Posts Tagged ‘oceans’

Monday Moaning

This is a moan, but it’s more of awareness. An awareness that we landlubbers rarely see.

Here’s a glimpse.

Next time you buy a bottle of water, remember the baby albatross

Like finding rubbish on Everest, when I crossed the Atlantic I was dismayed to see so much plastic – and that kills seabirds

‘The particles of plastic, many of them ­minute, enter the food chain and do terrible damage to all forms of life.’ Photograph: Lucy Pemoni/AP

The picture of the baby albatross that starved to death after being fed nutritionally useless bits of plastic by its parents shows just what happens when we treat the world’s oceans as a handy system of waste disposal. A few years ago, I got a do-this-before-you-die chance to sail across the Atlantic, among the best things I’ve ever done.

One startling discovery was that the sea is actually a kind of desert. For most of the trip, we rarely saw a bird, we caught no fish, and the only living things apart from us were the Portuguese man-of-wars, evil-looking jelly fish that drifted by in ominous numbers on calm days. But, like discovering rubbish on Everest, there was always plastic. Big bits – weather buoys that had come adrift, fuel containers and suchlike – and small bits, and even smaller bits. There are 269,000 tonnes of these fragments, according to the newest estimate. They come mainly from single-use plastic containers like water bottles, but even so-called biodegradable plastic only degrades quickly in commercial composting systems.

The particles, many of them minute, enter the food chain and do terrible damage to all forms of life. And because they are not only on the surface but also suspended deep beneath, trying to remove them risks doing more environmental harm. So next time you buy bottled water, remember the baby albatross.

Source: TheGuardian

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Satireday on Eco-Crap

IslandView

Change the World Wednesday – 2nd Apr

Update

The fruits of my labour…

Orangetree

An orange tree has sprouted from seeds I threw in a box, and some garlic on the left

 

Ginger grown from the green nodules broken off supermarket root

Ginger grown from the green nodules broken off supermarket root

 

Self-sown tomatoes growing in the soil from an ornamental plant

Self-sown tomatoes growing in the soil (my compost) from an ornamental plant

 

Pineapples grow slowly, but still growing

Pineapples grow slowly, but still growing

 

Passion fruit growing up the side of the house, ready for fruit next year

Passion fruit growing up the side of the house, ready for fruit next year

Good News

On Saturday we gained a new little sacolão (fruit and vege store) in the neighborhood. It’s only small, but handy; and only 30 metres (32 yards) from home.

Sacolão, small, but handy

Sacolão, small, but handy

And the good thing is they don’t get their produce from CEASA, the state supplier. With CEASA you can’t guarantee the source. But they get their produce from a smallholder in Teresópolis in the north of the state. They have a choice of organic and pesticide-free veges.

A small range of produce

A small range of produce

And they’re not expensive.

They already know that I don’t like plastic bags and put the produce in my carry bag.

This morning when I took the photos, there was a big plastic bag of cauliflower trimmings, I asked and was able to take it to add to my compost heap. The bag… well, that will be used to put my recyclable water bottles in for the Tuesday recycle collection.

 

Click on the banner for the full post

On with this weeks CTWW.

This week it’s a biggie…

This week, begin by educating yourself on the ocean. Do a google search using the words “protect the ocean” and read some of the articles which come up. Visit the Marine Conservation Institute or NOAA for information.

 

THEN …

Choose one (or more) of the following activities:

  • Say NO to plastic, especially plastic bottles and bags. The world’s largest “landfill” is floating in the North Pacific Ocean and consists of plastic.
  • Contact your state officials and encourage them to vote against off-shore drilling.
  • Walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation this week. If you must drive, drive less.
  • Maintain your car and fix any leaks (oil on the pavement gets washed into storms drains and ultimately finds its way to the ocean). Never toss used oil down the drain.
  • Avoid fish and seafood this week. If you must eat it, make sustainable and healthy choices (look for the Marine Stewardship Council label to ensure that it is sustainable and environmentally friendly).
  • Take part in a beach clean-up.
  • Eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in your home.
  • Avoid the use of herbicides and pesticides.
  • Scoop pet waste. Letting it sit on the lawn means that it will enter our waterways.
  • Stay off the water. If you must boat, do so responsibly (don’t toss things into the water and use a human-powered boat rather than a gas-powered version).
  • Dispose of all trash properly and pick up litter if you see it.

 

Leaves me breathless just reading it.

Part One

The plight of our oceans is disheartening. I have eluded to this in the past. Just because we can’t ‘see’ under the ocean, we seem to forget that is is just as susceptible to pollution and predation as the land.

The ocean is threatened by plastic. Obvious plastic that we can see the plastic strewn beaches, the Pacific gyre are a public disgrace; and the less obvious the micro-pellets from our washing machines that enter the water chain. The ocean also is affected by the run off of pesticides and agro-chemicals from our farmlands. Then there are stupid politicians who make assinine decisions like the Australians to dump millions of tons of waste on coral reefs like the Great Barrier Reef. The oceans are subject to warming which is changing habitats, the you have massive problems with radiation from the likes of Fukushima in Japan; already 100% of tuna caught off the American coast have levels above the acceptable limits for consumption.

