I Thought I Was Just Looking At A Beach, But When You Zoom In? This Is Sad.

From afar this may just look like a rocky beach, but if you look a little closer, you’ll see that this isn’t sand. This stretch of coast is actually covered in misplaced walruses.

Late last month, an estimated 35,000 walruses were spotted hauling themselves onto the shore near Point Lay, Alaska.

Things are not looking good for Alaska’s walrus population. Their habitat is slowly disappearing due to the effects of climate change.

Walruses normally use stretches of sea ice for resting and breeding while diving to for food. But the warming climate pushed bigger pieces of sea ice further out to places too deep for walruses to dive for food. This results in scenes like this. 

The animals were spotted during an annual marine mammal survey.

Since walruses cannot swim as well as other marine mammals, they use sea ice to rest while swimming. Unfortunately, climate change is drastically reducing the amount of stable sea ice in the shallows near the coast where walruses live.

This isn’t the first time a large herd of walruses were spotted on land. This happened before in 2009 and 2011.

The future does not look good for walruses if something is not done to mitigate the damage of climate change to their environment. This summer had the sixth smallest amount of sea ice since satellite monitoring of the Arctic began in 1979.

In the meantime, these 35,000 animals are stuck where they are until more sea ice returns in the winter.

H/T: Business Insider and Buzzfeed

This is heartbreaking. It terrifies me to think about a future where the world takes no action to reverse climate change. We have to figure something out soon.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/walruses-in-alaska/


12 Technologies Which Could Save The World

It’s easy to get downhearted about climate change. But amazing things are happening that could slow it down.

1. Solar glass

Marcelo Del Pozo / Reuters

We’re familiar with solar panels, and solar is probably the most promising renewable energy source. But we are on the verge of a major change in the technology.

“Power-generating windows are already available, and companies are working hard to cut costs and improve efficiency,” says James Murray of the website BusinessGreen. “But the most exciting aspect of solar glass is its position as the most visible example of thin-film solar technologies – lightweight, flexible, and printable solar cells that can be integrated in everything from clothes to car park canopies. Forget solar panels – within a decade, solar cells could be everywhere.”

2. Solar lamps

Sometimes the simplest technologies are the most important. Solar lamps sound like a punchline to a joke, but they are providing free, carbon-neutral lighting for millions of families in Africa and Asia. And they have a more immediate benefit: Because most poor families rely on kerosene lamps, the uptake of solar has led to a huge improvement in air quality. “SolarAid has now sold more than 1.5 million solar lamps in Africa, saving families $215 million in kerosene costs and leading to 3.6 million people reporting better health as air pollution falls,” says Murray. “It’s a forerunner of the solar consumer electronics revolution – companies such as Apple are looking into integrating solar cells into phones and laptops.”

3. LEDs

LED lights on the side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Jason Reed / Reuters

Since some of these technologies feel like they’re some way in the future, it’s worth looking at one that is very much part of our lives right now: the humble light-emitting diode. Since the invention of the blue LED (and the white lights they allowed), the little lamps have become ubiquitous. “LED bulbs cut energy use by up to 80%,” says Murray, “and, according to Philips, they will save 515 million tonnes of carbon emissions by 2020.”

4. Thorium and other new nuclear technologies

Reuters / Flibe Energy

There is an endless back-and-forth over nuclear power between different parts of the environmental movement. Is it safe? Is it economic? But a new generation of reactors could possibly end that debate forever.

It’s not the perpetually-30-years-away dream of fusion, but three fission technologies: thorium reactors, integral fast reactors, and travelling wave reactors. “Integral fast reactors promise to turn radioactive waste into power, travelling wave reactors promise to provide zero emission power for 100 years, and thorium reactors promise to quash nuclear safety concerns,” says Murray. The three technologies have been mooted for decades, but may make it off the drawing board soon: General Electric and Bill Gates, among others, are backing them.

