Transforming the Seafood Industry and Turning CO2 to Rocks- Top 5 Happy Eco News – 2021-07-26
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This week we have a blog post by Nick Mendoza, Founder & CEO of Neptune Snacks who tells us about his life changing journey to Amelia Earhart’s crash site and how it influenced him to enter the seafood industry and create sustainable jerky. We also have stories about turning carbon dioxide from the ocean into rocks, a nuclear reactor funded by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, Las Vegas’ strategy for reducing drought, 60 000 hectares of farmland that was purchased for an outback nature reserve in New South Wales, and how we can reimagine our cities as hubs for conservation.
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Nikumaroro is one of the wildest places left on the planet. On the island, I encountered thriving seabird colonies, eels lunging like crocodiles from the lagoon-edge to drag crabs off of the sand… I even faced-off (and backed down from) a terrier-sized coconut crab encountered on a jungle trail. But forget all of that—something else I saw on that island stays with me today, and affected the course of my life.
The first time one lays eyes on a place like Nikumaroro, the inevitable thought is some version of “we truly have reached the ends of the earth”. Our voyage was a research transect through The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), in the island nation of Kiribati [pronounced Kee-ree-bas].
For the expedition, Sea Education Association had obtained a rare permit to collect some very rare data in PIPA—the world’s second largest marine reserve after the Ross Sea in Antarctica. With a full-on research agenda and several island stops slated for the expedition, there were plenty of reasons to be excited about the cruise plan (which included a stop at Millennium Atoll, shown below). The allure of Nikumaroro Island, though, and anticipation to step into the Amelia Earhart mystery was palpable amongst the crew.
Think about the furthest you’ve ever been from civilization. 100 miles? 500 miles? The Pacific Ocean is about 12,000 across at its widest—4X the size of the US—and Nikumaroro is a speck right out in the middle. It’s no wonder so few have laid eyes on the remote Atoll. The question stirring our minds was did Amelia?… [read more].
EarthEcho International is uniting hundreds of young people, ages 13-25, from around the world, for learning, networking, and collaboration to restore and protect our ocean planet. Join EarthEcho founder, Philippe Cousteau Jr., in building a global youth movement and register yourself or a young person you know for the 2021 Youth Leadership Summit.
This 6th annual FREE event connects participants virtually over 2 days for workshops, seminars, art projects and more! Leveraging EarthEcho’s global network of scientists, policy leaders, influencers, and youth change-makers, the focus of the 2021 Youth Leadership Summit builds from a year of work with youth leaders driving #OceanEcho30x30, an initiative to mobilize support for the protection of 30% of the ocean by 2030.
“Now more than ever we need leaders with passion, vision, diverse perspectives and an unwavering dedication to positive change,” said Cousteau. This summit aims to provide a platform for young leaders to connect in real time and build collaboration for continued work… [read more].
The Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5
- To Combat Climate Change, Researchers Want to Pull Carbon Dioxide from the Ocean and Turn It Into Rock
Combining carbon dioxide and calcium creates calcium carbonate rocks such as limestone. A new method for combatting climate change feels like a bit of modern-day alchemy: scientists have figured out how to take carbon dioxide out of the ocean and turn it into harmless rock. For every tonne of carbon dioxide we pump into the air, roughly a quarter of it gets absorbed by the ocean like a giant, watery sponge. All of this excess carbon dioxide is acidifying the water and threatening organisms, such as those with calcium carbonate shells, that are sensitive to the change. To avert this fate, carbon emissions need to drop—fast. But many scientists also believe that active carbon capture—deliberately pulling carbon dioxide out of the environment—will be a necessary step to help curb, and potentially even reverse, the rise in emissions responsible for countless environmental impacts. However, capturing enough carbon to make a difference is a massive task, one that has so far proved challenging and expensive. “You’re talking about removing some 10 to 20 gigatonnes of [carbon dioxide] per year, starting from 2050, probably for the next century,” says Gaurav Sant, a civil and environmental engineering professor and director of the … [read more].
