This week on Terra Informa, we return to “The Ballad of Myrtle and Charlie Ed”, a documentary from our archives, presented by Anthony Goertz. This is a story about discovering a story – one filled with charm, heart, and a great elephant escape!
Headlines cover Canada’s reception at COP24, Chinese internment of Uyghurs and Muslims in East Turkistan, and new research on cooperative bat behaviour.
Last month, in Katowice, Canada was being called out at COP 24called out at COP 24 in Poland to step up and fill a leadership void in climate talks at the conference. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, assures that the Paris targets will be met, but has not yet announced a plan that would come close to doubling emissions cuts, as required to keep warming to one and a half degrees Celsius, as outlined necessary by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report.
In East Asia, China continues its crackdown on Uyghurs and Muslims in East Turkistan, forcing over a million people into internment camps and prisons. Detention of East Turkish citizens secures this mineral-rich region for the Chinese state. Competition for mineral resources is increasing, with resource extraction used to justify the degradation of the environment and genocide of people in poorer nations by those with wealth.
At Terra Informa, environmental issues are social justice issues. Raw wealth feeds wealthy countries and fuels their greenhouse gas emissions. Poor countries end up the least able to adapt to climate impacts like floods and droughts, both because they don’t have the money, and because their degraded ecosystems are less resistant to change.
In news on bats: a new study shows how, in the face of food unpredictability, a number of species of bats will forage cooperatively in social groups. When food sources are predictable bats forage and eat alone as other bats may pose a threat to the individual bat’s access to food. But in cases of social foraging, bats actively help each other find food sources.
Edward Hurme, a UMD biological sciences graduate student in Maryland Biology Professor Gerald Wilkinson’s laboratory says that the next steps for this research are to look into what strategies are utilized by the bats, whether bats prefer to follow other bats of their own species, and if they can differentiate between individuals or not.
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