Unprecedented Plastic Pollution
When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide
By Claire Le Guern Lytle
The world population is living, working, vacationing, increasingly conglomerating along the coasts, and standing on the front row of the greatest, most unprecedented, plastic waste tide ever faced.
Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic debris spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the the world's oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land.
In 2008, our global plastic consumption worldwide has been estimated at 260 million tons. 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. Read More
By Linda Pilkey-Jarvis
Beaches and river shorelines all over the world are at risk from oil spills. Spills are most likely to occur while oil is transported or transferred between oil tankers, barges, pipelines, refineries, and distribution or storage facilities. Spills may also occur during natural disasters (such as hurricanes), or through deliberate acts by countries at war, sunken ships, vandals, or illegal dumpers. Read More
By Bekah Barlow
Did you know that it's legal to dump trash in the ocean? Yes, there are limitations for what you can and cannot dump. But it is perfectly acceptable to dump your raw sewage, paper, rags, glass, metal, bottles, or similar refuse, as long as you are at least 12 miles away from the nearest shoreline. It is not permissible to dump plastics anywhere. Read More
Surfing in / Pollution
Billions of pounds of plastic waste are littering the world’s oceans. Now, an organic chemist and a sailboat captain report that they are developing a process to reuse certain plastics, transforming them from worthless trash into a valuable diesel fuel with a small mobile reactor that could operate on land or at sea.
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President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to dismantle the Clean Power Plan. The plan, which President Obama’s administration put into effect in 2015, was designed to cut power plant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas that is warming the planet. The Clean Power Plan requires that, by 2030, the power sector’s CO2 emissions be brought down to 32 percent below their 2005 levels.
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Millions of gallons of raw sewage and untreated runoff have poured into the United States’ second-largest estuary since a massive sewage treatment plant experienced equipment failures that forced it to stop fully treating Seattle’s waste.
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Despite Beijing’s increased transparency with air pollution, water pollution remains a taboo in China. Prominent environmentalists have been charged with espionage for speaking out about the situation. Greenpeace China told the Guardian that one third of the country’s rivers are contaminated.
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A court in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand ordered on Monday that the Ganges and its main tributary, the Yamuna, be accorded the status of living human entities.
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Marine litter is a threat to the marine ecosystem, human health and economic activities. A new European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) report sheds light on the many effects of litter in our oceans, and highlights the severity and scale of the issue. The report confirms that plastic items have the highest direct and indirect damaging impact.
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The world’s most beautiful city has never been more threatened. But a passionate movement of locals is determined to keep it alive.
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Climate change isn’t just happening in the Arctic Circle and Antarctica where more ice is melting year after year. Its impact is being felt right here at home, and it’s posing a threat to the health of millions of Americans, say doctors representing 11 top U.S. medical societies. They are joining forces in Washington, D.C., today to speak out about the health risks posed by climate change.
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Not all trash ends up at the dump. A river, sewer or beach can’t catch everything the rain washes away, either. In fact, Earth’s largest landfill isn’t on land at all. This marine debris has sloshed into the public spotlight lately, thanks to growing media coverage as well as expeditions by scientists and explorers hoping to see plastic pollution in action.
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