i am angry

The thing you hear adults call teenagers the most after ‘lazy’ is angry.
Why are you so angry?

The other day I was making a scrapbook for a school assignment and I was reading newspaper articles for it. The first thing I find is an article about the water crisis and global warming and hey, if we don’t do anything then in a couple of years a billion more people will lack access to water!
The we is my generation.

A few flicks later the journalist comments on the ‘situation’ in Gaza, links it to Egypt and Libya and Palestine, and I read through the deaths as a crying little girl watches me from the top of the page. ‘The conflict is ongoing, but the UN is hesitant to interfere’, because we all know the situation can only worsen and then ‘we’ can deal with it.

I drop the newspaper and turn to magazines- after a moment, side to side, lie an article informing women on what is too prudish and what is to slutty and a column about what kind of girls to go for during the holidays.
Here, there is no ‘we’, because there is no problem in sight.

On my phone I am assailed by reports from Ferguson, but the shock is not great because I’ve gotten used to the tear gas and images of dead black kids labeled criminals by the people meant to protect them.

Then there is news on the economic crisis.

Why am I angry?

Because if you say wars, women repressed, economic crisis and black people horribly mistreated, I won’t be able to tell if you’re talking about 1930 or 2014, unless you add in pollution and overpopulation.

I am angry because we are called lazy when we are under more pressure than anyone before us.

I am angry because we are called materialistic. We don’t want the Lamborghini, we want a job!
We don’t want a mansion, we want peace- for a day, a week, please!
We don’t want a giant TV, we want someone to patch up the hole in the ozone layer, or maybe give us some equality, but that someone won’t be the ones who created this mess!

I am angry because I am 80% disillusioned, 10% worried and 10% hoping for the bright future we were lead to hope for until we realized we were meant to make it happen!

I am angry because when the world’s problems aren’t ignored, the world is criticized, and no one bothers to think that they have made it this way!

I am angry because I can say sexism, racism, homophobia, war, disease, pollution, and go on for years, but the older generation will prefer to call us the selfie generation than do anything to fix them!

I am angry because #yolo is trending without knowing that it’s true because we don’t know if we’ll even have a chance at a future.

I am angry, yes, because you have messed up this world for us to fix, but I don’t know if we can fix it.

But yeah, ask me again why I’m angry.

—  a few words typed without thinking

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.

6

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.

2

Your personal care products could be contributing to an increase of plastic pollution in the environment.

We’ve all seen the advertisements for facial washes and body scrubs that have “gentle microbeads that smooth away roughness without over-drying or irritating your skin” (*cough* Neutrogena *cough*). It sounds great and all, but those face-smoothing microbeads are anything but gentle.

The beads are made of polyethylene and polypropylene micro-plastic particles. With a diameter of approximately .5mm, the beads can easily travel through sink drains and filtration systems, quickly working their way into local waterways. Once in a body of water, the plastics soak up pollutants such as pesticides, hydrocarbons, and other industrial chemicals from the surrounding air and water. While that may sound great, the now chemically-soaked micro-plastics (whose rounded shape resembles tasty fish eggs) are consumed by fish and aquatic reptiles. These beads have also been discovered in the digestive and circulatory systems of mussels and worms. The beads continue on their journey through food webs, impacting every species along the way—including humans.

In 2012, 5 Gyres—an organization who aims to reduce plastic pollution—took water and sediment samples from the Great Lakes. They discovered that these microbeads could be found in numbers of more than 107,500 particles per square mile. Add that number to the amount of particles found in aquatic organisms and you’re looking at a minefield of toxins. Brief note: One tube of Neutrogena’s “Deep Clean” contains an estimated 360,000 microbeads. Let that sink in for a second.

Recently, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill that would call for a ban of microbead-containing products. By 2018, companies will have to stop producing these products, and any product containing beads can no longer be sold by the end of 2019. A similar bill is currently being reviewed in California, showing proof of progress in the ban of microbeads. Though progress is occurring, it is important to note that plenty of damage can be done in Illinois alone before the products are banned. More and more companies are adding microbeads to their face cleansers, body scrubs, and even toothpastes as a result of a consumer’s desire for “icy blue microbeads” that “exfoliate and clean deep down to pores!”

The best way to reduce the amount of microplastics in waterways is to simply cease purchasing products that contain microbeads. BeattheMicroBead.org has provided a frequently updated list of products containing microbeads. For those of you who cannot give up your beady exfoliants, there are products out there that use sands and organic materials (such as plant wax) for the same deep-cleansing and face-smoothing purpose. This is the simplest way to help the environment without even having to change your personal care routines! Please help, and visit the links below for more information.

Photograph and information from: The Atlantic

Information from: 5Gyres

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

 

3

Massive toxic spill in British Columbia pollutes streams and lakes. The Mount Polley Mine mines copper and gold. These mines require massive amounts of toxic acids to “eat” the rocks that contain the copper and gold. The waste is “contained” in a big retention pond (in this case a huge lake). The ponds just sit there with no plans for clean up. Humans are banned from the ponds. Governments say they are safe (despite that ponds fail on average of 30%).

Millions of tons of harmful metals, soils, and wastewater spilled into pristine habitat. Canada’s response? Whooppsy! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Above images: NASA and CBC.

An earthen dam at Mount Polley Mine in British Columbia breached on August 4, 2014, sending contaminated water surging into nearby lakes. Wastewater and metal-laden sand spilled from a retention basin and triggered a water-use ban in Likely, British Columbia, and other nearby towns. Local authorities had lifted the ban as of August 12.

On August 5, nearly all of the wastewater in the retention basin had drained, exposing the silty bottom. Hazeltine Creek, normally about 1 meter (3 feet) wide, swelled to a width of 150 meters (490 feet) as a result of the spill. In the aftermath of the flood, a layer of brown sediment coated forests and stream valleys affected by the spill. Notice how much forest immediately north of the retention basin was leveled. Debris, mainly downed trees, are visible floating on Quesnel Lake.

Video:

Several excellent Canadian, environmental, and political tumblrs are covering the spill: https://www.tumblr.com/search/mount+polley+mine.

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