Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Plaintiff Coyote: Group helps communities put rights of nature into law









The only thing that environmental laws regulate are environmentalists.” ~ Thomas Linzey, 2014 Earth at Risk conference

Thomas Linzey co-founded the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund in the early 1990s to help communities seeking environmental justice as they fought against factory hog farms, fracking, and pipelines moving into Pennsylvania.

At the 2014 Earth at Risk conference, Linzey laid out how he and his team of lawyers wasted 10 years thinking that American environmental regulations were the best in the world and just needed more lawyers to enforce them.

As he worked to help communities — free of charge — he found that the laws related to pipelines, huge hog farms and fracking had been written by the very groups he was fighting. High-paid lawyers for the 20,000-hog farm and the pipeline thanked him for finding flaws that allowed them to bill more hours and write more ironclad laws.

“The environmental regulation machine is about permitting what would otherwise be illegal,” says Linzey. Filling wetlands, manure pools, nicitinoids, poisons and sewage applied to food crops, massive killing of animals using packs of dogs, lead shot poisoning wildlife, and steel jaw traps — all these atrocities are put into law by the few to benefit themselves.

After 10 years of working within the legal system, the group was stopping nothing. In fact, Linzey describes 40 years of the environmental movement made stagnant, unable to bring proportionate action to the crises we face. Environmentalists and animal activists are banging their heads against laws that were crafted to exclude them from any power.

Activists have bought in to pressure politics, hoping some legislator or famous person or group will descend to help us. It does not work.

Linzey says we have to force change: “The problem is our own governments. The problem is our own state. The problem is the apparatus of law that has been put into place. You actually have to break it.

“We think everything has to be rooted out. Something has to be built anew.”

As people in Pennsylvania faced unbearable conditions, Linzey educated them that the Constitution of the United States is based on English common law, which is not democratic at all. It was designed to impose colonial control on the many by the few.

“The United States Constitution is one of the least democratic governing documents on the planet…. It gives rights of property and commerce above the rights of people, communities and nature. Nature is not mentioned. People are only mentioned as bonded labor.”

He found it very difficult to get it through people’s heads that until they forced change in the structure of law, they would never make progress to protect themselves or their land, air, water or wildlife.

The state of Pennsylvania illuminated the problem by sending in the attorney general to a little township as a show of force against the community. The women of the citizen group escorted that attorney general from the room and said, “We have passed a law and we do not need your help.” Next, the state sued, and 48 hours later, the township passed a law prohibiting the attorney general from intervening. It was all caught by photographers and the press and circulated widely, exposing the state acting against citizens’ best interest.

CELDF was able to force change with rural conservative Pennsylvania people only when they had been given no quarter and had enough.

Now, the law firm has helped over 100 communities draft the rights of nature into law.

Today, farm animals, wildlife, public and private lands are all property. Under current law, that gives owners the right to destroy them. Linzey says, “A property-based system is why everything is going to hell in the first place. Ecosystems have to have rights … a big part of the transition that has to take place is to shift them from being property to being rights-bearing.”

CELDF has worked with Ecuador and Nepal to draft constitutions acknowledging nature rights. Bolivia expanded rights with the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth and All Beings.

“Article 3: Every being has:

“(a) The right to exist;

“(b) The right to habitat or a place to be;

“(c) The right to participate in accordance with its nature in the ever-renewing processes of Mother Earth

“Article 4:

“Every animal has the right to live free from torture, cruel treatment or punishment by human beings.”

It is not just the humans within the community that must have rights — the rivers, the streams, forests, oceans Was , farm animals, pets, the bears and the wolves and the deer have rights too. They have been abused and slaughtered for centuries. They cannot do this for themselves.

Linzey gave a final outraged call to arms: “People say, ‘We just want a voice — a seat at the table…. We OWN THE F—— TABLE — It’s our table. We decide who gets served. It is about making the rules, writing the script. Coming to grips with a system that is not democratic.” *


ALERT: The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is sponsoring its First U.S. Rights of Nature Symposium Friday, Oct. 27, in New Orleans, Louisiana, at Tulane University. The all-day program will be livestreamed and is free0 to attend. I hope all of you who care about wildlife and this fragile planet will attend or listen to the livestream to learn how to break the deadlock that has excluded us from protecting our beautiful wildlife and this fragile earth.