The oceans aren’t safe for anyone, let alone the fish. The governments have stopped testing (American and Canadian) because the results are just too embarrassing. The latest IPCC report classifies Fukushima radiation as an ‘extinction event’. Oh, don’t get that wrong, it’s not just the fish that are affected, ALL LIFE on the planet will be affected. Cancer/radiation related deaths in babies, new borns and foetuses are already increasing on the west coast of the USA.

Now that’s just a tad more than serious.

Why isn’t this in the news? The governments don’t want you to know.

Furthermore, there are problems with over-fishing serious straining the life-cycles of marine life.

This week there was good news. Japan has been banned from it’s ‘research whaling’ (read commercial whaling in disguise) in Antarctic waters. Japan has said it will bide by the ruling, but are already looking at loopholes like reduced quotas.

the_world_in_a_nutshellSo to put it in a nutshell, we have totally destroyed the planet.

Not only the visible portions, but the invisible as well.

Man’s irresponsibility is drawing us closer and closer to our own extinction.

It’s time we woke up!

It’s time we let the governments know!

It’s time we got rid of the incumbent arseholes and their pandering to the corporations.

We need to take the dog by the tail and wake the bloody thing up, because until we do, we’re f**ked!

This CTWW by Small is probably one of the most radical we face; certainly it is the most global.

We really need to educate the masses, because most of the populace is just sitting on its sanctimonious backside saying “oh, it’ll never happen!” They are lulled into complacency by the lack of news, the government’s ‘do nothing’ approach. And, worst of all the blatant bullshit of the deniers!

Well, I’ve got news for them: It is happening, here, it is happening now!

Part deux:

  • While I am not perfect, there is plastic in my life, but I go out of my way to reduce it to a minimum.
  • I am bound by public transport, no car; no car, less planetary resources used and wasted.
  • I will not avoid fish, I consider that fish is an important dietary aspect. I do however, spurn fish like panga produced in the Asian sewer known as the Mekong River in Vietnam.
  • I don’t go to the beach, but I am active and vocal in keeping our neighbourhood clean.
  • I use products that are non or less toxic where possible.
  • I am now shopping at the new sacolão who are supporting fruit and vege with no pesiticides and organic produce (this is a new aspect in my life).
  • My pet waste is composted. The worms do a good job.

There you have it, my CTWW.

The Pacific Gyre

greatpacificgyre

If you get closer, it looks like this…

pacificgyre

Some of those plastic bottles may be yours…

Makes you proud, doesn’t it?

 

Make you Fink on Friday

Just what the hell are we doing to this planet?

5117275-earth-tree

We should be nurturing our planet, it’s the only one we’ve got!

Spanish sperm whale death linked to UK supermarket supplier’s plastic

Sperm whale on Spanish southern coast had swallowed 17kg of plastic waste dumped by greenhouses supplying produce to UK

Marine biologists examine a sperm whale on the Spanish coast south of Granada. The animal died after swallowing 17kg of plastic dumped by greenhouses that supply UK supermarkets. Photograph: AFP/Getty

A dead sperm whale that washed up on Spain’s south coast had swallowed 17kg of plastic waste dumped into the sea by farmers tending greenhouses that produce tomatoes and other vegetables for British supermarkets.

Scientists were amazed to find the 4.5 tonne whale had swallowed 59 different bits of plastic – most of it thick transparent sheeting used to build greenhouses in southern Almeria and Granada. A clothes hanger, an ice-cream tub and bits of mattress were also found.

The plastic had eventually blocked the animal’s stomach and killed it, according to researchers from the Doñana national park research centre in Andalusia.

Researchers at first found it hard to believe that the 10-metre animal had swallowed the vast amount of plastic they found protruding through a tear in its stomach.

In all the whale’s stomach contained two dozen pieces of transparent plastic, some plastic bags, nine metres of rope, two stretches of hosepipe, two small flower pots and a plastic spray canister.

Read more

Read more

Opinion:

With the amount of pollution we have discarded in the oceans, how often is this played out on deserted coastlines that we don’t see or hear about?

How many more animals need to suffer?

When are we going to take responsibility for these tragedies?

When will it be our turn to suffer the hunger pangs because we have destroyed a major food source?

We all sit idly by inured from all this, comfortably safe in our own backyards surrounded by all the mod cons of modern living, while we produce more waste, throw away more plastic and choke more fish and sea life; destroying our chance for survival.

 

 

Make you Fink on Friday

“How much of planet Earth is made of water? Very little, actually. Although oceans of water cover about 70 percent of Earth’s surface, these oceans are shallow compared to the Earth’s radius.
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 Click image for larger size.
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The above illustration shows what would happen if all of the water on or near the surface of the Earth were bunched up into a ball. The radius of this ball would be only about 700 kilometers, less than half the radius of the Earth’s Moon, but slightly larger than Saturn’s moon Rhea which, like many moons in our outer Solar System, is mostly water ice. How even this much water came to be on the Earth and whether any significant amount is trapped far beneath Earth’s surface remain topics of research.”
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Make you Fink on Friday

WARNING: graphic images

Everybody has heard about global warming. It doesn’t matter whether you believe it or not. It doesn’t matter whether you think it is ‘man-made’ or not.

