There are so many organisations involved in environemntal issues, that it would be pointless to list and link them all - but below are a few of the major players. They may well be referred to again in later parts of the page in relation to more specific issues.
Firstly, a mention to two of the largest and possibly most well known animal action groups,who work not only for the animnals, but to protect the environment in which they live.
The World Wide Fund for Nature is possibly the highest profile group in this sphere and has an huge worldwide membership.
When you connect to their homepage, there's a natty world map that you can click on and visit the country or region that most interests you.
Another well known and familiar group is I.F.A.W. who work to protect animals from exploitation and also the habitat where they try to survive. Another excellent site, with a mine of information about current campaigns.
There are so many different bodies and organisations in this field, probably some have been out, but we can't not mention Greenpeace, possibly the best known of the 'Environmental Warriors', for want of a better phrase. Always an interesting and informative site.
The first two groups in the above listing try to help those species with whom we, as humans, should be co-existing and the third battle to change some of our ideas and preconceived notions as to how we should, as 'stewards', be looking after their environment and ours.
But this part of HIP is, primarily, about what we actually do to this planet and its other occupants.
A Word on Headings.
As before, it is difficult to decide what should go where and how best to categorise it; there are so many issues that need to be addressed but to do so would be a gargantuan task. It may be accomplished here one day, but ,for the moment, issues of major concern and those that are perceived by the media to be important will be those upon which this section will concentrate. The section itself will be broken into easily readable paragraphs but will 'flow' from one topic to another, rather than be headed-up. It's a cunning plan to get people to read the whole, rather than just skip to the bit they think they want to read above all else!
If you feel you would like to make a contribution to this or any of the sites within HIP, leave a message in the relevant forum or drop by my page and leave a note there - always happy to have some help!
'The Tempest' - Shakespeare.
How beauteous Mankind is!
Oh brave new world,
That has such people in't!
Into Thin Air1.
The air we breathe is being slowly poisoned; the atmosphere itself is being slowly eroded and the very nature of the planet on which we live is being irrevocably changed.
Society as we now know it could not exist at all without oil, coal and natural gas. We have between 50 to 100 years of these resources left; we have a big problem coming up.
The dictum of the old green parties of abstinence is not possible - no democratic society could support the drop in the standard of living that would be needed to allow us to exist with current technologies of sustainable energy sources and renewable resources.
So - how do we solve this problem?It's possible that the answer may lie with GM crops. It is already possible to refine rape seed oil into a fuel that can be used as a low grade diesel...could GM mean that one day we can grow a form of rape seed that yelds crude oil?
A catch 22 situation; a sharp dichotomy. We cannot, it appears, survive without carbon-based fuels, but we cannot, apparently, survive because of the changes being wrought by our continued use of carbon fuels and the eefects they have, not only on the planet, but upon others who we, as developed nations, have exploited and disenfranchised in the rush to preserve our way of life.
The ecology of our planet, the delicate balance of a multitude of 'us' and 'them's', has many champions, but for an overview you could do worse than visit The International Society for Ecology
and hope that they can, perhaps, guide you through the intricacies of the Ecological viewpoint.
But the drilling fo and mining of carbon and fossil fuels causes damage - not only to the environment but to the indigenous peoples2 whose land is exploited.
Oil, for instance : Central Africa is at the centre of an huge oil exploration / exploitation. Oil companies are offering vast amounts of cash to countries like Chad, The Congo, Gambia and Angola. All these countries are desperately poor; need the money to pay debt3 and are all caught up in internal conflicts, meaning that they are unstable, politically, and that the money is more likely to be used for the furtherance of political aims than for the people who most need it - the poorest of the poor, farmers and the suchlike.
There is a pipeline planned to run from Chad to the coastal region of Cameroon that will drive straight through the rainforest homes of Baku and Bakula peoples. Find out more about this and other infringements at MOLES
All exploration and drilling affects people, whether it be directly or indirectly. Such is the case of the proposed seismic exploration of the Mangrove flood plains of Bangladesh - which has enough of a problem with flooding without having a natural barrier to that phenomenon removed in the search for oil. The Mangroves cover an area of some two thousand square miles and, apart from anything else, is a World Heritage Site!
Earthisland are running a campaign, the Mangrove Action Project and the Moles site, with their Project Underground have more news on this incursion!
