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.”
“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.
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?
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
Shouldn’t every day be Earth Day? Doesn’t it all start with personal choices, which drive consumer demand? Isn’t non-biodegradable packaging the first thing we reject when considering an item for purchase? Open Thread. Discuss