Boyan Slat (@BoyanSlat, Delft, born, 1994) is currently working on an idea which could clean up our oceans. He believes current prevention measures will have to be supplemented by active removal of plastics in order to succeed. With his concept called Marine Litter Extraction, Boyan Slat proposes a radical clean-up solution, for which he won the Best Technical Design award 2012 at the TU Delft.
Millions of tons of plastic pollution kill ocean life and poison food chains. Boyan sees opportunities to combat this. While researching ocean plastics during school holidays, he performed analysis on various fundamental topics (including particle sizes, plastic/plankton separation and the amount of plastic in the oceans), leading up to the first realistic concept for cleaning up the world's oceans.
Now a first-year Aerospace Engineering student at the TU Delft, Boyan has always been passionate about applying technology in an original way (at age fourteen he set a world record with launching 213 water rockets), and as an (underwater) photographer and videographer he has witnessed environmental degradation through his very own eyes.
Link: Marine Litter Extraction Project.
Kinetic typography done for class with an excerpt from Neil Gaiman's University of the Arts commencement speech. Neil Gaiman is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book.
"Fourthly, I hope you'll make mistakes. If you're making mistakes, it means you're out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be useful. I once misspelled Caroline, in a letter, transposing the A and the O, and I thought, “Coraline looks like a real name...”
And remember that whatever discipline you are in, whether you are a musician or a photographer, a fine artist or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, a designer, whatever you do you have one thing that's unique. You have the ability to make art.
And for me, and for so many of the people I have known, that's been a lifesaver. The ultimate lifesaver. It gets you through good times and it gets you through the other ones.
Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art.
I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art. Make it on the good days too.
And Fifthly, while you are at it, make your art. Do the stuff that only you can do." Watch Neil Gaiman's full speech here: www.uarts.edu
Author David Montgomery has discovered that the three-foot-deep skin of our planet is slowly being eroded away, with potentially devastating results. In this engaging lecture, Montgomery draws from his book 'Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations' to trace the role of soil use and abuse in the history of societies, and discuss how the rise of organic and no-till farming bring hope for a new agricultural revolution. Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations: www.amazon.com
Soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil--as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt. David R. Montgomery sees in the recent rise of organic and no-till farming the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.
Caution cursing ahead. This video is to promote general awareness of the science of climate change. It was edited and narrated by @ryanlcooper, using illustrations from around the web. Find more at www.ryanlouiscooper.com. Inspired largely by David Roberts piece in: grist.org
"I’m not saying that climate change isn’t a major threat to the current biosphere (it definitely is), nor am I saying that other species don’t have moral worth, but the point is that there is not some kind of easy trade-off between humanity and nature. When we dammed Glen Canyon to create Lake Powell, it was a monstrous crime against all that is sacred, but we humans continued to live our lives largely without disruption. Climate change, on the other hand, is a direct, existential threat to the biosphere AND all of human civilization. It’s just too big to fit into something like environmentalism.
The military gets it. The insurance industry gets it. Those dealing with global poverty get it. Climate change is not just an environmental issue, it is an existential issue for modern human civilization." Find David at grist.org.
Visual artist Ann Hamilton combines the ephemeral presence of time with the material tactility for which she is best known to create a new large-scale installation for the Wade Thompson Drill Hall at NY's Park Avenue Armory. 'The event of a Thread' references the building’s architecture, as well as the individual encounters and congregational gatherings that have animated its rich social history. A multisensory affair, the work draws together readings, sound, and live events within a field of swings that together invite visitors to connect to the action of each other and the work itself, illuminating the experience of the singular and collective body, the relationship between the animal and the human. The address of the readers to the pigeons shifts at the end of each day, when a vocalist on the drill hall’s balcony serenades their release to flight. Each day’s song is cut with a record lathe, and the resulting recording is played back the next day. Video by Paul Octavious. Another nice video by the Armory here: youtube.com
A Martha's Vineyard bay scallop. Visible are the eyes (blue) and tentacles on the mantle of the scallop along with striated gills filtering the food and directing it to the body cavity. The short video -- a depiction of a native Broodstock scallop enjoying a meal, was created by Kathryn Markey, a technician in the Aquatic Diagnostic Laboratory at Roger Williams University -- was one of just nine videos awarded among the thousands of digital entries in the 2012 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition. olympusbioscapes.com
The fracking frenzy in North Dakota has boosted the U.S. fuel supply — but at what cost? Watch this video animation to see how the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is used to extract oil and natural gas from shale formations deep underground. Via: nationalgeographic.com
Read more: inspirationgreen.com/hydraulic-fracking-basics
Soil Exhaustion. Contrary to popular perception, desertification is not the loss of land to desert or through sand-dune movement. It refers to land degradation resulting from climatic variations and human activities. It is not a natural process; it is the result of mankind's actions.Today, a third of land is threatened by desertification. www.goodplanet.org
In 1992, at the Summit of the Earth in Rio de Janeiro, Severn Suzuki aged 12 called on the leaders of the world on the humanitarian and ecological situation of the planet. For the first time in history, a child stood up and questioned those responsible for taking care of our planet. The voice of this child, full of sincerity and good sense, her simple and straightforward words, deeply touched her audience back then. President Al Gore himself entrusted her that "she had delivered the best speech that he had ever heard in Rio".
