Today I want to take a look close to home.
As a scientist, and as a marine ecologist I think I have chosen a career path that is quite ‘sustainable’ - doing things for the greater good.
Sometimes I still think that one day I am going to change the world.....
but really, is science all for the greater goods? And could we do it better?
I have been thinking a lot about this lately , there is so much repeating , everyone so close and attached to their little experiment (or model) , afraid to let go and yet simultaneously trying to find the bigger picture in order to get their science published in some high impact journal..
I assume the scientists amongst my readers are probably nodding , while I might have lost some of you already..
High impact journals? Science published ? Experiments ? Models? (No, not talking about the likes of Naomi Campbell here, but more like those scary climate predictions...).
To summarise quickly for the non-academic out there in order to make it into a science career and advance one has to prove him/herself by conducting experiments, (or make models) and write them up into manuscripts which then get sent to journals (mostly discipline specific) where they undergo a peer review before being published. Journals are ranked according to their impact, which is given by their readership and how often they are cited. This results in each scientist also having a number (a rank, an index) which depends on the number of papers published, the impact of the journals and the number of times they were cited (people please correct me if I am wrong..) .
And to me this contributes to make sfience less sustainable than it should be.
So what do I suggest?
Well.. here is my list
Please tell me if I am wrong, where I am wrong and if you have other ideas
I have recently read an accusation: that many of the lifestyle / ethical / zero waste bloggers are in reality a bunch of hypocrites
While I believe this to be (for the most part) unfounded, it got me thinking
I like to reassure you that, personally, I only write about things that I truly deeply believe in and I do myself pursue.
That said, a zero waste lifestyle is a journey and, while I am doing my best I am also sure that I have not arrived yet. And that I have still some guilty pleasures..
So I will be honest with you and open up about one of my habits that is bad for the planet and what do I do to offset it as much as possible..
And especially flying, which is really not a very sustainable practice
Yes, I do fly a lot- I am probably on a plane at least once a month. If not twice..
Living away from home means I often go back and see my family (I miss them, do you blame me?). I also lived in many places, which is good but means having friends scattered around which I like to visit from time to time...
I am also a researcher and that means travelling for conferences. And I love travelling and exploring, I believe it enlarges the mind and widens perspectives, so I try to have a big trip at least once a year..
combine all of this and what you get is a lot of travelling
And a lot of flying
So how do I make myself feel a little bit better about it? by trying to offset my travels as much as possible. How?
Well first of all if possible not to fly and to take a train I will do that. I like trains more anyway. But that’s not always a possibility.
Do you have any more advice for me?
What do you think? Should bloggers be more open?
I will keep questioning my habits, so you might hear more of my ‘faults’ soon...
Great news for environmentalists and animalists alike : people are eating less meat and embracing more plant based products in their diets.
Great for animals, as less production means better welfare. Great for the planet as we reduce emissions. Great for health as we reduce saturated fats..
So it seems like it is great news and I should leave it at that.
But I would like to dig deeper instead and ask this question : what are we replacing meat with?
And the answer is not fresh produces and pulses (which to me are the base of healthy meat free diets). The correct answer is: artificial and processed meat substitutes.
So what are the problems with these products ?
A) they are processed, and contain way too many ingredients some of which you don’t need. And the processing will require industries which are also not great for the environment
B) proteins have been extracted - so instead of eating whole soya beans you eat something that has been extracted following heavy processing . And you may only get part of what nature intended..
C) other processes to create things like Quorn involve making a fungus - making new foods which are not necessarily safe (they are maybe too new to fully understand their complications)
D) they often contain hidden fats, and those fats may be terrible for the environment
E) cultivation of soy requires s lot of water and land - which also brings to deforestation
Basically, what I am saying is that while eating less meat is a good thing we shouldn’t try to substitute it for something similar but instead try and cook from scratch as much as possible with basic and simple whole ingredients...
Today we have a special guest post
Last week my friend working in conservation in Fiji asked me if I ever heard of seagrass removal projects.. I said "no, I normally hear about seagrass restoration..but removal..never!". Turned out this particular resort was doing some quite illegal actions, which might be easier in some countries compared to other. So I decided that the least I could do was to give some space on my blog for her and her colleagues to explain. So here we go:
My name is Anastasha Savura and I am publicly releasing my CV to ensure the public knows that I am a Marine Scientist and I need assistance to ensure the Warwick Answers and Apologies for this Incident!
I am the Founder of the page Ocean Guardians Fiji on FB and would like to use social media bring people together to bridge this massive gap between science and policy in the biggest Economical Industries in Fiji. The goal is to develop an umbrella of frame works and guidelines to present to Fiji Tourism and Hospitality Association and other associated bodies so that this never happens again!
Although young and still an ocean of knowledge still to swim through, I clearly understand through education, working experience and volunteer efforts. THE ACTIONS OF WARWICK RESORT and THE ASSOSIATED DIVE SHOP on 25th October, 2018 was an Injustice to the Environment. How much Injustice? I am unsure about as they have not bothered to contact us to correct us otherwise.
In the link below you will find the incident report of that particular day and the events that follow!
On 25th October
On 26th October till date
And we slept on the matter and realized that we had to do something about this because it was wrong. One of the reasons given by the Dive shop owners for firing us was that “we should have handled the situation in a more diplomatic manner instead of sitting in the water to make the digger stop”,
…So on 29th October we both wrote letters:
Other Parties Letter here
We included a presentation I prepared to the Regional Director, a Mr. Sahaan who was on property and asked him to contact us so we could sit and discuss the matter.
We also included a copy of the Regulation of Surfing Areas Decree (which states that Warwick authorized a possibly Illegal activity)
We asked him to contact us so we could sit and discuss the matter.
It is 11:58pm, 1st November, 2018 now as I type this, we have not heard anything from the Warwick however the Associated Dive Shop has contacted us with a SHOCKING EMAIL
(We are now seeking Legal Advice… ) We now have an issue of job security in the diving industry for expats and local marine scientists and Dive Professionals. (How will this be addressed in the future?- Anyone?) Who do we count on to report such PADI dive shops?)
The Only people who care to engage and raise this issue are members of the public and ocean advocates from all around the world therefore your opinion and support will decide our next PLAN of ACTION.
We already are working on a way to ensure that the tourism industry is not affected by the emotion and detrimental social media posts already online by concerned guests by ensuring them that we will work on a way to ensure that this will never happen in any other resort but WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
I am only 1 person and now have the support of WWF, Baby Pandas South Pacific and passionate advocates around the world. If you would like to support this cause, please support Ocean Guardians Fiji on FB https://www.facebook.com/oceanguardiansfiji/ and oceanguardiansfiji on instagram https://www.instagram.com/oceanguardiansfiji/ to help with the cause. Every bit of "talanoa" around this matter would help.
Vinaka with high hopes and crossed fingers, Anastasha Savura
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