All over the World, people and the environment are being compromised. In Colombia, South America,
the U'wa people , who have colonial title to their sacred homeland, are being threatened by Occidental Petroleum, in their search for more resources! This is another excellent Moles site.
In Asia, and that beleaguered country, TIBET , the Tibetan Plateau Project are working for the area, whilst BPAmoco and Agrip plan to run a pipeline from the Tsaidim Basin, on the Northern Plateau, 953 kilometres into China! The International Campaign for Tibet will tell you more.
South America - ' The Lungs of the World' - and the Mayan biosphere; the second most important tract of rainforest next to the Amazon. 1.6 MILLION hectares stand to be lost in the scrabble for oil. Visit Corpwatch and keep abreast of what the big-boys are up to...and hoping that we're not noticing!
How Natural Is Natural ?
In our constant drive for energy, we go blundering through other peoples' lives and way of life. Even 'natural' energy - hydro - electric, for example - causes such disruption as to be absolutley staggering!
Take the Narmada Valley , for example, and particularly, the Maheswar Dam ; one of the 30 Mega - Dams and 135 medium dams being built in the Narmada Valley.
This one dam alone will displace 40,000 people. They have been promised 14,000 hectares of land to replace that which will disappear under water... 25 hecatres have been made available!
Visit the excellent Narmada Valley site and the full and comprehensive lowdown, written by those affected.
'FRANKENSTEIN' FUTURES and THE STOCK EXCHANGE.
G.M. has been mentioned as, perhaps, a way to ease the energy crisis - but too little is known at the moment to say whether or not this is a feasible alternative. But on the matter of G.M. generally4, you might want to see what has been happening in
Ethiopia and what the B.M.A has to say about genetically engineered organisms.
And whilst we're on the subject, check out this article in the Guide about Frankenstein Foods , which is a bit of a diversion from the fuel aspect...but not that far!
And if we want to stop using carbon based / fossil fuels ( and in the next 75 years or os, we may not have too much choice in the matter! ) go and have look at Alternative Power Sources , all about renewable enrgy.
But there are places where people and the environment are working together - or at least trying - particularly in the world's remoter regions.
In 1994, Azafady was established to help the eco-systems and people of Madagascar. Visit Azafady and be amazed at what can, and is, being acheived! And speaking of achievemnets and the natural world, have a look at this article in the Guide about Mozambique
and see how we can overcome adversity and natural diasaster by working together.
'Money, Money, Money...'
The World Bank and IMF lend huge amounts to developing countries for development projects. They met most recently in Prague and we find they have 'lent' Chad and Cameroon in the region of $1000million for being a 'partner' in the pipeline mentioned earlier in this piece. Go to Oneworld and then take alook at the story on their frontpage about the above 'loan'; it is more than a little worrying!
The climate change that we are all undoubtedly experiencing5, is an huge challenge that we all have to face. The Climate Change inforamtion here, and the relevant pages on pollution and the environment, make fascinating, frightening reading. And the Pollution Search Engine is incredible!
And whilst the IMF and World Bank are in the framwe, so to speak, visit this particular site and see about Debt and how we in the developed world can help. Jubilee2000 are an organisation formed specifically to eradicate third world debt. To give you an idea of the scale of the problem, they reckon that for every $1 given in aid, $9 is taken back in debt! Help!
Below are links to the major sites that you might like to visit, and discover exactly what it is we are doing , not only to ourselves, but to everthing else on this planet!
For more research, visit
Planet Ark if you can bear the adverts!
The Rain Forest for alternatives to 'hydraulic' farming.
Actionaid to help financially.
Return to H.I.P. Homepage and thanks for reading this!
Our revels are now ended. These our
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud capped towers, the gorgeous
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yeah, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
and, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
-'The Tempest' - William Shakespeare2 For those who believe that the plight of tribal and indingenous people has been overlooked in this section, fear not! Go to H.I.P. - The People, and this issue is dealt with in much greater depth.3 See later in this page, when the matter of debt is addressed.4 G.M.= Genetic Modification / Genetically Modified; some people would argue with the word 'modification', saying it implies improvement; they would rather use word 'engineering' / 'engineered' to imply experimetation and uncertain outcomes.5Some people believe the only greater threat we face is that of a Nuclear War.