Our actions do not reflect our words: Planet Earth is still in the same state today, and Severn, now an adult, is expecting her first child. She once again takes the floor, explaining that although the situation is urgent, there is still time to make a change.
In this emotional documentary filled with hope, Severn stands as a reference for those who, from Canada to Japan, passing by France, are taking concrete and positive action to respect biodiversity. But who will answer Severn's appeal for change?
"Severn, the Voice of Our Children" is the sequel to "Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution" (aka "That Should Not Be: Our Children Will Accuse Us"). Taken from: severn-lefilm.com/telechar...
A 30-strong flashmob turn up at a shopping centre in Holland, arriving on horses and abseiling from ropes to reconstruct a Rembrandt painting. Unsuspecting shoppers in Breda were treated to the scene as actors in seventeenth century outfits reconstructed the painting, The Night Watch. The stunt took place to promote the re-opening of the famous Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which has undergone an extensive restoration program since 2003. Report by Sophie Foster.
UNDER THE RADAR includes video evidence The Environmental Justice Foundation has documented of vessels operating illegally and using multiple identities and changing their flags, names and radio call-signs to avoid detection and sanctions.
The Environmental Justice Foundation is working towards the eradication of IUU fishing in West Africa, EJF has gathered evidence that reveals a compelling need for an international database of industrial fishing vessels, which contains their UVI and information on their ownership, flag, history, characteristics and fishing authorisations. This would enable the global fishing fleet to be monitored and regulated more effectively.
A Global Record, underpinned by an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) number as a unique vessel identifier (UVI), is a practical, feasible and cost-effective step to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing by driving transparency and traceability throughout the seafood supply chain. Take Action: www.ejfoundation.org
Efforts to sustainably manage and regulate fisheries are seriously undermined by Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) – or pirate – fishing.
IUU fishing depletes fish stocks, destroys marine ecosystems, puts legitimate fishers at an unfair disadvantage and jeopardises the livelihoods of some of the world’s poorest people. IUU fishing is estimated to cost between US$10bn and $23.5bn annually, representing 11-26 million tonnes of catch.
In Sierra Leone, where EJF works with local communities and the government to document and combat pirate fishing, fish is crucial to daily survival, providing 65% of animal protein consumed and employment for 230,000 people. Sierra Leone loses an estimated US $29m to IUU fishing every year.
Many IUU vessels are quite literally out of control. EJF has documented them fishing inside exclusion zones, destroying artisanal fishing nets, attacking local fishers, using child labour, covering their identification markings, using banned fishing equipment, transhipping fish illegally at sea and fleeing to neighbouring countries to avoid fines and sanctions.
Despite a new EU regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing, around 90% of vessels documented operating illegally by EJF in Sierra Leone are accredited to export their catch to the EU.
The Environmental Justice Foundation is doing important work trying to stem the abuse of our fisheries. Take Action: www.ejfoundation.org
The March of the Beekeepers
10.30am for 11am start. Friday 26th April 2013.
Parliament Square, Westminster, London.
Environmental Justice Foundation is joining forces with Avaaz, Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Greenpeace UK, Pesticide Action Network - UK, RSPB, Soil Association and 38 Degrees for the March of the Beekeepers Friday 26th April.
Read more: www.ejfoundation.org/bees
It's 2013, yet 2.5 billion people in the world have no access to a basic sanitary toilet. And when there's no loo, where do you poo? In the street, probably near your water and food sources -- causing untold death and disease from contamination. Get ready for a blunt, funny, powerful talk from journalist Rose George about a once-unmentionable problem.
Rose George thinks, researches, writes and talks about sanitation. Diarrhea is a weapon of mass destruction, says the UK-based journalist and author, and a lack of access to toilets is at the root of our biggest public health crisis. In 2012, two out of five of the world’s population had nowhere sanitary to go.
The key to turning around this problem is to “stop putting the toilet behind a locked door,” says George. Let’s drop the pretense of “water-related diseases” and call out the cause of myriad afflictions around the world -- “poop-related diseases” that are preventable with a basic toilet. Once we do, we can start using human waste for good.
George explores the problem in her book The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters and in a special issue of Colors magazine called "Shit: A Survival Guide."
Superb educational video summarizing climate change evidence through 2012.
Prof. Francis' talk was filmed at the 24th annual Glen Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit, held in Breckinridge (Colorado) January 2013. You can view all videos from that conference and download the ppt presentations at www.stormcenter.com/wxcsummit
SUPPLEMENTAL VIDEO: Educators note that you can find an even more instructional video by Prof. Francis of the same material (and with even more charts, and of high resolution). She presented this 42-minute program as a webinar-skype on 30 Oct 2012 for an Arctic climate seminar at the University of Alaska (Fairbanks). Here is the webinar archive link: ine.uaf.edu/accap/telecon_arch...
