Showing posts with label Conservation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conservation. Show all posts

June 17, 2015

All The Frogs From Egypt

So what happened to all the swarms of frogs from the Bible when in Exodus, G-d struck the Egyptians with the 2nd plague of frogs (reminds me of the children's song: "Frogs here! Frogs there! Frogs are jumping everywhere!")? 

I saw this sticker on a pole in downtown D.C. advertising for this Frog called the Rabb's Fringe Limbed Tree Frog, where there is just 1 left in the entire world. 


Talking about facing extinction!


And this interesting website called PhotoArk by National Geographic freelance photgrapher, Joel Sartore (noted at the bottom of the sticker) sells all sorts of amazing photos of endangered animal species to promote conservation. 


One of them has his "greatest hits" featured with 90 favorite images and sells for $225--what awesome creatures G-d has created.


I remember reading in the Wall Street Journal how since1970 the world's wildlife numbers have dropped by more than half (52%)--"in rivers, on land, and in the seas." 


That is crazy!


Surely, we need to preserve life and create a sustainable future--my G-d, what are we doing to world and these beautiful creatures? ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 1, 2014

This Is Our World

This is some of the unbelievable crazy news just from today--check this out:

- Russia accuses U.S. that the rallies of masses of people seeking freedom and human rights in Hong Kong and Ukraine are really CIA plots.

- Ebola enters the U.S. ten days ago by a man who arrived from known, striken Liberia.

- "The Earth lost half of its wildlife in the past four decades."

- Oklahoma man, who recently tried to convert colleagues, beheads one of them at work. 

- Man who is armed felon (with "three felony convictions for assault and battery") gets within feet of and potentially endangers President on elevator within days of another man with a knife, who climbs fence, enters White House and skips about and into the East Room.

- Report that if just a "100-meter wide asteroid hit Washington, D.C....'it could wipe out everything within the Beltway.'"

So in case you didn't have enough to worry about ..this is our world and what we are doing to it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 28, 2012

Governing the Internet Commons

Recently, I've been watching a terrific series called America: The Story of Us (12 episodes)--from the History Channel. 

It is a beautiful portrayal of the the founding and history of America.

One theme though that repeats again and again is that as a nation, we use the common resources and deplete them until near exhaustion. 

The show portrays an America of lush forests with billions of trees that are chopped down for timber, herds of 30 million buffalo slaughtered for their hides, rollings plains of cotton for a thriving clothing industry that is over-planted, a huge whaling industry used for oil that is over-fished.  

Unfortunately, as we know, the story is not just historical, but goes on to modern-day times, with fisheries depleted, whole species of animals hunted to extinction, energy resources furiously pumped and mined to a foreseen depletion, city streets turned into slushy slums, and national forests carelessly burned down, and more. 

The point is what is called the "Tragedy of the Commons"--where items held in trust for everyone is misused, overused, and ultimately destroyed. With private property, people are caretakers with the incentive to maintain or raise the value to profit later. However, with common property, people grab whatever they can now, in order to profit from it before someone else gets it first. 

This phenomenon was first laid out in the Torah (Bible) with a law for a "Shabbath Year" called Shmita mandating that people let fields (i.e agriculture) lie fallow for a full year every 7 years and similarly, the law of Jubilee (i.e. Yovel), that slaves be freed and loans forgiven every 50 years. I think that the idea is to regulate our personal consumption habits and return what the historical 
"commons" back to its normal state of freedom from exploitation.  

This notion was echoed by ecologist Garrett Harden in the journal Science in 1968, where he described European herders overgrazing common land with their cows to maximize their short-term individual profits at the expense of longer-term term societal benefits. Harden suggested that regulation or privatization can help to solve the "Tragedy of the Commons." 

In the 21st century, we see the modern equivalent of the commons with the Internet, which is an open, shared networking resource for our computing and telecommunications.Without protection, we have the Wild West equivalent with things like spam, malware, and attacks proliferating--clogging up the network and causing disruptions and destruction, and where some people use more than their fair share 

Here are some examples of the Tragedy of the Internet:

- Symantec reports that even with spam decreasing with the shutdown of spam-hosting sites, in 2011, it is still 70% of all emails.

- McAfee reports that malware peaked as of the first half of 2010, with 10 million new pieces.

- Kaspersky reports that web-based attacks were up to 580 million in 2010--8 times the amount of the previous year.

- Verizon Wireless reports 3% of their users use 40% of their bandwidth.

If we value the Internet and want to continue using and enjoying it, then like with our other vital resources, we need to take care of it through effective governance and prudent resource management.  

This means that we do the following:

1) Regulation--manage the appropriate use of the Internet through incentives and disincentives for people to behave civilly online. For example, if someone is abusing the system sending out millions or billions of spam messages, charge them for it!

2) Privatization--create ownership over the Internet. For example, do an Internet IPO and sell shares in it--so everyone can proverbially, own a piece of it and share financially in it's success (or failures). 

3) Security Administration--enhance security of the Internet through public and private partnership with new tools, methods, and advanced skills sets. This is the equivalent of sending out the constable or sheriff to patrol the commons and ensure people are doing the right thing, and if not then depending on who the violating actor(s) are take appropriate law enforcement or military action.

Only by managing the Internet Commons, can we protect this vital resource for all to use, enjoy, and even profit by. 

(Source Photo: here)

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