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TripAdvisor Halts Ticket Sales to Cruel Wildlife Attractions

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In a bold move for animal rights, popular travel website TripAdvisor has now decided to educate its users on animal welfare and will no longer be selling tickets to hundreds of tourist attractions that are known to harm or be cruel to wild animals. In a decision welcomed by many, they have reversed a previously-held policy about promoting trips and tourist attractions.

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This decision from TripAdvisor and their ticket sales company, Viator, comes after a one and a half year protest campaign led by London-based animal rights activist group World Animal Protection, and also from reporting by National Geographic’s Wildlife Watch, which raised awareness about TripAdvisor’s continued promotion of inhumane attractions, even in the wake of other popular travel and tour companies’ changes.

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Some of these attractions, which include elephant rides, swimming with dolphins, and petting tigers and other wild animals, have been shown to cause the animals psychological and even physical trauma that can actually shorten their lives and likely make for a very depressing existence. These attractions also, of necessity, force more animals to be removed from their natural habitats in the wild.

How Are the Animals Affected Through Tourism?

Elephants who are used to give rides to tourists have to go through a “crush,” which often involves being beaten with sticks with nails on the end and being immobilized in small cages. This is in order to “break” their spirit so they are easier to train. Tigers and lions are often sedated and drugged to make them docile and thus safe for tourists to pet and take photos with. Dolphins are kept captive in barricades in the ocean so that tourists can swim with them and watch them perform tricks for food. In this environment they are unable to hunt, roam, and play as they would in the wild, and if you’ve ever seen these animals in captivity, it is absolutely heartbreaking. This treatment puts undue stress on the animals and can adversely affect their behaviour in the longterm, which poses many potential dangers, both to the animals themselves and to the people interacting with them.

Many of us have seen this in action thanks to the 2014 documentary Blackfish, which tells the story of a captive killer whale who ends up killing several people people in response to the psychological impact of being kept from his natural environment.

National Geographic asked TripAdvisor about their policies earlier this year and a spokeswoman said that it wasn’t TripAdvisor’s place to steer users in any particular direction in regards to the animal attractions that were being promoted.

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Fortunately, the company appears to have had a change of heart, as they are not only completely ending sales to many animal attractions, but also developing a page to educate tourists on proper animal welfare practices and any conservation efforts of the various wildlife tourist attractions. Animal activist groups World Animal Protection, People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA), Oxford Universities, WildCRU, and others focused on animal welfare conservation and sustainability will also help develop this platform, according to the company.

 “TripAdvisor’s new booking policy and education effort is designed as a means to do our part in helping improve the health and safety standards of animals, especially in markets with limited regulatory protections,” Stephen Kaufer, TripAdvisor’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

The company has already stopped selling tickets to certain attractions, and ticket sales to others will end by early 2017, coinciding with the launch of their education portal.

TripAdvisor users may still review animal attractions, and while they will no longer be bookable, they will be linked to the education portal. This in itself offers a great opportunity for tourists to voice their concerns about animal cruelty and raise awareness about the proper treatment of the animals at these various attractions.

“We believe the end result of our efforts will be enabling travelers to make more thoughtful choices about whether to visit an animal attraction and to write more meaningful reviews about those attractions,” Kaufer said.

On the other hand, a study released last year by the World Animal Protection and WildCRU found that most tourists are neither qualified nor truly capable of judging accurately whether an attraction is humane or not. Researchers from the study observed that even attractions that experts judged as being clearly inhumane often still got good reviews from tourists on TripAdvisor. For example, tiger attractions were ranked among the most inhumane by the study’s authors, but were ranked by tourists as “excellent” or “very good.”  The psychological cost of things like taking selfies with animals or petting them is not always understood by the average person.

CEO of World Animal Protection Steve McIvor said this is exactly why it is so important for TripAdvisor to educate its users on animal welfare.

“This animal abuse is a hidden by-product of the tourism industry. Millions of people look at TripAdvisor every day to guide what they see and do,” he said in an email. “This is a significant step towards ending the sale of hundreds of cruel wildlife activities and sends a message to the travel industry and millions of users that wildlife entertainment such as taking tiger selfies or riding elephants is not something you should do.”

Vote With Your Dollar

If the exploitation of animals is something that bothers you, then it’s your job, as the consumer, to educate yourself and others about the mistreatment of animals, and to stop supporting the companies that engage in such unethical practices. These tourist attractions wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for the uneducated consumers supporting them. It’s time to step up and BE the change you wish to see in the world!

