May 1, 2001
What is Bush really up to: 1. Two Feedbacks + 2. Military force an option to defend Taiwan, warns Bush + 3. Religious Witness for the Earth, May 1, 2, 3, Washington, DC + 4. CREDIT CARS & UM. HAVEN'T WE LEARNED ANYTHING? & THE FOOL ON CAPITOL HILL &+ POLL POSITION + 5. George Bush's favours to big business - All the president's businessmen + 6. Lions face new threat: they're rich, American and they've got guns
As the Bush administration was celebrating yesterday its first 100 days in power with lots of ballyhoo and upbeat, positive support in the media and apparently a consistent 60%+ rate of approval in U.S. polls, one is left to wonder to what extent this is all cooked-up evidence of public support, or if it really reflects the true sentiment of a majority of people. What is somewhat puzzling to me is to see the "sacred cow" of gazoline prices going through the roof in the U.S. (I certainly won't complain about this one as it will help the owners of gaz-guzzling SUVs realize that it may not be such a good idea after all to own these terribly wasteful things) without so much as a feeble protest from U.S. consumers who were supposed to be absolutely intolerant regarding a hike of gazoline prices at the pump... Is it all a strategy to help justify drilling in the Arctic refuge?... Also when you look at all the pro-business agenda of this admninistration, its heavy anti-environment stance and the outcry it generated worldwide, the heightening of tensions with China and so on, the question that comes to mind - at least for me - is "what is this guy really up to?"...
You'll find much more comments and related material below.
Your comments are welcomed as usual... ;-)
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
P.S. For a complement of information on the negative impact of aerial chemical fumigation (mentioned in the last Meditation Focus) of illicit crops on social, environmental and health issues in Latin America, visit the Transnational Institute and Acción Andina website at http://www.tni.org/drugs/research/fumigaci.htm to read about CHEMICAL FUMIGATION AND DRUG ENFORCEMENT. You may also want to download "Death by Coca" at http://www.journeyman.co.uk/real/758.rm
Here is at Preview Outline:
Deep in the Colombian jungle, a lethal chemical snow falls from an unidentified plane. Ironically, it looks vaguely like the processed result of the valuable illegal crop it's meant to kill. It's all part of the ruthless civil war in Colombia waged between the government and guerrilla-run cocaine empire. To the coca farmers, this is simply a way to eke out a living. But Clinton's 1.7 billion dollar plan to crack down on cocaine production has done more than threaten their livelihood. Even farmers who have tried to substitute coca with rubber have had their crops ruined by planes that fumigate their land anyway. Alfredo Bocanegra, a coca farmer and father, recalls the day his daughter Bianei Garzón Zuniga was killed by fumigation on January 14th this year. "Two planes came and fumigated around 10 oclock in the morning. My little girl got poisoned...and I found her dead. She was just 17 months old."
From: "Jenny Habib" <JennyHabib@berko77.freeserve.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Miscellaneous Subjects 78
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001
I do so agree with the sad result you have outlined. We have to galvanise people to learn to walk again, use their legs and their minds to shop for local food and clothing, learn to sew again, stop buying sweat-shop goods from China and start to be independent of the huge chain stores. It will be cheaper for us too!
Subject: Re: This is so Easy and sends a big message]
If room allows, would you please add this to an upcoming compilation? No need to mention my name.
I would like to add my accolades for the continuing excellent world service you are providing. i guess i've been a "member" for at least a year, and your growth is not only evident but amazing! isn't it wonderful to be "awake?" :-)
(name withheld upon request)
Thanks for your kind words.
However I don't feel it is appropriate to encourage a boycott to counter China on this. I believe this whole thing is a set up *by the U.S.* as the military-industrial complex needs the justification of a credible enemy and some saber-rattling rhetorics from its new corporate-serving administration to make the public accept ever more bloated military spendings at a time when the world has never been so peaceful. China does not pose any military threat to the US. Their military budget and military hardware sophistication are a mere fraction off what the US spends and has. Since Bush and his cronies took power, the whole foreign policy of the U.S. has changed for the worst - they even tried to derail the peace moves between the 2 Koreas - and very little of all this info reaches the US public or is portrayed without a heavy pro-US bias in the US media, not to mention giving lots or air time to the well-orchestrated welcoming home of the heroic spies liberated by from far-away China. And anyway most self-centered, geographically illiterate U.S. citizens simply don't care or are choosing to be blissfully unaware of all that the government is doing with their tax dollars. Most U.S citizens don't even bother to vote any more.
