, Staff, Waking Times

Some of the most devastating fires the world has ever seen are happening right now in Indonesia, and this unfolding disaster is getting little attention. Annual fires during the dry season have become typical in the last 20 years or so as slash and burn rainforest farming techniques have ravaged this once pristine part of the world, but now this year they are catastrophic. Some 5000 fires have burned in Borneo alone in just the last 2 months.

“A great tract of Earth is on fire. It looks as you might imagine hell to be. The air has turned ochre: visibility in some cities has been reduced to 30 metres. Children are being prepared forevacuation in warships; already some have choked to death. Species are going up in smoke at an untold rate. It is almost certainly the greatest environmental disaster of the 21st century – so far.” – George Monbiot

This year’s fires are shaping up to be some of the worst fires on record, as a stretch of some 5000 km of land is burning, casting a deadly cloud of particulate haze over millions of people. These types of fires are unique because it is not just the trees and vegetation that burn, as most of the fires are occurring in the vast tropical peatlands of the rainforest.

Here, the land itself actually catches fire, not just trees and vegetation, because great swaths of the forest sit on enormous eat domes that act as fuel under such dry conditions that have been exacerbated this year by the El Nino weather phenomenon. When the layers of peat are penetrated by fire, then they can smolder for weeks or even months continually releasing toxic gasses which extend for hundreds of miles.

“Peat is formed under very wet conditions, when dead plant material is unable to decay in the flooded environment. This leads to a build-up of partially decomposed organic matter, which over time accumulates in peat domes, like the Sabangau Forest… Here, the peat is around 26,000 years old and measures more than 12 metres deep in the centre. ” [Source]

Why are the fires so intense this year as compared to previous years? Journalist George Monbiot, author of Poisoned Arrowswrites, for the Guardian:

Indonesia’s forests have been fragmented for decades by timber and farming companies. Canals have been cut through the peat to drain and dry it. Plantation companies move in to destroy what remains of the forest to plant monocultures of pulpwood, timber and palm oil. The easiest way to clear the land is to torch it. Every year, this causes disasters. But in an extreme El Niño year like this one, we have a perfect formula for environmental catastrophe. – George Monbiot

Indonesia Fire
The burning of land by both corporations and by small land holders has become a serious social and political issue, but the greatest damage may be inflicted upon wildlife and other invaluable treasures.

“The fires are destroying treasures as precious and irreplaceable as the archaeological remains being levelled by Isis. Orangutans, clouded leopards, sun bears, gibbons, the Sumatran rhinoceros and Sumatran tiger, these are among the threatened species being driven from much of their range by the flames. But there are thousands, perhaps millions, more.” -George Monbiot

Tragically, the fires are devastating Indonesian Borneo and places like Gunung Palung National Park, home to some of the largest populations of orangutans on the planet. Several organizations are working tirelessly to evacuate trapped animals, but the toll on wildlife in Indonesia is already staggering. Some estimate that as many as 20,000 orangutans may be wiped out.

“The situation is dire and deteriorating by the day.” – Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project

orangutans-fire-MAIN

orangutans-614964

Here is a short clip of aerial drone footage showing some of the burn areas of the forest in the last couple of months. The burned areas surrounding villages extend for miles and the loss in some areas is staggering, total. Footage is courtesy of GreenPeace International.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

The effect on cities and surrounding urban areas from the haze and particulate from the smoke is causing an extreme emergency, affecting millions of people. In the city of Palangkaraya, visibility has dropped to as low as 2o meters, and fatalities from respiratory problems are rising.

Indonesia Haze

Indonesia Fires

Some are already calling this the greatest ecological catastrophe of the 21 st century so far, and some are even calling it a crime against humanity, as the fires have stoked political flames as well between regional governments. Yet this disaster is receiving very little coverage in the mainstream media, which is, as always, distracting us by featuring ridiculous news about scandals, celebrities and political candidates.

Sadly, this is what the future looks like with virtually unchecked deforestation.

Finally, here is footage from Borneo in support of the efforts OUTROP, the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project who is working to stop the fires and protect people and wildlife. Please support their effort here.

About the Author

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and Offgrid Outpost, a provider ofstorable food and emergency kits. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.

