Our list of interesting articles and videos gleaned from the web this week.
World’s fish have been moving to cooler waters for decades, study finds
Lenny Bernstein May 15, 2013 05:00 PM EDT The Washington Post
Fish and other sea life have been moving toward Earth’s poles in search of cooler waters, part of a worldwide, decades-long migration documented for the first time by a study released Wednesday.
The research, published in the journal Nature, provides more evidence of a rapidly warming planet and has broad repercussions for fish harvests around the globe.
Read more at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/worlds-fish-have-been-moving-to-cooler-waters-for-decades-study-finds/2013/05/15/730292e8-bcd7-11e2-9b09-1638acc3942e_story.html
The 15 most toxic places to live
Apocalypse now? As the world’s population balloons to almost 7 billion, it’s become more and more difficult to find anywhere on Earth unaffected by man-made pollution and development, and far too often it takes things going really wrong before people take action to keep our planet clean. So here’s a list that might help to motivate: The 15 most polluted places in the world.
View photo-gallery at: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/photos/the-15-most-toxic-places-to-live/apocalypse-now
Oil Shockwaves From U.S. Shale Boom Seen by IEA Ousting OPEC
By Grant Smith – May 14, 2013 7:20 AM CT
The U.S. shale boom will send “shockwaves” through the global oil trade over the next five years, benefiting the nation’s refiners and displacing OPEC as the driver of supply growth, the IEA said. North America will provide 40 percent of new supplies to 2018 through the development of light, tight oil and oil sands, while the contribution from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will slip to 30 percent, according to the International Energy Agency. The IEA trimmed global fuel demand estimates for the next four years, and predicted that consumption in emerging economies may overtake developed nations this year.
Read more at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-14/iea-sees-u-s-oil-shockwaves-displacing-opec-as-supply-driver.html
Levi Strauss Creates Sustainable Jeans
By Lisa Marie Chirico | May 10th, 2013
Move over rivets, it’s plastic bottles that make a pair of Levi’s 501 jeans unique now. Iconic brand Levi Strauss and Co. is participating in the effort to drive consumers to think about recycling in a new light with the introduction of their limited-edition Waste<Less jean. The company, who received an overall scientific rating of 7.1 out of 10 from the GoodGuide, chose to partner with the brand initiative ”Ekocycle” for this collection. According to their website, the Ekocycle brand initiative, which is led by musician and producer will.i.am and the Coca-Cola Co., is dedicated to supporting a more sustainable environment. In addition, it supports recycling by helping consumers recognize that items they consider waste today, may be a part of a fashionable and valuable lifestyle product, like jeans, that they can use tomorrow.
Read more at: http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/05/levi-strauss-creates-sustainable-jeans/
True Nature: Revising Ideas On What is Pristine and Wild
New research shows that humans have been transforming the earth and its ecosystems for millenniums — far longer than previously believed. These findings call into question our notions about what is unspoiled nature and what should be preserved.
by Fred Pearce 13 May 2013: Analysis
Are there any pristine ecosystems out there? The evidence is growing that our ideas about virgin nature are often faulty. In fact, the lush rainforest or wind-blown moorland we think is natural may be a human creation, with alien creatures from distant lands living beside native species. Realizing this will change our ideas about how ecosystems work and how we should do conservation.
Read more at: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/true_nature_revising_ideas_on_what_is_pristine_and_wild/2649/
Why Austerity Always Fails: Lessons from Thailand
by Tim LaRocco | on May 13th, 2013 |
Watching the news these days and hearing about yet another austerity plan being implemented in some European country usually requires a shake of the head and a rueful look directed at the television for most people. I’m not sure what else can possibly be cut, but it seems there is always more to take away from the average person: pensions, welfare, entitlements, education, and healthcare are all typically the first casualties. Dissatisfaction among Europeans is manifest in the disturbing rise of extremist parties across the continent. Dissatisfaction was also high in Asia a decade and a half ago. In 1997, it was that continent which found itself in a devastating financial crisis.
Read more at: http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2013/05/13/why-austerity-always-fails-lessons-from-thailand/
America’s first climate refugees
Newtok, Alaska is losing ground to the sea at a dangerous rate and for its residents, exile is inevitable
Suzanne Goldenberg in Newtok, Alaska, with video by Richard Sprenger
Sabrina Warner keeps having the same nightmare: a huge wave rearing up out of the water and crashing over her home, forcing her to swim for her life with her toddler son.
