Good news is even better when it arrives unexpected. In a major win for our ecosystem, the European Union has banned the use of neonicotinoids. Other than the fact that the use of such poison is another example of arrogant human interference in the environment, this category of pesticides is destroying bee colonies worldwide. Bees are responsible for pollinating a majority of our crops, so a major bee die-off would seriously impact our food supply. When it comes to respecting our ecosystem, it’s lovely how Europe leads the way!
Back in September of 2017, I met Oliwer, a Norwegian Green Peace activist looking for donations in Stockholm. He told me that they’re trying to stop the Norwegians from drilling for oil in the Arctic. He also told me about how a powerful, profitable company involved in logging is attempting to disrupt the environmental organization by suing it for a massive amount in damages to their business.
I asked him to tell me more, as it was hard to understand for me how such a thing could even work. My image of Green Peace was that of a world-wide, semi-decentralized network of agents (mostly volunteers). It’s hard to kill such an organization, especially given the volunteering aspect. Unfortunately, most money still leaves a trail (I’d switch to donations via cryptocurrencies if I were Green Peace).
I promised the man that instead of donating money, I’ll donate time and do what I do best: investigate and write. The case he told me about is only one of the many times corporations and even governments have went after Green Peace. It is, however, one of the most ridiculous (although admittedly not as ridiculous as when the government of Australia tried to basically pay a corporation to sue Green Peace).
Sometimes art is the best way to get a point across. I could say much more, but let’s leave it at that. See the video, get the message, spread the message (if you care about it).
The plummeting price of fossil fuel has made certain industries quite profitable due to decreasing production and delivery costs. It also marginally helped car owners in certain parts of the world, even though the actual fuel price has not decreased as much as crude price.
Unfortunately our reliance on fossil fuels may end up being much more costly in the long run than any short term gains. Here’s an article that explains why the situation is the way it is while also highlighting one of the worst effects of the worldwide drop in oil prices: collapsing oil-depending economies whose fall hurts millions of people.
In the past few years we’ve learned a lot about how plants communicate with each other. The first such communication to be discovered was through volatile organic compounds that plants secrete in order to notify each other of predators. This is known as hormonal sentience.
It’s quite well known by now that our oceans are slowly turning into a toxic stew of plastic with sauce of life-threatening industrial residues. I recently read about why birds are attracted to plastic residue.
On the topic of “we are what we eat”, here’s a fascinating photographic essay.
Regardless of what you think about “in balance with nature”, the images are quite staggering. This is one of those situations when a picture is indeed worth a thousand words. Industrialized agriculture has definitely reached some impressive heights (or lows, depending on who you ask).
In the past decade, we’ve witnessed countless cases of companies breaking the law or harming the environment in their frenetic quest for profits. The most recent high profile case is Volkswagen’s cheating in the emissions scandal. Or was the toxic spill from a mine in Brazil worse? In case we’re undecided, perhaps the disastrous explosion in China can take the prize? All of these happened in the space of four months in 2015.