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are teaming up to turn an old Wyoming coal plant into a billion-dollar nuclear reactor. Known as an advanced nuclear reactor, it will be a carbon-free power source that’s said to be safer and cheaper than old-school reactors, according to the World Nuclear Association. The new project will be called Natrium, and it brings together TerraPower, Gates’ company, with PacifiCorp, Buffett’s power company. They plan to produce 500 megawatts of power at peak demand times and foresee powering 400,000 homes. “We think Natrium will be a game-changer for the energy industry,” Gates said in a press briefing. The companies expect to announce the exact location of the site by the end of the year. The demonstration plant will take approximately seven years to build, according to TerraPower’s president and CEO, Chris Levesque. Wyoming Governor Mark Jordan has embraced the project, both for creating energy while reducing CO2 emissions as well as for the hundreds of operation and construction jobs the project promises. “This is our fastest and clearest course to becoming carbon negative,” Gordon said in the press briefing. “Nuclear power is clearly a part of my all-of-the-above strategy for energy.” Wyoming Senator John… [read more].
In Sin City, one thing that will soon become unforgivable is useless grass. A new Nevada law will outlaw about 40% of the grass in the Las Vegas area in an effort to conserve water amid a drought that is drying up the region’s primary water source: the Colorado River. Other cities and states around the US have enacted temporary bans on lawns that must be watered, but legislation signed Friday by the state’s governor, Steve Sisolak, makes Nevada the first in the nation to enact a permanent ban on certain categories of grass. Sisolak said last week that anyone flying into Las Vegas viewing the “bathtub rings” that delineate how high Lake Mead’s water levels used to be can see that conservation is needed. “It’s incumbent upon us for the next generation to be more conscious of conservation and our natural resources, water being particularly important,” he said. The ban targets what the Southern Nevada Water Authority calls “non-functional turf”. It applies to grass that virtually no one uses at office parks, street medians and the entrances to housing developments. It excludes single-family homes, parks and golf courses. The measure will require the replacement of about 8 sq… [read more].
The New South Wales government has purchased more than 60,000 hectares of farmland near Broken Hill for an outback nature reserve, home to at least 14 threatened species. In an effort to expand conservation efforts in the traditionally underrepresented far west of the state, on Monday NSW environment minister Matt Kean announced the government had finalised the purchase of the neighbouring Langidoon and Metford sheep stations. The amount paid for the 60,468 hectares of land – located 65km east of Broken Hill – has not been made public, but it’s understood it was funded by NSW environmental trust. This purchase represents the second-biggest national parks land procurement in NSW in the last decade, preceded only by the acquisition of the 153,415-hectare Narriearra station in the state’s far north-west in June last year. A map showing the purchased land. Photograph: NSW government The stations stretch across sandplains, stony desert and shrubland, and are located in a bioregion that has one of Australia’s lowest levels of reservations – only 3.4% of the land is currently protected. The Treloar and Metford creeks also run through the properties. “Land to the west of the Great Dividing Range supports a great diversity of… [read more].
Green spaces in cities help offset climate changes and provide physical and mental well-being for their citizens Biodiversity – all living organisms, including plants, animals and microorganisms – is essential for human existence. Yet when we think about biodiversity, we rarely picture a city in our minds. Nature has often been associated as purely a feature of rural landscapes, when in fact urban areas are home to a myriad of ecosystems and natural wealth, harbouring rich biodiversity. We are embedded in nature and yet we know very little about it. Today marks the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which serves as a reminder that we must mobilize urban decision-makers and citizens to put nature at the heart of urban life. We have a unique opportunity to ensure that cities become true drivers of growth, resilience and well-being that operate within healthy social and planetary boundaries. Cities play a unique role in today’s world. COVID-19 has placed them, once again, at the forefront of dealing with some of the most pressing global issues putting well-being and prosperity at risk, including climate change and biodiversity loss. But imagine a city where buying your favorite products leads to .… [read more].
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