If you look also at the worldwide outcry against Bush's decision to scuttle the feeble anti-global warming Kyoto Treaty, you can have an idea of just how much Europe, Japan and most of the rest of the world are outraged at this shorthsighted, stupid decision and the new bullyish attitude of the United States. The problem in short is not China, it is the United States.
I know that like most people, you probably feel powerless and helpless to effect any change to all that. I hope also you understand that these comments are not aimed at you personally ;-)
Still I believe that if more and more people were to focus on positive, life-serving solutions instead of confrontational, jingoistic suggestions like a boycott of chinese products as recommended in what you sent me, and if we all encourage conciliatory moves and a greater respect of other nations (as was the case under the Clinton administration), they we would certainly have a better chance of fostering peace and harmony on Earth.
Love and Light
Relations with China
Military force an option to defend Taiwan, warns Bush
April 26: George Bush delivered Washington's bluntest warning over Taiwan for years yesterday, threatening to do "whatever it takes" to defend the island.
Military force an option to defend Taiwan, warns Bush
Martin Kettle in Washington and John Hooper in Berlin Thursday April 26, 2001 The Guardian
George Bush delivered Washington's bluntest warning over Taiwan for years yesterday, threatening to do "whatever it takes" to defend the island and telling Beijing that the use of US military force was "certainly an option".
Twenty-four hours after the administration's decision to offer a package of destroyers, submarines and other weapons for sale to Taiwan provoked an angry diplomatic protest from Beijing, Mr Bush raised the stakes with his pledge to use US military might to prevent any forcible annexation of Taiwan by China.
Mr Bush was careful to sugar the pill by recommitting himself to the "one China" doctrine that has governed US-China relations since the Nixon-Mao era. But the use of such language marked a clear hardening of Washington's stance and is likely to cause further outrage in Beijing.
Special report: Taiwan and China http://www.guardian.co.uk/taiwan/"
Special report: George Bush's America http://www.guardian.co.uk/bush/
Special report: China http://www.guardian.co.uk/china
April 25: Bush defies China with Taiwan deal http://www.guardian.co.uk/bush/story/0,7369,477931,00.html
April 24: US blocks sale of hi-tech warships to Taiwan http://www.guardian.co.uk/bush/story/0,7369,477691,00.html
HERE IS SOMETHING ADMIRABLE WE MAY ALL WANT TO SUPPORT
From: "Philip Bogdonoff" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001
Subject: Urgent: Religious Witness for the Earth, May 1, 2, 3, Washington, DC
Religious Witness for the Earth (RWE) will be in DC this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The are calling for religious leaders of all faiths to witness for the creation (see below).
I am friend with Rev. Fred Small (First Church Unitarian, Little, Mass.) and have deep respect for his leading. Please consider adding your voice and your body to this movement.
Philip Bogdonoff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
tel: +1 202 363-1306 fax: +1 202 244-3381
Dear Philip and Jillaine,
Here's the latest RWE stuff! The Episcopal Bishop of Alaska just signed on, and Bill McKibben (author of The End of Nature and one of our very first signatories) has confirmed he'll speak at our reception Tuesday evening, May 1. The Bush administration is hinting they're ready to back off from the Arctic Refuge, which is great news (if confirmed) for the Refuge but means more trouble elsewhere. We'll adjust the focus of the Prayer & Witness as necessary. The text is below, along with a short blurb on RWE, both also attached in printable versions. Feel free to pass them on to anyone who should know. ...
A Call to Religious Witness
We rejoice in God's creation. Now we are called to defend it.
We come from diverse religious traditions, but we stand on common ground. Every religious tradition teaches us to hold sacred the wonders of creation, yet wantonly we desecrate them. Every religious tradition cautions us to temper our cravings for sensation and material things, yet we pursue them addictively, vainly hoping to fill our spiritual emptiness. Every religious tradition forbids theft, yet every day we live unsustainably, we steal from our children and our children's children.
