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Found 14 results

  1. Under the Dome, the self-funded documentary by former television news anchor Chai Jing about China’s battles with smog, has been an internet phenomenon. Within three days of its release on Febuary 28, it had racked up more than 150 million views and garnered 280 million posts on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter. Then the Chinese government removed it from the web, stung by the criticism the film prompted, leaving those who had hailed it as a landmark moment in Chinese environmentalism wondering if the documentary’s influence would end up being curtailed. Seemingly inspired by Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, Chai Jing presents some shocking facts to her audience in a TED Talk-style format. She documents the health implications of smog, such as its possible relationship with lung cancer, and attributes China’s smog pollution to factors including the consumption of low-grade coal and oil, the expansion of energy-intensive industries like steel, and the lack of enforcement of environmental regulations. Former celebrity TV anchor Chai Jing, as seen in the photo, quit her job after her baby daughter was born with a lung tumor, and after a year of rigorous investigation, launched a 1 hour 40 minute documentary about China’s smog. A wake-up call? Under the Dome invites comparison with Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s 1962 exposé of the effects of pesticides, and some commentators have predicted that the documentary will galvanise China in much the same way that Carson’s book changed America. There are indeed striking similarities between the two. Both focus on environmental issues of huge concern to their respective societies; both were made by women with national reputations for their previous work; and both spurred unprecedented national discussions. Even China’s newly appointed environment minister Chen Jining said he was reminded of Silent Spring when watching Under the Dome – although that was before the government abruptly changed its mind about the documentary. For all their similarities, there are still many hurdles facing the documentary that Carson’s book did not experience. The social context China is undergoing significant social change, with a growing middle class who are more concerned with quality of life than basic needs, and who are willing to raise their voice over issues that affect their health. This is a similar context to the postwar America in which Silent Spring was published. Yet today’s world is also more globalised than in 1962, a fact that could have two opposite effects on China’s environmental movement. On one hand, the potential solutions to global issues such as climate change, and local issues such as air pollution, may feed into each other. As my colleague and I have argued, concern over China’s energy security has become a key driver of its renewable energy industry. But on the other hand, globalisation has made people more mobile, both within and between countries. Migration has become an option for some Chinese to escape the smog, which might reduce their motivation to engage in the local environmental movement. Differing political climates In many ways, the reception given to Under the Dome is broadly similar to that received by Silent Spring. Both were challenged by economic interests, such as the chemical industry in the case of pesticides, and fossil fuel firms in the case of smog. Both were also criticised for a perceived lack of “balance” or author expertise, and were even accused of being political conspiracies. Both were also praised by the scientific community. Silent Spring’s legacy was honoured by the American Chemical Society in 2012, while a Chinese professor blogged about Under the Dome: … [compared with Chai Jing] we experts in the field of environmental protection and scientists on the smog research should feel ashamed for our incompetence to communicate with the public and our lack of courage to expose the problem. But perhaps the most important difference is in how the two respective governments reacted, especially given that both the book and the documentary broadly chimed with what authorities were trying to do at the time. Silent Spring was published when the then US president John F. Kennedy was implementing his New Frontier program, and Under the Dome has arrived while the Chinese leadership is commmitting to an “energy revolution”. Several key ideas advocated in Under the Dome to fight smog are aligned with the government’s agenda, such as reducing the share of fossil fuels in the country’s energy supply, and increasing the share of renewable energy sources. This may partly explain why the documentary was first released on the website of People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party, and why the resulting media and online criticisms of the government’s handling of the smog issue were initially tolerated despite such comments usually being closely monitored and censored by the state. However, after a week of explosive discussion in the public sphere, the documentary was taken down from all Chinese websites. While the smog issue was a topic of frequent discussion during the annual session of the National People’s Congress, held in this same week, Chai Jing and her documentary were rarely mentioned by any representatives or government officials. Contrast that with the policy response triggered by Silent Spring, including the appointment of the President’s Science Advisory Committee, hearings on the issue in the Senate, and the establishment of the US Environmental Protection Agency. The Chinese government seems to fear that grassroots movements may undermine its legitimacy in ruling the country. It has implemented a range of policies to transform China’s energy system, but the effectiveness of those policies are yet to be seen. The legacy of Silent Spring is beyond question. Whether Under the Dome gets the chance to have a similarly lasting impact is far from clear.
