How far would you go to save this?

Fill your eyes with all the stunning colours and natural splendour.

Take deep breathe and smell the white sand and crystalline water.

Then think about how far you would go to save this.

A visit to the  Great Barrier Reef is a life-changing experience. One of the natural wonders of the world.


Photo By Ciambue –, CC BY 2.0,

Sadly, new aerial surveys have found that back-to-back severe bleaching events have affected two-thirds of Australias’s Great Barrier Reef. This is the second year in a row that the reef has been hit by severe bleaching. This year, the bleaching has spread further south. The underlying cause for the bleaching is global warming.

A proposal to pump cold water on the Great Barrier Reef to help stave off the bleaching has been described as an band-aid solution. Admittedly to use $9m to pump water does not address the underlying problems linked to rising water temperatures. Yet, few of us would say that using a plaster is a waste of time and money to dress a wound.

What do you think? How far should go we go? What kind of solutions are required to save the reef?

Go here for more blog posts about coral reefs.



coral colors from myLapse on Vimeo.





Giving Wildlife a Voice – Animal Law

What does it feel like to have no voice?

How can we improve Animal Laws?

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Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is never easy. When the other mind belongs to an animal, it requires more than compassion for the animal to help. Imagination and different ways to trick your mind to breaking old thinking patterns is the first step

The GAL Project supports the introduction of laws that will put an end to practices that are responsible for animals suffering. Ethical values are important for the Swiss lawyer Antoine Goetschel. He represents abused animals in the court.  The clients are mostly dogs but he also represents farm animals who may have been exploited for food, clothes or other products. An animal lawyer may also represent wildlife.

Farm animals may be kept in extremely cramped conditions, which are responsible for an enormous amount of suffering. There are several issues related to animal farming, industrial livestock production and factory farming of animals.

Many countries have banned and condemned certain cruel practices such as force-feeding to produce foie gras or egg farmer griding alive baby chicks. But in many countries, they are still legal. Today, there are not many lawyers that focus on animal law. Often in life, the things that do not pay that much are the most interesting and exciting to work with. Hopefully, there will be more animal lawyers in the future because there is so much important work to be carried out in regarding, for example, sports animals and using animals for entertainment and using animals for experiments.

The protection of wild animals is often covered by environmental laws. The focus on these types of laws is usually on species conservation with the aim to protect species. The laws are rarely written to protect individual species from suffering. Anticruelty laws protect pets and farm animals but not wild animals. If a wild animal is captured, then they are covered by laws but in many cases not while they are living in the wild.

In the Uk, The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 protects wildlife. What laws protect wildlife where you are living?

There are several things that wild animals should be protected from.

Here are a few examples to start your thinking:

  • habitat pollution
  • trapping
  • shark fining

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P.S. Looking for great photos?

Check out Ann-Margrethe Iseklint’s stunning photos.









What does the “Whoop” sound really mean?

Honeybees make a “whoop” sound. Is this a sound a tells other bees to stop looking for food in a certain area?

Or it is simply a sound of surprise?

Bee-apisHoney By Maciej A. Czyzewski – Own work, GFDL,

By using accelerometers to record vibrations inside hives for a year, researchers from Nottingham Trent University managed to isolate the sound. You can hear it in the sound cloud below.

Lots of interesting ideas to why the honeybees make the “whoop” sound has been put forward. Yet, it seems that these whoops happen rather frequently. The bees made these whooping sound more frequently than would be expected if they were trying to tell other bees not to look for nectar or other types of food in a certain area. The whoops sounds happen mostly night. When the bees bumped into each other they were startled. So perhaps the whoop sound is a sound of being surprised when you bump into a bee in the middle of the night.

The insight could help us to monitor how healthy a bee hive is. A stressed colony would most likely not react to small stimulus such as the bumping into another bee in the middle of the night. Considering the many challenges that bees around the world are currently facing it is indeed important to find out ways to monitor their health.



Guilty! Climate Change and Recent Wave of Extinctions

Does the understanding that we have helped to cause previous mass extinctions help us to become less nonchalant about our role in the present wave of mass extinction?

During the last million of years, our planet has experienced several cycles of cooling and warming. Unlike the relatively stable conditions the Earth has experienced the last 10 000 years, the Earth has undergone a series of climate fluctuations. The last cooling, the ice age, ran from about 75 000 to 15 000 years ago.

