If you care even a little bit about climate change, animal abuse, world hunger, deforestation, human health, the oceans, you really really really need to take a long hard look at what you eat. As much as people don’t want to admit it, animal agriculture is killing the environment, animals, and humans, and the longer society refuses to admit it the more damage is going to be done.
Plastic makes great food packaging. It’s waterproof and flexible. And best of all, it’s impervious to all known bacteria — until now. Researchers have found a bacterium in the debris fields around a recycling plant in Japan that can feed off a common type of plastic used in clothing, plastic bottles and food packaging.
The bacterium is a new species called Ideonella sakaiensis, named for the Japanese city Sakai where it was found growing on plastic debris made from a type of plastic called PET or polyethylene terephthalate. “It’s the most unique thing. This bacterium can degrade PET and then make their body from PET,” says Shosuke Yoshida, a microbiologist at Kyoto University and lead author on the study published in Science on Thursday.
Evidence often cited by climate scientists and also normal people attempting to demonstrate just how much we’ve destroyed the Earth is that we’ve experienced 13 of the hottest 15 years on record since 2000. Climate deniers will respond, reminding you that they aren’t scientists, but they have it on pretty good authority that the climate is always changing — we just don’t have anything to do with it. So, the people at Climate Central made an animation in which they examine just how likely it is for us to have experienced so many record-breaking years in such a short period of time if human-influenced global warming isn’t to blame. The odds? 1-in-27 million.
U.S. ‘accidentally’ bombs the Great Barrier Reef in disastrous military-exercise July 21, 2013
Two American fighter jets dropped four unarmed bombs into Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park last week, when a training exercise went wrong, the US Navy said, angering environmentalists.
The two AV-8B Harrier jets, launched from the aircraft carrier USS Bonhomme Richard, each jettisoned an inert practice bomb and an unarmed laser-guided explosive bomb into the World Heritage-listed marine park off the coast of Queensland state on Tuesday, the US 7th Fleet said in a statement on Saturday. The four bombs, weighing a total 1.8 metric tons (4,000 pounds), were dropped into more than 50 meters (164ft) of water, away from coral, to minimize possible damage to the reef, the statement said. None exploded.
The jets, from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, had intended to drop the ordnances on the Townshend Island bombing range, but aborted the mission when controllers reported the area was not clear of hazards. The pilots conducted the emergency jettison because they were low on fuel and could not land with their bomb load, the Navy said.
The emergency happened on the second day of the biennial joint training exercise Talisman Saber, which brings together 28,000 US and Australian military personnel over three weeks. The US Navy and Marine Corps were working with Australian authorities to investigate the incident, the Navy said.
A 7th Fleet spokesman did not immediately respond on Sunday, when asked by email whether the dumping posed any environmental risk.
Australian Senator Larissa Waters, the influential Greens spokeswoman on the Great Barrier Reef, described the dumping of bombs in such an environmentally sensitive area as “outrageous” and said it should not be allowed.
“Have we gone completely mad?” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “Is this how we look after our World Heritage area now? Letting a foreign power drop bombs on it?”
Graeme Dunstan, who is among the environmentalists and anti-war activists demonstrating against the joint exercises, said the mishap proved that the US military could not be trusted to protect the environment.
“How can they protect the environment and bomb the reef at the same time? Get real,” Dunstan said from the Queensland coastal town of Yeppoon, near where the war games are taking place.