  2. In new estimates released this week, the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives. In particular, the new data reveal a stronger link between both indoor and outdoor air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and ischaemic heart disease, as well as between air pollution and cancer. This is in addition to air pollution’s role in the development of respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. The new estimates are not only based on more knowledge about the diseases caused by air pollution, but also upon better assessment of human exposure to air pollutants through the use of improved measurements and technology. This has enabled scientists to make a more detailed analysis of health risks from a wider demographic spread that now includes rural as well as urban areas. Regionally, low- and middle-income countries in the WHO South-East Asia and Western Pacific Regions had the largest air pollution-related burden in 2012, with a total of 3.3 million deaths linked to indoor air pollution and 2.6 million deaths related to outdoor air pollution. Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General Family, Women and Children’s Health, said: “Cleaning up the air we breathe prevents noncommunicable diseases as well as reduces disease risks among women and vulnerable groups, including children and the elderly. Poor women and children pay a heavy price from indoor air pollution since they spend more time at home breathing in smoke and soot from leaky coal and wood cook stoves.” Included in the assessment is a breakdown of deaths attributed to specific diseases, underlining that the vast majority of air pollution deaths are due to cardiovascular diseases as follows: Outdoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease: 40% – ischaemic heart disease; 40% – stroke; 11% – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); 6% – lung cancer; and 3% – acute lower respiratory infections in children. Indoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease: 34% – stroke; 26% – ischaemic heart disease; 22% – COPD; 12% – acute lower respiratory infections in children; 6% – lung cancer. The new estimates are based on the latest WHO mortality data from 2012 as well as evidence of health risks from air pollution exposures. Estimates of people’s exposure to outdoor air pollution in different parts of the world were formulated through a new global data mapping. This incorporated satellite data, ground-level monitoring measurements and data on pollution emissions from key sources, as well as modelling of how pollution drifts in the air. Risks factors greater than expected Dr Maria Neira, Director of WHO’s Department for Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, says: “The risks from air pollution are now far greater than previously thought or understood, particularly for heart disease and strokes. Few risks have a greater impact on global health today than air pollution; the evidence signals the need for concerted action to clean up the air we all breathe.” After analysing the risk factors and taking into account revisions in methodology, WHO estimates indoor air pollution was linked to 4.3 million deaths in 2012 in households cooking over coal, wood and biomass stoves. The new estimate is explained by better information about pollution exposures among the estimated 2.9 billion people living in homes using wood, coal or dung as their primary cooking fuel, as well as evidence about air pollution’s role in the development of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and cancers. In the case of outdoor air pollution, WHO estimates there were 3.7 million deaths in 2012 from urban and rural sources worldwide. Many people are exposed to both indoor and outdoor air pollution. Due to this overlap, mortality attributed to the two sources cannot simply be added together, hence the total estimate of around 7 million deaths in 2012.
