About Whale of a Time

Whale of a Time is riding the wave of change, promoting successful stewardship of our planet to create a peaceful, morally just, humane and sustainable culture, while ensuring survival of all species and their natural habitats. Whale of a Time organises creative and fun, inspiring and empowering events on environmental issues to encourage active participation living a sustainable lifestyle inspired by a positive attitude. We engage young and old from all walks of life through the Whale of a Time Community, the Whale of a Time Festival and the Whale of a Time Workshop. Our work has been recognised by many national and community and environmental awards schemes.

Whale of a Time Tweats

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Jeffrey M. Smith über die Biotech-Industrie - YouTube

Watch documentary here

Gentechnik - Gekaufte Wahrheit, Zensur und Gesinnungsterror - YouTube

Friday, 27 April 2012

FernGully: The Last Rainforest trailer

Become a rainforest warrior and help protect this magical habitat for over 50% of the world's species.

These beluga whales face extinction - 340 Remain - They are the last!

Please sign Beluga Petition here!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Mother Earth has rights too! She's our mother. She needs us. - YouTube

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Save the Critically Endangered Orangutans in Sumatra

Why This Is Important
Over the last week a man made firestorm swept through a huge area of the remaining peat swamp forests of Tripa, devastating Critically Endangered Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) to the very brink of extinction, possibly within months.
Critically important, the Tripa peat swamp forests of Aceh, Indonesia, have long been recognized as a UNEP/UNESCO Great Ape Survival Partnership Priority Site for Great Ape Conservation.
In the early 90's these forests are estimated to have contained between 2,000 and 3,000 but today only a few hundred survive, and if the current rate of forest destruction and burning continues, even these will be gone completely within a matter of months.
All the result of the illegal activities of a small number of rogue palm oil plantation companies.
Of one of these companies, PT. Kallista Alam, is actually right now being challenged in court, as it clearly contravenes National Spatial Planning Laws and the Indonesian President’s moratorium on new permits in primary forests and peatlands, supported by Norwegian taxpayers money.
The whole of the Tripa peat swamps lie within the Protected Leuser Ecosystem, a National Strategic Area for Environmental Protection in Indonesia's National Spatial Plan established in 2008.
If this legal initiative fails, and if the current rate of destruction is not halted IMMEDIATELY, there will be no more forest and no more orangutans (and many other legally "protected" species) in Tripa by the end of 2012. This represents the death nell for this important orangutan population, the final nail in the coffin.
Agaisnt all odds, We want to see JUSTICE taking place in Indonesia. We need your URGENT help
Sign petition here and read more

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Government to reconsider nerve agent pesticides - Nature - Environment - The Independent

The Government is to reconsider its refusal to ban neonicotinoid pesticides, the nerve-agent chemicals blamed for the collapse of bee colonies worldwide, the chief scientist at the Department of the Environment, Sir Robert Watson, told The Independent.
Sir Robert, a former head of the UN climate panel, moved quickly to begin a comprehensive re-evaluation of the Government's stance after two new scientific studies, from Britain and France, strongly linked neonicotinoid use to bee declines.
He said the new studies, and others, would be closely analysed.
The Government has refused previous requests to consider a precautionary suspension of the chemicals, which have been banned in France and Italy, despite mounting evidence that they are harmful to bees and other pollinating insects, even in minute doses.
Bees' role in pollinating crops is worth billions of pounds annually to global agriculture.
Even on Thursday, after the new studies were published, a spokesman for Defra said the new research did not change the Government's position, and that "the evidence shows that neonicotinoids do not pose an unacceptable risk to honey bees".
But yesterday Sir Robert said: "The real Defra position is the following: we will absolutely look at the University of Stirling work, the French work, and the American work that came out a couple of months ago [a study by the US government's leading bee researcher, Dr Jeffrey Pettis, which showed that exposure to microscopic doses of neonicotinoids weakened bees' resistance to disease]. We must look at this in real detail to see whether or not the current British position is correct or is incorrect.
He added: "I want to get a really careful analysis of all three papers, and I've asked for a briefing on some ongoing work that we've been doing ourselves. I want this all reassessed, very, very carefully."

Monday, 9 April 2012

Twitter / @Gottaloveorangs: The journey that palm oil ...

The Jungle Book - I wanna be like you w/lyrics - YouTube

Now I'm the king of the swingers
Oh, the jungle VIP
I've reached the top and had to stop
And that's what botherin' me
I wanna be a man, mancub
And stroll right into town
And be just like the other men
I'm tired of monkeyin' around!

