Popularity of plastic takes toll on oceans, puts human health at risk

first_img Read Full Story Our love affair with plastic — from water bottles and shopping bags … to product packaging — is taking a toll on the world’s oceans, and damaging the health of people, marine birds, and animals. The filmmakers and scientists behind a documentary exploring this problem recently joined Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health community members for a film screening and panel discussion.The Nov. 13, 2017 screening of “A Plastic Ocean” brought a packed audience of researchers, students, staff, and others to the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center. The event was sponsored by Harvard Chan School’s Office of the Dean and the Harvard Global Health Institute. The panel moderator was Adam Leipzig, film producer. Harvard Business School alumnus Daniel Auerbach, M.B.A. ’87, who helped arrange the event, also spoke.More than 8 million of the nearly 300 million tons of plastic produced every year — half of which is estimated to be for single use — are dumped in the world’s oceans … This debris can sicken seabirds and marine life that ingest it, potentially harming the health of people who consume affected animals.Several years ago, journalist Craig Leeson, director of “A Plastic Ocean,” was filming whales underwater in what he considered a pristine part of the Indian Ocean off the coast of Sri Lanka when he discovered discarded plastic bottles on the ocean floor. Thus began a four-year documentary film project, for which he … traveled … around the globe to document the effects of plastic on marine ecosystems.In her remarks, Harvard Chan School Dean Michelle A. Williams said the event could hardly have been more timely. “It comes at a point when it’s increasingly clear that we must look to gatherings like this, and to people like you in this room, for leadership on critical issues like pollution and climate change,” Williams said. Communication among people from diverse backgrounds and experiences is the key to finding solutions. “Communication creates the necessary conditions for both sound policy and wise personal choices. In public health, this means speaking up and speaking out about what we know to be true,” she said. “We know climate change is linked to human activity. We know air and water pollution are harming people’s health—not in some remote time and place, but here and now. And we know that pollution of the oceans affects the entire planet, not just some exotic sea birds … Yet our scientific training teaches us to hedge where we could declare, to be precise at the expense of being clear, to provide information where we could instead share wisdom.”Panelist Ashish Jha, senior associate dean, research translation and global strategy and K.T. Li Professor of Global Health at Harvard Chan School and Harvard Global Health Institute director, said scientists … need to speak up with more certainty about ocean pollution … When scientists fail to speak definitively about causes and effects of pollution, it makes the issue seem “distant” and people are less likely to take action to change it. “You have to make that connection to human health,” he said. “That’s what it takes to motivate people.”last_img read more


Chelsea forward joins Crystal Palace on loan

first_imgRelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea EPL: Chelsea, Liverpool in cagey duel Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi has joined Crystal Palace on a season-long loan after signing a new deal with his parent club.The Belgium international returns to Selhurst Park after a successful spell with the Eagles in the second half of the 2018-19 campaign. Batshuayi scored six goals in 13 appearances for Palace to help them retain their Premier League status, but will be out to help them achieve greater honours this time.He told the Eagles’ official website: “My target is to win a lot of games with the team because Palace is a good team and a dangerous team for the big clubs.“I want to win and to score, to do my job to help the team and I know my team-mates will help me as well.”Batshuayi will hope to play regularly for Palace and earn a spot in Belgium’s squad for next summer’s European Championship.The 26-year-old agreed new terms with Chelsea before his departure and has a contract at Stamford Bridge until June 2022. Eagles chairman Steve Parish said: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Michy back to Crystal Palace.“He is a player we’ve long admired, as well as being an immensely popular figure with everyone here during his last successful spell with us.“With other top European clubs vying for his services it is immensely pleasing that Michy chose to come back to help us up the table as well as cementing his place in the Belgium squad for next summer’s Euros.”Boss Roy Hodgson added: “He made a great impact at the club in his previous loan spell, albeit only five months long, displaying a goal scoring threat which we very much needed at that time and we are confident he will produce again.“As a player who will help to convert our chances in to goals, Michy will be another valuable addition to the two new signings we have made this summer.” Batshuayi is expected to make his second debut for Palace on Saturday when Southampton play their Premier League opener.Tags: ChelseaCrystal PalaceMichy BatshuayiPremier Leaguelast_img read more