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“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny …'”
– Isaac Asimov
Matt Ridley, the British writer, calls himself a “rational optimist,” which today probably strikes many people – their health and finances threatened, their equanimity destroyed by the horrors of close confinement with family members – as an irrational coupling of adjective and noun. Nowadays, cheerfulness can be irritating. Ridley, however, is right.
For many millennia, artificial light was a luxury: In 1880, a minute of the average worker’s toil earned enough to purchase four minutes of light from a kerosene lamp. Then came innovation: the incandescent bulb, and successors. Today, a minute of work purchases 7,200 minutes (120 hours) of light.
In 1922, a government commission concluded that “already the output of (natural) gas has begun to wane.” In 1956, an expert predicted that U.S. gas production would peak in 1970. Until around 2008, the consensus was that cheap natural gas would soon be exhausted. Then came innovation: hydraulic fracking. Today, cheap gas has supplanted coal in electricity production. One reason is property rights – the mineral rights of local landowners. Ridley quotes…
Some people work in cubicles, others work in kitchens, but the most intriguing workplace of all may be the coast. Meet the people who head to the ocean instead of the office in our Coastal Jobs series.
In 2009, lawyer turned conservationist Doyinsola Ogunye created an NGO called Kids Beach Garden to clean up the shorelines of Lagos, Nigeria. But in March, the focus of her work shifted to rescuing sea turtles from poachers.
I founded Kids Beach Garden when I was 27 years old. I employ 23 full-time staff, and together we pick up litter from the beach, sort through what’s recyclable or biodegradable, and teach kids to do the same.
Then one day, out of nowhere, someone from the public reached out and said they’d found a turtle on the street. Like many people in Nigeria, I didn’t even know we had turtles. My team and I bought the turtle and released it back into the ocean. Often now, we get distress calls from well-meaning individuals who see poachers hawking turtles on the streets in Lagos.
Sometimes people ask, “Why are you saving sea turtles instead of hungry people?” But just because people are hungry…
Kendrapara: The annual arrival of Olive Ridley turtles at Gahirmatha, their favourite nesting site, may be affected this year due to large scale testing of missiles by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at Wheeler Island renamed as Dr Abdul Kalam island, a report said.
The environment around Bhitarkanika is gradually getting degraded due to man-made interference. Problems of habitat disturbance have affected the wildlife sanctuary, the report said.
This is because the missile testing at the Wheeler Island near the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is directly affecting the movement of wildlife and marine creatures in Gahirmatha which is known as the nursery of the sea turtles.
The turtles are believed to have been distracted by light caused by uranium burning.
Every year Olive Ridley sea turtles arrive at Gahirmatha sanctuary in lakhs from November onwards for mating and mass nesting. The fishermen are warned not to venture into sea for fishing between November 1 and May 31 which is the mating and mass nesting period of these sea turtles.
The nuclear powered missiles during test fire emit a lot of smoke and light which directly affects the survival of the marine creatures. Environmentalists apprehend that this might lead to…