"Beginning Tuesday, May 1, all of us who can will gather in Washington, DC for three days of Prayer and Witness for the Earth -- to protect the Artic Refuge, to promote conservation and renewable energy, to stop global climate change, and to stand for environmental justice for all. We will seek to meet with Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, charged with stewardship of the Refuge, and with members of Congress... . We will urge them to spare the Refuge and to support conservation, fuel efficiency, and renewable sources of energy. On Thursday, May 3, we will gather at a federal site to pray, meditate, sing, and bear witness. In the nonviolent tradition of Gandhi and King, some of us will choose to risk arrest in defense of God's creation. All who are committed to nonviolence and a loving spirit will be welcome among us.
"For information and to add your name to our Call, please visit http://www.religiouswitness.org/ .
"Please share this Call with your religious community and others.
Blessings upon you, your descendants, and the earth."
Religious Witness for the Earth Schedule of Events May 1-3, 2001 Washington, DC
27 Apr 2001
Ford, Toyota, and Honda are working with environmental groups like
the Natural Resources Defense Council and Union of Concerned
Scientists to urge Congress to pass tax credits for people who buy
vehicles that are better for the environment. Legislation introduced
in the Senate would create tax credits that range from $1,000 for
gas-electric hybrids to much more for heavy-duty trucks that runs on
electricity or fuel cells. Ford President Jacques Nasser said the
bill "will help accelerate demand for cleaner, more fuel-efficient
vehicles in the marketplace and put them on the road earlier and in
higher volumes." DaimlerChrysler and General Motors say they support
tax incentives, but they disagree with the way the bill calculates
fuel improvements. The Sierra Club, on the other hand, supports
higher requirements for gas mileage rather than tax credits.
San Francisco Chronicle, Associated Press,
Nedra Pickler, 24 Apr 2001
do good: Take action and pledge to buy an eco-friendly car
UM. HAVEN'T WE LEARNED ANYTHING?
People across the former Soviet Union offered their prayers yesterday
to victims of the Chernobyl disaster, 15 years after the world's
worst nuclear accident occurred in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government
says that more than 70,000 people were fully disabled by the accident
and more than 4,000 who took part in the clean-up have died. At
least 7 million people in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine suffer
physical or psychological effects from the radiation released during
the catastrophe. Meanwhile, half of Americans now say they support
using nuclear plants to produce electricity, an increase over two
years ago, according to an Associated Press poll. And the nuclear
industry may soon seek its first permit in decades to build a new
plant in the U.S.
Contra Costa Times, Associated Press, Sergei Shargorodsky, Apr 27 2001
MSNBC.com, Associated Press, 25 Apr 2001
CNN.com, Associated Press, 26 Apr 2001
THE FOOL ON CAPITOL HILL
Some Labor Party members in the U.K. are publicly deriding U.S.
President Bush as the "toxic Texan" and "the fool on Capitol Hill"
for his stance on climate change. In fact, the Bush administration,
by all reports, has been astonished by the intense reaction around
the world to its decision to withdraw from the Kyoto treaty on
climate change. The State Department, at the request of the Bushies,
put together a review of how the press in 43 countries covered the
issue. One Seoul paper wrote that Bush's "scrapping" of Kyoto was
"tantamount to a declaration of ... environmental terrorism against
humankind." Read more quotes and learn how Kyoto could still be
saved on the Grist Magazine website.
London Independent, Ben Russell, 25 Apr 2001
read it only in Grist Magazine: This just in -- in our Heat Beat section
do good: Take action and tell Bush not to abandon Kyoto
Only 38 percent of the American public approves of the way President
Bush is handling the environment, according to a poll taken this week
by CBS News. More than twice as many Americans place a priority on
protecting the environment over producing energy -- but the public
overwhelmingly thinks Bush is on the side of energy production, the
CBSNews.com, 26 Apr 2001
To subscribe to DAILY GRIST, send a blank email message to <email@example.com>.
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ANOTHER EYE-OPENING ARTICLE FROM THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER IN THE UK
George Bush's favours to big business - All the president's businessmen
The Republican election campaign was the most expensive in history and required big donations from big business. Since moving into the White House, George Bush has had only one concern - returning the favours. Julian Borger on how corporate America bought itself a president
Special report: George Bush's America
Friday April 27, 2001 -- The Guardian
Buried in the Bush administration's first budget was a routine-looking salaries estimate for the justice department. But one particular group of government lawyers saw it immediately for what it was - a signpost to a new era. The lawyers were a specialised team, put together in the Clinton years to take on the big tobacco companies for lying about the safety of their product for five decades. They had worked out that the sprawling, groundbreaking case would cost about $57m (£41m). They were allocated less than $2m.
