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Randolph
142 articles
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  • One of the most significant spaces where people can lower their environmental impact is their diets — and trying plant-based seafood is a great place to start.
  • With so many other foods out there, people who have the privilege to choose their food do not need to eat fish.
  • Fish can feel pain just like land animals, such as dogs, cats, cows, pigs, and chickens. Once caught, fish are typically left in trawling nets or tossed onto ice where they will slowly freeze or suffocate to death.
  • A 2018 landmark study out of the University of Oxford found that a vegan diet is the single most significant lifestyle choice individuals can make to benefit the environment
  • A 2013 poll conducted on behalf of NPR surveyed 3,000 Americans about seafood purchasing habits.
  • what gives humans the right to take fish from the oceans at all? If humans drastically reduced the rate at which they commercially take fish from the oceans
  • the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, Naturland, and Best Aquaculture Practices. Each group has different standards for fisheries to qualify to use its label on packaging,
  • However, it’s important to remember than like any other industry, the fishing industry exists primarily for economic reasons — most major fisheries are probably more concerned with making a profit than they are with protecting the oceans.
  • “Consider social and economic outcomes for fishing communities, prevent overfishing, rebuild depleted stocks, minimize bycatch and interactions with protected species, and identify and conserve essential fish habitat.
  • When seafood packaging claims its contents are certified sustainable, it means that the fish were declared as sustainably caught by either an organization, private company, or government agency.
  • It’s estimated that as much as 40 percent of global marine life catch is bycatch, according to Oceana. It’s also estimated that trawlers can catch up to 20 pounds of bycatch for each pound of fish.
  • Animals caught as bycatch typically wind up dead, either due to getting tangled in fishing nets,
  • in unfathomable amounts of plastic entering the oceans, and it almost always results in bycatch.
  • Most fish are caught from the ocean using trawling methods, which use large nets to collect sea animals
  • or is sustainable seafood just a form of greenwashing, aka a marketing term to make customers feel better about eating aquatic animals?
  • But the long list of problems in the fishing industry are enough to make any environmentalist wonder: What does sustainable seafood actually mean?
  • and even leading some scientists to predict that we will have more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 — meaning now is a critical time to look at the human consumption of sea animals. 
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  • the Red Sea, marking the first time that whale sharks had been tracked by satellite from Djibouti to the Red Sea. We suspect that the poor water conditions in the Gulf of Tadjoura led these two young sharks to go in search of better feeding opportunities.
  • One shark remained in the area where he was tagged and would stay there after we had left the country.
  • We were ultimately able to deploy only four of our six satellite tags, saving the others for next season.
  • we would tag an amazing three whale sharks before returning for breakfast.
  • Two weeks of heavy rain had inundated the city, and runoff from the volcanic hills heavily silted the water in the Gulf. Our local partners noted that whale sharks had not been seen for some time, likely because the water conditions had altered the plankton web.
  • Our main research goal this year was to place satellite tags that would allow us to track whale shark movements and behaviour for up to six months.
  • When the team is not ‘whale-sharking’, there is time to relax on board, dive or snorkel the pristine reefs, enjoy the delicious meals turned out from the tiny ship kitchen, and get to know the diverse group of shark lovers that join the expedition.
  • Depending on the studies planned, the primary researchers may obtain tissue samples for genetics (my own specialty) or place satellite tags for remote tracking of the sharks.
  • At anchor in the Gulf of Tadjoura for a week at a time, each day is divided by three outings to find and document whale sharks.
  • Our team has been investigating the secrets of these sharks for 15 years. I began studying the whale sharks of Djibouti in 2012, initially with the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles, and since 2017 have managed the project as part of an international team of researchers
  • This country hosts the youngest whale sharks of any known site, with an average size of just four metres, with some individuals as small as two metres
  • We know these juvenile whale sharks visit certain feeding aggregations on a recurring basis, and some sharks visit multiple different sites within a year. Less is known about what the sharks do when they are away from coastal feeding areas. Some move just offshore into deep water, some undertake regional migrations, while others may migrate across or between oceans.
  • We are here for the whale sharks, the largest living shark, which can reach 20m in length. Whale sharks are slow growing; they do not reach maturity until they are eight to nine metres and perhaps 25 years of age.
  • Sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays and a multitude of reef fish make their home in these waters
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  • KA is a textbook example of the kind of supplier that should have been explicitly excluded from the supply chains of any global brand committed to a No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation policy,”
  • He said he suspected KA was behind the lawsuits, noting that locals couldn’t afford the cost of litigation.