  3. 6 Different Waste Disposal Methods

    Dealing with waste is one of the present-day challenges that modern societies face. In the constant battle with tones and tones of waste, modern methods have to be developed in order to provide adequate solutions. Waste disposal methods take many forms, some of which more popular than others. Which one is used depends on a variety of factors, such as technological advancement and present features in the location where waste removal takes place. Here are few of the top techniques used for waste disposal: Filling a landfill - undoubtedly the most largely used method today. In essence, the method is all about burying waste in land, which is where the name comes from. Usually, a pretreatment is executed before actually burying the waste. This features eliminating the dangers and odours of the waste. The main drawback of the method is that it comes with a certain free land requirement. That is exactly why the method is becoming less and less popular, as available land is little, the method of waste clearance is being reconsidered on a global scale. Incineration - burning the waste at high temperatures in specialized facilities is another method of waste disposal. As a result, solid waste is reduced to gas and residue, which is 20-30% less than the original volume. In that lies the main benefit of this method and the reason why it is largely preferred in countries that have no available space for landfills. Recycling - converting products of waste into usable materials is the essence of recycling. It is a method, which helps preserve raw materials and energy and in that way provides great benefits. As a very positive side effect, recycling also helps prevent air and water pollution and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling should be a top priority not only for waste collection companies, but also households. Resource recovery - the process of extracting useful components and parts of discarded waste is known as resource recovery. The collected materials are then used either in the creation of new products, or are alternatively converted into heat, fuel or electricity. Composting - composting is a bio-degradation process, which is applicable for waste of organic nature only. Think plants and kitchen waste that can easily become nutrients and food for your garden. The process is eco-friendly and preferred in organic gardens, as it provides a supply of nutrients at any time. A place to store the compost long enough so that microbes can decompose it is required. Plasma gasification - this method is similar to incineration in that plasma torches operating at over 10 000 degrees F turn liquid and solid waste into synthesis gas. The molecular bonds of the waste collection going through this method of disposal are broken. The benefit is that through this method renewable energy can be created, all while destroying dangerous materials. These are the most popular methods for waste disposal currently used worldwide. Each holds drawbacks and benefits, which should be considered before being implemented.
  4. Why is organic waste contamination that bad ? 1.6 billion tonnes of food is being wasted every year around the globe. It’s worth approximately 750 billions dollars and doesn’t solve the problem with world hunger or the economical crisis. Despite the loss of financial and food resources, discarded foods have strong negative impact on wildlife as well. Landfills that consist primarily of dumped food supplies are the perfect feeding destination for all kinds of wild animals, especially birds. The relation between organic rubbish and the population of the birds that feed on it is so strong that removing a landfill causes a chain reaction such as reduction in the population of the flying animals or the cause of reproductive diseases. How come food can make animals suffer ? Such study was made in France. A landfill has been deliberately removed and 49% decline in the fertility among the gulls was measured and confirmed by ecologists. Seems like that dump site has been the prime food source for the flying creatures and after the waste removal the animals have either moved to a better location or some have starved to death. Small part of the organic waste thrown away by people is actually fish discards estimated at 6 million tonnes every year. Even though that is not that much compared to 1.6 billion tonnes, more than half of the seabirds rely completely on the leftovers of the fish, produced by the industry and feed entirely on it. In nature, it’s a commonly seen process for an animal to stop hunting when it is being fed by people. That is how some wolves evolved into dogs and then many dog breeds appeared after experimenting with crossbreeding. Birds are not the only animals that are affected by the discarded organic trash Predators like wolves, bears and leopards become significantly more active if their natural habitat becomes affected by pollution with organic waste. The grizzly population has increased 4 times in 2014 compared to 1970s. Even some of the world’s most vicious predators like the leopard prefer to inhabit areas polluted by organic rubbish which they consume, usually that is butchered animal bodies. The leopards also hunt on creatures living nearby the landfills which you have to stay away from. Their common prey is pigs, dogs, goats and rats that also seek for sustenance at the dump sites. Composting help to solve the food waste issues Composting is the perfect way to fight food rubbish contamination as it is not expensive and can be done by anyone who wants to learn how to do it. It is beneficial as it also helps you save some of the family budget which you usually would spend on buying fertilizers for your garden. Compostable things are divided in two main categories based on what they emit - Carbon or Nitrogen. You can compost stuff like: banana peels, dog food, egg shells, flowers, leaves, peanut hulls, weeds, tea bags, vegetable peels etc. Rubbish removal companies are trying to minimize the amount of organic waste being generated in households by giving advice and raising awareness about efficient waste clearance, especially these operating in London.