Please help create the Wisconsin Sacred Bear Sanctuary and Education Center. More information: Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic

* This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on October 22, 2017.



Posted by on October 25, 2017 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: DNR-NRA psychopathy is destroying web of life


Bing Images

It has been said that testosterone is the most dangerous drug in the world.” ~ caller on the Thom Hartmann show

I was awakened Saturday morning, Sept. 30, at 6:45 a.m., by a barrage of gunfire around my rural property north of Portage. I counted 120 shots fired close by over the next two hours — half of them semi-automatic. It was the same on Sunday morning, and Monday. My wild friends who live in my woods are surrounded and killed, lured to food plots off my land. I am not safe to walk out my door.

The semi-automatic guns that were used in the Las Vegas massacre are also used in killing hundreds of thousands of innocent wildlife in Wisconsin every year. This gets little press and less compassion.

Until we have the moral substance to stop the state from encouraging everyone from children to adults to kill baby bears and other animals, the killing of wildlife that enriches the weapons industry, National Rifle Association, and state natural resources departments will continue

Four years ago, the Wisconsin DNR and Natural Resources Board banned me, evidently forever, from speaking at their monthly board meetings. They want no nuisance voice opposing their killing agenda.

The Minnesota DNR apparently has the same obsession with squelching compassion for wildlife.

State natural resources agencies, and the hunters and trappers that control them, will go to great lengths to maintain the power to destroy our public lands and kill defenseless wildlife. Will the public stand up when only 10 percent of wildlife is left? When?

Lynn Rogers, now in his late 70s, spent the past 50 years studying black bears. He opened the North American Bear Education Center in Ely, Minnesota, over a decade ago to celebrate the sweet magnificence of living bears. Rogers’ scientific advocacy has hunters and their hunter-run DNR in Minnesota all in a tizzy because they want to continue recreational bear kills. The DNR proposed a ban on bear feeding (which ultimately was not enacted) — and it just so happens that Rogers feeds bears and takes groups out all summer to meet them and learn how nonthreatening and peaceful they are.

The Timberjay newspaper, serving part of northern Minnesota, documented the DNR’s assault on March 19, 2015:

“The agency (DNR) is in the midst of an expensive and ongoing legal battle with Ely bear researcher Lynn Rogers, and it just so happens that Rogers is funding his Wildlife Research Institute and his legal fight primarily through bear study courses. Rogers can just about guarantee close-up bear experiences to course participants because he feeds bears on the institute’s grounds. A ban on bear feeding would pretty much shut down Rogers’ operations, something the DNR has sought for years.

“There’s no question that there’s bad blood between top agency officials and Rogers. The agency has worked overtime to damage Rogers’ reputation, and it’s even stood in the way of the North American Bear Center, whose board Rogers chairs, as it has attempted to obtain new bears for its exhibit.”

The article continues: “The government shouldn’t be permitted to shut down what is, in effect, a small business, simply because they don’t like the guy who runs it, or disagree with his message.

“As a local business, Rogers’ Wildlife Research Institute has used the growing public interest in ecotourism to attract hundreds of visitors to the area each year, most for stays of several days.

“It’s the same interest that draws thousands of visitors each year to the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary, another facility in our region that feeds bears, much to the delight of the public.”

Rogers has found that sharing food with bears reduces bear/people conflicts: “One thing we are learning is that habituation and food-conditioning are not what make nuisance bears. Hunger does,” he wrote on Facebook in 2012. What a novel idea! Humans are not the only species on planet earth that should be able to eat.

Rogers forged respectful relationships with research bears that he radio-collared with kindness, not anesthesia. Then the DNR cut Rogers’ permits to radio-collar bears from an unlimited number to 15, then to 12, and then 10 — ending his ability to monitor family lineage and histories.

Rogers’ nightly report from the center Jan. 1, 2016, lays out more of the sabotage:

“As the record shows, Commissioner Tom Landwehr decided to pull my permit in early 2011 when he became angry about letters requesting protection for radio-collared bears. His staff told him the DNR had no cause to pull my permit. The commissioner then spent over $500,000 of taxpayer money to create a ‘cause.’ “

Lynn Rogers documented the 2012 hunting season: “That’s the year the DNR gave him (a hunter guide) a key to a gate a mile from my research center. The key gave him access to my property boundaries. He had his hunters surround the property, and the killing began. …. The community didn’t feel so kindly. The gated road had been their safe place during bear-hunting season. It was where they could hike, walk their dogs, and enjoy the bug-free out-of-doors without fear of being shot.”