  • the 1,000 hectares of burned land has been left abandoned and unmonitored. This has allowed outsiders to encroach into the area and claim the land as their own, according to Nurul.
  • Nurul said the company twice blocked a team sent by the environment ministry to assess the value of the company’s assets.
  • In July 2019, KA challenged the court’s auction order by filing a lawsuit at a different district court, which now has jurisdiction over the company’s area.
  • She said Cargill is working together with Permata Hijau to collect traceability data and hold a training workshop on traceability for Permata Hijau’s suppliers.
  • Among these is an immediate review of the protocol for traceability documentation, and better handling of suspended or noncompliant suppliers.
  • An online petition has been launched to demand Nestlé and Mars intervene to protect the Leuser Ecosystem from conflict palm oil.
  • RAN called on Nestlé and Mars to publish a permanent no-buy policy for KA and immediately suspend sourcing from Permata Hijau and other suppliers such as Cargill if they fail to suspend sourcing from Permata Hijau.
  • Nestlé and Mars are two global brands that have been repeatedly exposed for sourcing conflict palm oil grown at the expense of the peatlands in the Leuser Ecosystem,” RAN said.
  • Ninety-two palm oil mills operate within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of the Leuser Ecosystem, according to an analysis by Chain Reaction Research.
  • He said that in response to the investigation, Permata Hijau had ceased all commercial relationship with KA effective June 10.
  • “Permata Hijau’s policy and supplier code of practice [since 2017] claim that it requires its suppliers to comply with No Deforestation, No Peatland and No Exploitation practices,”
  • largely blackballed by palm oil buyers with commitments to not deforest, clear peatlands, or exploit communities and workers
  • 2015, a local court ruled KA liable for the fires; the Supreme Court upheld the ruling and ordered the company to pay a then-unprecedented 366 billion rupiah (about $26.5 million at the time) in fines and damages.
  • That was the finding from an investigation by the U.S.-based campaign group Rainforest Action Network (RAN) into the activities of Indonesian oil palm grower PT Kallista Alam (KA).
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  • Animals that can do basic arithmetic show us that some really are capable of understanding the terms they use and the connections between them.
  • Numerical abilities have been identified in many different species, most prominently chimpanzees.
  • Alex was able to do more than simply mimic human sounds. Providing the right word when asked, “How many?” required him to understand the connections between the numerical amount an
  • In order to test Alex’s arithmetic capabilities, Pepperberg would show him a set of objects on a tray, and would ask, “How many?” for each of the objects.
  • Alex was able to reliably provide the answer for amounts up to six.
  • One example of non-human animals demonstrating a wide range of arithmetical capabilities is the work that Irene Pepperberg did with African grey parrots
  • So if a parrot is able to tell us the color of different objects, that does not necessarily show that the parrot understands the meanings of those words
  • Understanding “rabbit” involves understanding “animal,” as well as the connection between these two things.
  • understanding the meaning of a word requires understanding both the meaning of many other words and the connections that exist between those words.
  • denying that talking parrots and signing gorillas are demonstrating anything more than clever mimicry
  • Many types of birds, most famously parrots,
  • and gorillas and chimpanzees have been taught to communicate using sign language.
  • Some philosophers have gone so far as to argue that creatures that lack a language are not capable of being rational, making inferences, grasping concepts, or even having beliefs or thoughts.
  • So, what is it that makes us so different from other animals?
  • have pointed to our linguistic abilities.
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  • In September 2016, almost 50 years of constant breeding and conservation, the giant panda was removed from the endangered species list
  • once upon a time, the humble alligator was on the verge of extinction, thanks to the popularity of its skin as material for shoes, jackets, and bags.
  • South Africa’s white rhino went from discovery to near-extinction in just 75 years.
  • But in 1885, 20 remaining white rhinos were discovered in a remote location in Kwazulu-Natal. They were protected and bred for more than a hundred years, and there are now a robust 20,000 white rhinos in the wild.
  • In the 1970s, however, when it was discovered that there were only about 140 left, the grizzly was placed on the Endangered Species List in 1975
  • Now, there are around 1200 wandering around Yellowstone and the Rocky Mountain West—and about 50,000 in the world
  • The Siberian tiger—the biggest cat in the world, native to Russia, China and Korea—was heavily hunted until the mid-1940s, when Russia finally banned killing tigers
  • The island fox, which is endemic to California's Channel Islands, suffered a 90 percent population decrease in the 1990s, when pesticide use wiped out bald eagles on the islands
  • the monkeys' numbers dwindled to around 200 after 93 percent of the rainforest was cut and cleared.