It is happening.

Everywhere.

Glaciers are receding all over the world. The polar ice-caps are shrinking. The oceans are getting warmer.

Whether or not man is responsible the effects of global warming are reaching catastrophic levels. Various aspects of the flora and fauna of this little planet are changing, changing quickly and irrevocably.

I have real doubts that man is solely responsible for the current situation of the warming of the planet, but I have no doubt that we are exacerbating the natural occurrence. I also have grave doubts that anything we do now is too little, too late; far too late. We can have conferences, meetings, protests all we want but the future has already been decided by forces greater than us and well beyond our control.

When you read of changes like this week, that show clearly the misery that is to become our legacy. Changes that are changing the very face of nature:

Polar bear ‘cannibalism’

It is an image that is sure to shock many people.

An adult polar bear is seen dragging the body of a cub that it has just killed across the Arctic sea ice.

Polar bears normally hunt seals but if these are not available, the big predators will seek out other sources of food – even their own kind.

The picture was taken by environmental photojournalist Jenny Ross in Olgastretet, a stretch of water in the Svalbard archipelago.

“This type of intraspecific predation has always occurred to some extent,” she told BBC News.

“However, there are increasing numbers of observations of it occurring, particularly on land where polar bears are trapped ashore, completely food-deprived for extended periods of time due to the loss of sea ice as a result of climate change.”

The journalist was relating the story behind her pictures here at the 2011 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, the largest annual gathering of Earth scientists.

A paper describing the kill event in July 2010 has just been published in the journal Arctic. It is co-authored with Dr Ian Stirling, a polar bear biologist from Environment Canada.

Ross had approached the adult in a boat. She could see through her telephoto lens that the animal had a meal, but it was only when she got up close that she realised it was a juvenile bear.

The kill method used by the adult was exactly the same as polar bears use on seals – sharp bites to the head.

“As soon as the adult male became aware that a boat was approaching him, he basically stood to attention – he straddled the young bear’s body, asserting control over it and conveying ‘this is my food’,” the journalist recalled.

“He then picked up the bear in his jaws and, just using the power of his jaws and his neck, transported it from one floe to another. And eventually, when he was a considerable distance away, he stopped and fed on the carcass.”

Ross said there was another bear in the area and she speculated that it might have been the mother of the dead juvenile.

Olgastretet is a passage of water that divides the two main islands of Svalbard. Traditionally, it has been an area that has stayed ice-covered throughout the year.

But the recent dramatic retreat of Arctic sea ice in summer months has seen open water appear in the area for extended periods.

And without their customary platform on which to hunt seals, bears have gone looking for alternative sources of food, says Ross.

“On land, they’re looking for human garbage and human foods; they’re starting to prey on seabirds and their eggs.

“None of those alternative foods can support them, but they are seeking them out.

“Predating another bear is a way to get food; it’s probably a relatively easy way for a big adult male. And it seems that because of the circumstances of the loss of sea ice – that kind of behaviour may be becoming more common.”

Source: BBC News

And on the other side of the pole…

The moment cannibal polar bear eats baby cub

Grisly: The large male polar bear was spotted eating a cub in northern Canada last month

A group of tourists were left horrified when they came across the grisly sight of a polar bear eating a cub in northern Canada.

The large male adult bear had separated the baby from its mother and killed it in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area, in northern Manitoba, close to Hudson Bay.

Witnesses were left shaken and tearful after the incident.

According to scientists, eight cases of mature male polar bears eating cubs have been reported this year in Churchill. Four cases were reported to Manitoba Conservation and four to Environment Canada.

Tour guide John Gunter said: ‘A big male polar bear separated a young cub from its mother and had its way with the cub.

‘But the whole time, while that mother polar bear watched and witnessed, and actually after the big bears left, she still tried to take care of it.’

One theory for the cannibalism is that climate change is melting the bears’ Arctic hunting grounds, forcing them to survive on land for longer and hence leading the starving animals to turn on their own for food.

Source: Mail-Online Read more

Admittedly, these are the current ‘horror stories’ of the week. But they demonstrate graphically that the world is changing, whether we want to admit it or not; whether man is at fault or not. We cannot turn our backs on this kind of evidence.

If we care to extrapolate this scenario along lines that have been suggested scientifically; that the current global warming is possibly connected to a coming ice-age. Different sources have predicted everything from a ‘mini’ affair (like the one in the middle-ages about 1350), to a full blown freeze that could wipe out 90% of the life on the planet. Scientific findings have determined that we are overdue for a doozy like the one that gave us woolly mammoths. The terrible thing is it could happen so quickly and there’s not enough energy resources on the planet to keep even the 1% warm, talk about ‘freezing their funds’.

There remains the questions…

When?

How much of the globe will be effected?

How severe will the food shortage be?

And, the million dollar question… Will we be the next polar bears driven to desperation by hunger?

Game over

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The genie is out of the bottle…

And

There’s no putting him back!

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