Tensions escalated between the DNR, hunters and the bear center radio-collared bears.

In September 2013, hunters homed in on the research bears around the center, killing Dot, wounding Aster, and killing June — a 10-year-old bear who was dear to Rogers and the center’s staff and the mother to two young cubs named Ember and Cole. Rogers wrote in his nightly report: “June is irreplaceable in our lifetimes.”

The wildlife of the planet is irreplaceable. The DNRs, NRA, and politics of destruction are manmade and replaceable. Get involved now.


A Wisconsin Film Premiere: “Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest” screens at the Barrymore Oct. 18 during Wolf Week.

Urgent Wildlife Alert: Please demand that The SHARE Act, H.R. 3668, be withdrawn permanently. It would prematurely strip protection from wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region and allow the slaughter of denning bears and wolves in Alaska’s national parks. It would promote polar bear trophy hunting. And it would eliminate the ability of the EPA and Interior Department to get toxic lead out of ammunition and fishing tackle. The bill contains giveaways to the NRA, including repealing regulations on silencers and armor-piercing bullets, as well as provisions that would harm wildlife, the environment and public safety. Please call your legislators and sign this petition.

Senators’ numbers: Tammy Baldwin +1 (202) 224-5653; Ron Johnson +1 (202) 224-5323


Bear lovers can help create a Wisconsin bear sanctuary and education center located 35 miles north of Madison on my property by going to the Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic website home page, where there is more information on how to help.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on October 8, 2017



Posted by on October 21, 2017 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Bear biologist makes a devil’s bargain

Research bears Faith and Hope

Part I of II

“In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” ~ Baba Dioum

Over the seven years of writing the Madravenspeak column, and 18 years since being elected to the so-called Conservation Congress, I have watched in despair as more and more hunters and trappers are recruited and trained, military-style, to wage war on the dwindling wildlife in Wisconsin. When ego is tied to killing wildlife, it is a tough nut to crack. DNR policies are emptying our woods and making them violent.

As one reader wrote in, “We need a Citizen DNR to monitor all the abuse going on.

The DNR and hunters further degraded themselves in 2003 and 2006 by pushing legalization of fenced enclosures where captive baby bears, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, raccoons and rabbits have packs of dogs loosed on them 16 hours a day every day of their lives until killed by the dogs. This is family entertainment — dogs attacking helpless trapped wildlife, “training” to kill indigenous wildlife. There is no oversight and few of the supposedly required quarterly reports from the owners of these enclosures are filed.

Our wildlife are chased, tortured and killed out of sight.

Back in 2000, Tom Solin, lead special investigator for the DNR, invited me to be on the Captive Bear and Cougar committee to improve conditions for wildlife in this state. He told me that coyotes should never be included in captive hounding enclosures, as they cannot escape the fence or hide from the dogs. He told me they are torn apart on the ground. The improvements we made were gutted as soon as he retired.

Two bears can be put into a cement-floored 400-square-foot dog pen all their lives in Wisconsin (and many are). I met Jeff Traska while on the committee. He was a former bear hunter who had adopted a bear and pioneered the first open-top enclosure in Wisconsin, starting with one acre and a pond, now expanded to four bears in six or seven acres of woods. Traska describes himself as a “reformed sport hunter” who realized he was fascinated with bears. Part of his mission is “dispelling the myths and misconceptions that have led to the widespread, unnecessary persecution of bears.”

I asked Traska why the change of heart from bear killer to bear lover, and he said, “I realized I did not learn anything about bears after they were dead in the back of my truck.

Lynn Rogers, the famed bear biologist who has studied black bears longer than any person on earth, has made extraordinary compromises to try to help black bears. He wanted to be the Jane Goodall of bear research, observing them in their natural environments, and learning from them who they actually are. What he found astounded him. He found peaceful creatures, bluff-charging to try to get away from humans who have done them so much harm. He forged a fierce love of and close relationship with wild bears.

