Whales are eating billions of microplastics & a COP27 recap
Welcome to Shark Bite #22.
Whales are trying out a new diet
Filter-feeding whales consume millions of microplastics each day. Look, we all knew this – it isn’t really news. But now we actually know how much.
The study was conducted on blue, fin, and humpback whales (the big, filter-feeding ones). It estimated that these whales consume billions of microplastic pieces each year, somewhere in the range of 2 tonnes per year. That’s about 4400 pounds of plastic per whale, roughly 1-2% of their body weight.
Holy sh*t. That number should terrify and anger you at the same time. It’s outrageous.
Here’s the problem with marine animals eating microplastics – plastic is filling. But not in a good way. They ingest it and even though it fills up their stomach, it doesn’t offer any nutritional value. Plus, they can’t digest it. As they consume more and more, there’s less room for actual food. So ironically enough, they end up starving to death by eating too much.
Tough to decide where we go from here, this is depressing news. Anyone have any ideas on how to solve the ocean plastic crisis? We’re all ears.
In the meantime, we'll make a small donation to the Ocean Alliance if you grab a Whale Tail Long Sleeve.
We’re on the highway to hell
As much as I love AC/DC, the highway to hell sounds like the last place I want to be. But that’s where we’re headed – “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.”
That’s how UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres put it at COP27, the annual UN climate conference. It wrapped up last week, here are the highlights:
- Tuvalu has become the first country to demand an international fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty, which would phase out the use of coal, oil, and gas across all UN nations.
- It will cost an estimated $2 trillion/year to cut down on greenhouse emissions and support developing countries affected by climate breakdown.
- The US was called out on their “decades-long game plan of denial, delay and deception.” Yikes.
- The Pakistani Prime Minister said that his people need more than $30bn in flood relief “despite our very low carbon footprints”.
It’s great that world leaders are meeting to discuss strategies to battle climate change, it’s one that truly affects us all. But it would be great if they could actually act on change instead of just talking about it.
Ah, what would we do without our politicians?
Hope you have a great week :)