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4th March 2016

Hello SCI friends and welcome to another Friday Updates!

This weeks articles include an oil spill that happened in an Amazon tributary in Peru. We look at animal testing not only as an outdated method of "improving" chemical based beauty products but also the harmful destruction it incurs on the environment. Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar speech which brilliantly shone a light on climate change. Also we look at alternatives to cotton which is one of the worlds most recognized material but has a not so innocent story in the making of it. Could hemp be the solution? Be sure to check out our voluntary projects and lots of inspiring stories and info on our website sci.ngo Enjoy!

Indigenous communities are forced to clean up a 3,000-barrel oil spill

The images being shared on social media and by the international press these days show to the average eye what the impacts of a broken oil pipeline can be: water dyed deep black, turned into a liquid as thick as the oil that has contaminated them. Those recent photos from northern Peru document how the oil spill is covering rocks on the rivers’ shores, and also the white suits donned by the men who have been hired to clean up the spill in the Amazon tributary.Read more

The connection between animal testing, the environment and human health

Animal research is an outdated method of science that, along with the enormous and destructive amounts of biological and chemical waste that it generates, needs itself to be buried. Animal research is not only hazardous waste, it is also a hazard to human health breakthroughs and a waste of precious lives, dollars and time. Every year our air, water, soil and farm products become increasingly toxic, poisoned by millions of tons of deadly chemicals, most of them tested on animals. Animal testing is the unscientific methodology used by the chemical/pharmaceutical industry to assess toxic compounds before putting them out on the market. The inconclusive, erroneous nature of animal testing creates a smoke screen – an alibi which permits the continued manufacture of thousands of toxic and hazardous chemicals. The tragic result is that these seemingly “safety tested” poisons are the very ones which pollute our air, food and water and are devastating our planet.Read more

Leonardo DiCaprio devotes Oscars speech to climate change

After six nominations, Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar for Best Actor for his role in The Revenant at last night’s Academy Awards. The noted environmental activist devoted half of his acceptance speech to call for urgent collective action to fight climate change, calling it “the most urgent threat facing our species.” The 41-year-old actor, who was favored to win the Oscar and had swept the Best Actor category in every major award show leading up to the Academy Awards, first thanked the cast and crew in his speech and then shined a spotlight on his passion project.Read more

Lucianne Walkowicz : Let's not use Mars as a backup planet

Stellar astronomer and TED Senior Fellow Lucianne Walkowicz works on NASA's Kepler mission, searching for places in the universe that could support life. So it's worth a listen when she asks us to think carefully about Mars. In this short talk, she suggests that we stop dreaming of Mars as a place that we'll eventually move to when we've messed up Earth, and to start thinking of planetary exploration and preservation of the Earth as two sides of the same goal. As she says, "The more you look for planets like Earth, the more you appreciate our own planet." Watch here

EU set to emit 2bn tonnes more CO2 than Paris climate pledge

The EU is set to emit 2bn tonnes more CO2 than it promised at the Paris climate talks, threatening an agreement to cap global warming at 2C, a note from the European commission has revealed. Carbon prices will rise too slowly to cut industrial emissions as much as needed, says a confidential note prepared for MEPs on the environment committee, which the Guardian has seen.Read more


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