Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Biodiversity (141)

Official trailer: Obselidia

Vimeo / Diane Bell / 2010

Winner of two awards at Sundance and nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards, Diane Bell’s ravishingly beautiful debut feature OBSELIDIA tells the story of lonely George, a man out of step with the 21st century who is writing an encyclopedia of obsolete things. On his quest to catalogue endangered occupations, he meets Sophie, a cinema projectionist at a silent movie theater, and together they journey to the desert of Death Valley to interview a maverick climate scientist who is predicting the eminent end of the world. Part road movie, part love story, OBSELIDIA is an intelligent, thought-provoking bittersweet meditation on loss and how we live with it – given that everything we love is going to end.

Obselidia from rebelheartfilm on Vimeo.

Experts: ‘Myth’ that pesticides are necessary to feed the world

The Guardian / Damian Carrington / 07 March 2017

The idea that pesticides are essential to feed a fast-growing global population is a myth, according to UN food and pollution experts.

A new report, being presented to the UN human rights council on Wednesday, is severely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of the “systematic denial of harms”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions”.

The report says pesticides have “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole”, including an estimated 200,000 deaths a year from acute poisoning. Its authors said: “It is time to create a global process to transition toward safer and healthier food and agricultural production.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Weather and Climate Summit 2017: Dr Jim White

Understanding Climate Change / 29 January 2017

Presentation by Dr. Jim White, Director of the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research. Opens with a review of the 5 most popular questions Dr. White is asked at public presentations.

Half of all species could be extinct by end of century

The Guardian / Robin McKie / 25 February 2017

“The living fabric of the world is slipping through our fingers without our showing much sign of caring,” say the organisers of the Biological Extinction conference held at the Vatican this week.

Threatened creatures such as the tiger or rhino may make occasional headlines, but little attention is paid to the eradication of most other life forms, they argue. But as the conference will hear, these animals and plants provide us with our food and medicine. They purify our water and air while also absorbing carbon emissions from our cars and factories, regenerating soil, and providing us with aesthetic inspiration.

“Rich western countries are now siphoning up the planet’s resources and destroying its ecosystems at an unprecedented rate,” said biologist Paul Ehrlich, of Stanford University in California. “We want to build highways across the Serengeti to get more rare earth minerals for our cellphones. We grab all the fish from the sea, wreck the coral reefs and put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We have triggered a major extinction event. The question is: how do we stop it?”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Synthetic clothing, tires polluting the oceans in a big way

CNBC / Anmar Frangoul / 22 February 2017

A new report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has found that as much as 31 percent of the estimated 9.5 million tonnes of plastic that enters the ocean annually could be from sources such as tires and synthetic clothing.

These products can release “primary microplastics”, which are plastics that directly enter the environment as “small particulates”.

According to the IUCN, which released the report on Wednesday, they come from a range of sources.

These include synthetic textiles, which deposit them due to abrasion when washed, and tires, which release them as a result of erosion when driving.

The report identified seven “major sources” of primary microplastics: Tires, synthetic textiles, marine coatings, road markings, personal care products, plastic pellets and city dust.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Fish under threat from ocean oxygen depletion, finds study

The Guardian / Susan Smillie / 20 February 2017

The depletion of oxygen in our oceans threatens future fish stocks and risks altering the habitat and behaviour of marine life, scientists have warned, after a new study found oceanic oxygen levels had fallen by 2% in 50 years.

The study, carried out at Geomar Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Germany, was the most comprehensive of the subject to date. The fall in oxygen levels has been attributed to global warming and the authors warn that if it continues unchecked, the amount of oxygen lost could reach up to 7% by 2100. Very few marine organisms are able to adapt to low levels of oxygen.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

What the Transition movement does incredibly well is small-scale experiments which are practical, which resonate with local people, which look as if they’re doable, and that can engage people at a practical and meaningful level. It connects up the big issues and the local issues and shows you that change can happen at a local level.

— Julian Dobson, 21 Stories of Transition
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