by Tom Bosschaert

March 15, 2015

Tom Bosschaert

We might have entered the Anthropocene, a new French law is pushing manufacturers to start designing products that are easier to fix, and an incredible vertical forest is cleaning the air in Turin, Italy. Read all about it in this Wormfood.

Global News: Welcome to the Anthropocene

  • Researchers are studying whether the geological timescale should be modified to include the Anthropocene, a unit of time during which humans became a major force on the planet. Through mining activities alone, humans move more sediment than all the world's rivers combined. Homo sapiens has also warmed the planet, raised sea levels, eroded the ozone layer and acidified the oceans.

  • Watch ocean acidification in real time. New tools and techniques reveal global warming's evil twin at work in seawater.

  • These five photos show what climate change looks like around the world.

Energy & Environment: Forbidden Words

  • Officials from the Department of Environmental Protection of Florida have been ordered not to use the terms “climate change”, “global warming” and “sustainability”. This while sea-level rise alone threatens 30 percent of the Florida’s beaches over the next 85 years.

  • Worsening droughts in the Amazon are speeding up climate change, scientists have warned. Trees are absorbing up to a tenth less carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during droughts and the forests actually emit more carbon than they capture.

  • China has begun deleting the documentary about smog that became an overnight sensation. Under The Dome took the country by storm with its vivid depiction of air pollution and its effect on the health of the nation.

Business & Economy: Big Bank Bonuses

  • Bonuses paid out by banks and insurers since the start of the financial crisis are set to top £100bn this year, according to the Robin Hood Tax campaign.

  • A prominent academic and climate change denier’s work was funded almost entirely by the energy industry, receiving more than $1.2m from companies, lobby groups and oil billionaires over more than a decade. Doubt over climate science is a product with an industry behind it, which is explained in this documentary.

  • A new French law is trying to push manufacturers to start designing products that are easier to fix. Under the new directive, manufacturers will have to label products with information about how long spare parts will be available. Next year, manufacturers will also be required to offer free repair or replacement for the first two years after purchase.

Science, Technology & Design: Eiffel Tower goes Renewable

  • As part of its “first major face-lift in 30 years,” the Eiffel Tower has a new set of wind turbines. In addition to the wind turbines, the tower’s environmentally friendly retrofit includes LED lighting and a rainwater recovery system that pipes water directly to toilets on site.

  • This tap saves water by creating incredible patterns.

  • Lower IQ, adult obesity and 5% of autism cases are all linked to exposure to endocrine disruptors found in food containers, plastics, furniture, toys, carpeting and cosmetics, says new expert study

Urban Environment: A Vertical Forest

  • A vertical forest in Turin, Italy, protects residents from air and noise pollution.

  • Spread of new roads in developing nations is a greater danger than the dams, mines, oil well or cities they connect, as they open up untouched habitats to poachers, illegal loggers and land speculators, study says.

  • A growing number of cities are getting rid of cars in certain neighborhoods through fines, better design, new apps, and, in the case of Milan, even paying commuters to leave their car parked at home and take the train instead.

Unexpected and Intriguing: Seal to the Rescue

  • Canadian man rescued after being mistaken for seal.

  • German city uses hydrophobic paint to splash public urinators with pee.
  • The Bank of Canada is pleading with Star Trek fans to stop “Spocking” its five dollar bills. Since Leonard Nimoy’s death, Canadian folks have been “Spocking” the hell out of the five dollar bill that features a portrait of Canada’s seventh prime minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

  • Japan introduces Robear – a strong robot with the gentle touch.

If you come across news items suited for the Wormfood, or a theme you would like to see a newsletter being dedicated to, please let me know and we'll do our best to make some magic happen.

March 15, 2015