Read: http://www.darpanmagazine.com/news/national/pikes-plastic-plight-alberta-man-frees-fish-cinched-in-two-by-bottle-wrapper/

The plastic was a sports drink wrapper that had nearly cinched the pike in two in the middle of its body.

Joanna Skrajny said it shows what kind of an effect something as simple as a plastic wrapper can have on nature.
“It seems to be getting more and more common. There are cases where nesting birds have so much plastic in their stomachs that they are unable to eat,” she said.
Questions:
  1. What happened to the fish?
  2. What can be done to prevent this from happening?
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In India, air so dirty your head hurts | TodayOnline

Read: http://www.todayonline.com/world/india-air-so-dirty-your-head-hurts

A toxic cloud has descended on India’s capital, delaying flights and trains and causing coughs, headaches and even highway pileups, prompting Indian officials on Wednesday (Nov 8) to take the unprecedented step of closing 4,000 schools for nearly a week.

Delhi has notoriously noxious air but even by the standards of this city, this week’s pollution has been alarming, reaching levels nearly 30 times what the World Health Organization considers safe.

What It’s Like to Live in the World’s Most Polluted City | National Geographic

Source: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160425-new-delhi-most-polluted-city-matthieu-paley/

Format:

  1. Show the images in the article.
  2. Discuss why there is so much pollution. Whose responsibility is it to solve this issue?
  3. Read the article and answer the questions. What It_s Like to Live in the World_s Most Polluted City

How This Town Produces No Trash

(Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eym10GGidQU)

Read: http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2072602/japans-zero-waste-town-so-good-recycling-it-attracting-foreign (Asian slant)

https://www.citylab.com/equity/2015/12/let-this-japanese-town-show-you-how-zero-waste-is-done/419706/ (American slant)

It may seem like an overkill, but the small Japanese town, with a population of just over 1,700, is on a mission to become the country’s first ‘zero-waste’ community by 2020. And, they’re almost there. According to the video, Kamikatsu already recycles about 80 percent of its trash, with the last 20 percent going into a landfill. That progress is 12 years in the making. In 2003, Kamikatsu declared its zero-waste ambition after the town gave up the practice of dumping trash into an open fire for fear of endangering both the environment and the population.

There are no garbage trucks, so each resident has to wash, sort, and bring their trash to the recycling center—which residents admit took some time getting used to. A worker oversees the sorting process at the center, making sure trash goes into the right bins. Some used items are taken to businesses to be resold or repurposed into clothing, toys, and accessories.

(Poon, 2015)

Questions:

  1. Is it important to recycle or reduce waste? Why, or why not?
  2. Would this recycling system work in your hometown? Why, or why not?
  3. In order for it to work, what must be done?
  4. What are the effects of videos like this?
  5. What are the effects of more people watching videos like this?
  6. What are the effects of more people going to Kamikatsu?

“A bus designed for people who never take buses”: how London’s Routemaster became a £300m white elephant |City Metric

The article has an interesting take on tradition vs modernity.

http://www.citymetric.com/transport/bus-designed-people-who-never-take-buses-how-londons-routemaster-became-300m-white

Summary:  Routemasters were the iconic London buses that were decommissioned in 2004. To revive this cultural icon, Transport for London (TfL) reportedly spent £11.4m to get the new Routemasters designed. Each new bus cost £375,000 (which was almost double the price of a normal bus at £190,000), were heavier and thus less environmentally friendly, could carry fewer passengers due to its design, caused discomfort for the passengers (too hot in summer, and too cold in winter), and cost more to run (a conductor is needed in addition to the bus driver due to the possibly unsafe open design at the back).

Questions:

  • Should cultural icons or traditions be preserved at all costs?
  • If traditions are allowed to die out, what might the repercussions be?

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.