Then scroll down by date to her title, "Wacky Weather and Disappearing Arctic Sea Ice: Are They Connected?" I recommend, however, that students first watch the "Climate Change and Extreme Weather" video that I posted, as only this video lets the viewer actually see Dr. Francis presenting. The "Wacky Weather" video is entirely a slide show, with a few embedded videos. You never get to see Jennifer Francis, and you have to concentrate a lot more to follow along. But it is superb resource for in-classroom or home-study for college-level students.
NEW RESEARCH by J. Francis (and colleagues) on effects of winter sea ice loss in Arctic: Published 12 March 2013: "Cold winter extremes in northern continents linked to Arctic sea ice loss": iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8...
A short review of basics by Jennifer A. Francis of Rutgers University’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, on how the jetstream and Rossby waves work, and some emerging indications that the dynamics may be changing in a warming world. A warming Arctic weakens the jetstream.
Enbridge Energy LP has been trespassing on Red Lake Nations Ceded lands in Minnesota by operating multiple pipelines without an easement.
Enbridge Energy LP purchased these oil pipelines from Lakehead Pipeline, who originally built these pipelines in 1949 on Red Lake land without obtaining the permission of the Red Lake sovereign nation.
Enbridge Energy LP still does not have permission to have these pipelines on an eight acre piece of Red Lake land just southeast of Leonard, Minnesota.
Nizhawendaamin Indaakiminaan (We Love Our Land), a group of grassroots Red Lake tribal members and allies have occupied the land directly over these pipelines. They demand that these pipelines be shut down immediately! www.wepay.com/donations/enbridgeblockade
Richard Turere is a young Maasai man who lives in the wilderness of the Kenya savanna, on the edge of a national park full of rhino, giraffe, buffalo and lions. Since he was 9, Richard has held the honored chore of tending his father's cattle; in his free time, he tinkered with electrical gadgets. After dismantling the few household appliances, Richard taught himself how to fix them, and then he started inventing. He fit his parents' home with fans made from car parts and other junkyard components harvested from junkyards, then built other inventions for his neighbors.
Now 13, he is renowned for inventing "lion lights," a fence made of basic pieces (solar charging cells, flashlight parts), which quickly and effectively scares lions away from his father's cattle. Richard's dream is to be an aircraft engineer.
Read more about Richard: www.cnn.com
Heavy crude oil spills into the Mayflower, Arkansas, subdivision March 29th from a 2- or 3-inch gash in Exxon/Mobil's Pegasus pipeline, a 60 year old pipeline which carries up to 90,000 barrels of Canadian crude crude each day, from Patoka, Illinois, to Nederland, Texas. The oil that leaked is Canadian Wabasca Heavy crude, a bitumen oil (tar sands) from the Pelican Lake field in northern Alberta.
The EPA says that possibly 84,000 gallons of oil leaked.
A cove to Lake Conway, a local drinking water source, is but yards from the spill.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel on Arkansas' KATV, April 5:
"I don't understand where this distinction is coming from, from the cove and Lake Conway. The cove is part of Lake Conway…The water is all part of one body of water.
"I think it's very fair to say that Lake Conway has not received catastrophic damage, but of course there is oil in Lake Conway."
How to dispose of nuclear waste is an issue that's divided opinion for years. And as the world's most dangerous waste takes thousands of years to become safe, it's a debate that's not going to go away.
"Just look around - what sick person could ever conceive an idea? That is what is so frightening", says anti-nuclear waste dump protestor, Muir Lachlan. In Britain's picturesque Lake District, locals have been fighting against plans for an underground dump, with concerns about it ruining the local landscape and its tourist industry. Meanwhile, Finland is constructing a new underground high-level radioactive waste dump and it's being broadly welcomed by the locals. "We have room for 12,000 tonnes of uranium here", says geologist, Anntii Jousten. Tunnelling nearly half a kilometre below the surface, Onkalo has been constructed to last for 100,000 years. "No major earthquakes have occurred here in over one billion years. In that sense if you talk about 100,000 years, it's not so much", Jousten insists. With 437 nuclear power plants around the world, and with many more on the drawing boards, the critical choices being made by these countries will have a major impact on many future generations to come.
Actual moonrise over Mount Victoria Lookout in Wellington, New Zealand. With detailed planning, an industrious astrophotographer placed a camera about two kilometers away and pointed it across the lookout to where the Moon would surely soon be making its nightly debut. The above single shot sequence is unedited and shown in real time -- it is not a time lapse. People on Mount Victoria Lookout can be seen in silhouette themselves admiring the dawn of Earth's largest satellite. Seeing a moonrise yourself is not difficult: it happens every day, although only half the time at night. Each day the Moon rises about fifty minutes later than the previous day, with a full moon always rising at sunset.
Video Credit & Copyright: Mark Gee; Music: Tenderness (Dan Phillipson).