Sacha Stone. Founder: NewEarth Project / Humanitad / ITNJ. International Tribunal for Natural Justice. London, United Kingdom
Zach Bush, MD, is a triple board certified physician and one of the most compelling medical minds currently working to improve our understanding of human and environmental health and consciousness.
Sacha Stone. Founder: NewEarth Project / Humanitad / ITNJ. International Tribunal for Natural Justice. London, United Kingdom
Nobody likes a lockdown--except maybe Mother Nature. With many industrialized countries paralyzed by the coronavirus, air pollution has dropped, seismic activity has waned, and wildlife is reclaiming some territory. Frankie Lucena of Puerto Rico points out another effect: "Night skies are darkening," he says.
"I prepared these images to show how the COVID-19 lockdown has dramatically decreased light pollution in the US and in Puerto Rico," says Lucena.
To investigate the change in light pollution, Lucena accessed nighttime images from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on board the Suomi NPP satellite. The instrument's Day-Night band is excellent at detecting urban lights, moonlit clouds, and auroras. Dramatic changes in urban lighting have clearly happened during the past month as normal commerce and travel have slowed. The data are available here.
"As a night sky photographer and astronomy enthusiast I embrace this change," says Lucena, "but I do wish it was under better circumstances."
Indeed, we at Spaceweather.com join Lucena in hoping for a speedy end to the pandemic. Light pollution is bad, but there are better ways to reduce it.
Major New Study Provides Route Map to Recovery in Just 30 Years
April 13th, 2020, By Nikki Harper,Staff Writer for Wake Up World
Of all the damage mankind has inflicted upon our earth, the depletion of marine life around the world has been some of the most heartbreaking – but a major new international study has set out a route map to recovery. If urgent action is taken, biodiversity in our oceans could be restored to healthy levels within just one generation, by 2050, researchers believe.
Using evidence from successful marine conservation projects around the world, researchers from four continents, ten countries and sixteen universities have been able to identify and narrow down the most crucial steps governments around the world must take if this narrow window of opportunity is to be taken. Although threats from climate change and over-fishing are becoming ever more acute, the marine life losses we saw in the 20th century have to some extent slowed in the 21st century so far – and in some cases, remarkable success has been achieved. Take the global population of humpback whales, for example – a species which was on the brink of extinction in 1968, but which now numbers more than 40,000. Northern elephant seals are another example of what the report terms “impressive resilience” – numbering just 20 breeding animals in 1880, today there are more than 200,000.
Such good news stories are important for individual species, but they’re also important for global marine management, provided that the lessons learned from them can be scaled up and applied quickly.
The new study states that marine life recovery can be accelerated by large scale interventions – to such an extent, if done well, that we may see substantial ocean life recovery within the next two to three decades. Researchers have identified broad themes necessary to support this recovery, such as the protection of species, wise harvesting, protected spaces, habitat restoration, pollution reduction and climate change mitigation. Each of these themes contains specific actions which should be brought to bear on nine integral elements of marine life, namely deep sea, megafauna, fisheries, oyster reefs, kelp, coral reefs, seagrass, mangroves and saltmarshes.
The entire article can be read here: https://wakeup-world.com/2020/04/13/hope-for-the-worlds-oceans-major-new-study-provides-route-map-to-recovery-in-just-30-years/
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.... a star exploded. Light from the supernova reached Earth in May 2019 following a journey of 110 million years across the cosmos. Astronomers saw it--a tiny bloom of light on the edge of lenticular galaxy NGC5353--and immediately began to monitor its light curve. Then this happened:
Bill Williams of the Chiefland Astronomy Village in Florida created the composite image. "It shows my photo of the supernova on May 15th (left), one week before the launch of SpaceX's Starlink satellites, alongside a similar photo taken at the Lowell Observatory after the launch (right)", explains Williams. The difference is, Starlink ruined the Lowell Observatory image.
SN2019ein is a Type 1a supernova. It happened when matter from one star fell onto another--a nearby white dwarf, pushing the mass of the dwarf over the threshold for a supernova explosion. This special kind of supernova is a "standard candle", which cosmologists have used to show that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Monitoring the light curves of Type 1a supernova literally helps us understand the fate of the cosmos.
"To me, as a dedicated observer of the night sky for over 50 years and an avid underwater photographer, satellite megaconstellations such as Starlink are the equivalent of polluting our oceans with plastics", notes Williams. "I hope we take every measure possible to mitigate the effects of satellite light pollution of our night skies."
The International Astronomical Union seems to agree. Read their statement here.
RT; 17 April 2018
Two years after scientists reported the presence of plastic-munching bacteria at a recycling plant in Japan, accidental mutations to an enzyme has boosted its pollution-digesting powers. More than 300 million tons of plastic is produced globally, with environmentalists warning that oceans are becoming choked by materials such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) - the key component of plastic bottles and packaging.