Oh, oobee doo
I wanna be like you
I wanna walk like you
Talk like you, too
You'll see it's true
An ape like me
Can learn to be human too

( Gee, cousin Louie
You're doin' real good

Now here's your part of the deal, cuz
Lay the secret on me of man's red fire

But I don't know how to make fire )

Now don't try to kid me, mancub
I made a deal with you
What I desire is man's red fire
To make my dream come true
Now give me the secret, mancub
Cmon clue me what to do
Give me the power of man's red flower
So I can be like you

I wanna be like you
I wanna talk like you
Walk like you, too
You'll see it's true
Someone like me
Can learn to be
Like someone like me
Can learn to be
Like someone like you
Can learn to be
Like someone like me!

Boycott Palm Oil - Save the Orangutans!

"Extraordinary Animals in the Womb" - National Geographic Documentary

This is an image you don't see every day... 
This amazing photo of an embryonic dolphin was taken using a combination of three-dimensional ultrasound scans, computer graphics and tiny cameras. 
(image from the National Geographic Documentary “Extraordinary Animals in the Womb”)

Saturday, 7 April 2012

New pesticide link to sudden decline in bee population - Nature - Environment - The Independent

A commonly used nerve-agent pesticide is the likely culprit in sharp worldwide declines in honey bee colonies in the last five years, a scientific study claimed yesterday.

Imidacloprid, one of the neonicotinoid family of pesticides introduced over the past 15 years, is likely to be responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the recently observed phenomenon in which bees abandon their hives en masse, according to the study by scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States.
The study, to appear in the June issue of The Bulletin of Insectology, provides "convincing evidence" of the link between imidacloprid and CCD, claim the authors, led by Alex Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology in the school's Department of Environmental Health. It follows two other widely publicised studies, from Britain and France, published last week in the journal Science, which strongly suggested that neonicotinoids were linked to the declines in bees and other pollinating insects seen in Europe and the US.

Neonicotinoids, which attack the central nervous system of insects, are considered by some scientists as dangerous to species which are not the compounds' principal targets, because they are "systemic" – meaning they do not just sit on the surface of a plant but are taken up into every part of it, including the pollen and nectar, where they can be ingested repeatedly by bees and other pollinating insects.

Imidacloprid, manufactured by the German agrochemicals giant Bayer, was one of the first neonicotinoids to be introduced and has since been used on millions of acres of crops, especially in the US. The compound was Bayer's top-selling insecticide in 2009, earning the company £510m.

The Harvard researchers dosed bees with imidacloprid at levels "determined to reflect imidacloprid residues reported in the environment previously", they said. They found that at the end of the research period, the hives had been abandoned.

The Green MP, Caroline Lucas, said yesterday: "This research from Harvard, together with the two recently published studies from Britain and France, clearly exposing the risk to bee colonies from neonicotinoid insecticides, should be a deafening wake-up call for the Government."

She has written to the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, "to demand an immediate ban on both lethal and non lethal doses of neonicotinoids". No one from Bayer was available to comment yesterday. However, Matt Shardlow, chief executive of Buglife, the invertebrate conservation charity, criticised the Harvard research. "This study is further evidence of the toxicity of neonicotinoids to bees, but the levels of pesticide in the food fed to the bees was higher than would be found in pollen and nectar in treated crops, hence it would be stretching the point to claim that it was strong evidence that neonicotinoids are responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder," he said.

Indonesian court backs palm oil company over orangutans and carbon storage

BANDA ACEH: The courts in Aceh have failed to protect a carbon-rich peat forest and critically endangered orangutans from the actions of a palm oil company which the central government acknowledges has acted illegally.
After five months of detailed argument, the three-judge court sitting in Banda Aceh threw the case out on jurisdictional grounds, saying the complainants from the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) should first have sought mediation with the company.
The lawyer for the complainants, Kamaruddin, said the judges had used the wrong legislation - the environmental law, not administrative law - to make their determination. He flagged an appeal.

And Riswan Zein, a representative of the environmental group Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari, said if the judges were going to insist on mediation, they should have mentioned it earlier in the case, which began in October.
The case began when Aceh's then governor, Irwandi Yusuf, signed a permit in August last year to allow the palm oil company PT Kallista Alam to set up new plantation in the environmentally sensitive Tripa peat swamp seven hours south of the province's capital.

Detailed maps presented to the court showed the concession was part of the Leuser Ecosystem, which is protected from development under Indonesia's 2008 national planning law.

Large parts of the concession also consisted of peat swamp of more than three metres in depth, making it a valuable store of carbon dioxide. The area also is one of the last redoubts of the endangered Sumatran orangutan, whose population in the area is estimated to now only number in the hundreds.

