Browsing: Environment

Photo by Dallas Krentzel (CC BY 2.0) Nemonte Nenquimo is an indigenous activist that was recently given the 2020 Goldman environmental prize for her grassroots work that protected over 500,000 acres in the Ecuadorean Amazon from oil extraction. Born in 1986, she is a member of the Waorani nation and co-founder of Ceibo Alliance, an indigenous-led nonprofit that focuses on protecting indigenous land, life and cultural survival in the upper Amazon.  In her early life, she left her family who lived on the traditional Waorani community of Nemonparte to study at a missionary school. After the missionaries attempted to force her to…

Photo by Garry Knight (CC0 1.0) A climate lawsuit filed by six young activists has been approved and prioritized by the European Court of Human Rights. In this landmark case, the activists allege that the 33 countries have not made the cuts to greenhouse gas emissions that are needed to protect their futures and physical and mental well-being.  The crowdfunded case, filed in September, is the first of its kind to make it to the court in Strasbourg. As a result, the ECHR has given the 33 countries, which include the EU countries, Norway, Russia, Turkey, Switzerland, Ukraine and the…

Bangor University is participating in the SHAPE Sustainability Impact Projects, an initiative created by the British Academy and Students Organising for Sustainability Kingdom (SOS-UK). SHAPE is used by the British Academy as a collective term for Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts for People and the Economy/Environment. These disciplines are important for understanding the fabric of the world, and how people interact within it. While academics and leaders in SHAPE fields have already contributed to major social and environmental change worldwide, approaches to sustainability challenges still often rest solely on people in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).…

Photo by James Shook (CC BY 2.5) In a legal system, a non-human entity can be granted the same rights and responsibilities as a person. This is a not a new occurrence, as corporations have been historically granted legal personhood status. What is new is the designation of an ecological entity, in this case a river, as having legal personhood as granted by the Aotearoa/New Zealand government in 2017. The Whanganui River is now legally known as Te Awa Tupua, which means an integrated, living whole from the mountains to the sea. This acknowledgement of the river as a legal…

While low speed electric vehicles first bring to mind a picture of senior driven golf carts, they should be understood as a much more complex, innovative and pervasive industry that has tremendous potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in response to climate change. Low speed electric vehicles, referred to henceforth as LSEVs, are small compact vehicles that reach a top speed of 37mph that have become particularly successful in China, the location of the largest electric vehicle market in 2020. LSEVs offer the perfect alternative to motorcycles and bikes for urban centres as they are inexpensive, easy to park and,…

Photo by Radhika Mehrotra (CC BY-SA 4.0) Now, let me start by telling all the do-gooders that this is a story for you… Well, unless you’re worried about the impending doom of the planet – then I would probably advise you skip this one.   You may be thinking that this is a dramatic way to start a factual piece of writing. However, all we tend to see, especially nowadays, are David Attenborough documentaries or speeches from young teens, which are emphasising their extreme worries. Obviously, the world that we rely on is a world on a downward trajectory into chaos.  …

Photo by Mouenthias (CC BY-SA 4.0) Scientists hope that a new super-enzyme that is able to convert plastic back to its original materials in a matter of days will be a huge help in battling pollution. It was created by combining two enzymes, known as PETase and MHETase, that are produced by the bacteria Ideonella sakaiensis which eats plastic. Natural degradation of plastic can take hundreds of years, but this super-enzyme works at room temperature to break it down up to six times faster than the previously engineered enzymes. The super-enzyme could enable us to completely recycle the most common…

Photo by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website (CC BY 3.0 AU) David Attenborough can tell me that the world is well and truly collapsing around us and yet I still love nothing more than listening to him. Maybe it’s in his comforting voice, or the fact that he has been blessing our screens for almost 70 years, but he can make even the most overwhelming and devastating topic palatable. Apparently, I am not the only one invested in whatever the national treasure has to say, as the ratings for Attenborough’s recent BBC One presentation ‘Extinction: The Facts’ can attest. Despite…