  • the wood stork’s population has dropped by 90 percent since the 1930s, landing it on the endangered species list in.
  • There is only one true kind of wild horse left on the entire planet—and that’s Przewalski’s horse.
  • Today there are about 50 animals. With such small numbers, they're still considered endangered.
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 large animals 4860
  • The communities, who have yet to be consulted about the proposals, would lose control of their forests, and further timber harvesting, however sustainable, would be banned.
  • A proposal currently being discussed by the U.S. Senate offers the Guatemalan government $60 million to beef up security in the Mirador Basin, a part of the reserve known for its Mayan archaeological remains.
  • Narco-ranches contain miles of clandestine roads leading to the border, and around a hundred small airstrips that are out of sight of the authorities and out of the hands of rival gangs.
  • less deforestation and fewer fires, while storing more carbon than other forests, including those under government protection.
  • ndependent studies have shown that key species such as jaguars and their prey are still abundant in the forest concessions . “This clearly shows our compliance with the ecological requirements of forest certification,” Cuellar said.
  • “The forest is an economic asset to the people,” ACOFOP’s deputy director Juan Giron told me in an earlier interview. “If the person benefits from natural resources, he or she sees them as an asset.
  • t the heart of the community concessions is a strong collective organization, the Association of Forest Communities of Peten (ACOFOP),
  • The communities also benefit from long-term advice from Rainforest Alliance, an American NGO, in finding markets for forest products. These include valuable timbers such as mahogany and Spanish cedar, which despite its name is a New World tree, and several non-timber products from trees believed to have been cultivated since the time of the Mayan civilization here.
  • One of the rules set by the government when establishing the concessions was that communities must use the forests sustainably.
  • Carmelita is a century-old community, originally established as a settlement for extractors of forest products.
  • The communities have done a far better job of protecting the forest than they and the government have.
  • And grassroots organizations representing traditional forest users demanded the right to establish community forests, where they could continue harvesting timber and other forest products.
  • Together, they comprise one of the world’s largest and most successful community forest experiments.
  • Illegal cattle ranches — most of them linked to major drug cartels — have been wrecking the national parks containing the protected forests in the west of the reserve, causing some of the fastest rates of deforestation in the world.
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  • End users do not know that they should dispose of their obsolete EEE separately or how or where to dispose of their e-waste. Additionally, informal e-waste recyclers often lack the knowledge about the hazards of unsound practices;
  • f discarded electronics in East and Southeast Asia jumped almost two-thirds between 2010 and 2015,
  • spontaneous combustion sometimes occurs at open dumping sites when components such as batteries trigger fires due to short circuits.
  • "Open burning and acid bath recycling in the informal sector have serious negative impacts on processers'
  • new UN research shows.
  • the average increase in e-waste across all 12 countries and areas analyzed—Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam—was 63% in the five years
  • The average e-waste generation per capita in the region was approximately 10 kg in 2015, with the highest generation found in Hong Kong (21.7 kg), followed by Singapore (19.95 kg) and Taiwan, Province of China (19.13 kg).
  • According to the report, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have a head-start in the region in establishing e-waste collection and recycling systems
  • There were large differences between nations on the per capita scales, with Cambodia (1.10 kg), Vietnam (1.34 kg) and the Philippines (1.35 kg) the lowest e-waste generators per capita in 2015.
  • Consumers, dismantlers and recyclers are often guilty of illegal dumping, particularly of "open dumping", where non- functional parts and residues from dismantling and treatment operations are released into the environmen
  • These processes are not only hazardous for the recyclers, their communities and the environment, but they are also inefficient, as they are unable to extract the full value of the processed products.
  • Asia as a whole accounts for the majority of EEE sales and generates the highest volume of e-waste, estimated at 16 million tonnes in 2014. However, on a per-capita basis, this amounts to only to 3.7 kg per inhabitant, as compared to Europe and the Americas, which generate nearly four times as much per capita—15.6 kg per inhabitant.
  • Hong Kong and Singapore, meanwhile, do not have specific e-waste legislation. Instead, the governments collaborate with producers to manage e-waste through a public-private partnership
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 ecology 12797
  • “Two out of five of Shanghai’s landfills are already filled today. The other three would definitely be full by now if it wasn’t for them.