Sources:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/10/151029-wildfires-smoke-asthma-indonesia-california-health/
http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/614964/Experts-warn-20-000-orangutans-are-on-verge-of-being-burned-out-of-forest-retreats
http://outrop.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/borneo-is-burning-but-why.html
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-17/southeast-asia-haze-what-is-behind-the-annual-outbreak/6783688
http://www.outrop.com/forest-fire-appeal-2015.html
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/indonesia-forest-fires/2165346.html
http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/10/22/orangutans-are-dying-indonesia-burns

This article (The Eco-Apocalypse in Indonesia That No One is Talking About) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2015/10/30/the-eco-apocalypse-in-indonesia-that-no-one-is-talking-about/

3 Pit Bulls rescued from Drain: A Cocoa police officer found three pit bulls huddled in a storm drain on the side of the highway Tuesday morning.


Pitbulls rescued from drain

COCOA, Fla. – A Cocoa police officer found three pit bulls huddled in a storm drain on the side of the highway Tuesday morning.

http://news.blog.wftv.com/2015/10/27/cocoa-officer-finds-3-pit-bulls-huddled-in-sewer-drain/ VIDEO

Officer Matt Rush said he was driving by the 2800 block of West King Street near the Chevy dealership when he heard dogs barking.

WATCH: 3 pit bulls rescued from drain

“One day, you could be rescuing people a baby that needs help, the next minute you’re going to a dog rescue,” Rush said.

Rush stopped to investigate and found the three pit bulls. Rush called dispatch for animal control officers to respond.

Brevard County Animal Services realized the storm grate needed to be removed, so Cocoa Fire Rescue was called in.

Firefighters were able to pry open the storm grate and the dogs were safely removed and turned over to Brevard County Animal Services.

“My first thought was, ‘How in the world did they get in there, and how did I manage to hear them?” Rush said.  “I think they may have gotten in from a manhole across the street. It appears they dug their way in and then got stuck.  Fortunately, they came out in good shape.”

It is not known how long the dogs were trapped or if they belonged to someone.

“We just work with them to make sure we could get the animals out safe,” said Lexi Applegate of the Brevard County Fire Rescue.

Brevard County Animal Services is caring for the dogs and trying to find the owners….

http://news.blog.wftv.com/2015/10/27/cocoa-officer-finds-3-pit-bulls-huddled-in-sewer-drain/

Deadly force allowed within reason, trial of cop who shot Sammy Yatim hears


Police are legally allowed to use deadly force but only if it’s both reasonable and necessary, the trial of a Toronto officer accused of gunning down a knife-wielding teenager heard Friday.

Source: Deadly force allowed within reason, trial of cop who shot Sammy Yatim hears

The Lingering Stench of Death: Witnessing the Developers’ War on Florida’s Black Bears, October 24-25, 2015


 

The Lingering Stench of Death: Witnessing the Developers’ War on Florida’s Black Bears, October 24-25, 2015

This photo-essay contains images of an extremely graphic nature, which have intentionally been placed “below the fold” on this page. They are displayed here not for the purpose of gratuitous sensationalism, but to expose to the civilized portion of mankind the true impact of a policy-making structure utterly corrupted by powerful financial interests and of a culture possessed by demonic anthropocentrism. These images document the death of 18 beautiful, innocent, sentient creatures who were denied the right to follow their unique paths through life in an environment that was ideally suited to their wants and needs. Every drop of blood symbolizes not merely a loss of life but a loss of decency, a perversion of science, an affront to democracy, and an indelible stain on the character of the State of Florida.
http://www.dailykumquat.com/florida-developers-war-on-blac…/

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Pieter Cornelis Sweermans Foto.
Pieter Cornelis Sweermans Foto.

In Memoriam

[Every image can, and SHOULD, be viewed full-size by clicking on it. (Images open in a new window/tab) For live weights, reduce by 5.6lbs for the lifting net and increase by 25-30lbs if field-dressed. All photographs by author, taken at the Altoona Check Station in the Central Bear Management Unit.]

Murdered Florida Black Bear 1

Murdered Florida Black Bear

Murdered Florida Black Bear

 

Murdered Florida Black Bears

 

Murdered Florida Black Bear.

 

Murdered Florida Black Bear

 

Murdered Florida Black Bear

 

Murdered Florida Black Bear

 

Murdered Florida Black Bear

 

Murdered Bears

 

Florida Bear Killers

 

Murdered Florida Black Bear

 

Murdered Florida Black Bear

 

Murdered Florida Black Bear

 

Murdered Florida Black Bear

 

Murdered Florida Black Bear

 

Murdered Florida Black Bear

 

Murdered Florida Black Bear

 

Bear Hunter in Violation