Archive for July, 2012

Anything goes, when it comes to money

Greenpeace finds corals at Shell’s proposed Arctic drilling site

The soft coral species known as the Sea Raspberry (Gersemia sp.) © Jiri Rezac / Greenpeace


Greetings from the Chukchi Sea, way up in the Arctic north of Alaska, where the team aboard the Greenpeace ship Esperanza is using a small submarine to study the seafloor in the area Shell hopes to begin drilling for oil this summer. During what we believe to be the first research submarine dives ever in the Chukchi Sea, we were surprised to discover large numbers of corals in the midst of Shell’s proposed drill site.

Shell says it knew the corals are there, telling the Washington Post that corals make up nearly 4% of the marine life at the bottom of the Chukchi. To put that in perspective, the South Florida reefs I studied for my masters thesis– and which attract divers from thousands of miles away – often have about 4% coral cover. Personally, I was definitely not expecting corals to be one of the three most commonly seen species on our dives, along with brittle stars and baskets stars.

Corals are slow growing, long lived, and highly vulnerable to disturbance. They provide habitat for fish and other marine life, often serving as nursery areas for larvae or juveniles. Both the United Nations and the US Government have recognized the importance of protecting corals.

All of this raises questions why there is no mention of Chukchi corals in the environmental impact statement for Shell’s drilling plans. Coral experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration do not appear to have been consulted. The public was not informed. You would think the Department of Interior, which oversees the permitting of offshore drilling, would have learned from the BP Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of moving beyond fiascos like the Gulf assessment which talked about walrus and other Arctic species, it appears little has changed and that environmental impact statements are still treated as little more than bureaucratic requirements to rush through on the way to rubber stamping the next item on Big Oil’s wish list. (my red emphasis)

Source: GreenpeaceBlogs Read more


These corporations will stoop to anything in their greed for profits.

This omission should be prosecuted, and the fine should be BILLIONS!

To show that this bullshit will not be accepted.


Monday Moaning


What is a “panga”?

The truth about the panga will turn your stomach

It’s a fish. One that is exported from Vietnam, raised in one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The Mekong River has been called a poisonous soup and the toilet of Asia running from China through Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam carrying all the industrial and social effluent from each country.

The polluted Mekong River, a major waterway and the home of the panga

Images: Folha da Manhã a Brazilian newspaper in Portuguese

Not only are the fish raised in highly polluted water, but they are injected with Chinese made hormones derived from the urine of pregnant women.

There is nothing good to say about this issue.

Don’t Eat this fish: Pterogymnus laniarius (Pangas, Pangasius, Vietnamese River Cobbler, White Catfish, Gray Sole, Pacific Dory, Pacific Roughy, Finny Scad, Hardtail Scad, Finletted Mackerel.) It’s almost an industry to invent new names to circumvent import restrictions and consumer awareness.


Nature Ramble

Another video clip this week. Not hornets this time but a spider that makes its own net and catches its prey in 1/1,000 second.

The clip embedded here is a BBC Life of two other spiders.

But the BBC report video, you’ll have to follow the link (logo at bottom).

Net-casting spider hunt filmed in wild

The net-casting spider’s deadly strike is completed in a split-second

High-speed footage of a net-casting spider’s hunting technique has been recorded by a film crew.

As ambush hunters, the spiders are known to use a combination of touch and well-developed sight to sense prey.

The video reveals the rarely-seen, split-second technique of the species as it snatches an unsuspecting cricket in a Central American forest.

The team believe this is the first slow-motion footage to show a net-casting spider hunting in the wild.

Expert, Dr George McGavin, who witnessed the event said: “I would compare it to watching a big cat kill. It’s as exciting as that.”

The film crew were in central America filming wildlife for a new nature series, The Dark: Nature’s Nighttime World.

They waited for five hours with the cameras trained on the spider until the cricket strayed into the killing zone beneath the net.

“The spider did not move a muscle until the antenna of that prey item, the cricket, touched the thread.

“As soon as it touched it, [the spider] was on it in a thousandth of a second,” said Dr McGavin, “if we hadn’t had that camera, you wouldn’t have seen a thing.”

“It was the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Net-casting spiders are found across the world in tropical and sub-tropical regions and are also known as ogre-faced spiders because of their distinctive big eyes, which help it to see prey during nighttime hunts.

But on this occasion, the team also captured the important moment that triggers the spider’s trap.

When the cricket touched one of the net’s anchoring threads with its antenna, it caused the spider to strike.

Read more and see the video clip here.


Should or Shouldn’t

Make you Fink on Friday


Sacrificing water for fuel

Bio-fuels are hailed as the saving grace by reducing reliance on petroleum.

But wait…

Corn, a plant that is used to make bio-fuels is very very thirsty.

Here’s the conundrum…

Are we merely replacing petroleum based fuels with one that depletes the world’s water, faster?

Paper bottle could save the planet

The crazy idea of selling billions of gallons of water in everlasting plastic bottles to people who already have access to clean water sources is turning our planet into a gigantic garbage heap. Finally, somebody is doing something about that. Brandimage created the 360 Bottle made of paper, which is 100% renewable.

Nice. It’s apparently an impossible task to convince a sizable portion of our population that there’s no need to clutch a bottle of water like a baby with a pacifier all day long. So, might as well limit the amount of harm done. These paper bottles are good for just about any liquid, too — not just water.