In 1968, Rogers, as a graduate student, started the first study of black bears in Minnesota. He wrote: “It was sponsored mainly by the Minneapolis Big Game Club and eventually by the NRA, the Wildlife Management Institute, the Boone and Crockett Club, the National Wildlife Federation, and various sportsmen’s organizations.”

Rogers describes the situation for bears when he started his study: “Bear numbers were low. They had been bountied for years. When the bounty finally was lifted in 1965, bear status became the same as rats. They were varmints to be killed at any time, in any manner, by any person 52 weeks per year (like coyotes are killed here now). The common practice was for residents to gut-shoot them so they would die away from residences, sometimes months later, without the need to bury the carcasses.”

Even as he was learning the peaceful, intelligent character of bears, Lynn worked with hunters to “elevate” the status of bears to trophy so that seasons would be established and rules set, rules that required powerful-enough weapons to kill rather than just wound. Lynn claims that he respected hunters and they respected his research.

It was a devil’s bargain that would come back to haunt him later as some of his favorite research bears, bears he and his students cherished, were targeted and killed by hunters with DNR approval.

Being killed for trophy taxidermy is still a death sentence. Now trophy-hunting bears is big business. In Wisconsin more black bears are killed annually than anywhere on earth. Some 60 to 70 percent of the males killed 2004-2014 were cubs 1-2 years old. That data correlate to a bear population crash, according to the top biologist in Minnesota.

Part II of this column, to be published Oct. 8, will explore how that cooperation with the DNR and hunters would change, from the hunter side, as the agency and hunters resented the growing knowledge of citizens learning the true nature of bears and falling in love with them.


Action Alerts:

Bear lovers can help create a Wisconsin bear sanctuary and education center on my property, 35 miles north of Madison. Several posts added to the Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic website over the past couple of months provide further information regarding plans for the bear sanctuary and education center, along with information on how you can help this project become a reality.

Please sign the petition to End Lion Farming in South Africa raising 8,000 lions for people to kill in fenced enclosures).

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on September 24, 2017.

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Posted by on October 3, 2017 in Uncategorized


Tomorrow Night, October 4, 2017! NATURE Monthly Newsletter | Sept 27, 2017 | Baby elephants, foxes and more!

Nature on PBS is promoting a few of their wildlife shows. Highlighted below are those that I wanted bring to your attention. Please network and ENJOY! I will try to let you know of other PBS shows that may be of interest. For those of you who are interested in viewing the Nature website click here. Patricia



Next on NATURE…

Naledi: One Little Elephant


A moving story of how an orphaned baby elephant beat the odds.


 Fox Tales


Discover the Red fox, an intelligent and adaptable canid that is thriving in cities and pushing northward into the territory of its Arctic cousins.


New on the Blog…

Should I rescue stranded animals?

Experts warn that trying to rescue animals marooned by a hurricane could cause more harm than good.


Season 36 Sneak Preview

Catch a sneak peek of Naledi and other upcoming films in NATURE’s 36th season.



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Posted by on October 3, 2017 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Letting hunters kill bear cubs is a priority for Trump and Wisconsin’s DNR


World famous bear biologist Lynn Rodgers with a wild research bear and her cub

It appears you could, through baiting, really wipe out the bear population very quickly.’’ — Dave Garshelis, top Minnesota bear biologist in 2017

Dave Garshelis, the top DNR bear biologist in Minnesota, said that their bear population has crashed due to overkill the past six years. However, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources continues to promote killing nearly twice as many bears here the past eight years.

The Minnesota Star Tribune reported: “Over the past two decades, Minnesota’s population of black bears has plunged steeply, from 25,000 to an estimated range of 12,000 to 15,000. Tighter hunting restrictions have aimed, without much luck, to reverse the trend.”

Instead of increasing quotas for 2017, the Minnesota DNR tightened them. With natural food supplies again in short supply this year, Garshelis said, “It took a while for the state to recognize that Minnesota’s bear population had crashed.” He also said: “They were very vulnerable last year. They were easy to bait.’’

Baiters drop tons of donuts and breads in Wisconsin woods, all summer long, disrupting natural feeding patterns of all wildlife. A crash in Wisconsin’s bear population is politically not going to be acknowledged — science and humane stewardship, of course, be damned.

