TAG: Ecosystems

The Impact on Humans if Bees Become Extinct

Endangered Bees

Many bee species have been dying out in recent years, with honeybees suffering the most dramatic decline. The loss of bees has been attributed to pesticides and other toxic chemicals, mite infestations, infections, and possibly even cell phone radiation. Monoculture (growing single crops) is also a problem because bees are less healthy when they consume only one type of food. Bees are critical to the sustainability of our food supply. Loss of the pollination services that bees provide would wipe out around 80% of our food plants. If we lost the bees completely, we’d lose the majority of our fruits,… read more

Art Piece Uses Industrial Design to Mimic Living System

Art Piece Uses Industrial Design to Mimic Living System

A new art installation at Espace EDF Fondation uses biomimetic components made from materials more associated with industrial design than with biology to create a “living” system. The piece, called Radiant Soil, is by architect Phillip Beesley, who describes it this way: Radiant Soil forms interlinking clouds of industrial design biomimetic components of polymer, metal and glass, arranged in suspended filter layers contain a near-living carbon-capture metabolism. Frond-clusters fitted with shape-memory alloy mechanisms react to viewers as they approach, flexing and setting off bursts of light that stimulate the protocells and trigger chains of motion that ripple throughout the environment…. read more

Sustainable Seaweed Farming As An Agricultural Model

Sustainable Seaweed Farming As An Agricultural Model

Research projects like the Coral Triangle Initiative are working to safeguard water zones. Studies like these are international efforts to protect coral reef areas. The intention is to defend not only the reef ecosystems, but also the local fisheries and individuals that live in these regions. They also further examine associations between whether or not indigenous opportunities, like seaweed farming, are viable commodities for local people. One objective of researchers in a mission called Hugging the Coast, which was in the same vein as the Coral Triangle Initiative, was looking at available connections between these commercial areas and to seek sustainable,… read more

The Roadless Rule

National Park, Arizona

In 2001, the Roadless Area Conservation Rule was adopted by the U.S. Forest Service, protecting approximately 58.5 million acres of the nation’s remaining wild-lands. Under this rule, protected areas are safe from logging, mining, and other practices that damage the integrity of conservation land. Though there are access roads interspersed throughout these areas, allowing for multiple recreational activities, the rule keeps areas safe from the construction of splinter roads and highways, which can lead to erosion, pollution, and the loss of native species. Still, visitors are able to go hiking, sightseeing, fishing, and more amidst the unrivaled backdrop of unspoilt… read more

Climate Changes All

emerald tree boa

If biodiversity – the proliferation of life on Earth, the totality of plants and animals and micro-organisms – is already being radically diminished through human activities, what impact will climate change have on ecosystems and species around the world? There is growing agreement amongst conservation biologists and ecologists of the intimate connection between concerns about biodiversity loss and concerns about climate change. To this point, habitat destruction, introduced species, over-population and consumption, pollution and over-exploitation have been the key culprits for loss of species world-wide. According to Robert May (cited in Planet Earth: The Future (what the experts say)), these… read more

Oil, Hurricanes and Cars

Oil spills threaten coastline

It seemed enough for the residents of the Gulf Coast, especially Louisiana, to be concerned with the severe weather and damage that Hurricane Isaac was bringing, but now there is more. State officials from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness are warning citizens that oil in the form of tar balls or tar mats could wash up on the coastline. BP responded with skepticism, favoring a “wait-and-see” approach. To their credit, BP did use an unprecedented amount of chemical dispersants at the site of the spill. Regardless, the danger of oil washing up on the coast has… read more

Live Sustainably. It’s Hard

Are you really living sustainably?

If you think you live sustainably, you don’t

War and the Environment

The effect of war on the environment

Human beings and infrastructure are often the focus of discussion when the destructive consequences of armed conflict are under consideration. The natural environment in which we live is often forgotten, yet it may well be the one of the most affected casualties of war. Warfare takes place on all three forms of environmental media ie. water, air and land. This very fact renders the environment vulnerable to abuse and misuse when two or more combatants are at war, especially because destroying the environment requires little effort, whereas defending the environment is not an easy feat, even for the most militarily… read more