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How A Small DVD Case Killed This Beautiful Whale & Why It’s Directly Related To You

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This past August, biologists from the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center Stranding Response Team were notified of an unusual sighting in the Elizabeth River, a busy, industrial tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. A 45-foot long female sei whale was spotted floating up river, far away from its normal habitat in the Atlantic.

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Aquarium research coordinator Susan Barco told National Geographic that the sighting was odd, and that the whale was “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” The team soon noticed the unusual disoriented behaviour of the sei whale. Worried that the whale may collide with an oncoming ship, the team tried their best to follow her upstream in an effort to protect her. But despite the effort, the whale was found dead a few days later.

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Not surprisingly to the team, a necrospy revealed an unsettling truth about the sei whale’s death: a small, sharp piece of plastic had been lodged in her stomach, preventing her from being able to eat properly. Furthermore, the whale’s vertebrae had been fractured by a run-in with a ship.

Perhaps the saddest part about this story is that the death of the whale could have been prevented providing someone had disposed of their garbage properly. The plastic was identified as a broken DVD case.

A necropsy revealed a shard of a DVD case (at left) in the stomach, which prevented the whale from feeding. The floating piece of debris had not been "disposed of properly," and caused a preventable death, said a marine biologist. Photograph credit: irginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

A necropsy revealed a shard of a DVD case (at left) in the stomach, which prevented the whale from feeding. The floating piece of debris had not been “disposed of properly,” and caused a preventable death, said a marine biologist. Photograph credit: Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Sei whales are an endangered species, according to the Office of Protected Resources. During the 19th and 20th centuries, sei whales were targeted and greatly depleted by commercial hunting and whaling, with an estimated 300,000 animals killed for their meat and fats. Today these whales and other marine life still face problems, as trapping debris, garbage, and other floating surface material can easily entangle them or become lodged in their stomachs, as witnessed recently with the sei whale death outside of Virginia.

A 2014 study found that ingestion of debris has been documented in 56 percent of cetacean species, with rates of ingestion as high as 31 percent in some populations. Frances Gulland, a senior scientist with the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, told Nat Geo that the whales that wash up on shore only make up a small percentage of the total whales killed off by ocean debris.

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Gulland also explained how sperm whales are some of the most susceptible species to swallowing garbage, as they often mistake debris for their primary food source, squid.

“Every sperm whale that I have necropsied has had a lot of nets and pieces of plastic in its stomach,” she says.

One of the most tragic cases Gulland came across happened in 2008, when two sperm whales were found stranded along the northern California coast. Their stomachs were found to be full of a variety of objects, including net, rope and various plastic garbage debris. One animal had a ruptured stomach, the other was completely withered, with over 400 pounds of debris trapped in its stomach. Sadly, both cases proved to be fatal.

NOAA Fisheries Southeast marine mammal stranding coordinator Blair Mase says the number of whales and dolphins impacted by floating marine debris seems to be on the rise.

Taking Responsibility For Your Trash

eco-lands-waste

In order for tragic situations like these to be prevented, it requires that each of us step into and accept our social responsibility as a conscious human being on this planet.

Garbage decomposes at wildly different rates. For instance, a banana peel takes about a month, while rubber takes about 70 years and a plastic holder can take 500 years. Landfills are dirty, smelly eyesores that are quickly becoming overcrowded and releasing methane gas into the atmosphere, while incineration releases carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the air.

With the proper disposal methods, you can reduce your garbage impact while effectively removing it from your life. Misty Witenberg at eHow has put together a simple list of steps in properly disposing your garbage. Take a look:

Proper Waste Disposal Tips

1) Sort your garbage into a few different bins. This can be done quickly by setting up a multi-storage bin in your kitchen so items can be sorted as they are disposed.
2) Bring any garbage that can be reused, such as toys or clothing, to a secondhand store to be resold.
3) Take recyclables such as glass, plastics and paper to a local recycling center. If your neighborhood has a recycling pick-up, leave it out in the front of your house in plastic bins. Don’t use plastic garbage bags as this only contributes to the waste.
4) Turn food and garden waste into compost. You can do this with a simple compost pile, or speed things up with a compost bin filled with worms that will digest the trash and do the work for you. Once it’s completely composted, you can use it in your garden as a rich fertilizer.
5) Collect any remaining garbage into a trash bag and place it into a garbage bin. Remember to seal the top so that animals won’t be able to get into it. Leave the bin in sight for garbage collectors on your pick up day.