Hunting is by far the biggest mortality factor for bears. The Minnesota DNR issued 9,500 permits in 2010, but only 3,850 last year, and 3,350 this year. Minnesota’s highest annual kill in six years was 2,641 bears.

The Wisconsin DNR continues to kill off nearly twice that many every year — 4,646 in 2012, 3,952 in 2013, 4,526 in 2014, 4,198 in 2015, 4,682 in 2016. The DNR is destroying wildlife in this state to recruit and satisfy more hunters to keep its exclusive power base as a killing business.

“When the age of harvested bears declines significantly, as it has in Minnesota, it’s an indication that the overall population is dropping,” Garshelis said. “In 2016, half the male bears taken here were either 1 or 2 years old. Half the female bears were age 3 or younger, meaning they never matured to reproductive age.”

For over a decade, most of the bears killed in Wisconsin have been less than 2 years old. When I started raising the alarm about this, years ago, the DNR kept monitoring age of bears killed, but stopped including that data in its “harvest” reports.

Wisconsin bears no doubt are also faced with natural food supplies in short supply, yet the DNR has issued the highest number of killing tags ever for 2017: 12,850. It is hardly scientific or humane, but hey, running dogs and killing wildlife is “just fun,” according to this Wisconsin Bear Hounding facebook video. Although the DNR imposes a limit of six dogs that can terrorize bears, one can see at least 12 in the video attacking a young bear.

Deregulation and no oversight are the DNR’s game.

The Minnesota DNR overestimated their bear mothers’ ability to create enough cannon fodder for hunters. Wisconsin continues accelerating the same mistake.

Recent articles in Esquire, “Freedom Means Shooting Bear Cubs While They’re Hibernating,” and New York magazine, “Trump Team Blocks Criticism of Bill Allowing Hunters to Massacre Bear Cubs,” show President Trump is focused on ending “tyrannical regulations that make it illegal for hunters to massacre baby bears, during their denning season, at Alaskan wildlife preserves.”

“Expanding access to national parks and public lands for hunting, fishing, and recreation is and remains a top priority of this administration,” said Heather Swift, an Interior Department spokeswoman.

The NY Magazine article goes on to say, “In addition to its provisions concerning bear cubs, the SHARE Act (Sportsmen’s Heritage And Recreational Enhancement Act) would also allow hunters to kill baby wolves and coyotes during their denning seasons. The NPS (National Park Service) memo objects to these measures, noting that wolf and coyote pups’ pelts have ‘little trophy, economic or subsistence value.’ But as the National Rifle Association explains, the only people who would prohibit the killing of coyote puppies on these grounds are ‘animal rights extremists.’”

Lynn Rogers, bear biologist who runs the North American Bear Education Center in Minnesota, teaches the gentle, peaceful nature of black bears. As a tribute to a longtime bear supporter, Madelene Ostrowski, recently deceased, he posted her beautiful five-minute video tribute to his research bears.

As Rogers said, “I recognize that the DNR has stated that hunters and trappers are their primary clients. Those are the clients who buy hunting licenses and pay federal Pittman-Robinson taxes on hunting equipment — taxes that are distributed to the states according to the number of hunters. Those funds pay the salaries of many of the DNR’s wildlife officials. But taxpayers and tourists deserve consideration, too.”

And that has always been zero consideration.

Please ask your senators to oppose the SHARE Act and its companion bill, the Sportsmen’s Act, which expand trophy hunting and poaching access to wildlife on so many levels. The very organized hunting cartel will be voicing and paying its way to this long-sought legislation.

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on September 10, 2017.

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Posted by on October 1, 2017 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Look deeper than white supremacy — to terrors of human supremacy



“Bears are made of the same dust as we, and breathe the same winds and drink of the same waters. A bear’s days are warmed by the same sun, his dwellings are overdomed by the same blue sky, and his life turns and ebbs with heart-pulsings like ours.” — John Muir

During five weeks from Sept. 6 through Oct. 11, 5,000 black bears will be killed with packs of dogs run on them since July 1, and bait set all summer. Most will die before they are 2 years old.

For $4.50 each, 112,985 wannabe bear hunters (over $508,400 collected) were entered in the bear kill lottery. The most licenses ever issued have been sold for the 2017 kill — 12,850 licenses at $49 each (another $629,650) — or $7 to lure a child 10 to 11 years old to kill a bear cub.