  5. Soil contamination, degradation and pollution are terms often used interchangeably but they mean different things. The only thing consistent about the terms is that they spell disaster for the environment. Soil degradation refers to the loss of value in the soil within a particular area. Value here refers to its nutrients, chemical composition etc. and it is mostly lost by activities such as overgrazing, over farming and erosion. With soil degradation, the ability of the soil to support plant life is greatly hampered leading to different effects with erosion being the most common. Soil pollution refers to the introduction of harmful objects, chemicals and substances, directly or indirectly into the soil by the activity of humans. Such introductions cause harm to other living things, destroy the soil or distort the water ecosystem. Soil contamination refers to an increase in the concentration of chemicals, elements and nutrients in the soil as a result of external interference from humans. If this contamination is allowed to advance to the point of harming living organisms and affect the fauna of the area, it is regarded as pollution. What is the main cause of soil contamination? The leading cause of soil contamination is the use of pesticides and herbicides. However, the direct discharge of wastewater by industries can also cause this. Other possible causes of soil contamination include leakage in sewage systems, leeching of soluble of substances from landfills, leaking of underground storage tanks and floods from other polluted lands and water bodies. How to remedy soil degradation The remedy for soil degradation is dependent on the initial cause of degradation. Common remedy for soil degradation as a result of over farming is to allow the farm area to lie fallow for extended periods of time. The length of time is dependent on the extent of damage. To remedy soil degradation as a result of over grazing, authorities in affected areas can ban free range grazing in affected area if domestic animals are at fault. In wild areas like parks however, the case is different and more difficult. A good remedy is to introduce more predators to the food chain to cut down on the number of herbivores in the area. However, this is a costly process that may not yield quick results. Good examples of this method of remedy are the reintroduction of wolves to YellowStone National Park and the reintroduction of dingos in Australia. How to remedy soil contamination Remedying of soil contamination is dependent on the extent and volume of damage. Possible remedies include: · Calling in soil disposal experts to excavate and dispose affected soil in a safe manner · Containing of the contamination by spreading or placing large plastic materials over the affected area · Use of safe chemicals to neutralize the contaminant. In summary, soil contamination, pollution and degradation mean different things but they can have adverse effects on the ecosystem. Interesting they can be avoided and in unforeseen circumstances, they can also be remedied.
  6. Energy waste and misuse is at an all-time high. This poorly coincides with the current state of the economy and job market. Home owners need to carefully conserve both resources and their hard earned money through being energy efficient. Below explains four tips to make your home more energy efficient. Energy Conservation One of the appliances that consumes the most energy is the water heater. Ensure that the water heater temperature is below 120 degrees. This will save energy and avoid potential overheating of plumbing pipes. Make sure that the dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer are energy efficient models. A recent USA Today report revealed that Americans waste 4 billion dollars every year through inefficient clothes dryers. A standard dryer will consume as much as an energy efficient refrigerator, dishwasher and clothes washer. Research by McKinsey & Company in 2009 found that American homes and businesses spend over $130 billion dollars to power standby appliances. If an appliance is not in use, unplug it. Schedule Regular Air Conditioner Tune-ups Most homes need an AC to regulate temperatures and maintain indoor air quality. However, air conditioners consume an enormous amount of energy. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Energy Star certified AC’s are 15 percent more efficient than conventional models and can be installed by companies like Spokane Air Conditioning Installation. If an upgrade isn’t necessary, regularly scheduled AC maintenance will ensure that the unit runs smoothly and will save money in the long run. Most people don’t realize that indoor air pollution can be worse than the outside air. A recent study by the National Institute of Health has shown that cardiovascular health can be improved through air conditioning. Windows According to the National Resources Defense Council, over 30 percent of a home's total heat loss occurs through windows and doors. Replace older single-pane windows with double-pane windows. Check for drafts and seal all window edges and cracks with caulk. Consider using shades or drapes to keep out the heat during the summer and keeping them open on sunny winter days. Light Pollution Light pollution isn’t something to take lightly. According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, over 30 percent of lighting is wasted. Incandescent lights are very inefficient and over 90 percent of the energy is wasted as heat. Fluorescent lights conserve more energy the longer they are turned on. Most importantly, turn off lights when nobody is in the room. Home owners can conserve energy and save money through upgrading appliances, scheduling AC tune-ups, upgrading windows and reducing light pollution. Through these steps, you will be well on your way to running a more energy efficient home while also saving some cash along the way.