Other tips:

  • Use large, empty mason jars as your refillable water bottle or smoothie container.
  • Oil based paint is considered hazardous waste and should be disposed of at a Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Some communities have locations that you can make drops at whenever you want, while others only have set times when hazardous waste materials are accepted.
  • Never flush kitty litter down the toilet as specific, harmful bacteria can pollute our water.
  • Medicine take-back programs for disposal are a good way to remove expired, unwanted, or unused medicines from the home and reduce the chance that others may accidentally take the medicine. Contact your city or county government’s household trash and recycling service to see if there is a medicine take-back program in your community.

Do you have any other tips on proper waste disposal? Please share with us below!

Source:

National Geographic

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Ontario’s Municipal Police Departments Reject Doug Ford’s “Stop & Ask” COVID Order

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CE Staff Writer 3 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to an investigative report, the vast majority of Ontario police will not follow Doug Ford's COVID measure asking police to stop citizens in their cars to find out where they are going during the current stay at home order.

  • Reflect On:

    Might we see law enforcement stand up to other draconian orders the government attempts to lay down?

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On April 16th Ontario premier Doug Ford announced stricter lockdown measures, including that Ontario police, both provincial and municipal, will have the power to stop citizens and ask them where they are going in order to find out if their travel outside their home is essential or whether they may be attending a social gathering. If this sounds draconian to you, you’re certainly no alone. And the police seem to think so too.

As of the evening of April 17th, just one day later, 39 or 44 municipal police departments in Ontario have stated they will not comply with this measure and stop citizens to ask where they are going. However, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have remained onboard with the measures on social media. The tally came from investigative reporter Andrew Lawton who took it upon himself to hear from departments themselves.

Since the rejection, the Ontario government has begun changing it’s mind on the measure:

Why It Matters: This is a great example of how power is only enforced when people participate. In this case, if law enforcement went through with this, ‘the people’ wouldn’t have much of an obvious way to resist these measures, but when law enforcement denies draconian measures like this, the power the government has is restricted significantly.

Early this morning I was speaking to a fellow journalist here at CE talking about how for most people working on the police force, this measure would probably feel like one of the first times they very obviously had to ‘take things too far.’ To see only 12 hours later that the vast majority of police are standing up to this is a good sign that enforcers of rules are open to questioning their government. In my opinion, I hope this trend continues.

I also found it interesting to note that holding government accountable used to be something mainstream media would do, but now they only seem complicit in going along with government. Independent media now is tasked with the job, all while they face funding challenges and claims from mainstream and social media that independent media is not trustworthy.

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Ontario (Canada) Gives Police Authority To Pull Over Vehicles To Find Out Where They Are Going

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CE Staff Writer 6 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Ontario government has just announced very strict lockdown and stay at home orders. They've also given police the power to pull people over to find out where they are going and where they live.

  • Reflect On:

    Is this really about the virus? Why are so many experts, and so much science that opposes what government is saying completely unacknowledged?

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As authoritarianism spreads, as emergency laws proliferate, as we sacrifice our rights, we also sacrifice our capability to arrest the slide into a less liberal and less free world. Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long-forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept? That these datasets will not be kept? No matter how it is being used, what’ is being built is the architecture of oppression. -Edward Snowden (source)

Ontario, Canada has just announced stronger lockdown measures after current lockdown measures and stay at home orders have not done anything to slow the spread of covid when taking cases into account. Under the new orders, most non-essential businesses, manufacturing and construction will be closed, this includes non-essential curb side pick ups as well for retail businesses. Outdoor recreational facilities like parks, basketball courts, tennis courts and golf courses will now be closed and essential businesses, like grocery stores, will be limited to a certain capacity.

For the first time, the Ontario government has given police officers the power to pull vehicles over without cause, demand their ID and home address as well as ask where they are going and why. This also applies to citizens who are outside. This is effective immediately for a period of 6 weeks.

I just came across this via the live press conference. Part of the changes in the recent announcement were to give police more authority to handle non-compliance, something that’s been a big part of this pandemic as many people, doctors and scientists continue to disagree with the actions being taken by governments, while others agree. The government has also put restrictions on travel between provinces.

We have made the deliberate decision to temporarily enhance police officers’ authority for the duration of the stay at home order. Moving forward, police will have the authority to require any individual who is not in a place of residence to first provide the purpose for not being at home and provide their home address. – Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in the press conference.

The Ontario government continues to blame the citizenry for non-compliance when, in reality, there is a tremendous amount of science and data that’s been published in various medical and scientific journals from around the world showing that lockdowns have not been helpful in stopping the spread of COVID.

