Thursday 23rd of September 2021

solving the endless waste and pollution from humanity?...


Scientists have found that the world's oceans are surprisingly resilient, despite the endless waste and pollution humanity has invoked on them. 

According to a major new scientific review, oceans can be restored to former glory within the next 30 years, but will not do so on their own. Climate change and the way we respond to it will have a significant impact on our oceans and their ability to recover. A major ramp up in efforts is needed.

The oceans have been exploited by humans for centuries, through rampant overfishing, oil spills and pollution poisoning the seas and its inhabitants and the influence of climate change bleaching corals and increasing the oceans acidity.

The review, published in the journal Nature, is focused on the Sustainable Development Goal 14 of the United Nations aims to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”. 

Scientists report that we now have the knowledge to be able to save and restore the oceans wildlife and support the major services that the world’s population rely on, including food, coastal protection and climate stability. The measures needed to achieve this would cost billions of dollars a year. However, the scientists argue that this would bring benefits 10 times as high.

“We have a narrow window of opportunity to deliver a healthy ocean to our grandchildren, and we have the knowledge and tools to do so [..] Failing to embrace this challenge, and in so doing condemning our grandchildren to a broken ocean unable to support good livelihoods is not an option.” Said the review’s leading scientist, Prof Carlos Duarte, of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.

The review recognises the scale of the problems but also highlights the extraordinary resilience of our oceans. Since the ban on commercial whaling Humpback whale numbers have increased. The proportion of marine species assessed as threatened with global extinction by the IUCN has dropped from 18% in 2000 to 11.4% in 2019.

“Overfishing and climate change are tightening their grip, but there is hope in the science of restoration. “One of the overarching messages of the review is, if you stop killing sea life and protect it, then it does come back. We can turn the oceans around and we know it makes sense economically, for human wellbeing and, of course, for the environment.” Prof Callum Roberts, at the University of York, one of the review’s international team.


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toons and pictures about garbage...

against the wall

Picture by Gus Leonisky: Against the wall


serious recycling

Picture by Gus leonisky: Serious recycling at a convention...


other recycling

Other recycling


removing space junk

Removing space junk

the human species will be dumbed some more...

From the security of his office in Canberra, the nation's top doctor fielded questions from politicians across the ditch on Australia's response to COVID-19. 

Key points:
  • Nightclubs and music festivals to remain closed for foreseeable future
  • Industries like construction could close if virus rates worsen
  • Australia and New Zealand's "hard and fast" approach to virus is working


Brendan Murphy claimed an "illegal dinner party" attended by medics in Tasmania may have caused the latest coronavirus cluster. He later withdrew the remark.

Here's what else we learned.

The human race will change for good 

By closing the borders, quarantining travellers and clamping down on group gatherings, Australia has so far managed to "flatten the curve" and limit community transmission. 

So, many people are daring to dream of a post COVID-19 world where life can return to normal.

But Professor Murphy said, in some ways, this crisis will change human behaviour for good.


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There is no such a thing as a "human race". And do we think things will improve? the jury is out and the pocker machine will mostly spins lemons.


the unnatural animal...


The idea that “natural” is used with moral or theological connotations is not new. Nearly 40 years ago, Stephen Jay Gould wrote that we cannot find answers in nature to how we should behave in our everyday lives (1). It is too easy to cherry-pick examples of natural behaviors in favor of, or against, any practice in which we might choose to engage. Today, Levinovitz shows that unraveling the layers of moral and theological meanings associated with the notion of “natural” is a relevant endeavor, not just for scientists, ethicists, and policy-makers but for all human beings as we try to make sense of our relationship with the world around us.
In the afterword, Levinovitz provides a reflective account of how his own attitude toward “naturalness” changed through the journey of writing the book. Although he was initially skeptical about the use of the word, he came to recognize its importance as he unpacked the different values that people ascribe to it. The take-home message? Rather than dismissing “natural” altogether, we should strive to acknowledge and explore its many facets, depending on the context. In this sense, Levinovitz's book is an important call for more nuance over simplicity, for compromise over dogmatism, and for embracing uncertainty over certainty.

Read more:
Science  24 Apr 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6489, pp. 374


Illuminates the far-reaching harms of believing that natural means “good,” from misinformation about health choices to justifications for sexism, racism, and flawed economic policies.

People love what’s natural: it’s the best way to eat, the best way to parent, even the best way to act—naturally, just as nature intended. Appeals to the wisdom of nature are among the most powerful arguments in the history of human thought. Yet Nature (with a capital N) and natural goodness are not objective or scientific. In this groundbreaking book, scholar of religion Alan Levinovitz demonstrates that these beliefs are actually religious and highlights the many dangers of substituting simple myths for complicated realities. It may not seem like a problem when it comes to paying a premium for organic food. But what about condemnations of “unnatural” sexual activity? The guilt that attends not having a “natural” birth? Economic deregulation justified by the inherent goodness of “natural” markets?

