Kurt Cobb wrtites: According to scientists, we are amidst the Sixth Great Extinction, caused by human activity. If you consider that the broader world with which we interact has millions of species of which we’re not aware of, we could easily cause an organism essential to our survival to go extinct without even realizing it.
The Guardian reports: A new study shows that oxygen levels in oceans have fallen 2% in 50 years due to climate change, which threatens future fish stocks and the habitat and behaviour of marine life. Related: Amitav Ghosh warns that the Bay of Bengal’s depleted fish stocks and huge dead zone signal a tipping point.
Catch News reports: Siddharth Chakravarty worked for a decade in the merchant navy. It was a lucrative job, but one day, he realised it was not for him. He walked out of the merchant navy in 2011. The reason? Because the merchant navy’s goal was to maximise profits, and let the marine ecosytem be damned.
More fish species on the east coast, especially in the waters off Odisha and West Bengal, are highly vulnerable to climate change, according to a first of its kind assessment by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). That vulnerability stems not only from changes in climate but also from fishing pressure and lower productivity.
“The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old.” So begins Rowan Jacobsen’s moving obituary for the world’s largest living structure. With 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands, it’s larger than the United Kingdom, and it contained more biodiversity than all of Europe combined.
Whitney Webb reports: Fukushima continues to leak an astounding 300 tons of radioactive waste into the Pacific every day. It will continue do so indefinitely as the leak’s source is inaccessible to both humans and robots due to extremely high temperatures. In other words, Fukushima has contaminated the entire Pacific Ocean in just five years.
Nehmat Kaur writes: The National Green Tribunal covered new ground for the ‘polluter pays’ principle by invoking it in two landmark judgments recently. Activists are hopeful that this will help deter corporations from functioning with impunity, under the cover of governmental apathy. The judgments in both cases acknowledged governmental inaction in dealing with environmental damage.
The Guardian reports: The oceans have already sucked up an enormous amount of heat due to escalating greenhouse gas emissions, affecting marine species from microbes to whales, according to a report involving the work of 80 scientists from a dozen countries. The profound changes underway in the oceans are starting to impact people, it states.
The National Green Tribunal has virtually given the go-ahead for the proposed mega port at Vizhinjam, to be built and run by the Adani group, setting aside appeals by local fisher folk and environmentalists. Here’s a closer look at what’s at stake at Vizhinjam, and why many consider it another developmental disaster in the making.
Job creation for Keralites from the controversial Adani-run Vizhinjam Port project is estimated at around 2,000. Compare that to 50,000 fisherfolk who’ll lose their livelihoods. Anjana Radhakrishnan takes a closer look at a project that already seems a social, ecological and economic disaster in the making, but has so far escaped the national media’s attention.
The Guardian reports: Human-caused climate change appears to have wiped-out the Great Barrier Reef’s only endemic mammal species, the small rodent Bramble Cay melomys, into the history books, from its only known location. It’s also the first recorded extinction of a mammal anywhere in the world thought to be primarily due to human-caused climate change.
If any of us have fixed geographical notions of the nation-state, the rise and fall of sea levels everywhere ought to give us pause. Not just in warnings about the future, but also lessons from the past. Once, England and France were contiguous landmass… our borders are drawn not by us, but by the oceans.
Sukumar Muralidharan reports on Catch News: This year’s economic survey is a catalogue of crises. For one thing, it records that the situation in agriculture has been dismal on account of two successive years of poor monsoons. This is only the fourth time in 115 years that such a misfortune has hit the Indian economy.
Aarti Sridhar writes: It is in the ordinary everyday life of fishers and in the political strategies of their leaders that one finds the outlines of a new kind of environmentalism which’s fluid and defies water-tight categorisations. This ethic suggests that it is futile to remain wholly preservationist or utilitarian, or entirely biocentric or anthropocentric.
Common Dreams reports: A new analysis, published in Science Advances journal, reveals that global water scarcity is a far greater problem than previously thought, affecting 4 billion people—two-thirds of the world’s population. Previous analyses looked at water scarcity at an annual scale, and had found that water scarcity affected between 1.7 and 3.1 billion people.
India, Colombia and Nigeria have the most cases of conflict caused by climate change and environmental disputes, according to a map of global ecological conflict. The Environmental Justice Atlas, released last month, shows that more than 200 conflicts in India are caused by ecological disputes and scarcities of basic resources such as water and forests.
The Economic Times reports: The Central government has unveiled a new Crop Insurance Scheme with the premium to be paid by farmers as low as 1.5 per cent of the sum assured for all rabi crops and 2 per cent for kharif crops. The scheme comes without any cap on overall premium rate to ensure full claims.