Following National Geographic Channel’s announcement of its upcoming TV show, “Wicked Tuna,” and my consequent slam, I received a phone call inviting me to Nat Geo headquarters. Our discussion seemed a big improvement over their press release. Yes, really.
As announced, this show will feature commercial fishing for bluefin tuna. With or without the cameras, those boats kill fish. And these fish are spectacular. They’re half-ton warm-blooded animals capable of swimming at highway speeds and crossing oceans.
The global bluefin tuna enterprise is perhaps the most bizarre — certainly the most controversial — fishery in the world. They are classified “endangered” by the global union of conservation scientists; their problem arises with sushi dealers in Japan who pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for one fish. The insane prices stimulate intense overfishing; and — like Mitt Romney’s tax rate — it’s all perfectly legal.
Well, not perfectly. Much of the fishing is done with enormous nets and twenty-five mile “long-lines” dangling hundreds of baited hooks (they also hook endangered turtles and endangered albatrosses). A lot of bluefin tuna fishing is illegal. Bluefin catches greatly exceed the legal limit in the eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean, and southwest Pacific, and even the legal limit is far above what scientists recommend, all because of the corrupting influence of those insane prices.
In the U.S. and Canada, boats fish under probably the tightest and best-policed limits in the world. In one sector of the fishery, people use rods-and-reels (big ones), and it’s possible for those smaller-scale rod-and-reelers to turn a profit while killing relatively few fish per boat (there are a lot of those boats, and it adds up, but let’s move on).
The Nat Geo show will focus on several of those boats from Gloucester, Massachusetts. In Gloucester, everything about fishing is tense with the brutalizing baggage of centuries of deadly weather, generations of fish depletion, and recently, heavy regulations. For many who fish for a living, the high-stakes tension that wires their lives is the grind between the risk of putting themselves out of business through overfishing (there’s been a lot of that), or getting put out of business by government regulations designed to let the fish populations breathe long enough to recover. Those regulations are probably the best hope for the next generation, a fact that does not 龙凤网站
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The fight over Proposition 23 in California has gotten national attention, and understandably so. This attempt by two Texas oil companies to roll back California’s landmark clean energy law could deal a major blow to efforts to address pollution and climate change nationwide. But there are other issues at play, too, which haven’t gotten as much attention爱上海419
Across the nation, gardeners are starting seeds for their spring and summer gardens. In cities, city gardeners are looking anywhere for space to grow: in containers, vertical spaces, alley ways and balconies. How can we turn the planting season into an opportunity to save energy, reduce our impact on city heat and create community?
Cities displace agricultural and forested lands as they grow. Washington D.C., for example, was surrounded by farms way back before 1900, but now those farms are buried beneath neighborhoods like Dupont Circle and Capitol Hill. That land use change impacts the amount of heat that moves into the atmosphere and contributes to what is known as the “urban heat island effect.” The two charts below, borrowed from the First Assessment Report on Climate Change in Cities (ARC3), show a “before and after” look at what the city’s impact is on local climate.
Heat can be emitted from the earth in two ways: evaporation, which doesn’t increase temperature, and “sensible heat,” which does increase temperature (think hot asphalt上海419网