In Natural, readers embark on an epic journey, from Peruvian rainforests to the backcountry in Yellowstone Park, from a “natural” bodybuilding competition to a “natural” cancer-curing clinic. The result is an essential new perspective that shatters faith in Nature’s goodness and points to a better alternative. We can love nature without worshipping it, and we can work toward a better world with humility and dialogue rather than taboos and zealotry.

This seems to be a good book to explain and manage our unnaturalness. We hope that we’ve been exploring this subject on this site as best as we could, in order to create a better democratic system. We humans have evolved in uncertainty, that’s for sure. We have modified nature to suit our growing unnatural needs to a point. Our foods are modified by our practice of mono-culture, seed selection, refining and herding. Our sense of beauty uses plants to create gardens and parks. We use the powers from nature, fire, electricity and natural motion from gravity such as water mills. Thus we still need nature… or do we? How far can our sciences take us a virulent world, when our social constructs are somewhat temporarily arrested by “having to fight nature”? And do we invent new unnatural needs in order to sustain the growth of our societies?

The answer is in the wind, my friend… as we have to be careful as not to destroy the balances in the planet ecosystems that could be nefarious to our well-being and that of our more natural fellow travellers… Yes I know, we’re on the way towards the cliff...

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happy to see rubbish...



This cartoon from Sol, c.1990...


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German WWII sunken submarine U-864 contains 67 tonnes of pure metallic mercury. The load of mercury already has leaked 150-300 kg mercury into the marine environment, and the pollution goes on. Most of the pollution comes from contaminated sea bed from broken mercury canisters that fell out of the submarine during the sinking due to a torpedo that cut the boat in two.

Norwegian Government, the Department of Transport has the responsibility for the submarine, and after 17 years of producing numerous reports, they set up an expert committee to find a good environmental solution for the submarine. Green Warriors of Norway demands that the committee must have members with practical experience in ship salvaging, subsea operations and pollution in sea waters.


Salvaging now!

The report of the expert committee should result in a requirement specification for raising, so that the process does not extend for years. A qualified subsea company in Western Norway should be able to do the salvaging job, with top expertise from the selected subcontractors. It is perfectly possible to compete with the world elite. Green Warriors of Norway want the submarine wreckage to be raised in two large packets, and the seabed cleaned of all the mercury contained in the sediments, and the mercury canisters down in the mud are dug up and salvaged.

From the mercury measurements it appears that most of the 67 tonnes of mercury are still in the steel bottles, and the largest amount is in the cargo keel.
The Norwegian Coastal Administration has not managed to clean up the pollution since they took over responsibility for U-864 in 2003. Since 2010, capping of wreck and seabed was the only solution for the mercury submarine.

Capping is illegal, and must be considered as a deposit

Capping of mercury under sand and rocks is illegal, and is not an option for a long term solution to protect the environment from the mercury that forms into organic methyl mercury and is received in the food chain. The methyl mercury is a toxic nerve poison that follows the fat, and can be found in fat fish, like tuna and farmed salmon.

Green Warriors of Norway is filing the Norwegian Government to ESA (EFTA Surveillance Authority) for pollution from U-864. Read the case here

Fact: It is not allowed to establish a mixed and toxic “sea landfill”, covered with pure pulp. Such practice is a direct violation of the EEA Agreement acts. The politicians should be aware that Norway is formally and materially obliged to implement in Norwegian law regulations that are included in the Annex to the EEA Agreement, in the same way as directives. Green Warriors recommend the Norwegian Prime Minister and Minister of Transport to take good note of the following:
* 2017/852 (Mercury Regulation).
* 1999/31 / EC (Landfill Directive).
* 2008/98 / EC (Waste Directive).
* 2000/60 / EC (Water Directive).

“Mercury Regulation 2017/852 / EC”. Article 13 permits short-term storage of liquid mercury above ground level (not under water) in strictly regulated premises, until solidification (solid form) of mercury is carried out. Thereafter, mercury can be stored in solid form for long-term storage, but here too, very stringent requirements are laid for storage on land.
«Landfill Directive 1999/31 / EC». Article 5 does not permit the storage of liquid waste or explosives in a landfill. Circular economy is of central importance.
«Waste Directive 1998/98 / EC». The directive regulates the type of landfill, sets requirements for the prevention of environmental pollution, circular economy and controlled closure of landfills. Mixed waste is prohibited, and it is not allowed to cover impure masses with pure masses.
“Water Directive 2000/60 / EC”. The government’s measures and / or permits can only result in improved water quality and not aggravate it.


