The UK Climate Week Awards 2014 are now open and you have until 7th February to enter! It is completely free, and all you need to prepare is a description of your project, initiative or product in less than 700 words. Click here for more information.
Treehugger suggest “Why it’s a good idea to stop eating shrimp” explaining shrimp is the most popular seafood in the United States, with Americans eating an average of 4.1 pounds per person annually. As delicious as shrimp may be, we actually should not be eating them. The process that delivers bags of frozen shrimp to your grocery store at cheap prices has devastating ecological consequences, and you’ll probably not want to touch that shrimp ring ever again after reading what’s really happening behind the scenes. Farmed shrimp are kept in pools on the coast, where the tide can refresh the water and carry waste out to sea. Ponds are prepared with heavy doses of chemicals such as urea, superphosphate, and diesel. Then the shrimp receive pesticides, antibiotics (some that are banned in the U.S., but used overseas), piscicides (fish-killing chemicals like chlorine), sodium tripolyphosphate, borax, and caustic soda. Shrimp farmers have destroyed an estimated 38 percent of the world’s mangroves to create shrimp ponds, and the damage is permanent. More on Treehugger here.
More from Treehugger who list 10 Low-tech and simple tactics for living more sustainably including Solar and indoor clothes drying, Shorter showers and flushing less, insulating or shading windows, and reuse of household greywater and rainwater catchment. More here.
Human response to climate change is unfolding as a political tragedy because scientific knowledge and economic power are pointing in different directions, a new report claims. The RSA Action and Research Centre report, A New Agenda on Climate Change: Facing Up to Stealth Denial and Winding Down on Fossil Fuels, suggests that the challenge is being intensified by mischaracterising the climate problem as an exclusively environmental issue, rather than a broader systemic threat to the global ﬁnancial system, public health and national security. According to the RSA, Britain can take a leading role in addressing the global climate problem, but only if it draws up a new agenda that “faces up to pervasive ‘stealth denial’ and the need to focus on keeping fossil fuels in the ground”.
Adidas has hit back at Greenpeace after the environmental group accused the brand, along with several other clothing companies, of using hazardous chemicals in children’s clothes and shoes. An Adidas spokesperson told edie.net that the company is concerned with the “manipulative reporting of Greenpeace, as they on purpose report about additional chemicals which were not even found in the products”. The spokesperson said that this wrongly suggests that the tested products pose a health hazard to the consumer and that this approach “lacks any scientifically sound basis”. More on edie.net here.
Binding EU targets on greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, renewable energy and energy efficiency have been supported by the European Parliament’s Environment and ITRE committees. MEPs have voted for a 40% reduction in energy use, a 30% renewables target and a 40% reduction in GHG by 2030. The targets received 66 votes in favour, 50 against and four abstentions. The UK remains unaffected with more ambitious targets – to reduce emissions by 50% from 1990 levels by 2025
Edie.net reports that more than 20 landfill sites have closed in the past 12 months, bringing the total number of site closures to over 150 since the UK first went into recession in 2008. The market has seen a further drop in waste that is landfilled – a recent study carried out by BDS Marketing Research estimates that landfill sites now take less than 30 million tonnes of waste a year. This is the first time that the sector has taken less than this amount, and is due to several reasons – the landfill tax escalator, moves to divert materials into alternative treatment routes, and a lack of granted site extensions.
The growing trend of consuming media on tablet devices such as iPads could have “profound consquences” for municipal recycling figures, a leading waste analyst has warned. James Fulford, a director with Eunomia Research & Consulting, argues that as electronic media starts to overtake that of printed, local authorities and MRF operators could suffer financial repercussions due to falling newsprint volumes in recycling collections. Writing in his latest blog for Isonomia, Fulford said that newsprint has been “fundamental” to council recycling collection schemes since they were first established, being relatively cheap to collect and commanding a healthy resale price.
The Co-operative Group is rolling out compostable carrier bags to hundreds of its stores nationwide. The bags can be reused as food waste caddy liners.
UK fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has criticised business leaders and politicians for large-scale environmental damage, which she says is the result of an “exaggerated focus on profits rather than nature”. Calling for a new law that holds decision-makers in business and government accountable for their role in environmental disasters, Westwood says “Our financial rulers and the politicians who help them are playing a giant game of Monopoly with the world’s finite resources – completely abstract from reality – even though they accept the facts of Climate Change, adding “and yet, you can’t play Monopoly when everybody’s dead. They imagine they’ll be the last people. They don’t care so long as they win”. Westwood is backing environmental campaign End Ecocide in Europe, which is calling for severe cases of environmental destruction to be recognised as crime for which “those responsible can be held accountable”.
Google has committed to invest $75m in a 182 megawatt (MW) wind farm in Carson County, Texas.
Women are far better at separating out their household waste for recycling than their male partners, according to a household survey. The research, carried out by BusinessWaste.co.uk, showed that while women in traditional relationships were more likely to make sure that the right materials went into the right bin, it is generally the man who is more likely to put the bin out. More than a third (39%) of households surveyed said females were taking the lead in ensuring their rubbish was correctly sorted, compared to males (19%). More on Business Waste here.
The German wind energy company Prokon has filed for bankruptcy after investors pulled out more than E220 million.
Convictions against 29 campaigners who ‘ambushed’ a train taking fuel to the Draw coal power plant in Yorkshire in 2008 have been quashed after it emerged that a undercover police officer, Mark Kennedy, had driven protesters to the train. Kennedy infiltrated environmental groups over a number of years and lawyers say the ambush might not have happened without him. The Lord Chief Justice said “there was a complete failure to make a disclosure fundamental to the defence”.
Los Angeles smog is being worsened by polluted air drifting over the Pacific from China – which has suffocating air pollution – although China’s increased emissions themselves are based on supplying goods for America’s unstoppable consumerism – so the pollution is just a ‘boomerang’ effect. Pollution caused by China’s manufacturing industries contribute between 12% and 24% of the daily sulphate levels in the Western US.
Whale meat has been confiscated from a Norwegian stand at an agricultural fair in Berlin. Selling or importing whale meat in Germany is illegal – but legal in Norway. Authorities are considering a prosecution.
Hong Kong will destroy 28 tonnes of stockpiled ivory. The Endangered Species Advisory Committee has said. 6 tonnes of ivory were destroyed in Guangzhou in China last month. But Tanzania has been hit by a sharp upsurge in poaching, with at least 60 elephants killed in the two months since the government was forced to halt a controversial crackdown, a senior official said. Four cabinet ministers, including the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Khamis Kagasheki, have been sacked by the President Jakaya Kikwere over allegattions that they blocked efforts by the anti poaching campaign to reveal police corruption and involvement in poaching. http://phys.org/news/2013-12-major-upsurge-tanzania-elephant-poaching.html
Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recyle, Rot. It all makes sense.