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Environmental

3 Million Masks a Minute: The Next Plastic Problem?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Studies estimate worldwide humans are using 129 billion face masks each month. Most masks are disposable, made from plastic microfibers that are not biodegradable and may fragment into smaller plastic particles polluting ecosystems.

  • Reflect On:

    What's the solution to the words plastic pollution problems? Why do we even use it when there are so many other biodegradable substances we can use? Why has plastic not been banned worldwide?

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The high demand for face masks since the coronavirus pandemic began has resulted in the production of billions of disposable masks — with no way to properly dispose of them.

Masks are littering cities, clogging sewage channels and turning up in bodies of water, prompting researchers to warn of the potential for masks to become the next “plastic problem.”

Recent studies estimate that worldwide, humans are using 129 billion face masks each month — about 3 million a minute. Most of them are disposable face masks made from plastic, non-biodegradable microfibers that break down into smaller plastic particles — micro- and nanoplastics — that become widespread in ecosystems.

The World Health Organization says an estimated 89 million medical masks are required for the COVID response each month, a trend likely to persist for some time.

At the start of the outbreak, U.S. officials estimated the country would need 300 million face masks to cope with the pandemic in 2020. U.S. manufacturer 3M made 550 million masks in 2019 and plans to produce 2 billion this year as long as the pandemic lasts.

“The enormous production of disposable masks is on a similar scale as plastic bottles, which is estimated to be 43 billion per month,”said environmental toxicologist Elvis Genbo Xu from the University of Southern Denmark, and professor Zhiyong Jason Ren, an expert in civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University. “But unlike plastic bottles, there is no way to recycle face masks, making them more likely to be disposed of in inappropriate ways.”

Common surgical masks have three layers: an outer layer with non-absorbent fibrous material (like polyester) that protects against liquid splashes, a middle layer with non-woven fabrics (like polypropylene and polystyrene) created using a meltblown process which prevents droplets and aerosols via an electrostatic effect, and an inner layer made of absorbent material like cotton to absorb vapor.

Masks contain many polymers, including fabric polypropylene. Polypropylene is one of the most commonly produced plastics and does not easily break down. Weathering from solar radiation and heat cause polypropylene to generate a large number of micro-sized polypropylene particles and nanoplastics.

Disposable face masks are made directly from microsized plastic fibers, which release plastic particles easier and faster than bulk plastics like plastic bags. A newer generation of masks, called nanomasks, releases even smaller particles creating a new source of nanoplastic pollution, according to the University of Southern Denmark.

Like other plastic debris, “disposable masks may accumulate and release harmful chemical and biological substances, such as bisphenol Aheavy metals and pathogenic microorganisms,” according to Xu and Ren. Some of the toxic chemicals released during degradation of plastic polymers include phthalatesorganotinnonylphenolpolybrominated biphenyl ether and triclosan.

The impacts of plastic as a solid waste and microplastics contamination in the environment have been investigated, validated and demonstrated by different researchers in various publications, according to a study in Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Face masks get into the environment when disposed in landfills and dumpsites or littered in public spaces. They then make their way into lakes, rivers and oceans, breaking down into plastic particles within a few weeks.

In the years prior to the pandemic, environmentalists warned about skyrocketing plastic pollution and its threat to oceans and marine life. As much as 13 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans every year, according to a 2018 estimate by UN Environment.

According to a report by OceanAsia, roughly 52 billion face masks were manufactured in 2020 to meet the demand of the coronavirus pandemic and 1.56 billion were estimated to have entered the ocean, resulting in 4,680 to 6,240 metric tonnes of face masks. These masks take as long as 450 years to completely break down –– slowly turning into microplastics that negatively affect marine wildlife and ecosystems.

The environmental research community needs to move faster to understand and mitigate these risks, said researchers Xu and Ren. They proposed the following for dealing with the problem:

  • Set up mask-only trash cans for collection and disposal. Do not put masks in the recycling.
  • Consider standardization, guidelines and strict implementation of waste management for mask wastes.
  • Replace disposable masks with reusable face masks like cotton masks.
  • Develop biodegradable disposal masks with materials that are safe.

Article written by Megan Redshaw, a freelance reporter for The Defender. She has a background in political science, a law degree and extensive training in natural health.

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Environmental

Zimbabwe Man Invents An Electric System That Charges Itself

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Sangulani (Maxwell) Chikumbutso has invented an electric system that runs off a battery. The unique thing is the battery charges itself with electromagnetic radiation that's present naturally in the environment. It can run forever.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do these technologies never see the light of day? Why are they usually ridiculed and brushed off as fake? What would the implications be if this technology was released to the world?