Capping of the wreck and seabed is removed as an environmental measure for U-864
350,000 tonnes of man-made mercury are in circulation in air, water and soil. 67 tonnes in U-864 can be taken out of these accounts and out of the global mercury cycle. A cover of the wreckage is considered an illegal landfill for mercury in seawater.

Removing mercury bottles from the cargo keel at 150 metres depth is expensive, time-consuming and risky for leaching of mercury into the marine environment. Also, there are many other dangerous materials in the wreckage, including ammunition and torpedoes that also contain mercury. There are also hydraulic oil, compressed air bottles and probably uranium oxide in the cargo. There may also be more mercury stored inside the submarine. Thus, raising mercury from the cargo keel is not relevant as an environmental measure for U-864.

Hull lifting and cleanup is the only alternative to short-term and long-term environmental measures for U-864

Environmentally sound concept is lifting wreck parts with protection against leakage, locating and digging up loose mercury bottles and
digging up contaminated seabed (hotspots). The cargo keel on U-864 is in better condition than the one tested for corrosion by DNV-GL on U-534. U-864 is at an oxygen-poor depth (150 m), compared to U-534 (67 m) and the keel is buried in mud. This means that the keel is like new, and it is very low risk to lift the hull parts.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration has not dug to look for the 300-400 bottles that fell out of the middle part of 1857 total bottles that were in the submarine.
The Coastal Administration has not dug and cut into the keel where the rest of the bottles are stored. The seabed at the keel is not more polluted than the seabed otherwise around the boat. Hotspots / contaminated seabed originated from bottles were destroyed in the torpedo and land on the seabed, and which has been corroding and leaking mercury since 1945. The argument from the Norwegian Coastal Administration on the danger of spreading mercury by digging / suction dredging around the hull parts is unfounded.

Hulls and bottles must be raised and the seabed cleaned.
The submarine cargo keel is in good condition  almost no rusting since 1945. The inner pressure hull is in good condition, and the keel is welded to the pressure hull. The hull is strong enough to be lifted by wires, like the Russian submarine Kursk. This submarine was 10 times heavier than U-864.



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(note this article written in Norwegian was edited for spelling mistakes by Gus inc.)





Large amounts of mercury discovered in Greenland's glaciers


Scientists were alarmed at the amount of dissolved mercury they found in rivers and fjords. The heavy metal raises concerns for the health of indigenous communities. And with global warming, the problem may get worse.


When British environmental geochemist Jon Hawkings arrived in Greenland for the first time in 2012, he was impressed.

"It's mind-blowing: You look onto the horizon and it's just ice and it goes on for 150, 200 kilometers at least." 

He went to the Arctic with a group of international scientists. Their goal was to investigate the relationship between nutrients entering coastal ecosystems from glacial meltwater. But the group's research took an unexpected turn.

The scientists analyzed samples from meltwater rivers and fjords and found concentrations of dissolved mercury among the highest ever recorded.

Like contaminated rivers in China

Despite it being a pristine and remote environment, with no industrial activity or apparent source of pollution, runoff water coming from three different glaciers in southwest Greenland contains as much mercury as water in far more industrialized areas.

"Mercury concentrations this high would usually only be seen in quite contaminated systems. We compare it to contaminated rivers in China, because that's where similar kinds of concentrations have been found before," Hawkings, who is the lead author of the study published in Nature Geoscience, told DW.

Normal amounts of dissolved mercury in rivers are around 1 to 10 nanograms per liter (ng L-1 ). According to Hawkings, that is comparable to "a grain of sand in an Olympic size swimming pool." But in the water samples from southwest Greenland, the researchers found values of 150 ng L-1, far higher than average.

Unlike what is seen in China, the evidence indicates that the mercury in Greenland originates from natural geological sources in the ice sheet bed.

The findings were a surprise. Back in 2012, the scientists casually took water samples to test for mercury. Their intention was "to get an idea of what mercury concentrations were in the meltwaters, just because we could measure it," Hawkings recalled. That was when they came across high concentrations for the first time. At that point, however, the data was limited, as it was a pilot study.

When the group went back to Greenland in 2015 they decided to investigate a little more in detail, and again obtained similar results. Three years later, in 2018, they returned to the same region once more. The results confirmed what was first observed in 2012 and 2015.

"I just didn't quite believe it! Because the numbers were so high, it was so unexpected," Hawkings said. "As a scientist, there was an element of excitement, of finding something new that nobody else had looked at before. But also concern."


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