by Vic Bishop, Staff Writer Waking Times A recent viral video of a diver swimming through a sea of plastic is a stark reminder of what we are doing to the world’s oceans. We’ve been reporting on this issue since 2012, watching the development of a massive gyre of plastic forming in the Pacific Ocean, devastating wildlife in the Midway Atolls. “About 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year. In the US alone, about 30+ million tons of plastic waste is dumped into the solid waste system, including various plastic containers, bags and other types of packaging, with only about … Continue reading THE AMOUNT OF PLASTIC IN OCEANS WILL TRIPLE WITHIN SEVEN YEARS, SAYS MAJOR REPORT
Art by Toshikado Hajiri from You Are an Echo by Misuzu Kaneko “Place and a mind may interpenetrate till the nature of both is altered.” BY MARIA POPOVA “This is how one ought to feel, I am convinced,” Vita Sackville-West exulted in a letter to Virginia Woolfearly in their courtship, recounting the electric elation of having climbed to the top of a mountain summit to find bright yellow poppies punctuate the eternal snow. “I contemplate young mountaineers hung with ropes and ice-axes, and think that they alone have understood how to live life.” Around the same time, ten latitude degrees north, Nan Shepherd (February 11, 1893–February 23, … Continue reading The Living Mountain: Pioneering Scottish Mountaineer and Poet Nan Shepherd’s Forgotten Masterpiece About Our Relationship with Nature
Stromatolites at Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia. Photo by Ben Cordia/Wikipedia The ancient Earth was profoundly alien. How do we distinguish between the living and non-living in the fossil record? by Sophia Roosth is the Frederick S Danziger associate professor in the department of the history of science at Harvard University. She is the author of Synthetic: How Life Got Made (2017). Edited by Sam Haselby In September 2016, Naturereported that 3.7-billion-year-old putative stromatolites had been discovered in Greenland. Stromatolites are somewhat like ancient fossilised coral reefs, if those reefs had been built by microbes rather than coral. They are some of the most easily identifiable … Continue reading The shape of life
image edited by Fernando Kaskais By Robert J. Burrowes Is Earth the largest garbage dump in the Universe? I don’t know. But it’s a safe bet that Earth would be a contender were such a competition to be held. Let me explain why. To start, just listing the types of rubbish generated by humans or the locations into which each of these is dumped is a staggering task beyond the scope of one article. Nevertheless, I will give you a reasonably comprehensive summary of the types of garbage being generated (focusing particularly on those that are less well known), the locations … Continue reading Junk Planet: Is Earth the Largest Garbage Dump in the Universe?
We only need to look to the Mediterranean Sea and the North American Great Lakes for dramatic illustrations of what lies in store if we don’t act now. BY Eelco Rohling & Joseph Ortiz ON JANUARY 5, 2018, a paper published in the journal Science delivered a sobering message: The oxygenation of open oceans and coastal seas has been steadily declining during the past half century. The volume of ocean with no oxygen at all has quadrupled, and the volume where oxygen levels are falling dangerously low has increased even more. We’re seeing the same thing happen in major lakes. The Science study reveals that … Continue reading We’re Killing Our Lakes and Oceans. The Consequences Are Real.
A drone offers a unique bird’s eye view as part of a forest fire surveillance system in the Landes region, France. Photo by Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty Robo-bees and drone-seeded forests: can technology mend our broken relationship with the natural world? by Henry Mance is a political correspondent at the Financial Times. He writes Strangers’ Gallery, a weekly satirical take on politics and culture. He lives in London. Edited by Sally Davies I’ve tried many ways to free my brain from my iPhone. I’ve invented rules, bought books, deleted apps, installed other apps. But the only thing that reliably works is to leave the phone at … Continue reading Algorithmic wilderness
image edited by Fernando Kaskais Meet Our New Overlords by Capitalist Exploits By Chris at www.CapitalistExploits.at Intelligence is easily the most profound qualifier for why we humans rule planet earth. It’s also only the smallest percentage that makes all the difference. Consider that we share about 90% of our DNA with blimmin’ mice for goodness sake. And yet the differences couldn’t be starker. In fact, we share fully 99% with chimpanzees, and even though we’ve all met “those people” who make us wish for a chimp, for the most part we humans trump chimps by most any metric. Intelligence is also the most dangerous. … Continue reading Are Robots Quietly Taking Over The World?