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A few years ago multiple media outlets began to report a new development designed by a man from Zimbabwe named Sangulani (Maxwell) Chikumbutso, who claimed to have successfully created an electric powered vehicle and system which runs on a battery that has the ability to charge itself, making it the first ever electric vehicle that never needs charging.

According to Maxwell’s claims, the energy to power the battery is taken from electromagnetic waves that exist all around us and are naturally present in our environment. The vehicle had 5 normal gel batteries which were sufficient enough to start the vehicle and charge the batteries, and from there on in, the batteries are constantly charging.

His story and developments began to make noise. For example, SABC News, a major news station owned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation picked up the story and relayed it to their viewers.

According to the Zambian Observer,

“The United States government has given Zimbabwe’s prolific inventor Maxwell Chikumbutso a new home in its populous state of California. Chikumbutso is the founder of Saith Holdings Inc. under which he made headlines for his serial innovations which include the world’s first ever green power generator which can produce electricity using radio frequencies, an electric powered car which doesn’t consume fuel, a fuelled helicopter and many more.”

When this story broke, a number of “fact-checkers” simply labelled it as false without any investigation. When I first saw this I thought to myself, why would multiple media outlets cover the story, film it and present it to the entire country if it was fake? And why did fact checkers simply label the story as false from the armchairs of their offices without providing any evidence showing that it was?

Despite fact-checkers labelling this information as false without any investigation, new energy enthusiasts and makers of one of the most viewed documentaries in human history, THRIVE: What on Earth Will It Take, Foster Gamble and Kimberly Carter Gamble decided to actually go to Zimbabwe and vet the technology for themselves. Since Foster has been looking into and studying new energy technologies for more than 30 years, this was both an exciting moment but one filled with careful consideration, as the vast majority of claims like this are in fact false.

The Thrive team met Maxwell when they landed, and quickly sensed that Maxwell was a good hearted soul who has the desire the change the world. But did his technology truly work? The next morning, Maxwell took them to see a device, which uses the same technology behind the electric car mentioned above. The unit shown in the video clip below is ample enough to power 300 homes, continuously, forever. Likely with maintenance of course. Think about the implications of that…

The full story and more is covered in their new film, Thrive II: This Is What It Takes.  You can see a brief clip from THRIVE II below and Foster and Kimberly’s interaction with Maxwell.

In the film, Chikumbutso explains:

One of the painful realities I have seen in energy is this is a very dangerous game all together. Yeah, especially free energy, because you know they can try to kill it – using professional people and that has happened to me…I went through a lot, poisons, like I’m saying right now, I’m fighting it. They come to you then they say, No, you mustn’t do this.” When they see you’re not giving up, then they can just frame you, then they can so no, you’ve done ABC.” My prayer is this thing must see the light of day.

As far as those “fact checkers” go. As I mentioned above they simply labelled this development as false. For example, PolitiFact explained that “Three years ago, a man at a one-day event touted “inventions,” including a car that defies the laws of physics. Since 2015, his story has only found a home on false news blogs and conspiracy sites.”

Snopes did the same, also mentioning our article that was publishing covering the story:

On 25 April 2018, the conspiracy oriented, reality-adjacent website Collective Evolution picked up the story once again, this time citing the aforementioned Zambian Observer story and the 2015 video of that same event from South African television. As is often the case with Collective Evolution articles, the claims made there have been cloned and regurgitated ad infinitum by other dubious clickbait sites.

Again, there is absolutely no evidence or investigation by these fact checkers to vet the technology, and the common theme used to try and debunk Chikumbutso is that his invention breaks the laws of physics, the second law of thermodynamics to be exact, because it produces more energy than is put into the device. They also use ridicule to support their narrative.

We here at Collective Evolution would argue that the device does not at all break the laws of physics, and that the law is not well understood, or needs to be revised. Furthermore, if there’s one thing constant about physics it’s change.

Take, for example, prominent physicist Lord Kelvin, who stated in the year 1900 that, “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” 

It wasn’t long after this statement when Einstein published his paper on special relativity. Einstein’s theories challenged the accepted framework of knowledge at the time, and forced the scientific community to open up to an alternate view of reality.

It serves as a great example of how concepts that are taken to be absolute truth are susceptible to change. It’s also important to mention that if these fact-checkers actually did some investigation into this case, they would have a different opinion. How come fact checkers have the ability to label something as false without any actual investigation?

That’s why people like Foster and Kimberly are so important.

