Plastic Microfibres Are The New Microbeads!

Microbeads were so 2016! Remember, them? We all read those articles about how plastic microbeads in our toiletries were making their way into lakes, rivers, and oceans and being consumed by animals! Now I just rub my face two times a week with my cat’s litter; super sustainable! But there’s a new plastic villain on the scene, and if you’re not careful, it could be right on top of you! They’re called plastic microfibres and they exist in a lot of our clothing!  Continue reading

Southern Humpback Whales Staging One Big West Side Story Production

Scientists studying southern humpback whales have found that the species is essentially just staging one giant West Side Story production. The new research has found that whale populations form calving grounds, thanks to their loyalty.  The research, published under the title of “First Circumpolar Assessment of Southern Humpback Whale Mitochondrial Genetic Variation at Multiple Scales and Implications for Management”, is essentially the first act of the musical, without the big rumble.  In other words, thanks to the whale behaviour of staying faithful to where they came from, the Jets remain the Jets, and the Sharks remain the Sharks. Continue reading

TED Talk: How Humans Are Changing The Sounds Of The Ocean

** Please read this article while listening to Vanessa William’s “Colors of the Wind” from the movie Pocahontas **

It is clear that the world is changing, and that it is humans that are shaking up the giant etch-a-sketch also known as the planet Earth. We see it with forest disappearing because of clear-cutting, in the ever-expanding cities, and in the loss of plants and animals on a minute-to-minute basis. Not all animals perceive the world the same way that we do. Unlike humans, there are many animals that rely predominantly on senses other than sight. For instance, sea mammals rely on audio information to assess their environment and communicate with other individuals. Oceanographer, Kate Stafford, researches the changing soundscape in our oceans and gave a TED Talk specifically about the now noisier Arctic Ocean. Trust us, it’s worth a listen…get it?

The Weekly Round Up: June 25- July 1

Happy Canada Day!  I know you’re all excited to celebrate the big 150 (unless you understand that the Indigenous people who have been using this land long before Europeans showed up are still being disenfranchised and ignored- so maybe you’re excited to protest it), but either way, before all of that gets underway, some news.  Here are all of the environmental news stories that caught our attention this week- let’s dive in! Continue reading

The Subreddit You Need To Check Out Today

So, today I’m switching things up a little bit.  Instead of giving you guys an article, I’m instead sharing with you all a PSA.  You see, on this wonderful thing we call the internet, there are many different websites.  What you are on right now, is just one of these things we call websites.  Now, these websites can be very different, and vary in what they house.  They could be for connecting people, selling things, sharing information, or really anything.  Take the Space Jam website, as an example.  That’s a website about the 1996 WB movie: Space Jam.  It’s also a website illustrating how far we’ve come since 1996 when it comes to web design and user interface, but that’s neither here nor there.  Today I want to share with you a subsection of the website Reddit.com.  The subsections, or subreddits as they are known, are each devoted to something different- and one of them is all kinds of awesome, and something you all be on.  That subreddit is: reddit.com/r/NatureIsFuckingLit/, and it’s all about sharing awesome clips of nature- and it’s so God damn awesome, it almost hurts (the clip above is the top rated post in the subreddit).  So instead of hanging out on our website today, do yourself a favour and check out https://www.reddit.com/r/NatureIsFuckingLit/. It’s seriously worth your time!

Let’s Talk About: Hammerhead Sharks

Since Michael Phelps is apparently going to race a shark for Shark Week (which I assume will take 2 minutes, meaning we’ll have to sit through 28 minutes of stupid commercials and bullshit interviews about how Michael Phelps has a chance), I thought it might be an appropriate time to talk about hammerhead sharks, cause they’re kinda funny looking, but also kinda terrifying.  And sure, they aren’t the biggest sharks out there, and they sometimes get eaten by tiger sharks, but hey, who am I to judge.  At the end of the day, they are one of the most interesting looking species out there.  So let’s talk about hammerhead sharks. Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: June 11-17

Welcome back to the Weekly Round Up!  I hope you had a good week.  Things are finally starting to get back to normal here at Earth|Unfiltered, after my shitty month of no internet, but unfortunately it’s anything but business as usual in the rest of the world- or at least anytime Trump and his government comes near any environmental issues.  This week we had lots of talk about the Paris Agreement, turkey vomit, and giant Australian turekys.  So without further ado, let’s dive in! Continue reading

