Pesticides keep bumblebees from laying eggs, Trump eliminates plastic ban and Fukushima plant releasing tons of radiation

Featuring this week’s news roundup is TEPCO’s disturbing announcement concerning their decision for dumping thousands of tons of radioactive tritium into the Pacific ocean,Trump’s most recent tantrum and the confirmed troubling effects surrounding pesticide neonicotinoid.

Popular Neonicotinoid Pesticides Keep Bumblebees from Laying Eggs

From the mouth of brilliant Einstein came out the following words:

If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.

His argument was simple; if bees vanish, so does pollination, plants, animals and naturally, us humans. Everything makes up for simple logic and common sense, so why exactly are we putting so much effort in exterminating these incredible and paramount little creatures?

Researchers in the UK just learned about how the widely used pesticide usually called Neonics stops bumblebee queens from laying eggs by 26% (Charles, D., 2017). Clearly, without eggs there are no colonies and without colonies there are no bees. Nigel Raine, one of the scientists involved in the study, affirmed that this and other factors such as the disappearance of wildflowers that are part of the bumblebees’ diet present a serious threat to this species that may ultimately lead to its extinction if no accurate measures are taken.

It is hoped that this outcome will bring about a permanent moratorium on the use of this adverse substance within EU territory.

Here in the U.S. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan took a significant step forward in 2016 by banning sales of all products containing neonicotinoid pesticides (Slone, C., 2016), a ban to come into effect on January 2018. Nonetheless, neonics are one of the most popular pesticides in the U.S., used in millions of acres of farmland (Slone, C.).

These fuzzy aviators are equally important to bees when it comes to pollinating fruits, vegetables and wildflowers; being a key piece for every ecosystem puzzle to which they belong. One of the ways we can meaningfully protect these little buddies is by purchasing organic products as much as we can. Only then can we ensure their existence as well as ours.

Trump Eliminates Plastic Water Bottle Ban in National Parks, Removes White House Bikeshare Station

Actions such as disintegrating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), denying climate change, shutting down more than 19,000 environment-related governmental web pages and shrinking and/or eliminating some of the U.S.’s greatest national monuments seem to not be enough to feed Trump’s rapacious appetite for depleting all signs of care for our national natural heritage and resources. Last week he also went out of his way to eradicate a plastic bottle ban in National Parks and removing a White House bikeshare station.

Although many recognize Mr. Trumps’ behavior as a need to counteract Obama’s achievements, his attitude underscores more of a systematical need of going against the wellbeing and health of not only the natural world, but of our country’s population as well. In other words, his administration has given so far nothing else but signs of an agonizing democracy.     

Criticizing the current government’s efforts can only take us so far though. What we must not forget is that we are still citizens of this country. We are what keeps this country beating, what keeps it moving; not the 0.001% that is in “higher” positions. The few individuals that manage making it to a position of presidency should actually be there to serve our country as well as our people; something which many leaders and citizens in the United States of America alike appear to have forgotten.

With all these instability around us, we can put our efforts in focusing on becoming an example for others. The only way we can make this happen is by allowing our actions to resonate with the values that are deeply imprinted within us. It is scientifically proven that plastic is a harmful and counterproductive material for us and for our living planet and there are people out there who stand as a proof of the possibility of leading a life without plastic.

Trump might have demolished the plastic bottle ban or wrecked the bikeshare station (Chow, L.), but it is us who at the end of the day will decide whether it will affect our own personal decisions or not. So as other countries’ political leaders move on to approve bans on various plastics we, the people, are to lead the change in our own country.   

Fukushima Plant Is Releasing 770,000 Tons of Radioactive Water into the Pacific Ocean

Aftermaths of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster still haunt humanity today; with some sources even referring to the event as arguably “the single worst industrial accident in human history” (Jamail, D., 2017). Some months ago the plant’s nuclear reactor reached the highest level of radiation ever since the 2011 catastrophe (McCurry, J., 2017); now, as the plant holds approximately 580 large tanks with contaminated fresh water, heads of the Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO) have decided to discharge 770,000 tons into the Pacific Ocean.

Local fishermen and environmental organizations are two of the most predominant groups that have responded in disagreement towards TEPCO’s announcement. Their stance is completely understandable, as who wouldn’t be alarmed by the fact that local authorities are simply authorizing the dumping of such high quantity of radioactive tritium into our oceans? Especially when, once disposed, there is no way of removing it from our environment (Jamail, D., 2017).

Not only the state of our oceans is fragile enough under current circumstances; yet there are people who are consciously willing to make it worse. As outstanding Dr. Sylvia Earle states:

No water, no life. No blue, no green.

Still, we keep making decisions as if our wellbeing and very existence was entirely independent from that of our oceans; when the complete opposite makes up for the actual truth.

Conclusion

We stand at a crucial point of humanity’s and the natural world’s history. Therefore, it is of outmost importance to clearly support those actions that will bring about positive consequences and, similarly, oppose those that will produce negative consequences. Your thoughts, words, actions and reactions count; share them with the world.   

Other Important Stories

Tagus River At Risk of Drying Up Completely https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/14/tagus-river-at-risk-of-drying-up-completely

Trump Signs Order Rolling Back Environmental Rules on Infrastructure https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/15/climate/flooding-infrastructure-climate-change-trump-obama.html?mcubz=1

Wind and Solar Power are Saving Americans an Astounding Amount of Money https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/8/18/16160456/wind-solar-power-saving-money

Sources

Chow, L. “Trump Eliminates Plastic Water Bottle Ban in National Parks, Removes White House Bikeshare Station” (2017) Trump Watch. Ecowatch, 17 August 2017. Web. 20 August 2017. https://www.ecowatch.com/trump-bikeshare-2474011772.html

Charles, D. “Popular Pesticides Keep Bumblebees from Laying Eggs” (2017) News. NPR, 14 August 2017. Web. 20 August 2017. http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/08/14/542895824/popular-pesticides-keep-bumblebees-from-laying-eggs

Slone, C. “U.S. States Begin Ban on Noenicotinoids” (2016) Blogposts. American Society for Horticultural Science, 1 July 2016. Web. 20 August 2017. http://www.ashs.org/blogpost/1288786/251171/U-S-States-Begin-Ban-on-Neonicotinoids

Moodie, A. “Is America’s Most Common Pesticide Responsible for Killing Bees?” (2017) Environment: Wildlife. The Guardian, 5 February 2015. Web. 20 August 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/feb/05/bees-dying-pesticide-agriculture

Jamail, D. “Fukushima Plant is Releasing 770,000 Tons of Radioactive Water Into the Pacific Ocean” (2017) Report. Truthout, 18 August 2017. Web. 20 August 2017. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41564-fukushima-plant-is-releasing-tons-of-radioactive-water-into-the-pacific-ocean

McCurry, J. “Fukushima Nuclear Reactor Radiation at Highest Level Since 2011 Meltdown” (2017) Environment: Energy. The Guardian, 3 February 2017. Web. 20 August 2017.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/03/fukushima-daiichi-radiation-levels-highest-since-2011-meltdown

Ryal, J. “Fishermen Express Fury as Fukushima Plant Set to Release Radioactive Material Into Ocean” (2017) News. The Telegraph, 14 July 2017. Web. 20 August 2017. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/14/fishermen-express-fury-fukushima-plant-set-release-radioactive/

Brainy Quote “Sylvia Earle Quotes” (2017) Quotes. Brainy Quote, 2017. Web. 20 August 2017. https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/sylviaearl412315.html