Researchers from the University of Portsmouth and the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) say they have inadvertently improved PETase, an enzyme used by the bacteria Ideonella sakaiensis, to make it better at degrading plastic.
According to the US federal lab, scientists have made a "modest improvement" to the plastic-eating enzyme while studying its original evolution. As such, the breakthrough could be a useful weapon in the fight against the man-made pollutant, something which plagues fish species and natural habitats such as Henderson Island - a coral reef where 37 million pieces of plastic has been dumped by sea currents. "We hoped to determine its structure to aid in protein engineering, but we ended up going a step further and accidentally engineered an enzyme with improved performance at breaking down these plastics," said Gregg Beckham, of the NREL research department.
With the findings of the group's test set to be published this week, Gregg added that there is scope to make the bacteria's ability to degrade waste - that normally takes centuries to decompose - even better. Currently, PETase is still some way off being able to digest plastic on an industrial scale, meaning it is unlikely to be a silver bullet for today's environmental concerns.
Nic Rorrer, a scientist at NREL, said that during testing the improved enzyme began destroying plastic soda bottles within 96 hours. He said it raises hopes for future waste disposal. "This test is using real examples of what is found in the oceans and landfills," he said. "Understanding how PET binds in the PETase catalytic site using computational tools helped illuminate the reasons for this improved performance. Given these results, it's clear that significant potential remains for improving its activity further."
Allie Nicodemo ; psy.org ; 09 Sep 2017
To feed a growing population, our global food system relies on sufficient farmland. But over the past 40 years, one-third of arable land has been lost to erosion or sullied by pollution.
Man-made chemicals and fertilizers used to improve crop yields can persist in soil for years, making it less fertile over time. Antibiotics in animal manure seep out and also cause degradation. Oil spills and environmental disasters can impact large parcels of land. And all this is compounded by the sluggish pace at which new topsoil is formed-about 2.5 centimeters every 500 years.
Currently, cleaning up soil is possible, but cumbersome. One method requires the dirt to be dug up, removed, and transferred to a treatment plant for decontamination. A better option would be to clean soil where it lies, but traditional techniques use water and chemical solvents that may dilute the toxins without truly getting rid of them.
Ming Su, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Northeastern, has developed a less costly and less labor-intensive way to decontaminate dirt. In a paper published this month in the Journal of Applied Physics, Ming describes his discovery-blasting soil with an infrared laser can quickly break down and eradicate a type of pervasive pollutant.
This research came about because Su wanted to focus his lab on tackling an environmental problem. He had the idea to develop a new method for chemical decontamination, and noticed the price of an industrial laser system had dropped significantly in recent years, making it feasible for large-scale use. He purchased a benchtop laser with his startup fund from Northeastern and tested it out on soil that had been sullied by the chemical Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, or DDE.
A derivative of the notorious cancer-causing pesticide Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, or DDT, DDE was ideal for this study because it glows when exposed to ultraviolet light, making it easy to spot, Su said. He found that when he used the infrared laser to blast DDE-contaminated soil, and then scanned the soil with ultraviolet light, there was no glowing residue. The toxin disappeared.
The whole article can be read here:
The Story of Stuff, originally released in December 2007, is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the Stuff in your life forever.
Download the Fact Sheet
Story Of Stuff, Referenced and Annotated Script By Annie Leonard
The Story of Stuff was written by Annie Leonard, Louis Fox, and Jonah Sachs, directed by Louis Fox and produced by Free Range Studios. Executive Producers included Tides Foundation and the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption.
Show full list of credits
Kuma : CS Globe : 12 Jul 2016
The furniture retailer is looking at using biodegradable mycelium "fungi packaging" as part of its efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling.
It's no secret polystyrene is devastating to the environment. But, do you know how exactly that is so? According to a fact-sheet provided by Harvard, polystyrene - which is made from petroleum, a non-sustainable, non-renewable, heavily polluting and fast-disappearing commodity - is not biodegradable, as it takes thousands of years to break down. In addition, it is detrimental to wildlife that ingests it. Despite this well-known data, humans continue to toss more than 14 million tons of the stuff into landfills every year, according to the French ministry of ecology.
Sadly, until every individual decided to "be the change" and live consciously, styrofoam pollution will continue to be a problem. In fact, it's already estimated that by 2050, 99% of birds on this planet will have plastic in their guts.
This is unacceptable. Thankfully, the Swedish company Ikea clearly agrees. Aware of the environmental devastation polystyrene creates, the furniture retailer is looking to use the biodegradable mycelium "fungi packaging" as part of its efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling.
The rest of this story can be read here.
TOGETHER WE CAN CLEAN UP THE WORLD'S WATER
Let’s Remember ALL Water is Sacred
Join us as we come together to Bless The Water around the World and take the first step towards cleaning and restoring the world's water. On the Equinox, Saturday March 19th at 5pm Pacific, we will join together in a Synchronized Meditation and Water Blessing all around the world. Join us!