We’re Living On The Planet Of The Ants

Humans will go down in the history books as the only species to colonize every continent on the planet. However, there are much smaller animals that are accomplishing this feat, and they’re ants. Oh yes! Along with ruining our picnics, these insects are also taking over the Earth, one anthill at a time. For most of the 12,000 species of ants described on Earth, they are extremely territorial. However, there are about 20 species that exhibit a behaviour to create super-colonies. These super-colonies grow from a single ant colony that branches out to nearby areas, and can expand uncontrollably if not impeded.  Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: June 4-10

Hi again.  It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but now that I’ve got internet, I’m back here on a Saturday to bother you with all of the environmental news I found interesting this week.  There was a lot that went on this week, what with it being World Environment Day on Monday, Canadian Environment Week, and World Oceans Day on Thursday.  Outside of all of that, there were ancient birds, Macron trolling Trump, and whales in NYC.  So let’s dive in! Continue reading

Trump, The Paris Agreement, And It’s A Wonderful Life

Last week we talked about how Trump’s crazy Paris Agreement antics surprised absolutely no one, and the world just kept on spinning.  This week, I’d like to give a slightly different viewpoint.  Don’t get me wrong, we all saw this coming from a mile away, his reasons are faulty (as per usual), and most of what he said about backing out of the Agreement was patently false.  My slightly different viewpoint here has to do with the reaction.  Many companies have said that they are going to still work towards the agreement, as have tons of States- some of which have said they will go around the government to work with other nations on achieving the lofty targets set out in the Paris Agreement.  And while all of this seems great, I kind of don’t think it is.  Sure we’re still working towards lowering greenhouse gas emissions across the United States, but Trump is no longer being held accountable.  He kind of just got off scott free. Continue reading

My Weekend As A #WorldEnvironmentDay Youth Ambassador

I’m back baby!!!! After a month of no internet, and the multitude of problems that accompany not having internet, I’ve got everything set up once again!  And it’s just in time too.  We are currently in the midst of Canadian Environment Week, which was kicked off this past weekend with World Environment Day being celebrated on Monday.  For those of you not in the know, World Environment Day is a UN created day, all about celebrating positive environmental action.  For this year, Canada was fortunate enough to be chosen as the host country, with the theme of “Connecting people to nature”, and I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of Canada’s six Youth Ambassadors for the day.  The day (well day and a half truthfully) was filled with tons of stuff, and I’d like to share with you all today what all went down. Continue reading

Why Do Flamingos Stand On One Leg?

Along with finding solutions for the global hunger and water crises, climate change, and global financial inequity, researchers are hard at work finding out why flamingos only stand on one leg! This age-old question has been perplexing humans, and now we may be one step closer to solving this dumbfounding mystery. A team of researchers from Atlanta, Georgia claim that the one-legged balancing act is used to conserve energy. The famous flamingo pose is a passive stance which requires no active muscular energy, which means they use less energy.  Continue reading

The World Says “No Big Deal” To Trump’s Exit From The Paris Agreement

My regularly scheduled Wendy Williams Show watching was interrupted for a “Breaking News” bulletin where President Donald Trump exited from his sunless tanner bath to announce that the USA would be leaving the Paris Climate Agreement. While many politicians, CEO’s, and others voiced their displeasure with the announcement, it appears that days afterwards this really isn’t that big of a deal. Continue reading

Hot Tip: Don’t Feed Sea Lions!

A college student captured a hilariously terrifying and stupid moment at a harbour in Canada, which has since gone viral. Michael Fujiwara took his camera out in time to tape a little girl being grabbed by a sea lion and pulled into the water. You also see the girl’s grandfather jump in the water after her, to get her out of the water. You see both of them appear to leave the area unhurt. This means that not only can we laugh at the ridiculousness of the events, but also use it as a cautionary tale to whomever else thinks it’s smart to feed wild animals.  Continue reading

Vindication! Stealing Hotel Soap Is Great For The Environment!

So often my actions are plagued with an ethical dilemma about how detrimental they are to the environment! Finally one of my favourite things to do not only makes me feel good, but is also good for the environment! Every time I go to a hotel, I pretend like I’m a celebrity at a boutique where everything is free! I take it all, and I love it! Little did I know that leaving these toiletries in the hotel room is actually harmful to the environment.  Continue reading

Hot Tip: Pleather Isn’t That Great Either!

