TRUTH . . .
A Picture/Poem collection
WATCH THE AD
"Operation Truth is a non-profit, non-partisan
organization that seeks to educate the American
public about the truth of the wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan from the perspective
of the troops who have experienced
them first-hand. "
by Wendell Berry
[from: Wendell Berry, Another Turn of the Crank
(New York: Counterpoint Press, 1996; ISBN 1887178287.]
"In October of 1993, the New York Times announced that the United States Census Bureau would "no longer count the number of Americans who live on farms." In explaining the decision, the Times provided some figures as troubling as they were unsurprising. Between 1910 and 1920, we had 32 million farmers living on farms -- about a third of our population. By 1950, this population had declined, but our farm population was still 23 million. By 199l, the number was only 4.6 million, less than 2 percent of the national population. That is, our farm population had declined by an average of almost half a million people a year for forty-one years. Also, by 199l, 32 percent of our farm managers and 86 percent of our farmworkers did not live on the land they farmed.
These figures describe a catastrophe that is now virtually complete. They announce that we no longer have an agricultural class that is, or that can require itself to be, recognized by the government; we no longer have a "farm vote" that is going to be of much concern to politicians. American farmers, who over the years have wondered whether or not they counted, may now put their minds at rest: they do not count. They have become statistically insignificant."
"BANGKOK They may thrive on land and in water, but amphibians everywhere are in serious trouble, and up to one-third of species are threatened with extinction, a troubling new study said on Friday.
Scientists say this is an ominous sign for other creatures, including humans, as amphibians are widely regarded as biological "canaries in the coal mine," since their permeable skin is highly sensitive to changes in the environment. In short, they go first, and others follow.
The first comprehensive survey of a grouping that includes frogs, toads, and salamanders, the Global Amphibian Assessment says that at least nine species have become extinct since 1980. It says 113 more have not been reported in the wild in recent years and are believed to have vanished. The full details will be published in a few weeks in the respected journal Science.
"Amphibians are one of nature's best indicators of overall environmental health," Conservation International President Russell Mittermeier said in a statement from the World Conservation Union (IUCN), one of the world's top environment bodies.
"Their catastrophic decline serves as a warning that we are in a period of significant environmental degradation," he said in the statement that coincided with the final day of a two-week meeting of signatories to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok." [...]