Category Archives: Inform

Why Rising Acidification Poses a Special Peril for Warming Arctic Waters

Faroe Islands
Island of Streymoy, Faroe Islands. Photograph courtesy of: ©James Marcus Haney

Excerpts;

A recent Northern voyage on a Norwegian research vessel highlighted how soaring carbon dioxide levels and the resulting acidification of the oceans present an especially grave threat to the Arctic’s cold seas and the rich marine life that they harbor…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (10-24-2019)

‘Sand wars’: the battle to replenish Florida’s beaches amid climate crisis


A Gulf Coast of Florida community. Captions and Photograph courtesy of:© Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper

Sand is the second most consumed natural resource, after water. The construction-building industry is by far the largest consumer of this finite resource. The traditional building of one average-sized house requires 200 tons of sand; a hospital requires 3,000 tons of sand; each kilometer of highway built requires 30,000 tons of sand… A nuclear plant, a staggering 12 million tons of sand…Sand business is estimated to be a $70 billion industry, worldwide…!” Captions by “Sand Wars” Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker: Denis Delestrac (©-2013).

Excerpts;

Surfside’s postcard beach is experiencing a disappearing act amid hurricanes. rising sea levels – and a worldwide sand shortage…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (10-25-2019)

Florida has spent more than $100 million pouring more sand onto beaches in the past three years. Is it time to wave a white flag? Sun Sentinel (06-08-2018)
In South Florida’s war against the tides, it may be time to recognize that discretion is the better part of valor. For the past 70 years, the state of Florida has spent more than $1.3 billion on packing sand onto eroding beaches.

Column: The future of Florida’s beaches and the public’s right to know; Op Ed. by Orrin Pilkey (12-07-2015)

Column: High-rises spell the end for Florida beaches; By Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper; Tampa Bay (07-25-2017)
Floridians are becoming more attuned to sea level rise and more familiar with nuisance flooding related to the rising sea. However, we believe there is less recognition that by century’s end it is likely that most of Florida’s major beaches will be permanently gone…

Gone with the wind: storms deepen Florida’s beach sand crunch; Reuters (02-16-2018)
Costs of so-called beach renourishments are a fraction of the total, measured in hundreds of millions of dollars, but the effort is crucial for Florida’s $67 billion tourism industry. And while sand needs are surging, there is not enough to go around…

Can Adding Sand to Beaches Save Them? How Stuff Works (04-13-2018)
The question is, can beach nourishment keep up with the ever-increasing forces of climate change or, like Sisyphus forever pushing his boulder up the hill, is adding sand to beaches an expensive, temporary fix to a long-term problem?..

Sand washes away as quickly as it can be dumped, Bathtub Beach, FL, TCPalm News (11-17-2017)
Between 2004 and 2014, some $13.6 million was spent on beach renourishment in Martin County, Florida. About $7.1 million came from local funds — your tax dollars. In the past two years, more than $6 million from a variety of sources has been spent to renourish and restore dunes at Bathtub Beach alone…

South Florida, Out of Beach, Wants to Buy Sand from the Bahamas, Slate (11-02-2017)
Miami-Dade County lost 170,000 cubic yards of sand during Hurricane Irma. It’s the latest blow to South Florida beaches in perennial decline. Nearly half the state’s coast—411 miles’ worth of beach—is considered “critically eroded.”

Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks: A UNEP report (GEA-March 2014)
Despite the colossal quantities of sand and gravel being used, our increasing dependence on them and the significant impact that their extraction has on the environment, this issue has been mostly ignored by policy makers and remains largely unknown by the general public.
In March 2014 The United Nations released its first Report about sand mining. “Sand Wars” film documentary by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.

The Conservation Crisis No One Is Talking About, TakePart (09-21-2016)
Beaches around the world are disappearing. No, the cause isn’t sea-level rise, at least not this time. It’s a little-known but enormous industry called sand mining, which every year sucks up billions of tons of sand from beaches, ocean floors, and rivers to make everything from concrete to microchips to toothpaste…

The hidden environmental toll of mining the World’s sand; Yale E360 (02-05-2019)
Sand mining is the world’s largest mining endeavor, responsible for 85 percent of all mineral extraction. It is also the least regulated, and quite possibly the most corrupt and environmentally destructive…

The Economist explains: Why there is a shortage of sand; The Economist (04-24-2017)
It may be plentiful, but so is the demand for it…

The world is running out of sand, The New Yorker (05-29-2017)

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (©-2013)
Is sand an infinite resource? Can the existing supply satisfy a gigantic demand fueled by construction booms? What are the consequences of intensive beach sand mining for the environment and the neighboring populations…? This investigative documentary takes us around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: the “Sand Wars” have begun…


Global Sand Mining: Learn More, Coastal Care


BE THE CHANGE:

PETITION: Take Action To End Global Beach Sand Mining, Coastal Care

beach-sand-mining
Illegal beach sand mining, near Tangier, Morocco. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

The World can make more water from the sea, but at what cost?


