Basking Sharks are the second largest fish in the ocean - enormous enigmatic sharks who glide along our coastline with a great dark triangular fin jutting out above the waves. Gentle giants - over 12 metres in length - basking sharks only eat the tiniest planktonic creatures at the surface, swimming with a gaping mouth open to filter out their microscopic meals. Surprising little is known about their habits.
Conservation campaigns often have little effect because they don't understand what actually drives human behaviour - they focus on changing attitudes through education, but often fail to actually change peoples behaviour. For example its much easier to use an education campaign to get people to think recycling is good, than to actually get them to recycle. Other psychological factors clearly are at play.
Whats better that popping a cork on some bubbly or a fine wine? Not much and especially not a plastic screw top. Bottle lids are one of the most common beach finds and one of the most lethal long-lasting choking threats for wildlife and our beloved pet dogs. Buying drinks with traditional cork stoppers is a great alternative, so feel good when you hear that pop.
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Bleak, freezing, inhospitable: its hard to overstate how harsh Arctic climate is for a near-hairless ape from Africa. Hidden in darkness for half a year and blinded by 24 hour light for the other half - It was one of the last places humans settled. The Vikings who tried to live their failed and to this day few Europeans live there, only the native Inuit peoples have mastered this ice-scape.
The clothing industry accounts for 10% of global CO2 emissions a year – making over 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 – more emission than all the planes in the world combined. Clothing also consumes thousands of litres of water and tonnes of energy and non-renewable resources, too.
In the past many scientists and economists presumed we were purely rational beings, self-promoting our own interests with perfect knowledge of the consequences of our actions. These assumptions are really influential: many world governments rely on our self-interest and perfect decision-making to change our behaviour, hoping rational arguments and penny-savings will alter our trajectory towards crisis.
A study in 2017, trying to understand why and how microplastics are getting in the marine food chain, found that when coral were offered plastic, sand and bacteria-covered plastic + sand they actually preferred the naked-plastic. They even retained the plastic for longer compared to the other food. They suspect that some types of plastic contain chemicals which stimulate the corals - which are tiny animals related to jellyfish - to feed. Or in other words, plastic is tasty for corals.
Across the planet excess wind and solar power is being gathered and used to pump water uphill into lakes, so that when the wind dies and the sun goes down, the water can run back downhill through hydroelectric generators. This turns lakes into super-batteries capable of storing enough energy to power tens of thousands of homes.