This Week on Earth

Week In Review – June 10th

June 2, 2016 – A study came out that shows that young fish will chose to eat small pieces of plastic rather than plankton, if given the option. In addition, fish eggs that are exposed to plastics hatched at a much smaller rate and if they hatched that chose to eat plastic grew up to be easier targets for predators as they seemed to ignore danger. Plastic in the water put additional pressure on already taxed fish and marine environments. June 4, 2016 – The waters around the Olympic park in Rio de Janeiro are horribly polluted and might not be cleaned up in time for the Olympics this summer. Many athletes are boycotting the games due to Brazil’s in ability to provide clean and sanitary conditions for athletes and visitors to the country – not including the Zika issue. 184 million dollars was set aside for cleaning Rio’s rivers for the games but this money seems to have disappeared. June 6, 2016 – Phosphorous is one of the worst water pollutants and can lead to dead zones in water causing catastrophic ecological and economic damage around waterways. Scientists are now looking into the merits of geo-engineering and how engineered solutions may have an impact on these waterways. WIR12 June 6, 2016 – Scotland voted to put a moratorium of fracking within the country until the merits and risks could be more accurately be determined. The moratorium barely passed in parliament attesting to the highly contentious topic in many countries around the world, the US included. June 7, 2016 – Environmental crime is growing at an alarming rate. This sector is growing about twice as fast as the global average growth rate. Even organized crime is trying to get into these sectors. The US is in a legal place that might be able to shut down many of these enterprises if they decide to act. June 7, 2016 – A vertical farm is opening up shop outside of New York City and can produce food with 95% less water than traditional growing practices. With water scarcities occurring more and more around the world this practice could help feed the world’s growing population without further straining water systems. WIR13 June 8, 2016 – California is a state that is heavily investing in renewable energies and sometimes has more than it can handle. Talks have opened up to connect the Californian power grid to its neighboring states so that it can sell off its excess clean power. The issue is how to agree to make this happen. June 9, 2016 – The house unanimously passed a bill that would reauthorize a pipeline safety oversite bill. This board would help to assure the safety of pipelines across the nation through studies of management plans and the ability to issue emergency shut down orders. This bill is the work of bipartisan work and compromise. The bill will now move to the Senate.