7 Ways California’s Plastic Bag Ban Is Great News for Planet Earth
In California, the days of ocean-polluting, wildlife-killing plastic bags are over.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed into law a bill that makes the Golden State the first in the nation to enact a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. (Citywide bans are already in effect in San Francisco; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Portland, Ore.; and other municipalities.)
Beginning July 1, 2015, the bill will require retailers to provide alternatives such as recycled paper bags for at least a dime a pop.
How ban affects California and environment:
- Climate Change
- Cutting Back
- Toxic Diet
- Sea Turtles
Read full article and view full gallery HERE.
Report: Honeybee Death Rate Is Currently Too High for Survival of the Species
A government report released last week surprisingly admits that the honeybee species are dying off at a rate too high to ‘guarantee their long term survival’.
It has been well proven that the primary factor leading to this extinction is the presence of neonicotinoid poisons, of course present in insecticides sold by and/or used by corporations such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dupont and their products. A recent study from Harvard, published on March 27th of this year, has definitively confirmed what scientists outside the US have been saying for years: neonicotinoids are the [emphasis added] cause of colony collapse disorder(CCD). The study showed that 50% of colonies populated by bees who had been in contact with these pesticides collapsed, compared to only 1 in 6 who were not in contact with neonicotinoids.
The European Union understands that the death of honeybees is an unprecedented death for human beings and mother earth, as they have banned neonicotinoid poisons.
However, American powers refuse to believe the problem is neonicotinoid insecticides and they continue to be in use here.
These corporations with armies of lobbyists and politicians bought and paid for, like Monsanto, are playing dumb and suggesting that ‘mites’ are the cause for the death rate of honeybees, a problem so bad that it means their extinction if they continue on this path. This is dangerous anti-science rhetoric, borderline scientific denialism from the American agro-chemical establishment.
Well, did mites cause the honeybees to go extinct in the approximate 14 million years they survived here before humans invented neonicotinoid chemicals? Of course not. It seems only things as foreign to Earth as neonicotinoids can cause such a drastic loss of crucial life on our planet and the solution is obvious; inform people that if we keep allowing the honeybees to die at this rate, we will be literally without almost all of the fruits we enjoy. Oh and stop using neonicotinoids.
If we don’t seriously stop this soon, then a corporation like Monsanto would likely take advantage of the lack of bees to pollinate and create fruit, and attempt to monopolize the products of nature because the fruits will then require individual, manual pollination or more complex measures. While this may seem far fetched, in the absence of honeybees and acknowledging that manual pollination is highly labor intensive, micro pollinator drones may be in our future if something is not done to save the bees.
If you are reading this, there is a good chance absolutely none of this information is new. If the bees are not nursed back to health as a species, say goodbye to these things- (unless you want genetically modified, manually pollinated products of Monsanto in the wake of the extinction of the honeybee): Apples Mangos Rambutan Kiwi Fruit Plums Peaches Nectarines Guava Rose Hips Pomegranites Pears Black and Red Currants Alfalfa Okra Strawberries Onions Cashews Cactus Prickly Pear Apricots Allspice Avocados Passion Fruit Lima Beans Kidney Beans Adzuki Beans Green Beans Orchid Plants Custard Apples Cherries Celery Coffee Walnut Cotton Lychee Flax Acerola – used in Vitamin C supplements Macadamia Nuts Sunflower Oil Goa beans Lemons Buckwheat Figs Fennel Limes Quince Carrots Persimmons Palm Oil Loquat Durian Cucumber Hazelnut Cantaloupe Tangelos Coriander Caraway Chestnut Watermelon Star Apples Coconut Tangerines Boysenberries Starfruit Brazil Nuts Beets Mustard Seed Rapeseed Broccoli Cauliflower Cabbage Brussels Sprouts Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage) Turnips Congo Beans Sword beans Chili peppers, red peppers, bell peppers, green peppers Papaya Safflower Sesame Eggplant Raspberries Elderberries Blackberries Clover Tamarind Cocoa Black Eyed Peas Vanilla Cranberries Tomatoes Grapes
can’t say no one predicted this
down with monsanto
Our food system is extremely dependent on honey bees, if they die out, it’s going to start to collapse. Smash Big Agro before it’s too late.
SAVE THE BEES!
With a spate of huge stories breaking in the past few weeks, you might not have caught the massive environmental crisis in northern Mexico that began earlier in August.
According to the Associated Press, local politicians claim that Grupo Mexico, a private mining company in Sonora with a troubling track record of hazardous waste violations in Mexico and the U.S., was slow to report a disastrous fault in its leaching ponds, which hold industrial acid used in the mining process. The spill released around 10 million gallons of acid into the Bacanuchi and Sonora Rivers.
Solar energy that doesn’t block the view
A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window. It is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a clear surface. And, according to Richard Lunt of MSU’s College of Engineering, the key word is “transparent.”
These vegetated surfaces don’t just look pretty. They have other benefits as well, including cooling city blocks, reducing loud noises, and improving a building’s energy efficiency. What’s more, a recent modeling study shows that green walls can potentially reduce large amounts of air pollution in what’s called a “street canyon,” or the corridor between tall buildings.
For the study, Thomas Pugh, a biogeochemist at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, and his colleagues created a computer model of a green wall with generic vegetation in a Western European city. Then they recorded chemical reactions based on a variety of factors, such as wind speed and building placement.