  7. California may soon follow in the footsteps of its largest city: On Aug. 29, the state Senate voted 22-15 in support of a statewide ban on plastic bags. The bill, SB 270, will phase them out in grocery stores and pharmacies beginning in July 2015, and in convenience stores one year later, with the goal of making California a plastic bag-free state by the end of 2016. The legislation, which passed both houses of the state legislature, must now be signed by the governor. If that happens, the state will achieve a historical victory for the environment. The good news? The governor plans to sign it. "I probably will sign it, yes," said Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat. "In fact, I'll tell you why I'm going to sign it; there are about 50 cities with their own plastic bag ban, and that's causing a lot of confusion," he remarked, referencing the similar plans in place in areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco. "This is a compromise. I'm taking into account the needs of the environment, the needs of the economy, and the needs of the grocers." In agreement was Senator Kevin de León, a Democrat from Los Angeles, who stated, "SB 270 is a win-win for the environment and for California workers. In crafting this compromise, it was imperative to me that we achieve the goals of doing away with single-use plastic bags, help change consumer behavior, and importantly, support and expand California jobs." That last note clashes with the words of Republicans, who have opposed the ban, claiming it will cause job losses for bag manufacturers. But such an assertion suggests a misunderstanding of the legislation, which will not do away with non-plastic bags; compost bags and paper bags will continue to be available, albeit for a ten-cent fee per bag. There is a strategy to that, as well: The goal is to encourage the use of recyclable and biodegradable materials and to give California manufacturing a boost by encouraging the continuous production of such bags. Hardly a jobs killer. Leslie Tamminen, director of Seventh Generation Advisors, a sustainability and clean energy advocacy group based on Native American philosophy, said, "Data from the over 121 local plastic bag bans [in California] has proven that bans are effective at reducing litter and changing consumer attitudes, and have refuted industry's claims of apocalyptic impacts on jobs and poor communities. A state plastic bag ban saves taxpayers huge amounts of money spent on litter cleanup, and protects the environment." It's worth noting that other nations have already moved forward on this issue, with the U.S. current lagging behind; Ireland, Taiwan, South Africa, Bangladesh, and Australia all have heavy taxation or outright bans of plastic bags, according to National Geographic. It is likely the countries have recognized the severe ecological threat presented by plastic bags, which non-profit environmental group Heal the Bay referred to as "urban tumbleweeds." Charles Tyler, a professor at the University of Exeter School of Biosciences in the UK, added, "Scientists have shown that some of these chemical compounds from plastics," which affect human health, "are getting into the environment and are in some environments at concentrations where they can actually produce biological effects in a range of wildlife species." David Barnes, a marine scientist with environmental research group the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England, said scientists have linked the uptick in plastic bag consumption with a dramatic increase in the deaths of sea life over the years. He remarked, "One of the most ubiquitous and long-lasting recent changes to the surface of our planet is the accumulation and fragmentation of plastics. Plastic bags have gone from being rare in the late 80s and early 90s to being almost everywhere." Today, "even in [some of] the remotest of environments, there is plastic floating on the sea surface. ... And I bet [plastic bags] will be washing up in Antarctica within the decade."
