All things environmental

Musings about the environment and all it touches, from education to city planning

2014: the year of the shark?

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This year saw increased opposition to shark finning, including DNA tracing

This year saw increased opposition to shark finning, including DNA tracing

2013 was the year where the tide turned in the fight to ban shark finning: New York banned shark fin soup (effective as of 2014), and so did California.  Even more remarkably, China banned it from all its official functions.  Too bad that the Ontario Superior Court decided to invalidate Toronto’s ban, which led to many municipalities in BC to suspend such initiatives.  (And of course, the Conservatives defeated a private bill aiming to ban the item across the country.  Hey, we’re Canada, the envirodunce.)

But if it’s a setback in Canada, it’s not over.  There were organised protests and calls for boycotts of places like Sun Sui Wah last December.  Claudia Li’s Sharktruth organisation is stronger than ever; I hope that 2014 may be the year of the ban in Canada.

On a completely different topic, Peru came up in the positive news file.  Not only did the country start a program to provide solar energy to poor rural villages, but Lima is also the home of  advertising billboards that double up as a source of reliable, clean water.  The billboard condenses water from the surrounding air – and the advertising pays for the process.  (I particularly care about this bit of news because I learned about it from one of my student’s research – one of the pleasures of the job – thanks Linda!)

Water billboard in Lima

Water billboard in Lima

But possibly the most bizarre piece of news last year was the report of giant hornets that killed several people last October in China.  Look at that picture and tell me you don’t get the heebeejeebees.  Still, I love the fact that wild nature still has plenty of surprises in store.

A few stings by these guys can kill...don't upset mother nature!

A few stings by these guys can kill…don’t upset mother nature!


Written by enviropaul

January 5, 2014 at 2:43 pm

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