Browsing: Environmental News
Next time you see someone throw plastic into the ocean, inform the offender that 8.8 million metric tons of plastic waste are dumped into oceans every year. China is responsible for 2.4 million metric tons. It is time to end such destructive behaviour.
Most people understand that human-caused climate change is a real and serious threat. True, some still reject the mountains of evidence amassed by scientists from around the world over many decades, and accepted by every legitimate scientific academy and institution. But as the physical evidence builds daily — from increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather events like droughts and floods to disappearing polar ice to rising sea levels — it takes an incredible amount of denial to claim we have no reason to worry.
A Spanish biologist and amateur beekeeper, Federica Bertocchini, has discovered a plastic-eating caterpillar that could be the solution to global plastic pollution. The caterpillar’s ability to consume plastic was accidentally discovered during routine bee hive maintenance and it’s has since been studied by Bertocchini and her peers at the University of Cambridge. Their findings have been published in Current Biology in April 2017.
Up to 10.3 million tonnes of sea life is unintentionally caught each year around the world, captured in nets, lines and other gear. Some of this is kept and sold, or released safely; but far too much is put back in the ocean, either dead or dying. In Canada, this includes endangered and threatened species like whales, turtles, sharks and fish.
In 1926, U.S. automaker Henry Ford reduced his employees’ workweek from six eight-hour days to five, with no pay cuts. It’s something workers and labour unions had been calling for, and it followed previous reductions in work schedules that had been as high as 84 to 100 hours over seven days a week.
It has been almost three months since February’s mass stranding of pilot whales in Farewell Spit. With time to gather some perspective, we’re reflecting on the sheer magnitude of the event. It was the largest stranding in 99 years and had the largest human response ever. Between 220-250 whales died, but with volunteers help, over 450 whales survived!
Following the well-publicised killing of a huge resident smooth ray on 2 April at Rye Pier Melbourne, that sparked a petition of over 26,000 signatures to ban the killing of rays in Port Phillip Bay, another attack occurred at the same pier on Wednesday evening, 3 May. Four fiddler rays (more commonly known as ‘banjo sharks’) were caught by an unidentified individual on the pier before being dealt a severe cranial split.
Now that the weather has stabilised, we are enjoying wonderful dives again at Sail Rock, Anghton Marine Park and Koh Tao, yet I remember the unusual weather we had last January, which let many tourists down. Their frustration was understandable. They came to Thailand expecting sunshine, without considering an unwanted consequence of their own lifestyle: climate change.