For reducing impacts of ag, don't waste food. A very high percentage of food in the US is wasted - spoils or people won't eat the produce with spots, etc.
Deb From: bounce-123958613-83565...@list.cornell.edu <bounce-123958613-83565...@list.cornell.edu> On Behalf Of Dave Nutter Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 10:36 PM To: CAYUGABIRDS-L <cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] How to help birds The Lab of O recently released a report saying the world's wild bird population has dropped an alarming 29% in the last five decades. I also received a list from the Lab of O about how we as individuals can help reduce the harm to birds. Suggestions include preventing window strikes, stopping cat predation, stopping pesticide use, planting native species instead of lawns, reducing plastic use and recycling plastic, and not consuming sun-grown coffee. I would add bananas and sugar to that list of tropical plantations which destroy habitat, and suggest generally eating locally. The list also talks about advocating policies in each of those areas. Anyway, the suggestions are good, and I support them. Yet I think there's an elephant in the room. An issue which was not mentioned is destroying coastal habitats, mountain habitats, and arctic habitats including sea ice. It is causing desertification. It is producing larger wildfires, including where plants and animals are not fire-adapted. It is destroying coral reefs which are nurseries for fish. It has already moved the ranges of fish and other aquatic bird food by hundreds of miles or affected their populations. It creates increasingly powerful storms which can devastate islands, as we have seen in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. The problem is climate change, and it is predicted to move the growing conditions for plants much faster than the plants can move and regrow, thus destroying habitats for birds at range-wide scales. And that's before considering all the habitat destruction caused by humans trying to adapt, move, fight over resources, and create new farm land to replace the areas which are no longer usable. So, I think fighting climate change should be on that list for helping birds (as well as helping many other creatures, including humans). And that means, among many other things, reducing our carbon footprints to limit the future damage. What is the carbon footprint of birding, and what would reducing it mean? Not flying? Using an electric car charged with renewable energy or at least a high mpg car? (And even keeping renewable energy use at a moderate level, because photovoltaic & wind "farms" also displace habitat and harm birds.) Limiting miles driven? Car-pooling to go birding? Using discretion when deciding what trips to take? How many gallons of gasoline should be burned by people to see a little lost bird? Putting a limit on the area in which to chase rarities. Staying in a county or a basin rather than trying to personally cover a state, country, continent, or planet? Forego chasing rarities which have been seen before? More positively, how about concentrating birding on a small area and getting to know its birds well: places you can walk or bike to, places that are already along your daily commute. And for myself, I have greatly enjoyed the photographs of birds and descriptions of the birds' activities which other people have contributed to their eBird reports. Rather than envy, I can share their joy without feeling I need to jump in a car to see (or miss) that bird myself. Anyway, these are some issues I have been struggling with, and I wonder if other birders are also thinking about these things. Thanks. - - Dave Nutter -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: Welcome and Basics<http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME> Rules and Information<http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES> Subscribe, Configuration and Leave<http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm> Archives: The Mail Archive<http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html> Surfbirds<http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds> BirdingOnThe.Net<http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html> Please submit your observations to eBird<http://ebird.org/content/ebird/>! -- -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --