Headline: Rick Perry leaves a trail of death…
These horrifying photos show a destroyed American landscape that agriculture giants don’t want you to see.
Daily Fast Feed Roundup
Good morning Tumblr! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know today:
- A patent trolling’ firm called Eolas was just crushed in court. A win for web innovators every where.
- Finland is set to vote on a set of fairer copyright laws that were drafted by its own citizens. Cool!
- The NSA can send a drone after any mobile phone, even if its off.
- A Japanese power company admits that radioactive water is leaking from the Fukushima nuclear power plant that was damaged in a 2011 tsunami.
- Stream Nation is like a Dropbox for storing and sharing videos privately.
- Ubuntu is crowd funding $32 million for a dual-boot smartphone that loads either Android or Ubuntu. Wait, $32 million?
Have a great week!
“We’re finding some super aggressive colonies that are attaching to plastic very well.”
Researchers have discovered microbial communities living on the waste we dump in the ocean.
Their study found 1,000 different types of bacteria on ocean plastic samples, including plants, algae, autotrophs, and predators. They warn that plastic is also serving as a new kind of transportation for potentially harmful bacteria looking to hitch a ride across the ocean.
To raise awareness about ocean pollution, the Surfrider Foundation is using surfing shots filled with plastic debris.
Did you know that almost 90% of all material floating in the ocean is plastic, and every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of the stuff?
For every container of Greek yogurt you see on a supermarket shelf, picture another container (or two or three) of deadly poison. It’s called acid whey, and it’s a toxic byproduct from the yogurt-making process. Accidental spills of the toxic substance have killed thousands of fish, and no one knows what to do with it…
[Illustration: Kelly Rakowski/Co.Exist]
Plastics like styrofoam currently take up between 25%-30% of our landfill space, and a single cubic foot of styrofoam has the same energy content as about one and a half liters of gasoline.
College pals Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre established Ecovative, which grows cost-effective alternatives to plastic insulation and packaging. While they were students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Bayer and McIntyre experimented with mycelium, the network of vegetative filaments in mushrooms, and realized that it could be used to form incredibly strong bonds. Essentially, the substance functions like a glue that you can grow and use to form agricultural byproducts like plant stalks and seed husks into natural alternatives to styrofoam packaging and insulation.
It’s no secret that the world’s ocean trash problem is getting bad; looking at a handful of images from the Texas-sized Pacific garbage patch should be enough to convince anyone. As for all of our litter that doesn’t end up in the middle of the ocean? It often stays close to shore, where volunteers for Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup pick some of it up, cataloging all the items they find.
These projects to increase production of fossil fuels are being planned around the world. But if all of them come to fruition, it may be the last fossil fuels we produce, because the combined effect will be to raise the planet’s temperature disastrously.
If we go ahead with 14 major fossil fuel projects now on the drawing board (you can see them above), we’ll have a good chance of destroying the world as we know it. Or, to put it less emotionally: We’ll sail right through carbon limits most scientists agree are safe for the atmosphere.
The sometimes eerie images featured in Mandy Barker’s photo series, called Soup, draw attention to the issue of ocean pollution.
This isn’t the first time that Fast Company has addressed this topic.
- Whoops! There Is Way More Plastic In The Ocean Than We Thought
- This Is What It’s Like To Sail In The Pacific Trash Vortex
Innovative Ways That People Are Trying to Fix the Problem:
- Paradise Recycled: Architects Dream of Turning Great Pacific Garbage Patch Into Habitable Island
- So Long, Pacific Trash Vortex, Hello Diesel Fuel
- Electrolux Unveils Vacuums Decorated With Ocean Debris
- Method Cleans Up Ocean Plastic for Soap Bottles
- 5 Simple Ways To Drastically Reduce Our Plastic Consumption
[Images by Mandy Barker][Post by M.Cecelia Bittner]
Want to know where the worst pollution is near you? With some help from Microsoft, new maps let European users see all that data in a visual form.
Is it possible to make carbon pollution more visible — and to make us more aware of what we do everyday?
That’s exactly what’s being attempted in Big Vortex, a new art project by Realities United, a German art outfit. The installation simply converts the smoke being emitted by a power plant into a simple smoke ring, measuring about 100 feet in diameter and 3 feet tall. “These rings serve as a gentle reminder of the impact of consumption and a measuring stick that will allow the common Copenhagener to grasp the CO2 emission in straightforward way,” says Jan Elder, one of the principals at Realities United. “It turns the smokestack, traditionally the symbol of the industrial era, into a communicator for the future.”
More on the project here.