  8. CNN writes how the search for the missing Flight MH370, from Malaysia Airlines, is being hampered by the vast amounts of garbage in the ocean.   "It isn't like looking for a needle in a haystack," Conservation International senior scientist M. Sanjayan said of the difficulty in finding the Boeing 777 aircraft. "It's like looking for a needle in a needle factory. It is one piece of debris among billions floating in the ocean."   Read it: Plane search hampered by ocean garbage problem
  9. The Ten Most Polluted Cities in the World

    The ranking is based on the data of Blacksmith Institute (an organization working against pollution and its damages) and Green Cross Switzerland. It's a sad chart and it shows how profit and personal interests can destroy the lives of many. AGBOGBLOSHIE, GHANA Agbogbloshie, in Accra, Ghana, is the second largest e-waste processing area in West Africa. E-waste, or electronic waste, is a broad term referring to a range of electronics. Heavy metals released in the burning process easily migrate into homes, food markets and other public areas. Samples taken around the perimeter of Agbogbloshie found a presence of lead levels as high as 18,125 ppm in soil. The standard for lead in soil is 400 ppm. A previous study confirmed that 40,000 people were at risk, now it's 250,000. CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE The worst nuclear disaster hit this city on the night of April 25, 1986 when testing in the Chernobyl power plant a massive meltdown of the reactor’s core releasing more than 100 times the radioactivity of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Certain deaths in the incident, 65. The deaths for csncer years later, more than a million according to Greenpeace. The reactor was buried in a concrete casing designed to absorb radiation and contain the remaining fuel. However the structure was only intended to last no more than 30 years, this is the 28th since the disaster and thousands of people are at risk of cancer and leukemia. CITARUM RIVER, INDONESIA It covers an area of 13,000 square kilometers and it comes to contact with 9 million people. The river provides 80% of Giacarta water authority and supply more than 2,000 farms. Contaminants from both industrial and domestic sources are present in the Citarum River. Manganese and other heavy metals levels in the water are above the standards. Manganese in the water is four times higher than normal. DZERSHINSK, RUSSIA Throughout the Soviet period, Dzershinsk was one of Russia’s principle sites of chemical manufacturing, including chemical weapons. Between 1930 and 1998, an estimated 300,000 tons of chemical wastes were improperly landfilled in Dzershinsk and the surrounding areas. High concentrations of toxic phenol in the air has led to residents of Dzershinsk suffering from increased levels of diseases and cancers of the eyes, lungs, and kidneys. Life expectancy is really low: 47 years for women, 42 for men. The city has 245,000 residents, they are all at risk. HAZARIBAGH, BANGLADESH There are 270 tanneries in Bangladesh, 90% of them concentrated in Hazaribagh in 25 hectares of land. Together, the tanneries employ around 8,000 to 12,000 people. Every day, the tanneries collectively dump 22,000 cubic liters of toxic waste, including cancer-causing hexavalent chromium, into the Buriganga, Dhaka’s main river and a key water supply. The homes of tannery workers in Hazaribagh are built next to contaminated streams, ponds, and canals. 185,000 at risk. KABWE, ZAMBIA Kabwe, the second largest city in Zambia, is located about 150 kilometers north of the nation’s capital, Lusaka. In 1902, rich deposits of lead were discovered, leading mining and smelting operations to run almost continuously for over 90 years without the government adequately addressing the potential dangers of lead. Smelting was largely unregulated throughout the 20th century in Kabwe, and these smelters released heavy metals in the form of dust particles, which settled on the ground in the surrounding areas. The result was a total contamination and now the lead level in the blood of the children exceed the limit by ten times. KALIMANTAN, INDONESIA In the area Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) forms the primary source of income for 43,000 people. The vast majority of ASGM miners globally utilize mercury in the gold extraction process. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) estimates that more than 1,000 tons of mercury are released into the environment each year through this process, which constitutes about 30 percent of the anthropogenic mercury emissions. The quantity of mercury in the water is twice than normal Indonesian standard. MATANZA RIACHUELO, ARGENTINA The Matanza-Riachuelo River Basin is more than 60 kilometers long and houses a number of SME clusters, including chemical manufacturers. It is estimated that 15,000 industries are actively releasing effluent into the river, which cuts through 14 municipalities in Buenos Aires. Chemical manufacturers are responsible for more than a third of the pollution. The level of chromium in the soil is seven times higher than regular one. 12,000 are at serious risk of respiratory and diarrheal diseases and 80% of water samples taken weren't safe to drink. NIGER RIVER DELTA, NIGERIA Niger River Delta occupies 8% of total Nigeria land mass. Between1976and2001therewerenearly7,000 incidents involving oil spills where most of the oil was never recovered. As of 2012, some 2 million barrels (320,000 m3) of oil were being extracted from the delta every day. An average of 240,000 barrels of crude oil are spilled in the Niger delta every year due to mechanical failure, third party activity, and many unknown causes. Groundwater and soil are totally compromised. NORILSK, RUSSIA Norilsk is a mining city founded in 1935. Nearly 500 tons each of copper and nickel oxides and two million tons of sulfur dioxide are released annually into the air. Life expectancy for factory workers in Norilsk is 10 years below the Russian average. Children are especially vulnerable and become ill 1.5 times more frequently than children from surrounding districts. While investments have recently been made in reducing environmental emissions, the surrounding area remains seriously contaminated. 130,000 people at serious risk. To find out more: blacksmithinstitute.org and greencross.ch In the photo Sector 4, Nuclear Power Plant of Chernobyl.
  10.   And in Brazil they use ten of these conveyor belt boats in the Rio de Janeiro bay to collect 15 tons of garbage from the water - every single day. But despite this, Brazil won't make its own "clean water" targets that it set up ahead of the Olympics.   "Brazil will not make good on its commitment to clean up Rio de Janeiro's sewage-filled Guanabara Bay by the 2016 Olympic Games, state environmental officials acknowledged [...] Authorities pledged to cut by 80 percent the flow of pollution into Guanabara Bay by the 2016 Games through the expansion of the sewage network and the construction of River Treatment Units, or RTUs, built at the mouths of rivers flowing into the bay. The facilities would filter out much of the sewage and trash. But little progress has been made on either front, and with just over two years to go until the Olympics, nearly 70 percent of the sewage in the metropolitan area of 12 million inhabitants continues to flow untreated, along with thousands of tons of garbage daily, into area rivers, the bay and even Rio's famed beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema." Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/05/17/3200014/rio-official-water-pollution-targets.html
  11. Every year around 100 billion plastic bags are manufactured, sold and used on the European market. In 2010, there was 200 plastic bags for each person living in Europe. As one can imagine, many of these plastic bags end up as litter in nature where they pollute the environment, especially aquatic ecosystems, and harm wildlife. But this past Tuesday, the European Union moved one step closer to reduce the use of plastic bags in Europe. It was the European Parliament which voted in favor of a proposal from the European Commission to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic bags by half in 2017 and by 80 percent in 2019, compared to 2010 levels. It’s hoped that the so-called light bags, which are mainly used to wrap up loose food, will gradually be replaced by biodegradable and compostable bags by 2019 in Europe. The vote, however, was just the first reading of the bill and the future of this legislation will be decided on after the upcoming European Parliament elections at the end of May. “MEPs have today voted to significantly strengthen draft EU rules aimed at reducing plastic bag use and waste, notably to include obligatory European reduction targets and a requirement that plastic bags come at a cost,” said Margrete Auken, a Danish MEP who is a member of the Green group, shortly after the vote. “As front-running countries have demonstrated, dramatically reducing the consumption of these disposable bags is easily achievable with a coherent policy.” This reduction could be achieved by imposing taxes or fees on plastic bags, issuing advertising rules or even banning the use of plastic bags in certain shops. But it will be up to each member state to enforce their own rules and guidelines. This legislation advocates for a mandatory charging of carrier bags in the food sector and a recommendation to charge for plastic bags in the non-food sector. “The huge and growing consumption rates of plastic bags - 100 billion bags per year in the EU alone - demonstrates a reckless waste of resources. Plastic bags are a symbol of our throw-away society and unsustainable lifestyles,” said the European Commissioner for Environment Janez Potocnik in a statement. “We use them for a few minutes, but their legacy lasts for hundreds of years, often as harmful microscopic particles that are damaging the environment worldwide, especially the marine environment. In the North Sea, the stomachs of 94 percent of all birds contain plastic,” Potocnik added.
