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"Catch of the Day" Campaign Presents Trash Fresh from the Sea

To bring attention to the issue of ocean pollution, the Surfrider Foundation teamed up with advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi LA to create the “Catch of the Day” campaign. Actual trash collected from beaches around the U.S. was re-packaged as food and left on display at farmer’s markets to create a impactful, site-specific message. By addressing consumers at the point of purchase, the “Catch of the Day” reminds seafood buyers that ocean pollution isn’t someone else’s problem; rather, it impacts individuals on a daily basis. Some of the repackaged items include cigarette butts from Venice Beach, California; aerosol cans from South Padre Beach, Texas; and condoms from Newport Beach, California. While environmental campaigns often emphasize shock value above all else, the Surfrider project tempers startling subjects with a restrained presentation and refined target audience. 

Earth May Be in Early Days of 6th Mass Extinction

Earth may be in the early stages of a sixth mass extinction, an international team of scientists says.

Image: Neil deGrasse Tyson walks over to ‘The Halls of Extinction’ - Cosmos: A Space time Odyssey

Animals and plants are threatened. More than 320 land vertebrates have gone extinct since 1500, the researchers said. The world’s remaining animals with backbones are 25 percent less abundant than in 1500— a trend also seen in invertebrate animals, such as crustaceans, worms and butterflies, the scientists reported.

The previous mass extinction, which wiped out the dinosaurs, happened about 65 million years ago, likely from a catastrophic asteroid that collided with Earth. In contrast, the looming sixth mass extinction is linked to human activity, Rodolfo Dirzo, a professor of biology at Stanford University in California, said in a statement. Dirzo is the lead author of the new review of past research on the topic, which suggests Earth is in the early days of this sixth mass extinction.

A past study, which involved data from the fossil record and modern-day conservation biology, suggested Earth could enter such a mass extinction within the next 300 to 2,000 years. That study was detailed in the March 2, 2011, issue of the journal Nature.

Up to one-third of all vertebrates are threatened or endangered, the researchers said. Large animals — such as elephants, rhinoceroses and polar bears — have the highest rates of decline, which is a trend shared by other mass extinctions. These large animals are at particular risk because they tend to have few offspring and low population growth rates. Hunters and poachers, however, find their fur, meat, tusks or horns attractive targets.

Losing a species of large animal can have unexpected effects on the ecosystem and nearby human developments, a process known as defaunation. In one study, researchers isolated patches of land from animals, including zebra, giraffes and elephants. Without the animals, the grass and shrubs grew tall, and the soil became looser. Rodents quickly took over and doubled in numbers, eating the seeds from the plants and living in the patchy soil that was relatively predator-free.

Rodents can carry diseases and parasites that infect people, the researchers said.

"Where human density is high, you get high rates of defaunation, high incidence of rodents and thus high levels of pathogens, which increases the risks of disease transmission," Dirzo said. "Who would have thought that just defaunation would have all these dramatic consequences? But it can be a vicious circle."

The decline of big animals affects not only vegetation, but also invertebrates. In the past 50 years, the human population has doubled, and the number of invertebrate animals has dropped by 45 percent, the researchers said. Much of the loss is a result of habitat destruction and global climate disruption, the researchers said.

Watch on pottersrebellion.tumblr.com

THE OCEAN CLEANUP PROJECT

Guys, this is huge. We have the potential to clean up one of the biggest messes humanity has made: The plastic in the ocean.

THE PROBLEM

Through littering and other such forms of carelessness, we have introduced millions of tons of plastic into the oceans. This plastic is trapped in the five major currents running through the world’s major oceans, called gyres. There is currently six times more plastic in the water than zooplankton, which is one of the most basic elements of the worldwide food chain. Plastic in the oceans leads to ecological, economical, and health issues for everyone, including people.

THE SOLUTION

Really, the solution is to cut the problem off at its source and find ways to stop introducing plastic and other garbage into the oceans. But, as for all the trash that is already there, a 19-year-old man named Boyan Slat has come up with an idea: Get the oceans to clean themselves. This idea has three basic principles:

1) Passive collection

  • “Why move through the oceans, if the oceans can move through you? Attaching an array of floating barriers and platforms to the sea bed enables us to concentrate the plastic before extracting it from the ocean —a collection process 100% driven by the natural winds and currents.”

2) Capturing plastics, not sea life

  • "Instead of nets, we make use of solid floating barriers, making entanglement of wildlife impossible. Virtually all of the current flows underneath these booms, taking away all (neutrally buoyant) organisms, and preventing by-catch, while the lighter-than-water plastic collects in front of the floating barrier."

3) Highly scalable

  • "The scalable array of moorings and booms is designed for large-magnitude deployment, covering millions of square kilometers.
  • Thanks to its projected high capture and field efficiency, a single gyre can be covered in just 5 years (or longer, depending on the chosen deployment strategy).”

IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?

Great news: Yes! In June of 2014, Slat and his team of 100 professionals and volunteers announced that this can happen. You can download the full report here, or the summary here. You can also watch Slat’s recent talk to find out more about how the project really works right here.

WHAT CAN I DO?

Slat and his team are currently running a crowdsourcing campaign. They need to raise $2 million US dollars to move from the feasibility phase to the implementation phase. That sounds daunting, but really, if 322 people donating just over $6 each, the money will be raised and we can start cleaning up our mistakes and making the world better for the future. As of the 27th of June, they have raised $878,000+ and have 77 days to go. Please donate if you can by clicking here or on the bolded link above, or reblog this and share it anywhere and everywhere you can to raise awareness! 

You can also contact Slat and his team and apply to work with them by clicking here. If you have more questions, please visit the website or check the FAQ

 

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Chinese Couple Takes Wedding Photos in Gas Masks to Protest Beijing Pollution | Via Daily Mail UK / Image credits: HAP/Quirky China News/REX

Your wedding day is a testament of hope and commitment to the future. This clever Chinese couple decided to use their wedding day to make another testament, too. They donned gas masks for their wedding day to illustrate the horrible state of pollution in Beijing and throughout China. The images are both creatively memorable and an eerie statement against air pollution. Pollution in Beijing has reached high enough proportions that citizens must wear paper masks to avoid breathing in particles that can enter their bloodstream.

This couple’s bold move is a powerful statement to China and the world that pollution needs to be stopped to have the futures we all dream of. Hopefully this couple does not become victim of oppression now that they used their creativity to showcase China’s problems to the world.

Ozone Layer is Recovering

Earth’s protective ozone layer is beginning to recover, largely because of the phase-out since the 1980s of certain chemicals used in refrigerants and aerosol cans, a U.N. scientific panel reported in a rare piece of good news about the health of the planet.

Scientists said the development demonstrates that when the world comes together, it can counteract a brewing ecological crisis. For the first time in 35 years, scientists were able to confirm a statistically significant and sustained increase in stratospheric ozone, which shields the planet from solar radiation that causes skin cancer, crop damage and other problems.

Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/ozone-layer-recovering

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