Ecos in a gogglebox

A handful of messages that local youth engagement environmental outfit ECO shared, and which I feel makes for good viewing worth sharing:

Video Links

1.Shrinking Ice

The Himalayas are a crucial source of water. Much of South Asia’s water supply depend on the Himalayan glaciers. However, since 1962 the glaciers on a whole are smaller by 20% than in 2001. This is due to an increasingly warmer climate. The recession of the Himalayan glaciers could lead to severe flooding downstream but that is only the start of the problem. If the glaciers disappear, what, then, becomes of the millions of South Asians depending on the water that flows down from the Himalayas?

2. Desert overtaking Inner-Mongolia

The video shows that changes in the patterns of precipitation in the already parched region of Inner-Mongolia are leading to severe shortages of freshwater. This plays an integral role in the spread of desertification in China’s Inner Mongolia. The desertification of the onece thriving grasslands have adversely affected the nomadic people in the area. Their way of life had literally turned to dust. This comes with an economic cost as well with sandstorms causing a billion a year annually.

Web Links

1. Why the white wilderness needs our care

The number of ships visiting the Antarctic is growing; and that brings an increasing risk of accidents that could pollute the coastline and the Southern Ocean. James Barnes says governments must act now to protect the white continent Antartica is not owned by any nations and thus, only protected by weak regulations. The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition is calling on all the governments party to to begin working in concert to ensure the highest standards for vessels operating in the region, to limit access by vessels which lack appropriate equipment, to set clear protection standards for sewage and ballast water, and to take the actions needed over the longer term to protect the Antarctic environment. Is this a pragmatic international treaty that everyone could agree upon?

2. Polar cities, a haven in a warming world?

If global warming does not cease, humans may have to retreat to the poles. That is the prediction by Dr Lovelock. After reading a newspaper column in which Dr. Lovelock predicted disastrous warming, Mr. Bloom teamed up with Deng Cheng-hong, a Taiwanese artist, and set up Web sites showing designs for self-sufficient Arctic communities. There is already an intensifying push to develop Arctic resources and test shipping routes that could soon become practical should the floating sea ice in the Arctic routinely vanish in summers. We may have to resort to such a retreat if global “heating” continues.

3. Portable chopsticks design

A Japanese article translated to English on the history of chopsticks and how the habit of bring portable chopsticks suddenly got lost as we progress into an age of convenience and as we grow with age. The waribashi phenomenon needs to be stopped and we should all bring along our own chopsticks. Read on to see beautiful chopstick designs reflecting different cultures and styles.

4. Environment in crisis: we are past the point of no return.

Thirty years ago, the scientist James Lovelock worked out that the Earth possessed a planetary-scale control system which kept the environment fit for life. He called it Gaia, and the theory has become widely accepted. Now, he believes mankind’s abuse of the environment is making that mechanism work against us. His astonishing conclusion – that climate change is already insoluble, and life on Earth will never be the same again. The article explains why Gaia, is wrecking vengeance on all of us and how the consequences of anthropogenic activity will only accelerate further.

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