The Watering Hole, Tuesday June 7, 2016 -Environmental News and Food Politics

Apologize for missing last week. Monday holidays throw me off.

OK so more research is surfacing on the effects of micro-plastics on marine life, with profound implications for the food chain (we’re a part of it, by the way).

Not So Healthy: Young Fish Eat Microplastics Like Fast Food

“In non-exposed waters, the perch eggs hatched at a rate of about 96 percent. This dropped to just 81 percent if large quantities of polystyrene were present. The perch that did hatch in these waters tended to be slower and smaller than those observed in cleaner bodies of water.

Furthermore, the researchers observed that juvenile perch in high-plastic environments were more likely to ignore the chemical signals that alert them to the presence of predators — in this case, pike. While half of the young perch in clean waters survived predator interaction over a period of 24 hours, in waters with a high concentration of plastics, all of the perch were consumed.

In total, perch in the high plastic environments were four times more likely to be eaten than those in the clean water. While researchers weren’t able to measure the potential impacts on predator fish, there is some evidence of wider food chain effects.”

Photo from Narooma Aquaculture
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The Watering Hole, Tuesday September 29, 2015 – Environmental News and Food Politics

Alarming Report on the Health of Our Oceans

“According to the World Wildlife Fund‘s (WWF) recently released Living Blue Planet Report, marine populations have declined by an astonishing 49 percent between 1970 and 2012, with with some fish species, including tuna, declining by almost 75 percent.”

I think our first Earth Day was in 1970. Our awareness of the earth’s problems has increased dramatically, but our actions to correct them are but a minor blip on the radar.

Pretty alarming numbers. What will the oceans look like in another 40 years?

The Watering Hole, Tuesday April 21, 2015 – Environmental News and Food Politics

The good times are here. Well, let’s say there is some good news this week with respect to the environment. The first two have to do with the importance of biodiversity and resiliency in nature. Who could be against that? The last shows that we can have clean energy and jobs. In Georgia, of all places. Who could be against that?

1. Stinging nettle chemical improves cancer drug

Yes our common weed that itches like crazy when you brush against it also has the same effect on cancer cells.

2. Plastic-Eating Corals Discovered on Great Barrier Reef

A way too early study, with more research to come.

3. Georgia’s clean energy industry provides nearly 20,000 full-time jobs

Open thread, discuss.

The Watering Hole: Tuesday October 7, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics

California leads the way again! The truth is most plastic bags don’t get recycled, and as we now know, plastic particles are affecting the food chain in the oceans. Hemp is a suitable alternative for making ‘throw away’ totes.

BYOB Policy -Bring Your Own Bag

Reports show that traditional breeding techniques are years ahead of GM technologies in developing crops to withstand drought and poor soils, writes Lawrence Woodward. Yet GM advocates are sticking rigidly to their script even as the evidence mounds against them.”

Read on.

The Watering Hole: Tuesday August 12, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics

After having taken an unannounced leave of absence for the past three weeks, my memory kicked in again, so here we are.

The ocean is being affected by microscopic plastics, as researchers have found a year or so ago. New research has found the the upper millimeter contains a more prevalent pollutant than plastic.

Boat paint, anyone?

 

Will pristine ever be available again? Anywhere?

The Watering Hole Tuesday May 6, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics – Open Thread

Here is a sad statement about our last unexplored places:

“Most of the deep sea remains unexplored by humans, and these are our first visits to many of these sites, but we were shocked to find that our rubbish has got there before us.” stated one researcher from an international study team.

Trash before we get there.

Staying with our ocean theme, we seem to be slowly but steadily destroying the food chain, starting with the largest organisms first (think whales, tuna, sharks) and now right to the bottom of it, where acidification of the ocean melts the shells of tiny marine snails. Dare to dream of a fishless ocean.

Will fish farming be the only way to obtain seafood in the future?

And now for the good news: Vermont Legislature passes GMO labeling law, and the governor is expected to sign it.

Finally, a state with courageous politicians.