Furthermore, there is research showing lockdowns have killed more people than covid, and will have devastating results for years to come. Not only that, an estimate from the United Nations World Food Program indicates that pandemic lockdowns causing breaks in the food chain are expected to push 135 million people into severe hunger and starvation.

The ease to which people could be terrorised into surrendering basic freedoms which are fundamental to our existence…came as a shock to me…History will look back on measures – as a monument of collective hysteria & government folly.” – Jonathan Sumption, former British supreme court justice. (source)

This is quite confusing, if lockdowns and restrictions aren’t necessarily helping to curb the spread, why is government, especially the Ontario government, acting like they are effective and necessary tools? This is a discussion that has not been had within the mainstream. Renowned experts in the field who are presenting this data have been completely ignored, censored and in many cases ridiculed.

Another point that’s being used to justify restriction measures is the fact that hospitals in Ontario are at capacity, and ICUs are full. This has always been a concern in many countries, especially in Ontario, Canada. For example, in 2017 more than 50 percent of hospitals in Ontario were above 100 percent capacity. There are examples all over the world for the past decade. That being said, is covid adding to this, or is it simply something we’ve always seen in hospitals? Is the only difference big media coverage?

What about the fact that PCR testing may yield an enormous amount of false positives? Testing positive does not mean you have the virus, or that you can spread it, especially if you are asymptomatic, yet this entire lockdown is based on testing asymptomatic people and asymptomatic cases. What about the death count and the fact that Ontario Public Health has admitted to the fact that they are marking deaths as “covid” when it’s not even clear if covid caused or contributed to the death? What about the fact that the survival rate of the virus is 99.95 percent and above for people under the age of 70, or that prior infection can provide more immunity than the vaccine?

Again, the point is,there are many concerns that are being completely ignored and unacknowledged.

In the case of covid, it’s quite clear that people of all backgrounds and professions are split. You even have world renowned experts in the field split on these issues, with many opposing and supporting measures. As a result, this has many people confused, and it begs the question, should government really have the authority to put mandates into place that restrict our movement, rights and freedoms?

Is this really about the virus, or about the benefits that big tech, health and government will reap and have been reaping from this pandemic? When measures go against the will of so many people, should government not be allowed to mandate such measures and instead, present their science and make recommendations to people, leaving them the choice to act in ways they see fit?

Are we living in an age where government and big tech are doing the thinking for us, telling us what is and isn’t and trying to control our lives more and more every single year? How do we stop this if it’s true? Why do we continue to comply? One thing is certain, covid has been a great catalyst for more and more people to really question what type of world we are currently living in.

So what’s the solution to this? Is it mass/collective organized peaceful non-compliance? A Belgian court has ruled that the current COVID-19 measures being deployed don’t have a sound legal basis. The State has 30 days to lift restrictions or face fines. Can something like this happen in this situation? We will wait and see what happens as, no doubt, many people are going to be upset and showing it.

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Florida Education Minister Urges Schools To Drop Mask Mandates

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said schools should make mask-wearing voluntary in the 2021-2022 school year, stating that they should simply be optional.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is one narrative being pushed hard, while the other is being heavily ridiculed and labelled as "dangerous" by mainstream media and government?

Before you begin...

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What Happened: Earlier this week, Florida’s education commissioner directed all schools to drop mask mandates for the next school year because, according to him, they are not necessary and can simply be an optional measure for students and parents. According to him, mask policies “do not impact the spread of the virus” and they “may impede instruction” for some students. The decision is not up to him, however, as each individual district will ultimately decide whether or not they want to impose mask mandes for next school year.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently convened a round table on public health. At that discussion, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University Dr. Jay Bhattacharya stated that “masks have not only been not effective but have been harmful.”

The video of this discussion was removed from YouTube, and then ridiculed by mainstream media. This has been a big problem throughout this pandemic. We have big tech “fact-checkers” censoring and removing any kind of narrative that does not fit within the framework or narrative that government health authorities are telling us. If things were so obvious, why would they need to censor world renowned experts?  It’s been a common theme, and Bhattacharya is one of many who have been subjected to this type of treatment.

He’s one of the three initiators of The Great Barrington Declaration. The other two are  Dr. Sunetra Gupta, PhD Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford and Dr. Martin Kulldorff, PhD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard, Infectious Disease Epidemiologist. You can watch an interesting discussion with all three of them here if interested.

