Morning chance of guilt, followed by afternoon desperation
Did you have your morning cup of coffee today? Probably shouldn’t have:
The international trade in Central American coffee has spurred forest clearing that eradicates habitat for the endangered [black-handed spider] monkey and, ultimately, the monkey itself.
The monkey’s woes come despite its protected status. This spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) shelters behind the legal shield of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, meaning it cannot be openly sold, which is meant to keep it from becoming a pet (yes, it’s that cute). But no such protection exists for its habitat, which may ultimately make any other protections moot. Not even the monkey’s amazing gripping tail can help it hang on in the face of forest clearing.
And that’s why this spider monkey is just one of at least 25,000 animals currently threatened around the globe.
Did you drive to work? So did everyone else even though they know they shouldn’t:
[A]bout half in the poll said they would find it difficult in the next year to take steps such as buying a more fuel-efficient car or carpooling. This, despite knowing that such changes would make a difference. A clear majority — 64 percent — said Americans use a lot of energy and are unwilling to reduce their demand, making that the most frequently blamed reason for the country’s energy problems
Smaller steps, such as turning off the lights, turning down the heat, installing more energy-saving appliances and driving less, were the more common ways respondents said they chose to reduce energy in the last year.
“Americans are extremely wasteful,” said Army veteran Jerry Winter, 39, of Arnold, Mo., reached during a vacation.
Did you prepare for the increasingly likely collapse of civilization as we know it and the ensuing era marked by resource limitations up to and including coffee and gasoline? Maybe you should.
The earth could be nearing a point at which sweeping environmental changes, possibly including mass extinctions, would undermine human welfare, 22 prominent biologists and ecologists warned on Wednesday.
Acknowledging in a new paper that both the likelihood and timing of such a planetary “state shift” were uncertain, the scientists nonetheless described warning signs that it could arrive within a few human generations, if not sooner.
Our Dave Roberts has a whole lot more on this last point. Have a nice afternoon.