If this idea can even make a dent in the 60 million plastic bottles tossed each day in the U.S., Brandimage deserves an award. Wait. The company received an IDEA (International Design Excellence Award) for this design. Bravo. Now if they could just get those silver-tongued water hucksters and bottle-sucking sheep to buy into it.

Reposted from: Dvice

And now for the trees… unless they are made from recycled paper.

Change the World Wednesday – 25th July

I have an hour before my class starts. Can I do it?

Rubbish Audit

My rubbish days are Thursday, Saturday & Tuesday (Yes, I know Tuesday comes before Thursday, but that is the order since the challenge… sheeeesh!) So, I watched my rubbish.

I love my fancy cheeses, but they come with stupid little packets to throw away

So, what did I throw away. Plastic, everything comes wrapped in plastic, whether it’s clingfilm, or something more sinister; 3x pint plastic bottles (sparkling mineral water, I have taken to drinking that in place of soda); paper and cardboard packets, the scraps of labels from two jars that are awaiting re-use, milk boxes ( I could have saved and cut for plants, but I have so many already). A small piece of aluminium foil (blue vein cheese comes wrapped in it). One broken (beyond redemption, my neighbour’s car ran over it) metal dish rack that I used in the garden. A black plastic rubbish bag that I saved from the street for the plant pots and then re-threw away.

What did I compost? Coffee grounds, daily. vegetable peelings, egg shells, lemon peels and a jar of dried parsley that smelt funny (not the jar).

This is the sugar I use for my coffee, it’s raw sugar, bag used for rubbish

What did I recycle? One small jam jar and one glass that came with cream cheese in it.

What did I scrap? One piece of meat from yesterday’s lunch and the pork bones from another meal., the neighbour’s dog loved them.

What did I use to contain my rubbish? Plastic bread bags and a sack the sugar came in.


Thursday: 1lb (½kg)

Saturday: ½lb (¼kg)

Tuesday: 8lbs (because of the other rubbish sack and metal dish rack) (3kgs) Only ½lb was household rubbish)

Total: Household rubbish. 2lbs (1kg)

That’s it, my rubbish audit.

No, I didn’t. Been to work and back again…

This week’s challenge:

This week, suggest a challenge. This can be a repeat of a past challenge, a version of something we’ve already done or something completely new … anything which you feel we should address.

And/Or …

Tell us about something you’re struggling with … a green-living activity which is difficult to adopt in your life.

Damn, this is a tricky one. Just about most everything has been thought of one way or another.

But, I did find something new during the previous week and posted on it; This is a Shocker.

Does this netting leach dangerous chemicals into the soil and ultimately to your veges?

So I guess my suggestion would be, “How green is your yard?” While the linked post concentrates on the garden hose, the idea can be expanded. What plastics are yard swimming pools made of, the yard toys (slides, swings and dolls houses) for your kids, are they made of dangerous plastics? Buckets, tools, garden pots and the potted plants on your patio, terrace or veranda. What about the plastics used in window netting for insects and the garden?

There, food for thought!

Monday Moaning

Why is it so easy to save the banks – but so hard to save the biosphere?

Agreements to bail out banks happen in days – but despite some good progress at Durban, we still don’t have a legally binding deal to bail out the planet

The US and other nations began talking seriously about tackling climate change in 1988 – yet we still don’t have a legally binding global agreement. Photograph: Corbis

They bailed out the banks in days. But even deciding to bail out the planet is taking decades.

Nicholas Stern estimated that capping climate change would cost around 1% of global GDP, while sitting back and letting it hit us would cost between 5 and 20%. One per cent of GDP is, at the moment, $630bn. By March 2009, Bloomberg has revealed, the US Federal Reserve had committed $7.77 trillion to the banks. That is just one government’s contribution: yet it amounts to 12 times the annual global climate change bill. Add the bailouts in other countries, and it rises several more times.

This support was issued on demand: as soon as the banks said they wanted help, they got it. On just one day the Federal Reserve made $1.2tr available – more than the world has committed to tackling climate change in 20 years.

Source: The Guardian Friday 16 December 2011 Read more


It’s an old article, but nevertheless pertinent.

The banks scream poverty and the governments cave in and give the babies the pacifier.

But when it comes to the planet, they turn a deaf ear and let the baby scream. The worse the offender, the faster they turn away from the problem.

The Green Ink Bottle

A new page that I have added to the Top Bar, it is merely a repository for the rare moment of brilliance that shines through my dusty exterior. Original quotes from me.

Some serious, some logical, some tongue in cheek.

The comments are linked to the post they came from, and there are more to come, it’s is an on-going work.


Nature Ramble

I’m sorry, I missed a couple of Sundays, put it down to health reasons; I had the ‘flu which took ages to shake, and that was followed by food poisoning…

This week, I have chosen a video clip. I found it on Alex’s blog The Liberated Way, (great blog, btw) it is about survival, it is violent, it shows nature at its meanest level.

Respecting and Understanding Nature – The Liberated Way


Hornets are one creature that can freak me.  Hornets are dangerous, and often people run into problems due to ignorance.  It is a good idea to run if you stumble on a hornets nest, as fighting one can quickly result in many when a hornet sends an attack-alert chemical to its fellows…. Read more

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