Category Archives: Inform

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)

Sri Lanka wields mangroves, its tsunami shield, against climate change

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Galle, Sri Lanka. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

Fifteen years after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Sri Lanka’s government intends to keep expanding the island’s coastal green belt — the chain of mangrove swamps credited with limiting the damage and destruction of the deadly waves…

Read Full Article; MongaBay (09-22-2019)

Sri Lanka to become the first nation in the world to protect all its mangroves; Guardian UK (05-12-2015)
More than half the world’s mangroves have been lost over the last century but all of those surviving in Sri Lanka, one of their most important havens, are now to be protected in an unprecedented operation…

Sri Lankan mangroves respond to conservation plan; SciDev (08-18-2016)
A year after Sri Lanka launched a mangrove conservation plan, about half of its 37,000 hectares of mangrove forests are in a various stage of revival, officials say…

Destruction of Mangroves Costs up to US$42 billion in Economic Damages Annually – UNEP Report (10-14-2014)
The world is losing its mangroves at a faster rate than global deforestation, the United Nations revealed, in a new report “Importance of Mangroves: A Call to Action,” adding that the destruction of the coastal habitats was costing billions in economic damages and impacting millions of lives…

Facing Storms Without the Mangrove Wall, IPS News (10-15-2014)
While tropical cyclones and storms cannot be stopped in their tracks, there is a natural defense system against their more savage impacts: mangroves. And experts fear their tremendous value is being woefully under-appreciated, to tragic effect, all around the world..

The World Must Invest In Mangroves, The Ecologist (04-11-2014)

Shocked scientists find 400km of dead and damaged mangroves in Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia

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Mangrove roots. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A cascade of impacts including rising sea levels, heatwaves and back-to-back tropical cyclones has created 400km of dead and badly damaged mangroves in the Gulf of Carpentaria, a scientific monitoring trip has discovered…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (10-03-2019)

Massive mangrove die-off on Gulf of Carpentaria worst in the world; Guardian UK (07-11-2016)
Climate change and El Niño have caused the worst mangrove die-off in recorded history, stretching along 700km of Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria. And last week it was revealed warm ocean temperatures had wiped out 100km of important kelp forests off the coast of Western Australia…

Queensland’s mangrove ecosystem dying in secret, Brisbane Times (05-20-2016)
There have been large scale diebacks of mangrove trees in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Scientists are not exactly sure what happened up there in the most remote areas of Queensland, but they know the damage is extensive and unprecedented…

Mangroves die-off in Queensland’s Gulf Country and Limmen Bight, ABC News Australia (05-13-2016)
Experts have been focusing on hundreds of kilometres of mangroves along the coast in Queensland, that have turned a ghostly white. Serious concerns about the situation, which is compared to coral bleaching happening on the Great Barrier Reef, which is the result of warmer ocean temperatures, are raised…

Destruction of Mangroves Costs up to US$42 billion in Economic Damages Annually – UNEP Report (10-14-2014)
The world is losing its mangroves at a faster rate than global deforestation, the United Nations revealed, in a new report “Importance of Mangroves: A Call to Action,” adding that the destruction of the coastal habitats was costing billions in economic damages and impacting millions of lives…

Wahala: trouble in the Niger delta – photo essay

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The first oil well in Oloibiri, drilled by Shell in 1956. Oloibiri is located in Bayelsa State, in the eastern Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Photo source: ©© Rhys

Excerpts;

Covering 70,000 sq km (27,000 sq miles) of wetlands, the Niger delta used to be an incredibly rich ecosystem that contained one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity on the planet before the oil industry moved to the area.

The Nigerian petroleum resources department estimated 1.89m barrels were spilled into the Niger delta between 1976 and 1996. A United Nations development programme report states there have been a total of 6,817 spills between 1976 and 2001, which account for a loss of 3m barrels of oil.

So far, no real action has been taken by the authorities and oil companies to clean up and renaturalise the delta, and oil spills are still very common. Half of them are caused by pipeline and tanker accidents…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (10-18-2019)

Niger delta oil spill clean-up launched – but could take quarter of a century; Guardian UK (06-01-2016)

Niger Delta: Shell’s Manifestly False Claims About Oil Pollution Exposed, Again; (11-09-2015), Amnesty International
Claims by oil giant Shell that it has cleaned up heavily polluted areas of the Niger Delta are blatantly false, Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) said in a report…

Oil pollution in Niger Delta: Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland Report; Unep (08-04-2011)
A report by the UN Environment Programme, which carried out a 14-month assessment of pollution from over 50 years of oil operations in Ogoniland – Niger Delta region, has found widespread and devastating oil pollution that may require the world’s biggest ever clean-up, that could take 20-30 years. The UNEP also called for the oil industry and the Nigerian government to contribute $1 billion to a clean-up fund for the region to properly address this “tragic legacy.”

Illegal Oil Refineries In The Niger Delta, in Pictures; Guardian UK (01-22-2013)
Photographer Akintunde Akinleye documents for Guardian UK, the dangerous practice of illegal oil refining in the Niger Delta, which damages the environment and the health of local people…