The Mammoth Pirates | REFRL

https://www.rferl.org/a/the-mammoth-pirates/27939865.html

Hunting for mammoth tasks can be financially rewarding, but is causing severe environmental damage.

Questions:

  • Is it better than poaching?
  • How can this new form of ‘poaching’ be controlled?
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How 700 Kerala villagers waded through a dead river, cleansed it and brought it back to life in 70 days | Hindustan Times

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/how-700-kerala-villagers-waded-through-a-dead-river-cleansed-it-and-brought-it-back-to-life-in-70-days/story-6ZQbllXDeutd7eOsYWYBeN.html

For two decades, the Kuttemperoor river in south Kerala’s Alappuzha district slowly choked under the weight of rampant illegal sand mining and construction sites that dumped tons of sewage on its once-pristine banks. Fish and aquatic life were wiped out, and the once-gurgling river of Rajeevan’s childhood was reduced to a narrow cesspool of festering diseases.

Not anymore. A 700-strong local group of villagers, mostly women, have spent weeks wading through toxic waste, algae and risking deadly water-borne diseases to physically de-silt and clean the river.

After 70 days of back-breaking effort, the results began to show. The 12-kilometre long river now brims with water, the stench is gone and children are playing on its green banks once more.

Slims River: Climate change causes ‘river piracy’ in Canada’s Yukon | BBC

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39634290?

A team of scientists say a melting glacier in Canada’s Yukon has caused a river to completely change course.

The glacial lakes used to feed two river systems – the Slims River and the Kaskawulsh River – but when water from one lake poured through the channel into another, it cut the Slims off from its water source.

The event is known as river piracy or stream capture, and can take thousands of years. But the researchers documented the piracy of the Slims River in just one spring.

The change in the river’s flow affected the whole landscape. Sheep are now grazing on the exposed river bank, while other rivers in the area are running high. Fish population, wildlife and lake chemistry will continue to be affected, the study noted.

Straw Wars: The Fight to Rid the Oceans of Discarded Plastic | National Geographic

Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/04/plastic-straws-ocean-trash-environment/

Small and lightweight, straws often never make it into recycling bins; the evidence of this failure is clearly visible on any beach. And although straws amount to a tiny fraction of ocean plastic, their size makes them one of the most insidious polluters because they entangle marine animals and are consumed by fish. Video of scientists removing a straw embedded in a sea turtle’s nose went viral in 2015.

The plastics industry opposes bans at every turn. Bag manufacturers have persuaded lawmakers in Florida, Missouri, Idaho, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Indiana to pass legislation outlawing the bag bans.

Keith Christman, managing director for plastic markets for the American Chemistry Council, says the industry also will oppose any efforts to outlaw plastic straws.

Bans of individual products often come with “unintended consequences,” Christman argues. Replacement products can cause more environmental harm than plastic products there were banned, he says. In some cases, products advertised as biodegradable sometimes turn out not to be. Worse, consumer behavior sometimes changes. When San Francisco banned Styrofoam products, he says, an audit of litter showed that while Styrofoam cup litter dropped, paper cup litter increased.

“What we really need is good waste management structure in countries that are the largest source of this challenge,” he says. “Rapidly developing countries in Asia don’t have that structure.”

What sets the anti-straw campaign apart from other efforts—and why the anti-straw campaign may succeed—is that activists are not seeking to change laws or regulations. They are merely asking consumers to change their habits and say no to straws.