For all three reasons, permitting a plantation on the area and clearing it was illegal, the complainants argued.
The Sumatra-based landscape protection specialist Graham Usher told the Herald the company had begun clearing the swamp by burning, which is also illegal. It has also dug two canals to drain it, he said.

A spokesman for Mr Irwandi, who is running for re-election as governor on Monday, said he respected what the environmental groups had done in bringing the case, and the former governor would evaluate it.

Without resiling from his decision to issue the permit, Mr Irwandi would "sit down and talk" with the complainants, the spokesman said.

"I think this is what the court wants, that we have mediation," he said. "But if they want to appeal, we have to go through the court procedure first."

Last year Indonesia's secretary-general of the Ministry of Forestry, Hadi Daryanto, told the Jakarta Post that the PT Kallista Alam permit was "clearly a violation because the area in question is a peat forest".

"On the moratorium map it's clearly marked out as protected, but in the revision that followed, it was somehow excluded. That exclusion in itself is also a violation," Mr Hari said.

The permit also appears to breach Indonesia's international responsibilities under the REDD project, under which Norway has promised to pay the country $US1 billion ($9.6 million) for protecting its peat forests as a way of addressing climate change.

Late last month, another rash of peat forest in the area was burned and drained, prompting a coalition of environment groups to claim that, unless authorities stopped the illegal action, the local population of the Sumatran orangutan "could be extinct in a matter of months, even weeks if a prolonged dry spell were to set in" and fuel the fires.
Environment groups estimate 100 orangutans may have died in the fires of recent weeks.

Read more here

Up in smoke: ecological catastrophe in the Sumatran swamps


Fires raging unchecked in an Indonesian peat swamp forest could wipe out the remaining Sumatran orang-utans which live there, conservationists are warning. The forest is one of the last refuges of the great apes. The illegal fires, started by palm-oil companies clearing land to plant the lucrative crop, are believed to have killed at least 100 orang-utans – one-third of those living in the Tripa swamp, on the west coast of Sumatra's Aceh province. The rest could die within weeks, according to Dr Ian Singleton, conservation director of the Sumatran Orang-utan Conservation Programme.

"The speed of destruction has gone up dramatically in the last few weeks... This is obviously a deliberate drive by these companies to clear all the remaining forests," Dr Singleton said. "If this is not stopped right now, all those orang-utans... will be gone before the end of 2012."

Only 6,600 Sumatran orang-utans are estimated to be left in the wild, and the Tripa swamp – where they are most densely concentrated – is considered crucial to the species' survival. But less than one-quarter of the peat forest remains; the rest has been converted to palm-oil plantations.

Satellite imagery showing 92 fires over the past week has horrified conservationists, who are awaiting a court ruling with far-reaching implications for the protection of wildlife habitats in Indonesia. The judgment relates to a lawsuit brought against the governor of Aceh by the local branch of Walhi, an environmental group. Walhi decided to act after the governor, Irwandi Yusuf, granted a new permit to one of the country's biggest palm-oil companies, PT Kallista Alam. Walhi Aceh argues that the permit, which would allow another 4,000 acres of peatland to be destroyed, was granted illegally.

The judges are due to reach a decision next Tuesday. If they dismiss the challenge, other important habitats could also be threatened. Tripa is nominally protected by a presidential moratorium on new logging and palm-oil concessions, as well as by legislation governing the conservation area within which it is located.

There may now be as few as 200 orang-utans left in the Tripa forest, which shelters a dozen endangered species, including the white-handed gibbon, clouded leopard, Malayan sun bear, Sumatran tiger and giant soft-shelled turtle.

Spread the message and help save the orangutans!!! STOP BUYING PALM OIL!!!


This article is from the Independent
View other related articles at Life Without Palm Oil
GRASP - Great Apes Survival Partnership

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Austrian Agriculture Deomonstation on 30 March demands a new Agriculture and Nutrition Politic

The Austrians have had enough. They are demanding a new agricultural and nutritional political direction. The agriculture industry in Europe causes toxic scandals, genetic technology in food, suffering of animals in mass production of meat. This political leadership is increasing the crisis for hunger, climate change and the dying of small farmers. Left are degraded and exploited landscapes and monoculture. We have had enough of this! We, this is a broad latform of environment,- EZA and farming organisations as well as the social movement.
Also the Austrian government subventions with all our tax money a agro-industrial development, which has no future and where farmers are ignored along the way. The dying of farms continues, farmers are challenged with a senseless competition that often breaks their financial viability. The agro-industry has been supported through subventions of millions of Euros, which speeds up the market concentration. - Large farms must grow bigger and small ones have to give up. The chance to change this political direction was never more in need and better than today. Now we can set the new path for the future!