Join us here online for a special guided meditation and the FREE world premiere of the new film 'Water is Sacred', created by UPLIFT, that will be broadcast from the banks of the Sacred Ganges river in Rishikesh, India.
It begins with a Blessing. It continues with restoring, replenishing and cleansing the World’s Water. In support of:
Read also : Can Our Intentions Heal The Water?
Judy Legum : Think Progress : 01 Feb 2016
Due to the inaction of state and federal officials, thousands of people in Flint have been exposed to unsafe levels of lead in their water. Now a group of union plumber are taking matters into their own hands. On Saturday, 300 plumbers from unions across the country descended on Flint to install new faucets and water filters for free. Many Flint residents needed new faucets because their existing faucets were so old they could not accommodate water filters provided by the state.
The effort was co-ordinated by the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry, known as the United Association. The fixtures were donated by the Plumbing Manufacturers International.
For some in Flint, however, even new faucets with modern water filters won't be enough to fully abate the lead contamination. New tests released recently revealed that, in some Flint homes, the levels of lead "exceed the ability of filtration systems handed." The filters can safely remove up to 150 parts per billion of lead. Some Flint homes were found to have lead levels of more than 4,000 parts per billion. Residents of Flint, however, are still encouraged to use the filters. For most homes, they will work.
Brandon Turbeville : Natural Blaze : 18 Jan 2016
It appears the uses of hemp are endless. In addition to myriad industrial products such as paper, construction material, clothing, food and fuel, hemp is also known to draw out toxic substances from the soil. In other words, not only does hemp provide humans with innumerable products, it also helps to clean the environment of the mistakes we have made in the past. It has already been discovered that hemp may be extremely useful in the removal of cadmium from the soil and other toxic metals, as well as radiation.
In fact, hemp has been seen as so successful in removing radiation from the soil that it is even being considered for use in Fukushima for the purposes of drawing out radiation. the process by which hemp cleans polluted soil is called phytoremediation - a term given to the process of using green plants to clean up the environment or "remediate" soil or water that has been contaminated with heavy metals and excess minerals. Two plants that are members of the mustard family as well as sunflowers have been known to do the same for many years. And hemp is now finding itself in the same category.
The whole article can be read here.
RT : 27 Dec 2015
US scientists have developed a new polymer that has a unique capacity to remove pollutant substances from water "in seconds." The discovery could revolutionize the water-purification industry, make the process cheaper, and involve minimum energy. A team of researchers from Cornell University made the breakthrough. The full research has been published in Journal Nature this week.
"What we did is make the first high-surface-area material made of cyclodextrin [sugar molecules bound together in a ring]," said Will Dichtel, associate professor of chemistry, who led the research, "combining some of the advantages of the activated carbon with the inherent advantages of the cyclodextrin." "These materials will remove pollutants in seconds, as the water flows by," he said. "So there's a potential for really low-energy, flow-through water purification, which is a big deal."
© Dichtel Group : A porous material made from cup-shaped cyclodextrins, which rapidly bind pollutants
and remove them from contaminated water.
The polymer has already shown the "uptake of pollutants through adsorption at rates vastly superior to traditional activated carbon - 200 times greater in some cases,"says the press release of the university. According to Dichtel, activated carbons don't bind pollutants as strongly as the new polymer. "We knew that [water filtering] would be a likely application if we were successful," Dichtel says. "We were definitely pleasantly surprised with just how good the performance is."
Dichtel hopes this new material can open ways to commercial water purification and also improve life in developing countries.
Amanda Froelich :True Activist : 01 Oct 2015
Image © Balmori Associates
An oasis of greenery is floating on the Gowanus Canal in New York City, purifying the water and brightening the murky waterway.
The Gowanus Canal in New York City is known to be one of the most polluted waterways in the United States. You can imagine everyone's surprise, then, when an oasis of greenery was spotted sprouting on the surface of the river three weeks ago.
Not only is the brackish water's appeal improved with the improbable garden, the stream is being cleansed at the same time.
Called GrowOnUs, the project is an experiment in "floating infrastructure" that utilizes a process called phytoremediation to purify the waterway. Over thirty different kinds of plants act as sponges to clean, desalinate, and mitigate the chemicals affecting the murky canal.
The flora is grown inside the very same metal culvert piping used to carry sewage waste into the waterway, reports GoodNewsNetwork. The "test tubes" are made buoyant by environmentally sustainable construction materials like coconut fibers and bamboo.
Diane Balmori Explains GrowOnUs Water-Cleaning Garden on Gowanus
You can read the whole article here.
Published on 18 Sep 2015
The Gowanus Canal, one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States is a little bit greener today thanks to a new floating garden landscape called the “GrowOnUs” by Balmori Associates.
Stanford News : 29 Sep
Read the whole of the article here.
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