I get it! We all want to look like Christina Aguilera from the Dirrty video! We all want to achieve that hot skin-on-skin look that is only attainable by painting on a pair of leather pants. Then we undergo the classic moral dilemma; how can I look like a total sex God while also being respectful of animals and the environment? For most of us we calm our conscience by purchasing faux leather, “pleather”, or vegan leather products. These products bring us a step closer to Danny Zucko without directly harming any animals. However, our moral superiority may be in jeopardy because like everything in else in the world, pleather is also super detrimental to the environment. So pull out your faux-leather handkerchief to cry in to, and let’s begin. Continue reading

Penguins Make Minefield Home To Only Have It Dug Up

Out in the Falkland Islands, just off the east coast of Argentina, is a stretch of white sand beach bordered by barbed wires and warning signs. That is because the stunning beach is covered with landmines! 35 years after those landmines were buried, the beach at Yorke Bay has a special inhabitant, penguins! Thousands of Magellanic penguins have taken this once war zone into their home. However, their home might be soon uprooted in order to remove the landmines than have indirectly preserved their habitat. 

It appears that the penguins are simply light enough that they don’t set off any of the landmines. Since no humans or other heftier animals set foot on the beach, they have provided a refuge for these flightless birds to nest. 

In the spring of 1982, Argentine naval commandos landed on Yorke Bay to full on invade the island which was held by the British. One of the first things they did was plant tens of thousand of landmines along the beach! Unfortunately, they only held the beach for 74 days before the British took it back. In their wake they left behind a piece of conservation. 

Along with the penguins, plant species have also reestablished themselves on the beach, untouched by humans for decades. However, the 1997 Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty, which is signed by the UK states that they will clear the mines on their land. This won’t be an easy job though. First off the landmines have probably shifted with the sand dunes, which could mean that the entire beach would have to be dug up and sifted through. 

This could be extremely detrimental to the ecosystem that have formed there. Residents of the island also don’t see the need to have the mines dug up especially since the area is fenced and marked off from the public. 

Beyond ecology, conservation, treaties, and public opinion, there is one more factor that could influence the future of this beach; money. You see, the Falkland Islands’ economy relies heavily on tourism. With Yorke Bay being walking distance from the major harbour, having this white-sand beach available to the public could be a major attraction and revenue maker. 

While plans to demine the beach have not been set in stone, some experts have suggested that they do the removal during the winter when the penguins won’t be on the beach. Even if the penguins are not present for the removal, it could damage this special system forever. 

For now, we can enjoy this rare instance of where so much beauty came from an act of war. 

 

Almost 400 Migratory Birds Found Dead Outside Building

Employees in Galveston, Texas came across a staggering scene when they found 395 migratory birds dead or dying outside of the American National Insurance building. The 23-story building is the highest in the city and collided with the birds migrating to northern nesting sites. 25 different species were recovered outside of the building including Nashville and Blackburnian warblers, redstarts, ovenbirds, and orioles.  Continue reading

Rowers, Turtles, And An Accidentally Fixed River

(c) Scott Gillingwater/ OntarioNature

Life at the Thames River in London (the Thames River in London, Ontario, not the River Thames in London, England… cause people are ridiculous) has never been better.  A section of the river, near the Springbank Dam, has seen its natural ecosystem flourish over the past decade thanks to the dam itself being broken.  With the river allowed to naturally flow once more, spiny softshell turtles (an endangered species in Canada), fish, and snakes have been able to set up large population sizes, and turn the area back into an important wildlife hotspot.  This might all change however. Continue reading

We Are Now Counting Birds From Space

Last week we told you how NASA was using satellites to work with the Jane Goodall Institute to protect endangered chimpanzees! Today we have another fascinating story about how scientists are using satellites to track and protect endangered species. Using the highest-resolution satellite images available, researchers are able to count individual albatrosses on top of rock outcrops near New Zealand’s Chatham Islands.  Continue reading

The Weekly Round Up: April 10- May 6

What?!?!?!?  A new Weekly Round Up?  But we haven’t had one of these in weeks???  After dropping the ball for a few weeks, it’s back baby, in all its glory.  I’ve scoured the internet and grabbed for you a group of environmental news stories that I think you’ll enjoy.  I’m talking fish eyeball parasites, CRISPR-HIV research, and a pretty damn cool cuttlefish battle.  So let’s dive in! Continue reading