5. Algae

Algae grown in a special water system at an Israeli biofuel firm. Nir Elias / Reuters

Biofuels have so far been, at best, disappointing. They work as fuels, but making them involves growing vast acres of crops which then can’t be used for food. But it has been shown that all transport can run on them, including air travel, which is amazingly high-carbon. “How do you get enough energy crops to power the global aviation industry while leaving enough land free for agriculture?” asks Murray. “Richard Branson and other airline bosses think the answer lies in algae that can be produced at scale in industrial ponds.”

Steps have already been taken by a possibly unexpected group. Murray says that “those notorious eco-warriors in the US Air Force have already successfully trialled biofuels containing algae, and wider test flights are imminent”.

6. Osmotic power

A river estuary in Cornwall. ThinkStock

It’s well established that you can generate electricity from the difference in salinity between river water and the seawater it’s flowing into, and a prototype osmotic power plant is already running in Norway. But an MIT team think they can make it cost-effective for commercial energy production. Murray explains: “The team reckon they have found a way to slash the cost of the semi-permeable membranes that sit between the salty and non-salty water.”

7. Carbon capture

Getty Images/iStockphoto

As with so many of these items, it’s already been shown that the technology works – the question is how to make the economics work as well. “One answer is to use the captured carbon to flush out yet more oil, which doesn’t really help with the whole saving-the-world thing,” says Murray. “But an environmentally sustainable alternative could be to use the captured carbon dioxide to make something, and a number of research projects are seeking to do just that.”

For instance, there is a Norwegian project which hopes to use carbon dioxide, photosynthesis, and latent heat from the power plant to make algae-based fish food. Others, such as Germany’s Sunfire, are exploring how to use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make fuel.

8. Passivhaus principles

Schiestlhaus, a house built to Passivhaus standards. Photo by Michael Schmid. Creative Commons / Via de.wikipedia.org

Modern building technologies can radically – and I do mean radically – reduce your energy bills. The average British household now spends more than £1,200 on energy per year. But with “Passivhaus” building, that figure could be reduced to around £100. It’s already happening in lots of places worldwide: “Around 30,000 properties have been built or renovated to Passivhaus standards, which combine ultra-efficient insulation and mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems to pretty much negate the need for conventional heating,” says Murray. It’s not cheap but would save money over the lifetime of the building, as well as making a huge dent in our carbon footprint, he says. “We could live in zero-emission modern homes and free ourselves from sky-high energy bills. Thousands of people already are.”

9. Supergrids

Getty Images/iStockphoto

At the moment, “grids” – the networks of cables and substations that bring electricity from where it’s produced to where it’s needed – are usually fairly local, which means that power has to be produced within a (comparatively) short distance of where it’s going to be used. But that may change: Soon, as high-voltage direct current cables become widely available, and grid management technology improves, it should be possible to transmit electricity efficiently over hundreds of miles.

“A European grid drawing from solar farms in the south, floating wind turbines in the north, tidal and wave arrays in the west, and Iceland’s geothermal reserves has long been regarded as an environmentalist pipe dream,” says Murray. “But there is growing evidence that such a grid is technically feasible, particularly as energy storage and grid-balancing smart-grid technologies mature.”

10. Graphene

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Yes, it’s a bit of a cliché. Every “new technologies” piece has to have a section on graphene, the new wonder material that can do everything up to and possibly including your tax return. But, says Murray, graphene has the potential to “revolutionise” green technology: “From ultra-lightweight vehicles to ultra-efficient solar cells or ultra-effective supercapacitors, many of the most exciting graphene research projects are focused on tackling climate change.”

11. Water from poo

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

This is pretty self-explanatory. “Yes, Bill Gates is working on a project to turn poo into drinkable water,” says Murray. “It works, and he has drunk the results to prove it.”

12. Geo-engineering?

Getty Images/iStockphoto

The big-ticket item that everyone looks to to save the world is, of course, geo-engineering. Seeding the oceans with iron to promote algae growth and dimming the sun with enormous solar mirrors or aerosols have been put forward as ways to slow the increase in global temperatures without any of that difficult lifestyle-change stuff. But the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) says it would be “irrational and irresponsible” to try any of this stuff yet.