  • An informal recycler pushes his tricycle in Shanghai, China.
  • A 2015 report found that China was responsible for one-third of all plastic waste polluting the world’s oceans.
  • The World Bank has estimated that China’s solid waste production will more than double to 500 million tons annually by 2025.
  • Shanghai Daily reported in 2015 that the city’s residents were generating some 22,000 tons of garbage per day, at least 40 percent of which was being incinerated. Experts say the waste problem in China is getting worse every year.
  • Chinese authorities have begun to make domestic waste  management a priority. Last year, China told the World Trade Organization that it would no longer be accepting 24 categories of imported waste from other nations, sending shockwaves across Europe and North America,
  • “For years, there have been no government recycling trucks or recycling bins in the city. There are no trash sorting sites either ― so everything gets dumped into one truck and incinerated or brought to a landfill,” said Huang, who rode in garbage collection trucks managed by the city government as part of her research
  • What’s known about the informal recycling sector in Shanghai is that individual collectors like Mr. Wang bring their items either to a recycling market, where they’ll be further sorted, or to an industrial recycling plant, where the recycling of the materials actually takes place. What is not transparent is who runs these recycling plants and whether these facilities and their owners are following legal practices that are sound for human health and the environment.
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  • Mumbai produces the fifth most waste of any megacity, and last year Bloomberg reported it was “being buried under a mountain of its own trash”. The city of over 18 million people produces 11,000 metric tonnes of trash per day
  • In 2011, Mexico City closed its largest dump, causing trash to pile up at illegal dumping sites and be left out on the street,
  • Among global megacities, Mexico City generates the most trash after the New York region
  • The third biggest waste producer among megacities is Tokyo
  • the regions have similar population sizes of just over 20 million and 21 million people respectively, but GDP per capita is three times higher in the US.
  • how can Tokyo be rated the third most wasteful city? This is the tricky thing about measuring wastefulness
  • Japan is very densely populated, and so it lacks the space that the US and China have to throw their garbage in landfills. Instead, they have adopted hyper-aggressive recycling programmes to cut down on waste. Tokyo, which strives to be a zero-waste city, is no exception.
  • as income rises, people just cycle through more consumption patterns in general
  • Mumbai produces 11,000 tonnes of trash per day, Cairo feeds garbage to pigs and China’s waste is growing twice as fast as its population
  • Chinese cities don’t recycle, meaning that their waste output could be cut in half, as it has been in neighbouring Taiwan.
  • . Jakarta, for example, is one of the world’s fastest growing cities and many of its residents are in the habit of dumping their household items in the nearest waterway
  • The US is the world’s biggest producer of trash in absolute terms, generating 624,700 metric tonnes per day, which is 2.58kg/capita. That’s considerably more than many other rich countries
  • US’s 25 largest cities are Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, Tampa and Indianapolis, in that order.
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 agriculture and forestry 4191
  • How do you throw away a cup of coffee in San Francisco?
  • San Francisco turns food waste into nutrient-rich and profitable compost.
  • You take the lid off and put it in the recycle bin. The soiled cup goes in the compost bin.
  • By comparison, only three of Arizona’s 10 largest cities offer any sort of curbside compost collection, and those programs prohibit residential food waste in the bins.
  • Eight years ago, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Mandatory Recycling & Composting Ordinance. Among other things, it requires everyone, from residents to tourists, to separate their trash into one of three bins: recycling, landfill and compost.
  • The law requiring food waste to be composted is part of San Francisco’s aggressive goal to hit zero waste by 2020. In other words, in less than three years, the city wants all of its waste to be recycled or composted, rather than sent to landfills.
  • The Ferry Building’s Big Belly trash cans are color-coded (black for landfill, blue for recycle and green for organics) and labeled in English, Chinese and Spanish. Large posters on the front show what can be thrown in each bin.
  • Making compost on an industrial scale is a Rube Goldberg machine of shredding, moisture monitoring and aeration. In San Francisco, it’s done at facilities outside the city limits. Before the process starts, the organic materials go through a series of screenings to weed out contaminants.
  • Recology sells compost by the cubic yard and keeps the profits. Prices start at about $9 a yard, according to Reed.
  • San Francisco residents pay less per month for their recycle and compost bins than they do for their landfill bins. It’s a financial incentive to encourage participation, Rodriguez said.
