News, Pollution

Canadian fish know how to party: getting high on cocaine

Looking for traces of illegal drugs in water.
Credit: McGill University

New research shows that wastewater discharged from wastewater treatment plants in the Grand River watershed of southern Ontario has the potential to contaminate sources of drinking water with drugs such as cocaine, morphine and oxycodone.

Animals, News, Pollution

Chemical pollution in European waters threatens dolphin reproduction

harbor porpoise

Dolphins in European waters are struggling to reproduce because of the chemical pollution that lingers in their bodies for a very long time – even for their entire lifetime. Scientists were surprised to find polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in their bodies, as PCBs have been banned 30 years ago.

Climate, News, Pollution

New carbon capture technologies promise to remedy climate change

Belch.

Three startups – Carbon Engineering, Global Thermostat and Climeworks – are making machines capable of managing the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The new devices literally suck carbon dioxide out of the air.

Animals, Environment, News, Pollution

25,000 Mexican Fisherman Sue BP Over Environmental Disaster

Image via BNet.

Five years after the British Petroleum catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, Mexican fishermen have still not received any compensation, so they’ve decided to sue the oil giant.

Environment, News, Pollution

How glowing tampons help detect sewer leaks in your freshwater drain

glow in the dark tampon

Ironically enough, one male researcher from England used tampons to detect grey water contamination, or laundry system run off, that might be present in waterways. The tampons absorbed key signature chemicals that glow in the dark, making them easy to use and cheap. Moreover, it’s more reliable than consecrated and expensive methods.

News, Pollution

Paris takes drastic measures to limit car traffic, in an attempt to fight smog

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Paris authorities have put in place 24-hour emergency measures to limit the number of cars in traffic as part of their efforts to fight the smog shrouding the city. Today (Monday, March 23) all cars with number plates that end with an even number will be banned from circulating in the Paris region, unless they’re carrying 3 or more passengers. Clean cars will also be allowed.

Climate, News, Pollution

Unsatisfied by their government’s apathy, Canadian scientists propose their own climate policy

Image: Tavis Ford

The conservative Canadian government headed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper has consistently moved the country away from sustainable practices and environmental accountability. In 2011, the government came under fire after it withdrew Canada from the Kyoto protocol, an international agreement which commits its parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets. It also disbanded the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy in 2012, a panel tasked with reporting to the government Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. While the government has also taken some measures aimed at curbing emissions, these have been largely insufficient. Disappointed, 71 Canadian scientists have authored their own climate policy recommendations for the nation.

Environment, News, Pollution

Peruvian farmer forced to relocate because of climate change now demands compensation from German company

Lake Palcacocha, Peru is gorgeous for sure, but it's also a major threat to residents lying in its floodpath. Photo: YouTube

Saul Luciano Lliuya is a farmer from Peru whose home in the floodpath of the Palcacocha lake which has been swelling with glacial melt-water for the past few decades. Because Lliuya feels “acutely threatened” by the lake, the farmer is now prepared to take one of Germany’s biggest producers of brown coal energy to court and demand compensation. This would make it the first such legal claim in Europe where a company is summoned to pay for its historical role in driving emissions.

News, Pollution

At least 81% of China’s coastline is heavily polluted

China polluted waters

It’s not just Chinese air that’s dirty and polluted, it’s the coastline too. According to the Chinese State Oceanic Administration (SOA) some 41,000 sq km of coastline is polluted with inorganic nitrogen, reactive phosphate or oil, to name a few. This amounts to roughly 81% of its entire coastline, which actually marks a mild improvement over 2013 despite an increase in ecological incidents such as red tides and algal blooms.

News, Pollution, Technology

Electric cars could cut oil imports 40% by 2030, says study

emmisions

Switching massively to electric cars could save UK drivers up to £1,000 a year on fuel costs, reducing oil imports by almost half by 2030; a similar trend could be replicated in other countries in Western Europe or in the US.