Photo by Izabela Janachowska (CC BY 3.0) The growing popularity of gender reveal parties might be a cause for alarm given that expecting parents have gotten more creative and more dangerous with their methods, resulting in disaster, wildfire, and even death. What started as a phenomenon in the U.S has slowly started to pop up throughout the UK. Gender reveal parties involve revealing the sex of an unborn baby using the colours pink and blue, often it is a surprise even for the parents. Initially, gender reveal parties mostly involved parents cutting into a cake and revealing pink or blue frosting…

Photo by Vortexrealm at English Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5) Research by Bangor University has been used in Feedback’s Bad Energy report demonstrating that Anaerobic Digestion (AD) may not be as beneficial in mitigating carbon emissions as was previously hoped. AD is the process of breaking down organic materials like food waste and manure using microorganisms to produce methane-rich biogas that can be used as a renewable energy source. It was heralded as an “environmental silver bullet” that would be comparable to wind and solar energy in its potential impacts. AD would simultaneously address organic waste management and provide renewable energy…

New footage released in the journal Marine Mammal Science this month shows Grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) ‘clapping’ underwater. The behaviour was caught on camera by marine biologist Dr Ben Burville near the Farne Islands, UK in October 2017. The loud ‘crack-like’ noises had been heard commonly during breeding season after being detected by researchers using hydrophones, but were mistaken for vocal signals for a long time. It wasn’t until researchers witnessed a large male ‘clap’ its front flippers together that they finally definitively identified the source of the sound. Unfortunately the behaviour is rare, quick, and extremely difficult to catch…

We warmly welcome the new Bangor Environmental Action Society that recently started in January of this year. The group emerged as a response to the need to push for greater environmental action, both at home and beyond. They work closely with the students and staff of Bangor University, as well as the local community, in order to promote activism and more concrete steps toward addressing the climate crisis. While it just started this year, the group has already hit the ground running with some major events under their belt, such as the Valentine’s day climate strike and a recent de-turfing…

If you’re at all interested in American politics, you may have heard of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, but what about her daughter? Isra Hirsi is already helping to save the planet at just 16 years old, having started her climate activism by joining her high school’s environmental club. This interest is a new one – even though Isra has been involved with social justice issues from a young age, throughout middle school she was mostly focused on the Black Lives Matter movement. It wasn’t until she realised how disproportionately people of colour are affected by climate change that she began to…

Christmas is considered one of the most wasteful times of the year; in the UK, we produce 30% more waste than usual during the festive season. Here are some tips and tricks on making Christmas more pleasant for you and the environment. Food Food is the staple of Christmas. It wouldn’t feel right without the turkey, roast potatoes and cranberry sauce. You don’t need to cut down on this to be eco-friendly, just be more conscious of what you put in your basket. Try to buy package free food by visiting your local butchers or shopping in stores like Morrisons…

Christmas movies and cartoons alike tend to paint an idyllic scene of Christmas Eve, with a town lit up by Christmas lights and Santa’s sleigh passing through a sky full of stars. Unfortunately, the reality is not as picturesque. Light pollution, the brightening of the night sky due to obtrusive, excessive, or misdirected anthropogenic sources of light, may not be our top priority when considered next to climate change or chemical trash dumping, but it is still keeping us from enjoying a view of the stars. The problem of light pollution increases exponentially during the holidays, when lights and decorations…

Opinion: Reckoning with my own standpoint on the morality of zoos has proven to be a complicated issue. While proponents of zoos herald them for their educational benefits, research funding and conservation efforts, critics argue that they exploit animals and keep them in unsuitable conditions for human entertainment and profit. Without a doubt not all zoos are of equal standing, as there are very few legal requirements enforcing animal welfare and enclosure specifications. Yet, some people take great joy in working for and supporting zoos and some of the past research accomplished through zoo-based funding has proven to be invaluable.…

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