Bhattacharya responded to the criticism in a recent piece he wrote for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) stating the following:

I attended a public-policy roundtable hosted by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last month. The point was to discuss the state’s Covid policies in the months ahead. That 600,000 Americans have died with Covid-19 is evidence that the lockdowns over the past year, including significant restrictions on the lives of children, haven’t worked. Florida reopened in May and declined to shut down again. Yet age-adjusted mortality is lower in Florida than in locked-down California, and Florida’s public schools are almost all open, while California’s aren’t.

My fellow panelists—Sunetra Gupta of Oxford, Martin Kulldorff of Harvard and Scott Atlas of Stanford—and I discussed a variety of topics. One was the wisdom of requiring children to wear masks. The press asked questions, and a video of the event was posted on YouTube by local media, including Tampa’s WTSP.

But last week YouTube removed a recording of this routine policy discussion from its website. The company claimed my fellow panel members and I were trafficking in misinformation. The company said it removed the video “because it included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities regarding the efficacy of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Yet the panelists are all experts, and all spoke against requiring children to wear masks. I can’t speak for my counterparts, but my reasoning was a cost-benefit analysis. The benefits of masking children are small to none; the costs are much higher.

The scientific evidence is clear.

He then goes on to cite site some science.

Kari Stefansson, senior author of a study  study from Iceland conducted early in the epidemic when masking was uncommon showing that incidents of covid in children is far less than adults, stated that children are.

“less likely to get infected than adults and if they get infected, they are less likely to get seriously ill. What is interesting is that even if children do get infected, they are less likely to transmit the disease to others than adults.”

According to Bhattacharya, “many studies in the scientific literature reach a similar conclusion: Even unmasked children pose less of a risk for disease spread than adults.”

For example, Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute wrote letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Open Schools, Covid-19, and Child and Teacher Morbidity in Sweden” has found that:

“Despite Sweden’s having kept schools and preschools open, we found a low incidence of severe Covid-19 among schoolchildren and children of preschool age during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic…No child with Covid-19 died…Among the 1,951,905 children who were 1 to 16 years of age, 15 children had Covid-19, MIS-C, or both conditions and were admitted to an ICU, which is equal to 1 child in 130,000.”

You can read more about this specific story here, as he has quit his research due to the harassment he received for simply presenting data.

Why This Is Important: There are the points made above, and then there are papers outlining the supposed dangers and ineffectiveness of masks. Many have been published in peer-reviewed scientific/medical journals prior to covid, and during covid.

For example, one paper titled “Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis” concludes:

The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death. Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize prosper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health.

I’ve written about a study published in the New England Medical Journal by Harvard doctors that outlines how it’s already known that masks provide little to zero benefit when it comes to protection in a public setting. According to them,

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.

The papers cited above are a few of many, there are a plethora of them available within the scientific literature.

Yes, there are also studies that claim and explain why they believe masks are an effective tool to mitigate the virus, and we know that organizations like the Centres For Disease Control (CDC) deem them to be extremely effective and necessary.  The point is, why are those who point out, explain, and provide evidence and reason for the idea that masks are not effective being heavily censored, vilified, and ridiculed? What’s going on here? Why is proper critique and discussion being completely shut down and why are those who are creating awareness about these issues labelled as “dangerous anti-maskers.” This, in my opinion is quite frankly unscientific.

Perhaps I can explore one possible explanation. Perhaps any type of information, data or evidence, no matter how credible, that opposes the measures and narrative of government and big media threatens various business/agendas in these powerful circles. It begs the question, does government and government affiliated health/business really look out for what’s best for its citizens? The COVID pandemic has definitely served as a catalyst for more people to ask that question who wouldn’t have prior to the pandemic.

This is just my opinion, but in presenting it I put our platform, Collective Evolution, at risk being punished in various ways for simply sharing it. We’ve not only been falsely smeared by fact checkers but have also been hurt financially on social media simply for bringing forth facts that the mainstream doesn’t wish to address.

The Takeaway: At the end of the day, it’s very difficult to determine who is right or wrong, which is why we need open dialogue. The fact that simple discussion and pieces of evidence that change the narrative, or threaten it, is being shut down, censored and completely ridiculed is quite concerning. The mainstream media continues to fail to have appropriate conversations surrounding all things COVID while forcing their narrative on the public. This in turn has created a great divide among the citizenry when really, we should all be coming together and respecting everybody’s decision to act as they please.

When things are not so cut and dry, it’s questionable whether or not we should really give governments the ability to control our lives in the manner they have done with this pandemic.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –

Dr. Kamran Abbasi, executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal, editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, and a consultant editor for PLOS Medicine. He is editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and JRSM Open. Taken from his published a piece in the BMJ, titled “Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science.”

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