“I dream about the water coming in,” she said. The landscape in winter on the Bering Sea coast seems peaceful, the tidal wave of Warner’s nightmare trapped by snow and several feet of ice. But the calm is deceptive. Spring break-up will soon restore the Ninglick River to its full violent force. In the dream, Warner climbs on to the roof of her small house. As the waters rise, she swims for higher ground: the village school which sits on 20-foot pilings. Even that isn’t high enough. By the time Warner wakes, she is clinging to the roof of the school, desperate to be saved. Warner’s vision is not far removed from a reality written by climate change. The people of Newtok, on the west coast of Alaska and about 400 miles south of the Bering Strait that separates the state from Russia, are living a slow-motion disaster that will end, very possibly within the next five years, with the entire village being washed away
Read more at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2013/may/13/newtok-alaska-climate-change-refugees
A destructive beetle threatens trees — and people who live near them
PATTERSON CLARK/THE WASHINGTON POST
May 13, 2013 10:15 PM EDT
A metallic-green beetle has arrived, posing a threat to ash trees — and the people who live near them.
That is the conclusion drawn by scientists studying the devastating effects of the emerald ash borer (EAB) in the United States. The exotic invasive beetle, first detected in Michigan in 2002, has laid waste to more than 100 million ash trees in at least 15 states, including Maryland and Virginia. The insect’s larvae feed on the inner bark of all 22 species of native ash trees, killing almost every tree infested within two to five years. The United States has about 7.5 billion ash trees. In some forests, more than half the trees are ash.
Read more at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/a-destructive-beetle-threatens-trees–and-people-who-live-near-them/2013/05/13/3cec9942-b665-11e2-b94c-b684dda07add_story.html
History of Street Trees in Paris: The Golden Age of the Boulevard
Posted May 10, 2013
This image is borrowed from the Boulevard Temple daguerreotypes, taken in 1838 by Daguerre. It is the world’s oldest known photograph, depicting people and street trees in Paris at that time. Three rows of young trees are visible (some damaged), and these were some of the trees that would later grow into the trees that enlivened the French Impressionists paintings of Paris’s street scenes of the 1870′s & 1880′s.
The remaking of Paris fell squarely onto the shoulders of Napoleon I’s grandson, Napoleon III. Napoleon III accepted his new position as Emperor when huge Parisian riots erupted in 1848, and removed the latest crop of monarchists and put the Bonapartes back on top. Unlike his grandfather, Napoleon III had a real flair for remaking Paris. He hired Baron G.E. Haussmann from Bordeaux in 1853 to assist him with the job.
Read more at: http://sustainablecitiescollective.com/deeproot/149376/history-street-trees-pariscity-making-and-golden-age-boulevard
Project aims to track big city carbon footprints
By Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer
Updated 2:17 am, Monday, May 13, 2013
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Every time Los Angeles exhales, odd-looking gadgets anchored in the mountains above the city trace the invisible puffs of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases that waft skyward.
Halfway around the globe, similar contraptions atop the Eiffel Tower and elsewhere around Paris keep a pulse on emissions from smokestacks and automobile tailpipes. And there is talk of outfitting Sao Paulo, Brazil, with sensors that sniff the byproducts of burning fossil fuels. It’s part of a budding effort to track the carbon footprints of megacities, urban hubs with over 10 million people that are increasingly responsible for human-caused global warming.
For years, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse pollutants have been closely monitored around the planet by stations on the ground and in space. Last week, worldwide levels of carbon dioxide reached 400 parts per million at a Hawaii station that sets the global benchmark — a concentration not seen in millions of years.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Project-aims-to-track-big-city-carbon-footprints-4509162.php#ixzz2TBCSB0hJ
The climate of Tibet: Pole-land
The world’s third-largest area of ice is about to undergo a systematic investigation
May 11th 2013 | Dehradun, India | The Economist From the print edition
OF ALL the transitions brought about on the Earth’s surface by temperature change, the melting of ice into water is the starkest. It is binary. And for the land beneath, the air above and the life around, it changes everything.
That is the main reason climatologists are interested in the Earth’s north and south poles. The waxing and waning of the ice provides an unambiguous signal of what is going on—and it is a signal which can be read in rocks a billion years old almost as easily as it can be observed today. But the poles are only two examples. Another would be welcome. And there is one. Though the amount of ice on the plateau of Tibet and its surrounding mountains, such as the Himalayas, Karakoram and Pamirs, is a lot smaller than that at the poles, it is still huge.
Read more at: http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21577341-worlds-third-largest-area-ice-about-undergo-systematic?fsrc=scn/tw/te/pe/poleland
Stephen King on the end of affluence: The battle over scarce resources (video – 10:35 min )
May 15th 2013, 17:31 by Economist.com
THE chief economist at HSBC and author of “When the Money Runs Out” describes how the engines that once drove developed country growth are sputtering and how to avoid a nasty dystopia
View at: http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2013/05/stephen-king-end-affluence?fsrc=scn/tw/te/vi/scarceresources
Mali in Crisis: the power of music (4:07 minutes)
Music is the heart of Mali – the country is known throughout the world for its talented musicians. In this short film, Malian musicians tell how conflict has devastated the North of the country and how people are working across the divides for peace and development.
View video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k16Eoyccip4&feature=youtu.be