Chai wallahs


BBC News – Chai – the drink India can’t live without.

Amazing pictures of the people who sell Indians their most popular drink.

Plastic Oceans


A boy collects debris on a beach near Durres on Albania’s Adriatic Coast on April 9, 2010.

With Millions of Tons of Plastic in Oceans, More Scientists Studying Impact.

“We estimate we’re going to have millions of tons of plastic going into the ocean with, so far, unknown consequences,” says Jenna Jambeck,an environmental engineer [.]

Most of this plastic is in tiny pieces, smaller than a grain of rice, and floating in the water column.  They are created when larger plastic items such as bags or plastic pellets (used to make all kinds of products) are broken down by the sun and salt water.  These are ingested by numerous animals and invertebrates as they feed on the phytoplankton floating in the water.  Since plastics mimic endocrines in the bloodstream, they affect the reproductive systems of fish and wildlife.

Jambeck and her team’s research, to be published later this year, will provide new estimates of how much garbage is produced globally every year, how much garbage comes from developing countries lacking garbage collection systems, and how much litter is produced by developed countries. All trash has the potential to reach the oceans.

It is much easier to prevent trash from reaching the ocean than it is to clean up the Ocean:

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, as it is known, is often said to be twice the size of Texas. It actually extends, at times, from Japan to San Francisco, and varies in shape and density. According to NOAA, cleaning up less than one percent of the North Pacific would take 68 ships working 10 hours a day for a year.

Many people are working on solutions to garbage disposal, especially in poor countries.  What are you doing to help keep the oceans clean?

Chinese Commentary on Their Water Projects

“Do not impose on others what you yourselves do not desire.” This is Confucius’ version of the Golden Rule, and the writer quotes it when talking about the ubiquitous Chinese water diversion projects.

I was surprised at how openly critical this piece is – but it’s written for the English version of the paper, so may it didn’t run in the Chinese version.

via Myriad water diversion projects suggest rapid degradation of local environment | Shanghai Daily.

Myriad water diversion projects suggest rapid degradation of local environment | Shanghai Daily

Thia Was a Common Sight in 1800


Your tea is on its way ... | Shanghai Daily

Your tea is on its way … | Shanghai Daily.

The Silk Road

GIS and a Push to Save Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake


A Push to Save Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake –

[The]Tonle Sap is in trouble — from overfishing to feed a fast-growing population, from the cutting of mangrove forests that shelter young fish, from hydroelectric dams upstream, and from the dry seasons that are expected to grow hotter and longer with climate change.

The Tonle Sap is a lake that feeds into the Mekong River in southeast Asia.  It is under pressure from dams upstream, increasing populations around its perimeter, and over fishing.  Can it survive?  Geographers and others are creating a mapping analysis program that will allow them to make predictions.

A Push to Save Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake -

40 maps that explain food in America |

40 maps that explain food in America |

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