The simulation revealed a clear pattern: A green wall in a street canyon trapped or absorbed large amounts of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter—both pollutants harmful to people, said Pugh. Compared with reducing emissions from cars, little attention has been focused on how to trap or take up more of the pollutants, added Pugh, whose study was published last year in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
That’s why the green-wall study is “putting forward an alternative solution that might allow [governments] to improve air quality in these problem hot spots,” he said.Compared with reducing emissions from cars, little attention has been focused on how to trap or take up more of the pollutants, added Pugh, whose study was published last year in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
That’s why the green-wall study is “putting forward an alternative solution that might allow [governments] to improve air quality in these problem hot spots,” he said.
No one could accuse Nilcilene Miguel de Lima of being easily afraid. When loggers beat her and burned down her home in Lábrea – in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon – the environmental activist refused to give up her struggle. When they killed her dog and frightened away the armed guards who had been sent to protect her, she carried on without them. But after they murdered her fellow campaigners and warned her she would be next, the mother of four finally fled.
Today, she is in hiding hundreds of miles from home, looking out of the bars on the window of a temporary refuge in Manaus and wondering what happened to Brazilian justice and the world’s interest in protecting the planet’s greatest rainforest. “I’ll be hiding for the rest of my life. The people who killed my friends and destroyed nature should be the ones in prison, but I’m the one who has no liberty,” she says. “All I ever did was protect the families who tried to conserve the environment.”
That is an increasingly dangerous ambition in Brazil where, according to a recent report by Global Witness, more environmental and land-rights campaigners have been killed than the rest of the world put together. The study found that, on average, one activist has been killed in the country every week since 2002. If that trend continues, four will die during the course of this World Cup, though very few cases are likely to make headlines.
Most of the murders occur in remote regions of the Amazon – places like de Lima’s home of Lábrea in Amazonas state, where loggers, ranchers and land-grabbers are seizing property from smallholders, subsistence communities and indigenous tribes. Guns and muscle make the rules. Police are usually either absent, complicit or too weak to deal with the gangs of armed grileiros. The ethical consequences are immense.
Located in an arc of deforestation that stretches from Mato Grosso, through Acre and Rondônia across the Bolivian border, Lábrea is among the most remote, dangerous and important frontlines of environmental protection on the planet. Whether fighting climate change or conserving biodiversity, there are few more pressing struggles in the world than the one taking place here. Yet it rarely gets much attention in Brazil, let alone the rest of the world. The stage is too distant, the drama plays out too slowly and the economic interests are weighed against the activists, who are often accused by their enemies of holding back development.
Getting to the flash points is a challenge. Most occur deep in the forest. The terminal at the nearest local airport is little more than a shed and it receives only seven scheduled flights a week. The road network is even less developed. Lábrea is at the end of the Trans-Amazonian Highway – a 4,000km road that was supposed to stretch from the east coast all the way to Peru, before the project ran out of funds and became mired in the mosquito and disease-infested swamps around the town.
As the town at the end of this line, Lábrea is a surprisingly bustling, sometimes surreal place with a population of more than 40,000 people – an indication of just how much human pressure is growing in the Amazon. A 20m statue of Mary with a neon halo dominates the central plaza along with dozens of brightly coloured – and almost completely unused – recycling bins placed every 10 metres along the path. A short walk down to the Purus river is a slum of boat-dwellers living on fetid waters; vultures perch on their corrugated tin roofs.
From here it is still three days’ journey by motorboat to de Lima’s home in south Lábrea. She is president of Deus Proverà, an association of Brazilian nut farmers and rubber tappers in the community of Gedeão in the south of Lábrea. Located several days canoe ride from the town, the area is dominated by a gang of gunmen who work for loggers and farmers. It is a hotspot for murder and intimidation. According to the Comissão Pastoral da Terra (Brazilian Pastoral Land Commission), six community leaders were assassinated in the Lábrea area between 2008 and 2013 and 51 local activists continue to receive death threats. Precedent suggests one in 10 of them will be murdered in the coming years.
De Lima is tougher than most. Struggle and tragedy have defined her life. She grew up in Xapuri in Acre, the headquarters of Brazil’s most celebrated campaigner Chico Mendes, who was murdered in 1988 after he tried to halt loggers and establish extractive reserves for small farmers. These were areas where the right to harvest natural resources were granted to subsistence farmers, fishermen, rubber-tappers or nut harvesters, normally as buffers against the big farms and ranches that are responsible for the worst deforestation. De Lima’s father was a co-founder of the Union of Rubber Tappers alongside Marina Silva, who later became the country’s most effective environment minister. Her husband was killed, de Lima says, on the orders of loggers and half a dozen fellow community leaders have been shot, stabbed or beaten to death in arguments over land and conservation. | Full article
China is running out of room for its growing urban population. This amazing design—an entire prefab city that floats on water—could magically create more space.
SHARKS and TROPHIC CASCADES
What Happens When Sharks Disappear?
Infographics by Lily Williams
Lily Williams stuff (prints etc) is available at Society6 …
(via It’s Okay To Be Smart)
HROV Nereus Lost at sea during 10km deep dive
So remember that link to the live feed from the bottom of the ocean I posted the other day? Today, the Nereus was making another dive to 10km, and is believed to have suffered a catastrophic hull implosion and was lost. You can read the official WHOI release here.
I’m thoroughly upset….at a time when we have so few tools for deep ocean exploration and discovery, to lose one of immense promise like Nereus is devastating. This reduces the US’s science-devoted vehicles to Alvin (human occupied), JASON (ROV), Sentry (AUV), and a few other ROVs and AUVs owned by institutions. None can go as deep as Nereus could.
A dark day for us deep sea folks.
Thank you for your contribution to hadal ecosystems exploration.
Orache Moth (Trachea atriplicis), family Noctuidae, Lithuania