  12. Carbon dioxide pollution is the greatest contributor to the global warming. The top two sources of carbon dioxide pollution are coal-burning power plants (the largest in the U.S.) which emit 2.5 billion tons of CO2 yearly and automobiles which produce 1.5 billion tons of CO2 every year. But did you know that browsing the internet can also produce carbon dioxide emissions? According to an Environmental Fellow at Harvard University, Dr. Alexander Wissner-Gross, who researches the environmental impact of computing, every second that someone spends browsing a website produces an estimate amount of 20 milligrams of CO2. Every single activity like sending an email, downloading a song, or video streaming that happens in the web has an impact on the environment. That desktop computer you and you’re family are using whose electricity came from coal power plants is giving carbon emissions equivalent to a sports car! Several studies showed that with the increasing demands for energy of computers from manufacturing, utilization and disposal of data and communications technology creates nearly two percent of air pollution which is equal to the amount generated by the whole aviation industry. Some researches estimated that in a decade, the internet will be creating 20 percent of the world’s CO2 pollution. McAfee, an anti-virus software company, stated that the energy needed in transmitting trillions of spam emails every year is equivalent to the electricity needed to power two million houses in the U.S. and generating the similar amount of CO2 emissions as more than 3 million cars. The worst offenders in harming the environment are the data centers whose hundreds to thousands servers are storing everything from emails, company websites, social media photos and videos. Based on the Climate Group and Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) study in 2008, data centers all over the world emitted 76 million tons of CO2 in 2002. This amount may had tripled or more after a decade. As millions of people use the Internet each year, the necessity of making an environment-friendly Internet ecosystem is urgent and very important. But how can we achieve this? The energy department of WMD hosting agrees that one of the answers is switching to “green” web hosting, know as the eco friendly version of the traditional web hosting. Web hosting operations need a huge amount of electricity to power web servers and other equipment. To minimize the CO2 emissions, more and more companies are resorting to “green” web hosting – an eco-friendly alternative to the conventional web hosting. The main purpose of the mentioned “green” web hosting is to compensate for the CO2 emissions of the data centers in the environment by applying several approaches. Some of these are: · Purchasing of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). · Reducing the consumption of energy by using solar power, recycling or eliminating the use of paper. · Car pooling. · Planting a tree. Opting for a this kind of web hosting rests entirely on you. You have seen what CO2 emissions have caused in the environment. It is more expensive than the traditional, yes, but think about the help that you can give not just today but the future generation as well.
  13. torskdildo

    From the album Random images

    This man caught a codfish with a dildo inside its stomach (Source: Expressen/Twitter).
  14. Two recently released videos ('>video 1 and '>video 2) seems to be showing a cruise ship employee throwing bags of garbage into the ocean. The videos were apparently filmed covertly by a former crewman aboard the Magnifica, a cruise ship owned by the Geneva-based company MSC Cruises. The dumping took place in Brazilian waters near a marine sanctuary. Besides the obvious environmental damage, the dumping is also a violation of international law. According to Jim Walker, blogger and maritime lawyer, the dumping of garbage bags is a common practice by cruise ships like this one.