A new agro- and nutritional culture means:

Yes to a sustainable future of farms and agriculture!
Yes to a climate protecting agriculture!
Yes to Organic farming as a model for Austrian Agriculture
Yes to gentic-free food and nutrition
Yes to the right of humane food and nutritional sovereignty
Yes to a food culture that protects humans-, animals- and environment's honour.

We are demanding for a new agro- and nutritional culture from the Austrian government:

Agriculture money to be bound to social, ecological and animal protection criterions
Local food instead of imported genetic modified soya subventions
Sacrificing of energy-intensify fertilisers and humus-destroying practicies
Pesticide reduction and biodiverisity protection
Development of the organic argriculture
Protection of nature instead of sealing the soil
Respect for animals instead of industrial meat production
Sustainable food production instead of agro-fuel
Stop misleading advertisements
Fair regulations instead of liberal agro-markets, speculations and export subventions
Support of biodiveristy of crops and animal species instead of monoculture
Patents on plants and animals to be forbidden
Exploitation of migrants and workers in the agriculture to be prevented

Neonicotinoid Pesticide Reduces Bumble Bee Colony Growth and Queen Production

1School Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK. 2Lancaster University, LEC, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK.

*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: dave.goulson@stir.ac.uk

Growing evidence for declines in bee populations has caused great concern due to the valuable ecosystem services they provide. Neonicotinoid insecticides have been implicated in these declines as they occur at trace levels in the nectar and pollen of crop plants. We exposed colonies of the bumble bee Bombus terrestris in the lab to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, then allowed them to develop naturally under field conditions. Treated colonies had a significantly reduced growth rate and suffered an 85% reduction in production of new queens compared to control colonies. Given the scale of use of neonicotinoids, we suggest that they may be having a considerable negative impact on wild bumble bee populations across the developed world.

Download full article in pdf here

Field Research on Bees Raises Concern About Low-Dose Pesticides

Two field studies reported online this week in Science document problems (http://scim.ag/MHenry, http://scim.ag/Whitehorn). In bumble bees, exposure to one such chemical leads to a dramatic loss of queens and could help explain the insects’ decline. In honey bees, another insecticide 
interferes with the foragers’ ability to find their way back to the hive. 

Read full report and download pdf here

BBC News - Insecticide blamed for bee deaths by Stirling University study

Use of a specific group of insecticides is having a serious impact on bumblebee populations, according to a team of Scottish scientists.
The Stirling University researchers found exposure even to low levels of neonicotinoid pesticides had a serious impact on the health of bumblebees.
Bee populations have fallen sharply, and scientists say urgent action is needed to reverse the decline.

Of particular concern is an 85% drop in the number of queens.
That means 85% fewer nests in the following year.

 Bumblee bee on flower

Image above: There is worldwide concern over the plight of the humble bee

The research found bumblebee colony growth slowed after exposure to the chemicals.

This may partly be to blame for colony collapse disorder, a mysterious phenomenon which has hit large numbers of hives in Europe and North America in recent years.

Professor Dave Goulson, who led the Stirling research, said: "Some bumblebee species have declined hugely. For example in North America, several bumblebee species which used to be common have more or less disappeared from the entire continent. In the UK, three species have gone extinct.

"Bumblebees pollinate many of our crops and wild flowers. The use of neonicotinoid pesticides on flowering crops clearly poses a threat to their health, and urgently needs to be re-evaluated."

Homing systems

Neonicotinoids were introduced in the early 1990s and are now widely used around the world.

The chemicals are nerve agents that spread to the nectar and pollen of flowering plants.

Doses of the pesticides used on crops are not allowed to be lethal to bees, but the evidence suggests there may be significant indirect effects, such as interfering with an insect's ability to navigate.
The UN recently warned that the threat to the honey bee was now a global phenomenon, but despite extensive research the exact causes for declining bee populations are not known.

In a similar experiment, another group of French researchers tracked foraging honeybees and found that the pesticides tripled their chances of dying away from the hive.

The chemical was thought to disrupt the bees' homing systems, causing them to get lost and perish.

The Stirling University research has been published Science magazine.
Environmental group Friends of the Earth called the findings "very significant".

Paul de Zylva, head of the group's Nature and Ecosystems Programme, said: "The bee is a cherished icon of the British countryside and our gardens and is the farmer's friend that helps pollinate our food crops so we cannot afford further decline.

"We now need the Government to look seriously at the emerging evidence from here and other countries and consider whether neonicotinoid pesticides should continue to be used freely in the UK."