In desperation, the lawyers leaked a memo earlier this week, in which they pointed out that the budget would kill their prosecution. In response, the attorney general, John Ashcroft, counter-leaked his plans to replace the litigation team on the grounds that it had done a shoddy job. The message could not be clearer if it was a neon sign on the White House roof: the war on Big Tobacco is over.
The list of defendants who now appear to have escaped federal prosecution is also a list of big donors to the George Bush election campaign. At the top is Philip Morris, which gave $2.8m to the new president's war chest, his inauguration and his party. Big Tobacco as a whole gave $7m to Bush and the Republicans, 83% of the industry's total election spending. If the federal lawsuit against them is allowed to die, which now seems almost certain, the cigarette companies will have saved themselves up to $100bn in damages and compensation - an impressive rate of return by any standards. Philip Morris would argue, of course, that there is no direct connection between its donation and the apparent demise of the government lawsuit - and that its support for the president is entirely down to his policies.
In Washington, this is not some isolated, government-rocking case of support for corporate interests. In his first 100 days in office (the milestone passes on Sunday) Bush has made this straightforward form of corporate payback the defining trait of his administration. This simple fact has been obscured by the snickering over his frequent and clunky gaffes.
For Bush, the first US president with an MBA, the election was a straightforward business proposition in which American corporations acted as venture capitalists. They were invited to take a moderate risk and put the bulk of their political funds behind the Republican dauphin in the most expensive campaign in history. The returns, in the form of abandoned lawsuits, relaxed federal regulations and the scrapping of at least one major international treaty, are heavily loaded with short-term profit. Whatever the economic climate in the world outside, for big business it is truly springtime in Washington.
Naturally, the Democrats have lined up to declare that they are shocked to discover that business wields such influence in politics. The corporate world did not do too badly in the Clinton years, but it was one of many voices echoing around the Oval Office. In the Bush administration, business is the only voice.
Thus, whereas Clinton devoted much of the energy of his first 100 days to a messy fight over gays in the military, the Bush administration has briskly run through a veritable corporate shopping list of swift anti-regulatory measures.
In his first few days, Bush scrapped a raft of work-safety measures, which had been negotiated between the federal government and the unions for much of the past decade, in an attempt to address the new work injuries of the computer age, such as repetitive strain injury, affecting an estimated 1.8m employees.
The scrapping of the new rules was a triumph for the US Chamber of Commerce and a crushing defeat for the AFL-CIO union federation, which had of course overwhelmingly backed Al Gore and the Democrats. At the same time, Bush lifted regulations on federally funded works which gave preference to contractors who used union labour.
Next on the list was a bankruptcy bill, long demanded by the banks and credit card companies (who sponsored Bush and his party to the tune of over $25m). Its effect will be to strip Americans who have declared themselves bankrupt of some of the legal protection they have from their financial creditors.
The bill's proponents portrayed the targets of the bill as scam artists and irresponsible spendthrifts, but subsequent press reports and surveys suggested that the majority of the victims will be poor families who have lost jobs and fallen foul of the rapacious US health system. Clinton had vetoed a similar bill on the grounds that the poor should be allowed to pay their rent and hospital bills before their credit card charges.
The impact of the Bush era has fallen heaviest, however, on the environment, where the legal constraints on business had been the most expensive. In short order after his inauguration, Bush lifted rules which would have made mining companies (who donated $2.6m to his campaign) pay for the clean-up costs if they contaminated the public water supply, and then scrapped safety limits on arsenic levels in drinking water imposed by the outgoing Clinton White House.
Meanwhile, another Clinton-era regulation aimed at protecting 60m acres of national forests from logging and road building is also about to be scuttled, according to justice department sources quoted in yesterday's Washington Post. The ban had been one of the last acts of the outgoing administration, but it had been a consequence of more than a year of open hearings held by the Forest Service in which the views of 1.6m members of the public had been taken into account. For its part, the timber industry contributed $3.2m to the Bush campaign in the 2000 elections. The money, it seems, is talking louder.
The most important environmental victories for US industry came in March, when the new president abandoned a campaign pledge to impose legal limits on carbon dioxide emissions. The obvious consequence of that decision arrived a few days later, when the administration let it be known that it considered the Kyoto protocol on global warming dead and buried, summarily ending five years of transatlantic efforts to agree on how the accord should be implemented.
