Like a medic overwhelmed with casualties, we triage. This means we must target the most deadly plastic first - if we can't remove it all we must focus on the most lethal items and prioritise their removal from the environment.
Marine Sustainability questions how we as human societies can live within the environmental limits. Exponential growth and the pressure of human activities on the ocean is destabilising critical ecosystems and causing irreversible change, with catastrophic consequences for human wellbeing. Wider sustainability issues are exemplified in coastal and marine systems, where social and environmental change is rapid and difficult to quantify. In our articles we attempt to unpack how emerging challenges in coastal communities, especially those of Cornwall, can be tackled through transdiscplinary insights from research curated from across a broad spectrm of scientific and lay sources.
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.
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.
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.
Why is democracy the secret for sustainability? Two reasons: 1) it allows the majority of good sensible people to stop the unsustainable ones; 2) its makes sure that people feel they have the ability to make change, because without the ability to make change people see being sustainable as futile and give up - paradoxically ensuring what they hoped to avoid!
Only certain types of fish, including mackeral and tuna, have dangerous levels of mercury and only if you eat them nearly every day. Though the Atlantic Mackeral caught here in Cornwall, contain a lot less Mercury than the Spanish Mackeral eaten elsewhere and are very safe and healthy to eat.
Biomining also could be cheaper and greener than traditional mining, using less water and emitting less CO2 than conventional crushing, heating and chemical processes. Biomining works at much lower temperatures and pressures than normal techniques reducing the electricity bill and resources used to get the metal out of the rock.