Saturday Links – September 17/05: The Protection Edition


Protecting Migratory Birds: The 10,000 Birds Blog is part of an important new campaign to prevent the killing of wild, migratory birds out of ignorance and fear. Although the WHO asserts there is no evidence these birds are responsible for any transmission of influenzas that humans can catch, paranoia has led to calls for wild birds to be culled “just in case”. First step is to rename the “bird flu” what is is: poultry flu, a disease specific to domestic farmed animals.

Protecting US Forests: The Wilderness Society is asking Americans to sign a petition to block the repeal of the Roadless Area Conservation rule, opening up 60 million acres of US forest to oil drilling, mining, road building and other destructive development.

Protecting the Gulf Coast: Oxfam has launched a $2 million appeal  to help with the tardy and inadequate relief work in the Gulf Coast. Their efforts will be focused on the poorest victims in the area.

Protecting the Separation of Church and State: Another great speech from Bill Moyers shows the culpability of right-wing churches in the government’s abandonment of the poor and needy, and in ideological interference in matters of state. Thanks to Cyndy for the link.

Protecting American Troops: The Bring Them Home Now Tour of US military and veterans’ families has mobilized to press politicians to stop exposing US troops to reckless dangers in the ill-conceived and unwinnable Iraq war, so that they can help with the work where they’re really needed, on the US Gulf Coast.

Cartoon by Alex Gregory in The New Yorker. Buy it on a t-shirt, sweatshirt or as a print here.

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2 Responses to Saturday Links – September 17/05: The Protection Edition

  1. Hi Dave,I know you use skype. Now that they’re a part of EBay, you may want to check out which is an open source alternative to Skype.I haven’t used it (or skype) yet, as I’m more of a text person, and less a phone call person.

  2. lugon says:

    Hi Dave and allIt’s not “bird flu” and it’s not “poultry flu”. It’s “Influenza virus AH5N1” or “H2N2” or whatever the specific “influenza virus” is.Currently, H5N1 has been found in bird species (including ducks in farms, with no symptoms), and also several mammals (humans included).Poultry die a lot because of AH5N1 (it’s called “poultry Ebola”) so it’s an economic problem. Poultry’s flu can be passed on to humans, which so far has been reported to happen about a hundred times, which may not look like much and may not be much. Trouble is, every time a human is infected is an oportunity for that particular virus to learn the trick of human-to-human transmission. This can happen more frequently if many poultry are infected and if many infected poultry are in contact with other species (in Asia many farmers are reported to feed their pigs with chicken faeces), specially humans. Yes, the virus might mutate or recombinate within a pig, too.The role of wild birds in the whole picture is unclear, debatable and actually being debated. If the virus becomes H2H (human-to-human) and a pandemic starts, then all other ways are irrelevant … in retrospect.Do wild birds increase the likelyhood of a pandemic more than poultry? They might, if they pass on the virus to poultry in other countries. Once it’s passed, it’s again a poultry thing. But wild birds would be amplifiers, just like any other traveller who brings a new disease into a country where it was previously non-existent.A complex picture, if you ask me.Let’s prepare at and could we prepare quickly and effectively?

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