It may, however, become necessary, if warming can’t be slowed by other means. The NAS says we should be investing more in exploring whether some forms of geo-engineering may be viable because the threat from climate change is so pronounced. Murray: “Basically, if it comes to this, we’re already in a world of trouble.”

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/tomchivers/12-technologies-which-could-help-solve-climate-change


See Katie Pavlich destroy Climate March hypocrites with their own photos

Truth.

Fox News contributor, Townhall editor and author Katie Pavlich noticed the utter hypocrisy as well. And gave the “People’s Climate March” loons the business as only she can … using their own photos and actions.

If @Peoples_Climate really wanted to help the environment they'd ditch the paper signs & iphones (they come from a mine you know). Morons.

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 21, 2014

@KatiePavlich @Peoples_Climate : Can you say "hypocritical?"

— William Herman, PhD (@williampherman) September 21, 2014

Yep. And yet another example of a staggering lack of self-awareness.

Take a look:

Are those plastic rim glasses made from petroleum? Yup "@Peoples_Climate: Contra el imperialismo- pic.twitter.com/NpDX4GZK0j#ClimateMarch

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 21, 2014

Are those shoes made w/ petroleum? Yup. "@Peoples_Climate: Yes We Can! A group from Kingston Ontario #PeopleClimate pic.twitter.com/qHwGj5L7kc

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 21, 2014

Juggling petroleum in the form of plastic! "@Peoples_Climate: Can u march & juggle at the same time? #PeopleClimate pic.twitter.com/WlNVEdUxN8

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 21, 2014

@KatiePavlich @Peoples_Climate I wonder, how much of this stuff if going to end up in landfills after the march?

— David (@TheSalesmanLV) September 21, 2014

Yup. Like the creepy puppet.

@KatiePavlich And the faux leather belt and the duct tape on the sign…

— I Am Wonder Woman (@lrc328) September 21, 2014

Wow @Peoples_Climate, look at those awesome red headphones courtesy of petroleum https://t.co/xY30ols2oJ #ClimateMarch

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 21, 2014

Some excited students from @TheLincolnU! And the awesome @SouthBronxUnite Stop @FreshDirect banner behind them pic.twitter.com/Av8LeLiseZ

— People's Climate (@Peoples_Climate) September 21, 2014

Paint, made with petroleum "@Peoples_Climate: Pacific Islanders rise above! #PeopleClimate pic.twitter.com/h462xPWID6

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 21, 2014

@KatiePavlich @Peoples_Climate Is that woman on her smartphone? I'm sure that was made with petroleum too. #PeopleClimateMarch

— JamesHXN (@JamesHXN) September 21, 2014

A woman at #ClimateMarch uses her smartphone, a product made from petroleum AND materials that come from a mine https://t.co/XVvtdx4cpu

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 21, 2014

Pacific Islanders rise above! #PeopleClimate pic.twitter.com/ppQigRu3RU

— People's Climate (@Peoples_Climate) September 21, 2014

Reality is hard, as usual.

When the #ClimateMarch peeps give up their smartphones and plastic shoes, then I'll start taking them seriously.

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 21, 2014

Well, probably not even then. Because, you know, they are loony liars. But it’s totally OK guys!

Al Gore flew his private plane and took a private escalade to a march.. so it's cool everyone. #PeoplesClimate

— S.M (@redsteeze) September 21, 2014

Giggling madly.

Instead of “healing the planet,” these hypocrites should heal themselves.

Related:

Is this #ClimateMarch sign the least self-aware thing EVER? (Hint: Yes. Yes it is) [photos]

This creepy puppet and interpretive dance from #ClimateMarch will make your sides ache [photos]

It takes under 140 characters to crush the slacktivist absurdity of #PeopleClimateMarch [photos]

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2014/09/21/morons-see-katie-pavlich-destroy-climatemarch-hypocrites-with-their-own-photos/