A group of experts in Tokyo suggested pouring radioactive water from Fukushima into the open sea. A marine biochemist explains the consequences of this absurd decision.
Why 9 May is Europe Day
Robert Schuman first came up with the idea of a united Europe on 9 May 1950. One that turned into over 70 years of peace and stability.
9 May is Europe day. In 1950, then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman gave the speech considered to be the starting point of the European Union: the Schuman Declaration. His proposal required “the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany” through the union of the “Franco-German production of coal and steel under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organization open to the participation of the other countries of Europe.”
In a year’s time, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was established. Along with France and West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg were the first countries to join it. Today, 66 years later, the European Union (EU) is composed of 28 member states that share values, rights and resources. Most of them also share the same currency, the euro, triggering not few critiques. Thanks to the EU and the Schengen Agreement, European citizens can freely travel across the Union: from Tallinn, Estonia, to Lisbon, Portugal; from the Baltic Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.
The European Union isn’t perfect. There’s still a long way to go to achieve a fully democratic organisation that gives voice to over 500 million citizens. However, the goals that have been reached so far, such as human dignity, respect, freedom, equality, solidarity and justice are simply inestimable. Moreover, it should be noted that the most violent conflict in history ended more than 70 years ago: the Second World War. Today, the main challenges we’re facing are climate change, biodiversity loss, unemployment, the refugee crisis and global hunger. During the 6-month world fair in Milan, the European pavilion exhaustively treated these themes and issues. In fact, the European Union’s theme at Expo was “Growing Europe’s Future Together for a Better World”. Because, as Schuman once said, “world peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it”.
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The decline in grey and humpback whales in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans has been traced to food shortages caused by rising ocean temperatures.
The United Nations has launched a major international alliance for ocean science, undertaking a mission close to all our hearts.
The cargo ship that ran aground off the coast of Mauritius on 25 July, causing incalculable damage, has split in two and its captain has been arrested.
The largest coral reef in the world is severely threatened by climate change, but researchers are developing strategies that could contribute to saving the Great Barrier Reef.
Seychelles have extended its marine protected area, which now covers over 400,000 square kilometres, an area larger than Germany.
Norwegian oil giant Equinor had pulled out of drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight, one of the country’s most uncontaminated areas. A victory for activists and surfers who are now campaigning for the area to be protected forever.
30 per cent of the planet needs to be protected to stop precipitous species decline. The UN has set out its aims for the the COP15 on biodiversity scheduled for Kunming, China in October.
Ocean warming has risen to record highs over the last five years: just in 2019 the heat released into the world’s oceans was equivalent to that of 5-6 atomic bombs per second. The culprit, no doubt, is climate change.