The Department of Natural Resources is anything but natural and nothing about protecting nature and wildlife for the greater good. Follow the money to the ultimate source of privatization of wildlife to those who kill. As long as the state and federal agencies are funded by hunting, trapping and hounding licenses and taxes on guns and ammunition, the general nonhunting public is excluded from any say.

The DNR operates an upside-down world that values wildlife primarily for its death. These wild creatures cannot organize to defend themselves, protest, or fight back. They are helpless without our defense, a defense that has never been there for them.

Biologist Lynn Rogers (shown in the picture with a wild bear), who founded and runs the North American Bear Education Center in Ely, Minnesota, has studied black bears for over 50 years — more than any human on earth.

The Guardian wrote an article in 2009 about Rogers’ work, saying: “In the years Rogers has tramped through the Northwoods he has abandoned just about everything he knew, or thought he knew, about bears. …

“And they are not ferocious. Rogers is adamant about that. He said he has never heard a bear roar or even growl, and that in all of his years of close proximity to the animals he has never been seriously hurt even though in his early years he displayed what he calls ‘bad bear manners.’

“The bears he knows are timid creatures. Defensive postures, such as swatting their large paws on the ground, are mistaken for aggression by many people.

“‘In my 42 years of working closely with bears (now 50 years) and testing every no-no, I have not found a way of getting a bear to attack. The more I push them the more they try to get away. They might want to nip and slap, but it is not an attack, it is just a way of fending me off so they can find a way to escape.’

“It’s humans who are the more dangerous animal, he said. ‘If you look at the statistics, one black bear out of a million kills somebody. With grizzly bears it’s one in 50,000. Among humans it’s one person out of 18,000 kills somebody. So you could see why I would feel a lot less comfortable in the city than in the woods next to a bear.’”

The Minnesota DNR, like the Wisconsin DNR funded on killing wildlife, has resented Lynn Rogers’ education about the peaceful sweet nature of bears. They do not want the public to protect wildlife. They refused to protect Rogers’ radio-collared research bears and worked with hunters to kill them. I wrote about the DNR’s war on Rogers’ research in October 2015, “Lily, a bear with a bounty on her head.”

This year, in Rogers’ newsletter, he wrote June 20, “I knew how hard the DNR worked in defiance of a judge’s order to eliminate our top bears in 2013. I knew Lily was the icon representing Lily Fans and all that we are doing for bears that conflicts with the DNR campaign to recruit hunters. I knew that Lily had done much to let people see the gentle way they care for their cubs. I remembered that the DNR had added revealing the location of her den site part of the DNR permit to place a den cam last winter, which would have revealed her location and the location of her territory where the DNR could focus hunting. I couldn’t risk her life that way. Working with the DNR, the local guide has surrounded my property with hunters each hunting season since the DNR began trying to end my research. Lily, the bear with a bounty, is the prized target of all as the documentary of 2013 showed.”

Only constant citizen pressure on legislators can end this madness. In an accelerating mass extinction, we need a DNR that respects not just wildlife, but all of us, with a first time democracy.

Interested citizens can sign up to receive the bear center newsletter and can view the bear web cam.

Originally published in the Madison CapTimes on August 27, 2017.


Posted by on September 17, 2017 in Uncategorized


Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Human kamikaze — our destruction of planetary life


“No matter how well-informed you are, you are surely not alarmed enough.” ~ David Wallace-Wells

There is such a thing as too late.

I attended scientist Guy McPherson’s presentation “Abrupt Climate Change” at the Wilmar Community Center on Jennifer Street in Madison July 14.

In November 2014, I wrote in this column about McPherson’s prediction of sudden irreversible and catastrophic leaps in temperature accelerating our extinction of species to include the human species. McPherson, a retired professor emeritus of natural resources, ecology, and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, is calmly sticking to his storyline of imminent doom. He hypothesizes that temperature increases may spike from 2 degrees to 25 degrees in short order. As therapist, evangelist, scientist and storyteller combined, he lays out our fate: Love deeply and prepare to exit.

As President Donald Trump dismantles the democratic agencies that somewhat protected land, water and wildlife in favor of extraction of more dirty fuels, he has similarly directed the Department of Agriculture to abandon climate change mitigation efforts for farmers.

