Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

Home · Articles · News · Region Watch · Bird species hit hard
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Bird species hit hard

- July 26th, 2007
A new analysis by the National Audubon Society reveals that some of America’s most familiar birds have taken a nosedive over the past 40 years, with some populations down as much as 80%.
The dramatic declines are attributed to the loss of grasslands, forests, wetlands, and other critical habitats from environmental threats such as sprawl, energy development, and the spread of industrialized agriculture. These threats are compounded by the escalating effects of global warming.
“These are not rare or exotic birds we’re talking about—these are the birds that visit our feeders and congregate at nearby lakes and seashores and yet they are disappearing day by day,” said Audubon chair and former EPA administrator, Carol Browner. “Their decline tells us we have serious work to do, from protecting local habitats to addressing the huge threats from global warming.”
Species on Audubon’s list of 20 Common Birds in Decline have seen their populations plummet at least 54% since 1967. The following are among those hardest hit:
• Northern Bobwhite populations are down 82% and have largely vanished from northern parts of their range in Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and New England.
• Evening Grosbeaks, down nearly 78%.
• Northern Pintail populations in the continental U.S. are down nearly 78% due.
• Greater Scaup populations that breed in Alaska, but winter in the Great Lakes and along Atlantic to Pacific Coasts are being hard hit by global warming induced melting of permafrost and invasion of southern species; populations are down 75%.
• Eastern Meadowlarks, down 71%, are declining as grasslands are lost to agriculture.
• Common Terns, have dropped 70%.
• Snow Buntings, which breed in Alaska and northern Canada, are down 64%.
• Rufous Hummingbird populations have declined 58% as a result of the loss of forest habitat to logging and development.
• Whip-poor-wills, down 57%.
• Little Blue Herons now number 150,000 in the U.S. and 110,000 in Mexico, down 54% in the U.S. Their decline is driven by wetland loss from development and degradation of water quality, which limits their food supply.
Agricultural and development pressures have driven grassland birds to some of the worst declines. “Direct habitat loss continues to be a leading cause for concern,” said Audubon Bird Conservation Director Greg Butcher, PhD. “But now we’re seeing the added impact of large-scale environmental problems and policies.”
 
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