Flawed Scientific Papers, Plastic Fibers in Tap Water and Contaminated Sea Salt

Featuring the week’s news roundup are the falsehood behind the scientific claims of climate change deniers and the accumulated issues and worries surrounding plastic.

The 3% of Scientific Papers that Deny Climate Change are All Flawed

Specifically selecting results that favorably support their conclusion, applying unsuitable “curve-fitting” and neglecting physics all together are the three major errors found after researchers replicated the results of the 3% of scientific papers that deny climate change (Foley, K.E., 2017). These outcomes, which were made public since 2015 in the journal of Theoretical and Applied Climatology (Benestad, R.E., et al., 2015), completely discard arguments that have been used by climate change deniers over the past years. Dana Nuccitelli, one of the scientists behind this study, has also explained how there is no agreeing or compatible alternative theory to that of global warming caused by human beings; whereas the remaining 97% of scientific researchers that have accepted the anthropogenic (human made) climate change theory have already reached consensus (Nuccitelli, D., 2015). It is clear, however, how these faulty papers did take into account political and economical interests.     

Plastic Fibers Found in Tap Water around the World, Study Reveals

After testing water samples from more than twelve countries, results showed that 83% of the units were contaminated with plastic fibers (Carrington, D., 2017). The nation with the highest contamination rate is the United States at 94%, followed by Lebanon and India. Lowest contamination rates, though still quite meaningful at 72%, were found in the UK, Germany and France (Carrington, D., 2017). Previous researches have already pointed out at how the presence of micro-plastics is severely affecting marine life and wildlife in general; while also highlighting the fact that many of this contamination frequently ends up in our food.

Dr. Anne Marie Mahon, a scientists who conducted a similar research in Ireland, said that one main concern is that there is a possibility that water contaminated with plastic fibers also harbors plastic nanoparticles. These extremely small particles, which can’t even be measured, are small enough to penetrate organs and cells alike. The other worry is the fact that micro-plastics often retain chemicals and pathogens (Carrington, D., 2017).

Over the past few years, the seriousness surrounding plastic contamination has been steadily exposed. In Germany, for instance, the presence of fibers and fragments were found in all 24 beer brands that were submitted on to testing. While in Paris, micro-plastics were discovered falling from the air. One of the identified sources of this kind of contamination have been clothes and carpets, which release these particles due to the day to day use (Carrington, D., 2017).

Experts see these finding as a self-evident red flag and urge to evaluate possible health impacts.   

Sea Salt around the World is Contaminated with Plastic, Studies Show

Minuscule plastic particles have likewise been detected in sea salt in the U.S., UK, China, France and Spain; with microfibers and single-use plastics having been held accountable (Glenza, J., 2017). Professor Sherri Mason and leader of the salt contamination study declared to The Guardian that plastics are “ubiquitous, in the air, water, the seafood we eat, the beer we drink, the salt we use – plastics are just everywhere” (Glenza, J., 2017). Mason added that if Americans are ingesting the recommended 2.3 grams of salt per day they might be taking in around 660 particles of plastic every year. This somber problem goes on while scientist continue to be unaware of the health impacts this situation may have in the human body. For now, all that is known is that a rise of plastic contamination in the environment will certainly lead to a boost in exposure (Glenza, J., 2017).

One of the figures who has recently talked about the ‘plastic puzzle’ has been Canadian poet and novelist Margaret Atwood. In an article written for The Guardian called Margaret Atwood: Plastics are Poisoning Us. We Need Change, Now; she has called on the people for a rise up against petrochemical polymers (Atwood, M., 2017).                

Call to action

Now more than ever, ourselves, our global society and the natural world need of people’s positive and constructive actions. There is an urgent demand for all of us to become involved in solving some of the most predominant problems of our time; amongst which environmental issues prevail.

Let’s start by doing simple things; such as changing one environmentally-harmful personal habit per week or spreading the word. Then, we can eventually move on to doing more complex things like supporting authentic people, initiatives and projects that are doing good or demanding for our rights as citizens of this country and this world.

We deserve to live healthy and happy lives in a healthy and thriving planet; it has been our right since we were born. If we all come together we will ultimately reach that goal, one step at a time.      

Other important stories

More than 40 Sites Released Hazardous Pollutants Because of Hurricane Harvey https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/08/us/houston-hurricane-harvey-harzardous-chemicals.html

Tiny Quebec Village Faces $1.5M Lawsuit for Trying to Protect its Water http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/ristigouche-gastem-oil-gas-lawsuit-1.4276727

Human Antidepressants Building up in Brains of Fish in Niagara River http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/human-antidepressants-building-up-in-brains-of-fish-in-niagara-river-1.4274735

Sources

Foley, K.E. “Those 3% of Scientific Papers that Deny Climate Change? A Review Found Them All Flawed” (2017) Implausible Deniability. Quartz Media, 5 September 2017. Web. 10 September 2017.https://qz.com/1069298/the-3-of-scientific-papers-that-deny-climate-change-are-all-flawed/

Benestad, R.E., et al. “Learning From Mistakes in Climate Research” (2015) Theoretical and Applied Climatology 126.3-4 (2015): pp 699-703. Web.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00704-015-1597-5

Nuccitelli, D. “Here’s What Happens When You Try to Replicate Climate Contrarian Papers” (2015) Climate Change Skepticism. The Guardian, 25 August 2015. Web. 10 September 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/aug/25/heres-what-happens-when-you-try-to-replicate-climate-contrarian-papers

Carrington, D. “Plastic Fibres Found in Tap Water Around the World” (2017) Plastics. The Guardian, 6 September 2017. Web. 10 September 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/06/plastic-fibres-found-tap-water-around-world-study-reveals

Glenza, J. “Sea Salt Around the World is Contaminated by Plastic, Studies Show” (2017) Plastics. The Guardian, 8 September 2017. Web. 10 September 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/08/sea-salt-around-world-contaminated-by-plastic-studies

Atwood, M. “Margaret Atwood: Plastics are Poisoning Us. We Need to Change, Now.” (2017) Plastics: Reformation 2017. The Guardian, 3 June 2017. Web. 10 September 2017.   https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jun/03/plastics-poisoning-500th-anniversary-reformation-petrochemical-polymers