In the deep sea, low oxygen levels, scarce sunlight, and freezing water limit the rate at which items decompose: Something that might survive a few years on land could exist for decades underwater.
- ROVs photograph trash on the ocean floor.
posted by Artw
on Jun 8, 2013 -
Scientific American reports:
"An isolated population of Arctic foxes that dines only on marine animals seems to be slowly succumbing to mercury poisoning." Though a definitive causal link is difficult to establish, an isolated population of arctic foxes on Russia's Mednyi Island is believed to be collapsing due to mercury contamination as a result of its seafood-heavy diet. Where
does all that mercury in the environment
come from anyway? Why, it's another biproduct of burning fossil fuels, of course, and predictably, rates of mercury pollution are only expected to increase
. In some places in the US, even rainwater
is showing high levels of contamination. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman
on May 10, 2013 -
Yale's 2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI)
ranks 163 countries on 25 performance indicators tracked across ten policy categories covering both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. These indicators provide a gauge at a national government scale of how close countries are to established environmental policy goals.
posted by wilful
on Apr 22, 2011 -
— No matter where we live, the Great Lakes affect us all. And as species of fish disappear and rates of birth defects and cancer rise, it seems one thing is clear: the Great Lakes are changing and something's not quite right with the water. An interactive documentary film from the National Film Board of Canada
. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Feb 26, 2011 -
"I don't see any future for whale species except extinction."
(pdf) released Thursday by Ocean Alliance
noted high levels of cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury and titanium in tissue samples taken by dart gun from nearly 1,000 whales over five years. Concentrations of chromium found in some whales was several times higher than the level required to kill healthy cells in a Petri dish. Mercury in some whales was 16 times higher than a typical shark or swordfish, both known for their high mercury levels. Beyond whales
, "You could make a fairly tight argument to say that it is the single greatest health threat that has ever faced the human species."
posted by stbalbach
on Jun 24, 2010 -
Smoke and Mirrors: The Subversion of the EPA.
"This four-part series details how the Bush administration weakened the EPA
. It installed a pliant agency chief, Stephen L. Johnson. Under him, the EPA created pro-industry regulations later thrown out by the courts. It promoted a flawed voluntary program to fight climate change. It bypassed air pollution recommendations from its own scientists to satisfy the White House." [Via Reality Base]
posted by homunculus
on Dec 11, 2008 -
"When you cheat on your partner you add to the heartbreak, pain and jealousy in the atmosphere. Cheatneutral offsets your cheating by funding someone else to be faithful and NOT cheat. This neutralises the pain and unhappy emotion and leaves you with a clear conscience." [Via Gristmill.]
posted by homunculus
on Feb 13, 2007 -
: the Science Museum asks us the question "should we upgrade our mobile phone?" "No
" and "no
" say the Times and the Observer, but we still do: on average every 18 months. What's the problem? Well it isn't just the lead, arsenic, beryllium and brominated fire-retardant
cases (pollutants all) disappearing into our land fills (which are not covered by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive [WEEE
] in Europe). Coltan also goes into our phones. It occurs mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and as such our demand for upgrades has been contributing to a war
(despite mobile phone companies' claims to the contrary, coltan is not regulated like timber). If we must upgrade, we can at least recycle or
hack our old phones
posted by nthdegx
on Aug 7, 2006 -
Tour America’s Toxic Towns. First off is Times Beach, MO
. Uncle Sam bought the town for $32 million, disincorporated it, and evacuated its 2000 residents to spare them from levels of dioxin that were possibly 2,000 times higher than the dioxin content in Agent Orange. Next up is Centralia, PA
, completely evacuated due to an underground coal fire that is still burning and may burn for the next 100 years. More recently, American Electric Power purchased Cheshire, OH
for $20 million. The town, which was plagued by sulfurous clouds, is now completely deserted. And who can forget the granddaddy of toxic towns, Love Canal.
posted by Otis
on Jun 2, 2006 -
CO2: We Call it Life.
Actual ads being run by the "Competitive Enterprise Institute," heavily funded by oil companies such as Exxon-Mobil, to counter the growing concerns about global warming and carbon dioxide emissions.