The head of the environmental protection agency, Christine Todd Whitman, has promised that the US is ready to go back to the negotiating table and start again from scratch. But meanwhile, the cost of cutting emissions has been removed for the foreseeable future from the corporate balance sheets of the coal, electricity, oil and gas industries, all of them major Bush contributors. The oil sector alone put over $25m into Republican coffers for last year's election, compared to the $7m backing it provided to Democratic candidates.
It is hardly surprising that the mood on K Street, the home of Washington's industrial lobbyists, is triumphant these days. "We have come out of the cave, blinking in the sunlight, saying to one another, 'My God, now we can actually get something done,' " Richard Hohlt, a banking lobbyist, recently told the Wall Street Journal.
Paradoxically, the only major setback the industrial lobby has suffered under Bush so far has been the old-fashioned cold war exchange of sabre-rattling with China. It has been redolent of an older, more ideological strain of Republicanism, but it cuts against the interests of corporate leaders, who view China as a vast opportunity for expansion. Consequently, there were few protests from the usual cold warriors in the party ranks when Washington sent a delicately worded apology to Beijing over this month's spy plane standoff. On every other front, the K Street army has emerged from its trenches to find that there is hardly even token resistance to its relentless advance.
In his former role as Clinton's labour secretary, Robert Reich had frequently complained that corporate America seemed to gain the upper hand more often than not in the corridors of power. Now, he says, there is not even a fight. "There's no longer any countervailing power in Washington. Business is in complete control of the machinery of government," he wrote in the New York Times. "It's payback time, and every industry and trade association is busily cashing in."
The transaction has not been so much a purchase as a corporate merger. The distinction between business and government has simply been blurred to near invisibility. The White House has made much of the fact that the new MBA-equipped president is running the administration along sleek corporate lines. Key officials, meanwhile, are being recruited straight from the nation's boardrooms.
The treasury secretary, Paul O'Neill, came from the giant aluminium manufacturer Alcoa. Dick Cheney was headhunted from the oil services company Haliburton. Karl Rove, Bush's chief political strategist, performed the same function for Philip Morris from 1991 to 1996. The new "regulations czar", John Graham, charged with overseeing the further dismantling of government controls on industry, has arrived from John Hopkins University, where he once oversaw a study concluding that there were no health risks from secondhand cigarette smoke. At the same time, according to the watchdog group Public Citizen, Graham was soliciting $25,000 in funding from Philip Morris.
The list of business alunmi is endless. Mitchell Daniels, the head of the White House office of management and budget, is a former vice-president of the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly. He represents an industry which contributed $18m to the Bush electoral effort and now expects the administration to distance itself from its predecessor's plans to impose price caps on prescription medicine.
The only risk to the mega-corporations' control over Washington appears to come from within - the danger of overreaching and provoking an electoral backlash against their greed and environmental damage. "At some point - perhaps as soon as the 2002 midterm elections, surely no later than the next presidential election - the public will be aghast at what is happening," Reich argues. "The backlash against business may be thunderous."
There are already signs that Bush and his advisors realise the danger, and there have been attempts to soften the president's image, particularly on the environment. He has signalled his readiness to sign a treaty on curbing the industrial release of particularly noxious chemicals and may think again on arsenic limits in drinking water. After all, Bush will need people's votes as well as corporate money if he is to win re-election in 2004. But all the signs from the first 100 days suggest that the moderating non-corporate influences on the administration are likely to be kept to a minimum. This is as close as it is possible to get in a democracy to a government of business, by business and for business.
Funding for favours: Bush's paybacks
Table shows amount paid (in millions of dollars) to the Republican election campaign and that amount as a percentage of each industry's election spending.
Industry | $m | % | The payback
Tobacco | 7.0 | 83% | Killing off federal lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers
Timber | 3.2 | 82% | Restrictions on logging roads scrapped
Oil and gas | 25.4 | 78% | Restrictions on CO2 emissions abandoned; Kyoto scrapped; moves to open Arctic refuge to drilling
Mining | 2.6 | 77% | Scrapping of environmental clean-up rules; arsenic limits in water supply
Banks and credit card companies | 25.6 | 60% | Bankruptcy bill making it easier for credit card companies to collect debts from bankrupt customers
Pharmaceuticals | 17.8 | 68% | Medicare reform without price controls
Airlines | 4.2 | 61% | Federal barriers to strikes; backpedalling on antitrust legislation
AND MEANWHILE HIS FATHER IS TRYING HIS BEST NOT TO BE OUTDONE...
