Norman A. Bishop: Wolf reintroduction: They’ll help the ecosystem
I agree with Shayne Jones in her recent column that coming together on middle ground on wolf reintroduction is worth pursuing.
Yes, as a keystone species, wolves affect other species. From 35 years of studying wolves, I see all those effects as positive. Meriwether Lewis wrote in his journal: “We scarcely see a gang of buffaloe without observing a parsel of those faithfull shepherds on their skirts in readiness to take care of the mamed & wounded.”
And: “Game is still very abundant we can scarcely cast our eyes in any direction without perceiving deer Elk Buffaloes or Antelopes. The quantity of wolves appear to increase in the same proportion.”
Recent studies in Banff and Yellowstone reveal that wolves feed dozens of other creatures, from grizzly bears to beetles. No other predator feeds as many other birds, mammals, and insects as do wolves. They also promote the health of their prey species by taking only what they can catch and kill: old and sick animals that can infect others – read, chronic wasting disease.
Hunters and ranchers can relax. In Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, there are more elk today than in 1995. Wolves in those states take one in 10,000 cattle present annually; three in 10,000 sheep. All confirmed losses are compensated, and coexistence programs have been proven to work.
Is Proposition 114 a chasm of public division? Hardly. A Colorado State University poll found that 84 percent of Colorado voters intend to vote for Proposition 114 this fall, which will require that Colorado Parks and Wildlife reintroduce wolves into the state by the end of 2023.
Importantly, 79.8 percent of Western Slope residents said they will vote for wolf restoration, as did 69.5 percent of those who strongly identified as ranchers and 66.1 percent of those who strongly identified as hunters. Approval of Proposition 114 is democracy at its best.
Norman A. Bishop
Carolyn Li: Plastic waste: Small steps can mean a lot
Did you know that the U.S. throws away 60 million plastic bottles every day and 500 million plastic straws are discarded in the U.S. and U.K. together daily? Also, I see plastic on the streets often. It’s hard to stop using plastic all the time because plastic is everywhere in our lives, but it would help if we just stop using plastic bags sometimes or drink soda from a metal can.
The U.S. used to rely on China to recycle our plastic. Now we have to try to recycle the plastic ourselves. Only 10 percent of our plastic is currently being recycled. We are trying to figure out ways to recycle plastic, but most companies have failed.
It’s hard for people to put plastic in the right bins and to find which products are made out of recycled plastic. Most companies have to sort the plastics, and they can’t earn enough money because most people aren’t buying the recycled plastic products.
Most people know about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but did you know that it is carrying about 79,000 metric tons of plastic? It’s surprising, even if you knew that there was a lot of plastic in the ocean.
It makes more sense when you find out that there are about 1.8 trillion pieces of trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The bigger pieces of plastic take up more than three quarters of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
If people could try using other alternatives, it would help a lot. Even if you only use a metal soda container or you bring your own bag to the store every once in a while, it will still help us have less plastic everywhere.
Addie Roy: Global warming: Time for action is now
There are millions of animals dying, dying because of us polluting the earth, causing an increase in global warming and climate change. We need to take a stand and help these poor creatures and our world.
According to scientists, carbon dioxide emissions would have to be on an extremely steep downward path by 2030 to hold the global temperature increase to 2.7 °F. The world population is increasing and projected to have more than 2 billion more people on earth in 2050.
This means we need more trees to offset the increase in people to keep carbon emissions down. Scientists believe we would have to use farmland to plant trees instead of food or for livestock, which causes challenges for animals and the food supply.
Natural disasters, such as the California wildfires, will only get worse and more common as we continue to pollute the Earth. These fires happen because dry weather means more dead shrubs and grass.
“These dry plants create more fuel for more fire,” said Michel Vennetier, engineer at IRSTEA. These powerful storms happen not only on land, but also in the ocean. As the Earth heats up, the water will too, providing storms more energy to destroy. These natural disasters will only worsen if we don’t do something about global warming.
How bad are things going to get if we do nothing? Some researchers believe 2020 might be the last year to tackle the climate change problem. There is concern that after the coronavirus pandemic, carbon dioxide emissions will sharply increase back to problematic levels.
I hope this will help you realize that climate change is serious. We must raise awareness. Consider driving electric cars and installing solar panels. This might take time, but is worth saving our world. There is no time to wait.
Let’s save our planet!
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