Archive for the Environment Category

Rhino poaching on the rise again

There are some really disturbing reports coming in about poaching of rhinos. WWF and other groups estimate that killing of rhinos has risen four-fold in the recent years and poaching of rhinos is at a 15-year high.

The reasons for all the killing of rhinos are demands in Asia where they use rhino-horns in traditional medicine. There have even been reports about rhino killings in Asia with evidence of 10 animals killed in India and 7 in Nepal.

This is really sad news. I hope environment groups and the governments in the various countries are able to stop this madness and that users of traditional medicine use their brains and stop using such idiotic practices.

On a remote Scottish island scientists have discovered that the local sheep is actually getting smaller. The ecosystem on this island has been under surveillance since 1985 because of its uniqueness. It is very simple, mainly consisting of sheep and the vegetation they eat.

Now scientists have discovered that the weight of the sheep has decreased 5% over the last 25 years. The scientists claim that warmer climate has made it easier for the sheep thus helping the smaller sheep surviving. Earlier only the larger sheep were able to handle the harsh climate at the island. The reason for this development is earlier springs and longer falls which make the winters shorter.

Source: Various news sites.

A new report tells us that the recent ban on plastic bags in China has actually saved a good deal of oil. The China Chain Store and Franchise Association has estimated that the ban has saved over 40 billion plastic bags and this is just in about a year. It can be calculated how much oil the 40 billion plastic bags saves and the experts claims that the ban have saved 1.6 million tonnes of oil.
The ban means that 0.025mm thick (or less) bags are not allowed to used anymore and supermarkets had to stop giving away free plastic bags.

Let us hope that other countries will follow China and start banning plastic bags too so we can save a lot of oil and in turn the environment.

If you have lots of plastic bags laying around you can always recycling them into yarn (plarn) which I wrote about earlier on this blog.

I have been worrying about the rising tourism in Antarctica because we have seen several examples of cruise ship accidents. Now there is some good news for the environment in Antarctica.

An US proposal has been adopted by countries with ties to Antarctica. This proposal is for limiting tourism on the continent and thus protecting the nature.

The tourism has risen dramatically the last few years with over 45,000 tourists last season compared to 6,700 in 1992-93.

It will be interesting to see if this measure is enough to protect the fragile nature in Antarctica or we need more strict rules.

Video of coal ash spill in Tennessee

Here is a video of a massive coal ash spill in Tennessee, USA. 2.6 million cubic yards of this awful mess spilled into the river and this about 48 times more than the Exxon Valdez by volume. I hope there is a massive clean up so the nature will not hurt too much!

Here is a video of some awesome French activists turning off neon signs at night. I have always hated that shops and commercial signs are turned on all night when there is no use for them to be on. What a waste of energy and it is really polluting our space by their ugliness. Hope this trend will spread to the rest of the world so can save some energy and make the night less light polluted.

This is some really disturbing news and it should be a real eye opener for everyone. According to a new study scientists claims that one third of all fish that are caught are used to feed animals and for farm fishing. The fish caught for animal feed is mainly smaller species that are important food sources for the wildlife in the oceans.

Here in Norway we are producing enormous amounts of farm fish. Most people look at this as something good, but I am not so certain. As we see from this study a lot of wild fish is used to feed farm fish. It actually takes over 3kg wild fish to produce 1kg farm fish. This is a waste of resources! On top of that all the small wild fish that are caught are important food sources for sea animals and the bigger fish species that we use for food. When we fish up so much of the small fishes the natural eco system breaks down and we are seeing smaller stocks of fish and sea birds.
We really need to rethink this practice of using wild fish as food on our farms before the eco systems in our oceans totally collapses. I hope it is not too late..

Arctic temperatures getting warmer and warmer

New reports are stating that the fall temperatures in the Arctic is warmer than ever. The temperatures are 5 degrees Celsius (9 Fahrenheit) higher than normal so this is very serious. The record temperatures are due to many years where the Arctic ice has melted and now we are starting to see the results of all the melting.
The level of salt in the water is also going down due to all the melting water and who knows what kind of results we will see from lower salt levels. Some theroies say that lower levels of salt in Arctic sea may cause the Gulf Stream to go slower or even stop. This will make the climate in Northern Europe much colder.
There has also been some worrying reports that reindeer and caribou herds are declining. This is a real sign that the climate in the Arctic is changing fast.

I’m just worrying that it might be too late to do anything about human made global warming..