Lions face new threat: they're rich, American and they've got guns (Friday April 27, 2001)
Schwarzkopf and Bush Snr mobilise opposition as Botswana moves to save its big cats
You might call the lions of southern Africa potential Bush meat. The former American president, George Bush senior, and his old Gulf War ally, General "Stormin' Norman" Schwarzkopf, are pleading with the government of Botswana to be allowed to revive their old alliance, this time in pursuit of Africa's endangered big cats.
Mr Bush is among prominent members of Safari Club International (SCI) who have written to the Botswanan authorities asking them to lift a ban slapped on trophy hunting of lions in February.
Arizona-based SCI describes itself as the largest hunting organisation in the world and people who do not like what it does as "animal protection extremists".
Mr Joubert estimates that the number of lions in Botswana has declined by about two-thirds in 10 years. That is average for the continent.
Exact numbers of lions are notoriously difficult to measure but there is broad consensus among conservationists and governments that the population in Africa has fallen from about 50,000 to less than 15,000 over the past decade. The surviving lions are largely confined to four viable populations in southern and east Africa.
The nature of lion hunting has changed from colonial days. Faster vehicles and high powered rifles have further reduced the already bad odds against the animals. On top of that, the idea of three week hunts deep into the bush in the hope, but not necessarily the expectation, of bagging something big have given way to the concept of a sure kill.
"It's very difficult for a professional hunter to turn around to some guy who's paid $30,000 to kill a lion and say: 'Don't shoot that one he's too young, he's not ready'. The guy's going to say, I came here to kill a lion and that's what I'm going to do," said Mr Joubert.
At least there is still something of the hunt left in Botswana. South Africa offers the notorious "canned lion" service in which a trapped animal is virtually delivered to the barrel of a gun.
Many of the lions are bred in captivity solely as bait for hunters and then hardly pursued at all. They are released into what are no more than fields surrounded by fences and "hunted". They have no chance of escape.
On one occasion captured on video a lioness was separated from her cubs and shot just yards away. Last year a pride of problem lions - they had been eating livestock - in the state-owned Kruger National Park was sold to a hunting tour operator for delivery to his clients.
Tales of horrendous suffering by the animals abound. Some supposed hunters are so inexpert with guns that they take a dozen shots to kill a lion.
Sometimes the killing takes place on the same game farms that foreign tourists believe to be conservation centres. While the parks emphasise the breeding of lions to the visitors waving cameras, over the hill the hunters are shooting them with guns. The state-run South African tourist board even advertised "canned lion" hunts.
"Go for the ultimate trophy and score in South Africa," said one advert. "It is always in season in South Africa, where the world's finest hunting is in the bag."
Under threat from the gun
There were once hundreds of species but only five exist today and four of them are endangered. During the 1970s as many as half the world's remaining rhinos disappeared. Now fewer than 12,000 survive in Asia and Africa. The northern white rhino is reduced to only 30 individuals in the wild. In Africa poaching has been so ruthless that black rhino numbers have fallen from 60,000 to 2,500 in 22 years. Horn from African rhinos is worth£1,300 to £3,300 per kg, and horn from Asian rhinos up to £32,000 per kg.
The demand for ivory was behind the decline of the African elephant, which fell from 2m animals in 1970 to between 286,000 and 543,000 today.
The number of Asian elephants have been reduced to between 34,000 and 51,000 animals in the wild. Hunting for meat, hides and bones has affected both breeds.
Fewer than 30,000 exist in the world today, a 30% to 50% decline which has occurred in the past decade. The vast majority can be found in Borneo, where they are protected. Hunting for food and body parts has taken its toll and the trade in body parts, particularly skulls, continues despite the efforts of the authorities to eradicate it.
A population estimate in 1996 was between 4,600 and 7,200 in the wild, and there are now no more than 4,500 Indian tigers. The Siberian tiger is the world's largest cat but only 200 remain, mostly in Russia. The demand for tiger products has increased with the bones and other body parts being used for traditional Chinese medicines and as tonics or cures for ailments.
From: "Gerda Wout" <email@example.com>
"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words".
- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
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