  • Of that, about 650 tons per day is compost and 625 tons is recyclables, he said, making San Francisco one of the only cities in America where curbside composting has surpassed recycling.
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  • As the Atlantic continues to heat up, the trend is widely expected to be towards more powerful and wetter storms, so that Matthew might seem like pretty small beer when looked back on from the mid-century.
  • it will see a rise in the frequency of the most powerful, and therefore more destructive, variety
  • This view was supported recently by Kerry Emanuel, a hurricane scientist at MIT, who pointed to Matthew as a likely sign of things to come.
  • huge volume of rain dumped by tropical cyclones, leading to severe flooding, may also be linked to earthquakes
  • convincing evidence for a link between typhoons barrelling across Taiwan and the timing of small earthquakes beneath the island. T
  • During the summer monsoon season, prodigious quantities of rain soak into the lowlands of the Indo-Gangetic plain, immediately to the south of the mountain range, which then slowly drains away over the next few months. This annual rainwater loading and unloading of the crust is mirrored by the level of earthquake activity,
  • rainfall also influences the pattern of earthquake activity in the Himalayas, where the 2015 Nepal earthquake took close to 9,000 lives,
  • In high mountain ranges across the world from the Caucasus in the north to New Zealand’s southern Alps, longer and more intense heatwaves are melting the ice and thawing the permafrost that keeps mountain faces intact, leading to a rise in major landslides.
  • one of the key places to watch will be Greenland,
  • a staggering loss of 272bn tonnes of ice a year over the last decade
  • future ice loss may trigger earthquakes of intermediate to large magnitude
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  • One of the most striking of the 40 indicators assessed by the researchers was a huge increase in the number of people over 65 exposed to extreme heat.
  • The impacts of climate change are not limited to poorer nations, said Dr Toby Hillman, at the Royal College of Physicians, but also affect developed nations like the UK. He said air pollution kills about 40,000 in the UK each year
  • Heatwaves are affecting many more vulnerable people and global warming is boosting the transmission of deadly diseases such as dengue fever, the world’s most rapidly spreading disease
  • The findings, published in the Lancet journal, come from researchers at 26 institutions around the world,
  • This rose by 125 million between 2000 and 2016 and worries doctors because older people are especially vulnerable to heat.
  • Dengue is also known as “breakbone fever” due to the pain it causes and infections have doubled in each decade since 1990, now reaching up to 100m infections a year now.
  • 70,000 deaths that resulted from the 2003 heatwave in Europe looked small compared to the long-term trends: “We were alarmed when we saw this.”
  • hotter and more humid weather was increasingly creating conditions in which it is impossible to work outside. In 2016, this caused work equivalent to almost a million people to be lost, half in India alone.
  • Patients queue for treatment following an outbreak of dengue fever in Bhopal, India this month. Photograph: Sanjeev Gupta/EPA
  • Nearly 700,000 persons have been internally displaced in Somalia as a result of the drought and food crisis, reports say. Photograph: Peter Caton/Mercy Corps
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  • You have to attend an all-day class, take a written exam and pass a shooting-range test with a mark of at least 95%.
  • Your criminal record is checked and police look for links to extremist groups. Then they check your relatives too - and even your work colleagues. And as well as having the power to deny gun licences,
  • They are the first nation to impose gun laws in the whole world and I think it laid down a bedrock saying that guns really don't play a part in civilian society."
  • Japan has one of the lowest rates of gun crime in the world. In 2014 there were just six gun deaths, compared to 33,599 in the US. What is the secret?
  • The result is a very low level of gun ownership - 0.6 guns per 100 people in 2007, according to the Small Arms Survey, compared to 6.2 in England and Wales and 88.8 in the US.
  • The moment you have guns in society, you will have gun violence
  • Japanese police officers rarely use guns and put much greater emphasis on martial arts
  • If you have too many police pulling out guns at the first instance of crime, you lead to a miniature arms race between police and criminals
  • policemen never carry weapons off-duty, leaving them at the station when they finish their shift.
  • One bullet shell was unaccounted for - one shell had fallen behind one of the targets - and nobody was allowed to leave the facilities until they found the shell
  • There is no clamour in Japan for gun regulations to be relaxed, says Berteaux. "A lot of it stems from this post-war sentiment of pacifism that the war was horrible and we can never have that again,
  • peace is always going to exist and when you have a culture like that you don't really feel the need to arm yourself or have an object that disrupts that peace."
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