Animals have disappeared during these fluctuations in climate. For example, the largest ever living marsupial, the diprotodon, disappeared about 45 000 years ago. During this period, about 90 percent of Australia’ s megafauna disappeared together with the diprotodon.


Diprotodon optatum

The climate on Earth never rest, it is constantly changing. As a result of these changes in climate different species have disappeared. Did Sapiens play any role in the previous waves of mass extinction?

The disappearance of the diprotodon around 45 000 years ago in Australia just when Sapiens arrived there, this is circumstantial evidence. Yet, there are several indications that Sapiens did indeed contribute to the extinctions of large marsupials in Australia. Not only does the arrival of Sapiens coincide with the extinctions of the animals but there is also no evidence of any extinctions of animals in the oceans. Usually, sea creatures are hit as hard as land dwellers when the major underlying reason for the extinction was changes in the climate. Thus, this suggests that the presence of humans on land contributed to the extinctions of these animals.

Similar pattern can we found when you examine extinction of animals in New Zealand, Madagascar, and other islands as well as in  North America, where the arrival of animals and changes in climate resulted in the extinction of several species.

The idea that human beings are powerful and responsible for negative impacts on the environment have been debated. Yet, the present extinction of animals and the changes in climate are indeed the result of human activities linked to the Industrial  Revolution.


The graph shows the increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere over the last 2,000 years.

The rate of extinction of animals may be 1 000 times faster due to human activities. Yet, we are also inventing new technologies and methods to save animals.

Why not be part of the solution? Join a group that works to save animals!

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Finding time to slow down

”When I gaze at a sunset sky and spend hours contemplating its marvellous ever-changing beauty, an extraordinary emotion overwhelms me. Nature in all its vastness is truthfully reflected in my sincere though feeble soul. Around me are the trees stretching up their branches to the skies, the perfumed flowers gladdening the meadow, the gentle grass-carpetted earth, … and my hands unconsciously assume an attitude of adoration. … To feel the supreme and moving beauty of the spectacle to which Nature invites her ephemeral guests! … that is what I call prayer.”

Claude Debussy


Magical Winter Light – Comforts Us and Gives Us Strenght

Searching for bright spots in the woods where the pale winter lights dance through the trees and kiss our cheeks not only brings comfort it also gives us strength to face challenges.

The smell of frost, the sounds of a stream, and the scenery of a frosty winter forest provides relaxation. Natural stimulation brings comfort to our present stress-filled society.

Nature connectedness, where we include nature as part of our identity, includes an understanding of nature and everything it is made up of. If we feel connected to nature, we are more inclined to care about nature and protect the environment.


This connectedness can be described as containing three parts:

  • how included we feel,
  • how much we care for nature,
  • how committed we are to protect nature.


It is worrying that fewer and fewer children are connected to nature. Studies in the UK, have found that some adults think that nature is dangerous and dirty.

On my daily walk with my dog, I cruise on a path littered with litter – plastic cups, cans, tins, wraps,  papers, and bottles. Britain is one of the most litter-blighted countries in Europe.

But not only the streets are littered with litter. So is the nearby woods.

Does nobody care?





How connected to nature does your family feel?

How green is your workplace?

Does your organisation give extra marks for a green approach?

Would your family throw away a bag filled with plastic bags that had been used for shopping once in the bin?

What about your workplace?

Would your organisation or company allow employees to throw away a bag filled with plastic bags?

Would you even notice or care?

And would you do something about it?



Ice Circles

Ice circles are a rare and beautiful looking

as well as sounding phenomenon.


The ice circles in the photos are from Sävar in the northern part of Sweden.  The circles look perfect as if they have been made by a ceramist.

If you listen you can hear the sound of the river or the sea flowing continuously. When you are watching the ice circles dance by you can hear very sharp cracks and groans.

The circles are formed when a large piece of ice breaks off creating an effect called “rotational shear” where the current slowly grinds away at the free-floating chunk until it is smoothed into a circle.


The first video is filmed by Kaylyn Messer in Seattle and in the second video you can hear the sounds of ice. Go here to read Jonna Jinton’s blog.