Gov. Scott Walker, a Koch brothers tool, scrubbed climate change from the DNR website. It is impossible to trust anything about a DNR that denies, ignores and misrepresents the science of mass extinction and climate change.

Seeking viewpoints contrary to McPherson’s, I found Michael Tobis, editor of Planet 3.0. He holds a doctorate from the UW-Madison in atmospheric and oceanic sciences and has written a lengthy debunking of McPherson in “Doom, Doom, Doom.” Tobis is in the camp of those who think we need to stay hopeful to keep people motivated. But I found little hope in his arguments. They were mainly focused on challenging McPherson’s time frame, not the ultimate trajectory of destruction and suicidal oblivion of the human species.

Tobis, in his 60s, says he does not expect to see the worst of our civilization’s decline, but that if he were in his 30s, he would be worried.

I looked further and found “The Uninhabitable Earth,” subtitled “Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think” by David Wallace-Wells. It was published by New York Magazine on this past July 9.

Wallace-Wells starts off with the 40-year lag time between human damage and its consequent climate change: “The present tense of climate change — the destruction we’ve already baked into our future — is horrifying enough. Most people talk as if Miami and Bangladesh still have a chance of surviving; most of the scientists I spoke with assume we’ll lose them within the century, even if we stop burning fossil fuel in the next decade.”

He says that sea-level rise concerns barely scratch the surface of what lies ahead — even for today’s teenagers. Here is a NASA depiction of the increase in global warming from 1880-2016.

First and foremost, scientists are too reticent to scare the public with the truth of the projected devastation of rapid climate change. Given the climate-change denial of the U.S.’s so-called leadership and the habitual nature of humans accustomed to the climate abuse, little is changing fast enough to address worst-case scenarios. Wallace-Wells says that our failure of imagination to predict our own annihilation has kept us in denial, distracted, and too complacent before the complexity of the problems we face.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration’s policies are working to destroy our planetary home.

To summarize some of Wallace-Wells’ main points:

• The most recent report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (considered the gold standard) predicts a 4-8 degree rise in temperature by the end of the century.

• “The last time the planet was even four degrees warmer, Peter Brannen points out in ‘The Ends of the World,’ his new history of the planet’s major extinction events, the oceans were hundreds of feet higher.”

• “The history of the planet shows that temperature can shift as much as five degrees Celsius within thirteen years.”

• Four of the five major extinctions on earth were caused by global warming and greenhouse gases. “The most notorious was 252 million years ago; it began when carbon warmed the planet by five degrees, accelerated when that warming triggered the release of methane in the Arctic, and ended with 97 percent of all life on Earth dead.

• “No plausible program of emissions reductions alone can prevent climate disaster.”

Wallace-Wells goes on to elaborate on unbreathable air, melting permafrost exposing humans with no immunity to unfamiliar diseases, and food production cut by rising temperatures — methane-farting cows being the most climate-damaging and inefficient.

“Already, more than 10,000 people die each day from the small particles emitted from fossil-fuel burning; each year, 339,000 people die from wildfire smoke.”

Wallace-Wells states that fossil fuels caused economic growth and climate change to explode. He predicts economic collapse with mass displacement, migration, increased wars, and rising dead oceans, acidified and poisoned, no longer absorbing carbon. As fish die, hydrogen sulfide is emitted. Dead zones “are already quite advanced in parts of the Gulf of Mexico and just off Namibia, where hydrogen sulfide is bubbling out of the sea along a thousand-mile stretch of land known as the ‘Skeleton Coast,’” he writes. “Hydrogen sulfide is also the thing that finally did us in that time 97 percent of all life on Earth died, once all the feedback loops had been triggered and the circulating jet streams of a warmed ocean ground to a halt — it’s the planet’s preferred gas for a natural holocaust.”

This column was originally published in the Madison CapTimes on August 15, 2017.


Please sign and network to social media this Center for Biological Diversity petition to keep Congress from sentencing wolves to death to score political points. If hunters succeed in getting this legislation passed, it weakens the Endangered Species Act, neuters the courts, and destroys wolves in the most vengeful ways.

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Posted by on August 26, 2017 in Uncategorized