opinion Mike Thompson Detroit Free Press Published 1:09 PM EDT Oct 29, 2018 For once, we could rejoice when a creature joins the list of extinct species in Michigan. On Nov. 6, you can help send partisan gerrymandering, a practice that allows politicians to pick their voters, into extinction by voting yes on Proposal 2. If voters approve the measure, Michigan's next political map would be drawn by a citizens commission composed of four Democrats, four Republicans, and five voters unaffiliated with either major party. In other words, Michigan voters would pick their politicians, not the other way around. Check out my past work on the problem of partisan gerrymandering (below) and be sure to vote on Nov. 6. Follow MIke Thompson on Facebook and Twitter More from Mike Thompson: More on this issue: … [Read more...] about Gerrymandering faces extinction in Michigan. Vote on Nov. 6.
Associated Press Published 7:54 PM EDT Oct 15, 2018 London – Stephen Hawking spoke from beyond the grave Monday to warn the world that science and education are under threat around the world. The words of the scientist, who died in March at 76, were broadcast at a London launch event for his final book “Brief Answers To The Big Questions.” Hawking warned that education and science are “in danger now more than ever before.” He cited the election of U.S. President Donald Trump and Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union as part of “a global revolt against experts and that includes scientists.” Acknowledging that science had yet to overcome major challenges for the world – including climate change, overpopulation, species extinction, deforestation and the degradation of the oceans – the physicist still urged young people “to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.” “Try to make sense of what … [Read more...] about Hawking feared science, education under threat
Matthew Brown Associated Press Published 12:30 p.m. UTC Jul 20, 2018 Denver – The Trump administration on Thursday proposed ending automatic protections for threatened animal and plant species and limiting habitat safeguards that are meant to shield recovering species from harm. Administration officials said the new rules would advance conservation by simplifying and improving how the landmark Endangered Species Act is used. “These rules will be very protective,” said U.S. Interior Department Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, adding that the changes also will reduce the “conflict and uncertainty” associated with many protected species. Such conflicts have been numerous in the decades since the act’s 1973 passage, ranging from disruptions to logging to protect spotted owls in the Pacific Northwest, to attacks on livestock that have accompanied the restoration of gray wolves in the Rocky Mountains and upper Midwest. The proposed changes include … [Read more...] about Trump proposes overhaul to Endangered Species Act
Keith Matheny Detroit Free Press Published 10:39 p.m. UTC Jul 13, 2018 At an idyllic, quiet, tranquil patch of fen and prairie in Oakland County's Springfield Township, a tragedy is unfolding. It's there that Michigan's most endangered species, the Poweshiek skipperling butterfly, flutters away what may be its last days on Earth. The brownish-orange, thumbnail-sized butterfly, with a wingspan of only an inch or so, once was fairly common on the North American plains. Now, it's precariously close to extinction: Fewer than 200 are known to remain — in one tiny pocket of the Canadian province of Manitoba, in a solitary area of Wisconsin and the largest remaining number, fewer than 70, in Oakland County, particularly at the Shiawassee Basin Preserve in Springfield Township. Not long ago, "it was probably the most frequently encountered prairie skipper, a type of butterfly," said Tam Smith, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's … [Read more...] about Michigan’s most endangered species nears extinction in Oakland County
During the entire last half of 2017, more than a dozen U.S. states were making a fuss to become the site of a $1.6-billion production plant for Toyota and Mazda. Now that the companies have picked Alabama, the fuss has changed—the plant could put a rare fish species at risk of extinction, according to a recent lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and found by AL.com, never explicitly mentions the production plant or the car companies, and neither Toyota nor Mazda are the targets. Instead, the lawsuit was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit organization that helps species nearing extinction, challenging U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s alleged failure to comply with parts of the Endangered Species Act for Alabama’s spring pigmy sunfish. That alleged failure means there’s a lack of legal protection for the only known habitat the fish has left, and the development around the plant could directly … [Read more...] about Lawsuit Claims $1.6-Billion Toyota-Mazda Factory Could Push Fish Species To Extinction