The Dead Sea. Photo source: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Worldwide, desalination is increasingly seen as one possible answer to problems of water quantity and quality that will worsen with global population growth and the extreme heat and prolonged drought linked to climate change.

However, desalination remains expensive, as it requires enormous amounts of energy…

Read Full Article; The NYT (10-22-2019)

The IPCC’s Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere – What it means for Africa’s coastal cities

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Assilah, Morocco. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care

Excerpts;

For African coastal cities, sea level rise and increasing storm frequency and intensity pose serious threats.

The reality is that the West, Central, East and Mediterranean coastal zones in Africa are very low-lying. Within these low-lying coastal zones are many of Africa’s largest cities: Dakar, Abidjan, Accra, Lagos, Dar es Salaam, Alexandria, Tripoli, and Cape Town…

Read Full Article; IPS (10-15-2019)

Turning plastic trash into high-quality liquid products


White stripes of decomposed styrofoam on the beach.
Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Researchers have developed a new catalyst that can cleave plastic’s strong carbon-carbon, converting it into higher value products.

The catalytic method serves a one-two punch by removing plastic pollution from the environment and contributing to a circular economy…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (10-23-2019)

Plastic pollution: When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care – ©2009
” Plastic is versatile, lightweight, flexible, moisture resistant, strong, and relatively inexpensive. Those are the attractive qualities that lead us, around the world, to such a voracious appetite and over-consumption of plastic goods. However, durable and very slow to degrade, plastic materials that are used in the production of so many products all, ultimately, become waste with staying power. Our tremendous attraction to plastic, coupled with an undeniable behavioral propensity of increasingly over-consuming, discarding, littering and thus polluting, has become a combination of lethal nature…
The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”

Brazilians rally to clean beaches amid outrage at Bolsonaro’s oil spill inaction

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Brazil, Atlantic coast. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Nobody knows where the oil is from or why it keeps washing up on Brazilian beaches.

“People in the north-east are cleaning the oil from the coast with their own hands while the federal government is immobile…”

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (10-22-2019)

Scientists rush to rescue sea turtles threatened by mysterious Brazil oil spill; PRI (10-15-2019)
Crude oil has been washing up along a 1,200-mile stretch of coastline of the Brazilian northeast for over a month, leaving more than 150 of Brazil’s postcard-perfect beaches covered in thick, sludgy black patches. It is also along this coastline that olive ridley and loggerhead sea turtles come to make their nests and lay their eggs…

Mysterious Oil Spill Becomes New Environmental Crisis for Brazil; The NYT (10-08-2019)
A mysterious oil spill that has polluted shores along a vast area of Brazil’s northeast may have resulted from unspecified criminal activity. An estimated 100 tons of crude has drifted toward land since early September, polluting some of the country’s most pristine beaches…

Our Unequal Earth: how environmental injustice divides the world

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Photo source: ©© Angela AlaskaTeacher

Excerpts;

Environmental justice reporter, Nina Lakhani, asked five luminaries of the movement to explain ‘environmental justice’ in their own words. They reveal why, alongside global heating and the extinction crisis, it is one of the most pressing issues of our time…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (10-21-2019)

Climate gentrification: the rich can afford to move – what about the poor?; Guardian UK (09-25-2018)
While wealthy Arizonans flee the desert for cooler climes, ‘climate gentrification’ is also affecting hipster Red Hook, exposed on New York City’s floodplain. In Texas, campaigners want the oil industry to help pay for a coastal barrier to shield six counties from storm surges. And Molly Peterson asks what you can do if you buy a disaster-prone property and nobody warned you: so far, not much…

Climate change to shrink economies of rich, poor, hot and cold countries alike unless Paris Agreement holds; Science Daily (08-19-2019)
Detrimental economic effects of global warming are likely to go beyond those being discussed in policy circles — particularly for wealthier nations, say researchers. Study suggests that 7% of global GDP will disappear by 2100 as a result of business-as-usual carbon emissions…

Climate Change Could Create 100 million Poor, Over Half a Billion Homeless; CNN (11-09-2015)

New government report reveals staggering economic and health toll of climate change; CBS News (11-23-2018)
Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, according to a long-awaited report released Friday by the federal government…

Premature Deaths from Environmental Degradation Threat to Global Public Health, UNEP Report Says; UNEP- Nairobi, 23 May 2016

Human rights are at threat from climate change, but can also provide solutions; UNEP (10-04-2019)