In fact, there are multiple inventions out there that appear to break the second law of thermodynamics which have received absolutely no attention. For example, renowned inventor and engineer Paramahamsa Tewari developed an electrical generator that put out more power than it takes in, achieving over-unity efficiency. He published a paper in Physics Essays titled “Structural relation between the vacuum space and the electron” in 2018 before he passed. The paper explains the concepts behind the make-up of what we perceive to be our physical material world, the concepts in there explain the the thoughts behind his generator. You can view a video of the generator here, and read more about it in an article I dive deeper about it, here.

Concluding Remarks: The fact that these technologies, and similar technologies that can provide “free energy” to the planet exist is very exciting. We here at Collective Evolution have also had the privilege of seeing some of these technologies with our own eyes, and it’s quite unfortunate that they always come under such a harsh resistance. What does that tell you about our world and the underlying stories that navigate our current thinking? The fact is, new energy technologies like the one mentioned in this article have the ability to completely collapse the biggest energy companies in the world. Just because this is true, does not mean we should not approach the conversation and determine how we can implement them and perhaps create further adjustments in our society along the way.

I started to examine the breakthrough solutions, and much to my surprise, these concepts have been proven in hundreds of laboratories throughout the world, and yet they have not really seen the light of day. If the new energy technologies were to be set free worldwide, the change be profound, it would affect everybody, it would be applicable everywhere. These technologies are absolutely the most important thing that’s happened in the history of the world.  – Dr Brian O’Leary, Former NASA Astronaut and Princeton Physics Professor

Professor Emeritus at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at the University of New Hampshire. He outlined the importance of these concepts in his paper titled Space and Terrestrial Transportation and Energy Technologies For The 21st Century.

There is significant evidence that scientists since Tesla have known about this energy, but that its existence and potential use has been discouraged and indeed suppressed over the past half century or more.  – Dr. Theodor C. Loder, III (source)

Imagine a planet where we live in transparency and all developments are made public. Why does something that threatens power have to be kept a secret? Why is the excuse always to protect “national security.” Why is our planet like this, and why are we accepting and choosing to live the way we do when we have the potential to do so much better?

Of course, energy is a huge part of our existing economy, and thus it’s easy to see how disrupting energy is disrupting the entire economy. We would lose jobs, industries etc. Our progress as a species is held back by our love affair with our current ways of thinking and economy, even when it creates a world that is slowly destroying itself. So what’s the solution then? Transparent discussion ad a new conversation. We must begin realizing what it is that truly holds back these technologies, and it isn’t as simple as saying ‘the elite’ or ‘the deep state.’ It’s our ways of thinking and being, our collective story.

We talk about this in great detail in an interview with someone who has been working in the ‘new energy’ space for many years. Dive into this important conversation on CETV here.

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Environmental

Half a Million Sharks Could Be Killed to Make COVID-19 Vaccine

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Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline may need to slaughter half a million sharks to harvest squalene, an oil made in shark livers, to make a new line of COVID jabs. Glaxo mixes squalene with a witches’ brew of proprietary surfactants to produce its controversial AS03 vaccine adjuvant. Adjuvants are compounds that amplify immune response to hyperstimulate the immune system. They are associated with a variety of autoimmune diseases.

Scientific studies have linked squalene adjuvants to Gulf War syndrome and to a wave of debilitating neurological disorders including epidemics of narcolepsy caused by Glaxo’s H1N1 Pandemrix vaccine during the 2009 swine flu “pandemic.” One study showed a 13-fold increased risk of narcolepsy in children who received Pandemrix.

The devastating cascade of brain injuries to children and health care workers forced the termination of that Glaxo vaccine after European governments used only a small fraction of the jabs they had purchased from Glaxo. A recent study links squalene to carcinomas. In a bizarre and reckless twist, Glaxo has revived the dangerous adjuvant as its hall pass to the COVID-19 money orgy.

The company said it would manufacture a billion doses of this adjuvant for potential use in coronavirus vaccines. Around 3,000 sharks are needed to extract one ton of squalene.

Shark Allies, a California-based group, said Glaxo will kill around 250,000 sharks to make enough AS03 for the world’s population to receive one dose of its COVID-19 vaccine. If, as expected, two doses are needed, half a million sharks must die.

Glaxo declared that it would be producing 1 billion doses of AS03 “to support the development of multiple adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine candidates.”

Glaxo has developed partnerships with multiple companies, including its behemoth rival Sanofi, China’s Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Innovax Biotech in the city of Xiamen. Glaxo has also agreed to make the technology available to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations for COVID vaccines in Australia and elsewhere. Glaxo said it is focusing on what it considers a “proven technology” that will give the company “several shots on goal.”

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