Archive for the Environment Category

Pollock fish stocks in Alaska close to collapse

Some very disturbing news from Alaska. According to Reuters the Alaskan stock of pollock fish has fallen by 50 percent since last year and is facing total collapse.
Pollock is an important source for fish in the fast food industry in the US and McDonalds use them in their fish sandwiches so this can have huge influences on the good marked in US

The quota was cut by 28 percent from 2007 to 2008, but the researchers say the pollock is not able to reproduce fast enough to rebuild the stock. This fish species is very important to the fishermen in Alaska and also for the wildlife in the ocean.

I really hope that the authorities will be able to stop the collapse and that this should be a warning to the rest of the world that the fish in the sea is not an endless resource.

Mammoth tooth found after hurricane Ike

CNN reports that the nasty hurricane Ike revealed a fossil. The fossil is believed to be from Columbian mammoth and it is one its teeth. The tooth had the size of a football so it wasn’t really hard to find.
The Columbian mammoth was 4 meters tall and about 10,000 kg. They went extinct about 12,500 years ago maybe because we humans hunted them down and/or climate change.
Weirdly enough the tooth was found in the garden of a paleontologist. Maybe it is a sign that we should take better care of our Earth? 😉

Some very disturbing news from Brazil! According to CNN is being deforested more than 3 times faster than last year. This is really sad because the deforestation has seemed the be somewhat stopped after 3 years of declining rates.

The reasons for the increased logging is several including corrupt politicians that care more about votes (like in the rest of the world) than the forest. Other reasons are the crisis in the food marked and increased demand for bio-fuels making the Amazon an excellent place to grow more soy beans.

Let us hope that the government in Brazil is able to curb the logging. We all depend on this beautiful rain forest!

Ecuador vote to give the nature legal rights

As the first country in the world Ecuador has voted for a new constitution that gives the nature legal rights.

66.47% of the voters voted yes for the new constitution that among the changes gives individuals right to sue on the behalf of the nature. This is a great idea when you look at all the destruction that companies and states are committing against the nature.
The constitution will also give the nation more rights over their resources which have been heavily exploited by international corporations. This might also lead to more money for the poor people in Ecuador.
As a Norwegian benefiting from nationalized recourses I can say that this is a really good step in the right direction for the people in Ecuador. Lets hope the nature will benefit from it too.

If more nations would give the nature legal rights, maybe we will see less destruction?

The ice in the Arctic is melting faster than ever. This year scientists are reporting the second lowest amount of ice cover since they started monitoring the ice 50 years ago. The only time there has been less ice was last year so we can clearly see a trend.
The lack of ice on the north pole make the conditions for polar bears very hard. They are dependent on lots of ice to hunt on for seals. When the ice cover shrinks there are less areas for them to hunt and thus less food sources.

CNN reports that due to lack of food polar bears has resorted to cannibalism. Scientists has seen improved activity of cannibalism among polar bears since 2004 and even seen a male polar bear dragging out a female from the den and killing it.

I’m just wondering if it is too late to stop the global warming. Doesn’t seem like “our” politicians are willing to do much about it.
And I’m also a bit concerned about the environment here in Northern Norway. We are already seeing some trends that the large fish stocks are moving further north to colder waters. Who knows how this will end?

Bird species in decline all over the world

Some really worrying news from Britain. According to an article by The Telegraph some of Britain’s well known birds are in danger of dieing out. The species that have seen a dramatic fall in their populations are cuckoo, turtle dove, grey partidge and corn bunting, but there are reports saying that bird species all over the world are threatened.
The main reasons for this is believed to be agriculture, logging (habitat destruction) and invasive species.
Birds can also be seen on as barometer of how the state if the nature really is. Declining bird populations is a really bad sign about the state of the nature in general.

I hope we are able to stop this decline as birds are a very important part of the nature. Just think about going for a walk in the woods without hearing any bird chirps. That would be a very sad day.

Pesticides killing bees banned in Italy

Back in June I wrote about Germany banning pesticides that are believed to be linked to the worrying mass deaths of bees that we have seen the last few years. Now Italy is going down the same road and realizing that pesticides can be very bad for the environment. The Italian government has decided that several pesticides that are used to “treat” seeds will be banned. These pesticides are believed to be a part of the reason why million of bees (colony collapse disorder) has died.
Slovenia has also banned the substances that is believed to kill the bees and France banned one of the substances already in 1999.
A German company called Bayer CropScience produce these chemicals and they are known for producing lots of bad stuff. Maybe they are trying to compete with Monsanto about who are the most evil agriculture company in the world?
I really don’t understand how a company can produce such things when they know that they are toxic to the nature. How can these guys live with themselves? It is all about the money, I guess..

Anyway, this is a great step in the right direction of more organic agriculture. You can’t fight nature, you have to work with it.

Some worrying news from South America about our tux friends. According to an article on penguins native to Antarctica are found washed up further and further north on South American continent. About 300 penguins have been found dead or alive on beaches in along the coast of Bahia state. This region is known for it’s hot weather and it is unheard of to find penguins this far north.
The public is told to leave penguins that look health alone so they can swim back to more colder waters.

The researchers are not sure why this is happening, but are suspecting lack of food from overfishing might be a cause. Stronger than usual currents can also make the penguins go astray.