Archive | May 2018

“EU challenges UK to ‘race to the top’ on plastics reduction”

Plastic waste washed up on a beach

Brussels has challenged the UK’s environment secretary, Michael Gove, to try to outdo it in an environmental “race to the top” as it proposed a ban on plastic straws, cutlery, plates, cotton buds and balloon sticks.

“New Stock Index Makes It Easier For Vegans And Environmentalists To Invest”

Vegans and those who care about the environment are about to find it a whole lot easier to invest in companies that align with their ethical values, thanks to the creation of a new stock index.

“Dolphin ‘happiness’ measured by scientists in France”

Dolphins in captivity were said to enjoy contact with their trainers

In what researchers say is the first project to examine captivity “from the animals’ perspective”, the team assessed what activities dolphins looked forward to most.

They found that the marine mammals most keenly anticipated interacting with a familiar human.

The results, they say, show that “better human-animal bonds equals better welfare”.

“This Fossil May Reshape Our Idea on When Supercontinent Pangaea Split”

a view of the earth from space: RTS8V3O

A 130 million-year-old skull of an ancient animal that likely resembled a squirrel has shaken up the scientists’ idea on when the supercontinent Pangaea likely split up, and suggests this break-up occurred about 15 million years later than previously believed.

“Giant predatory worms from Asia are invading France”

Entomologists missed this giant worm invading France for 20 years.

In a Peer J study published on May 22, “Giant worms chez moi!” zoologist Jean-Lou Justine of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, entomologist colleagues, and Gros, outline a discovery that “highlights an unexpected blind spot of scientists and authorities facing an invasion by conspicuous large invasive animals.” About 100 citizen scientists ultimately contributed to the assessment of this alien invasion, identifying five (!) giant predatory worm species in France that grow up to 10 inches long.

“Bitcoin uses about as much power as the entire country of Ireland”

bitcoin energy power consumption conservation Ireland Austria


  • The world’s bitcoin network uses enough cooling fans and manufacturing hardware for mining that it’s expected to use as much as 7.67 gigawatts of power by the end of 2018.

  • That’s about as much power as the entire country of Ireland uses in energy — and it’s expected to reach the same consumption level as Austria.

  • In the next six months, we may see bitcoin using as much electricity as a major industrialized nation.

“A controversial study has a new spin on the otherworldliness of the octopus”

Octopus vulgaris in the Basel Zoo.

Recently, a group of 33 scientists worldwide—including molecular immunologist Edward Steele and astrobiologist Chandra Wickramasinghe—published a paper suggesting, in all seriousness, that octopuses may indeed be aliens.

“Carbon Capture, the Vacuum Cleaner the Climate Needs”

We humans are all too good at putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Can we come up with a way to vacuum it out?

“The way scientists define climate goals has given the world a false sense of hope”

The Rhea fire rages behind a wind farm near Seiling, Oklahoma, U.S. April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford - RC19E0F22FE0

A zero-emissions target may seem inflexible, but it’s actually much more actionable than a variable and uncertain emissions budget. It is relatively simple for each country to set a target date to reach zero emissions, based on, say, how wealthy it is. Then, each greenhouse-gas emitting entity in the country can set its own goal to reach zero emissions and governments can lay out effective policies to help emitters get there by the target date.

“Plastic Bag Found at the Bottom of World’s Deepest Ocean Trench”

The Mariana Trench—the deepest point in the ocean—extends nearly 36,000 feet down in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean. But if you thought the trench could escape the global onslaught of plastics pollution, you would be wrong.