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on May 18, 2006 -
It's official. Particulate pollution in the air has decreased the amount of sunlight reaching the earth. How much? A fraction of a percent? Try 10% globally over the past 50 years. Worse yet, global dimming is thought to be counteracting CO2 and its greenhouse effect, lessening the worldwide temperature increase called global warming. Why's that bad? Because, in the coming decades, particulate pollution is expected to level off, while CO2 emissions are expected to rise strongly, multiplying the effects of global warming as we know it. "That means a temperature rise of 10 degrees Celsius by 2100 could be on the cards, giving the UK a climate like that of North Africa, and rendering many parts of the world uninhabitable
." Holy fucking shit! [via kottke]
posted by scarabic
on Jan 14, 2005 -
Told you plastic is nasty....
Most of plastic that somehow reached the ocean floats in the North Pacific Gyre
[look at Currents], an exotic name for an area of the Pacific ocean with a surface larger then U.S.A, dreaded by sailors for its lack of winds and called by some World largest Landfill. The people at Algalita Marine Research Foundation
have made this nice video
[Quicktime] showing how tons and tons of tiny plastic particles have been accumulating
in the area for the last 50 years, slowly entering the food chain. Why does that bother us who live thousand of miles away ? Because we're on the top of the food chain
and because that plastic is a sponge of hazardous chemicals.[Via tpl1212's link in
another unrelated story]
posted by elpapacito
on Dec 16, 2004 -
Microscopic fragments of plastic are a "major pollutant", floating in the ocean, settling on seabeds, and washing up onshore - with unknown consequences for marine ecosystems, according to a new study. "We've found this microscopic plastic material at all of the sites we've examined,"
[lead researcher] Dr
Richard C Thompson
[of University of Plymouth, UK] said. "Interestingly, the abundance is reasonably consistent. So, it suggests to us that the problem is really quite ubiquitous."
posted by mcgraw
on May 7, 2004 -
Buying Up the Right to Pollute.
"Power companies that release more SO2
than their permits allow must attempt to buy more allowances at the auctions, or purchase them at a premium from companies that have allowances to spare. Those that can't gather enough allowances or that go beyond certain emissions limits in a given year face strict fines from the EPA." (from a 4/7 Wired article)
You may have heard of these "allowances" before, but the Acid Rain Retirement Fund
, a non-profit, is doing something about them: *buying* them and simply letting them expire. Search NetworkForGood
for "ARRF" to make a donation. [via our own CTP
's Recursive Irony
posted by scarabic
on Apr 13, 2004 -
Neato Next Generation Truck Stops
IANAT (I am not a trucker), so I had no idea trucks could just plug into truck stops complete with air conditioning, power, internet, satellite TV, etc. And the bonus is that these facilities are environmentally friendly since the truck doesn't have to be left running all night.
posted by mhh5
on Jan 11, 2004 -
Records show that over the past 50 years the average amount of sunlight reaching the ground has gone down by almost 3% a decade. "It's an extraordinary thing that for some reason this hasn't penetrated even into the thinking of the people looking at global climate change. It's actually quite a big deal and I think you'll see a lot more people referring to it."
posted by stbalbach
on Dec 19, 2003 -
EPA misled public on 9/11 pollution
"In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, the White House instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to give the public misleading information, telling New Yorkers it was safe to breathe when reliable information on air quality was not available."
posted by jpoulos
on Aug 23, 2003 -
Brown Cloud threatens SE Asia
Having flown into Mumbai a couple of times over the past years, and to Singapore once, I thought I saw this, but passed it up to gunk on the windows. Turned out it was gunk in the sky.
posted by rshah21
on Aug 12, 2002 -
The Sky Trust would sell a gradually diminishing number of carbon emission permits to the approximately 2,000 oil, gas and coal companies that bring fossil fuels into the U.S. economy. With the income from these sales, the Sky Trust would pay equal yearly dividends to every American.
An interesting idea, but it seems like any group that plans to ask congress for a charter so they can control the sky would need to think things out a little more. Would auto manufacturers be charged for the emissions made by the vehicles they produce? Would the private citizens who buy them? And what is to stop any corporation from simply, say, opening shop in another country to avoid the hassles.
But, the largest question in my mind was, who actually expects the current government to do anything that would place environmental matters
posted by Kellydamnit
on Aug 10, 2002 -
Very high level of PCBs in whale raises alarms.
"The orca found dead on the Olympic Peninsula earlier this year carried a level of contaminants that was among the highest -- if not the highest -- ever measured in killer whales, laboratory tests show".
If that is the case with free ranging whales then I shudder to think what similar measurements on city dwelling humans will reveal. Does anyone know of similar contaminant research on humans? (via Baloney.com
posted by talos
on May 13, 2002 -