Alex Mifflin is the writer, co-host and co-director of the television series The Water Brothers, a global eco-adventure show that examines some of the most challenging water-related environmental and social issues of our time. In the first two seasons, the brothers have travelled to over 22 countries as they search the world for stories that can help viewers better understand the value of oceans, freshwater and the biggest threats to the world's most precious resource.
When carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted into the atmosphere it doesn't just stay there -- about 25 per cent of emissions are absorbed into the ocean, increasing the acidity of the ocean. An ocean increasing in acidity is not a very friendly place for its creatures, many of which play critical roles in marine food webs and are vital sources of human food. I recently travelled to Italy and across North America investigating how ocean acidification could impact marine life. While I like to remain hopeful in most things, what I learned has made me very worried about the future of the ocean.
I used to eat a lot of shrimp, but based on my travels examining foreign shrimp farms and various unsustainable and sustainable fishing practices, now I am much more selective. Supporting more sustainable options is a good start but with the vast majority of the global shrimp industry based on destructive harvesting methods, widespread change will take a long time.
05/05/2015 12:20 EDT
We are made aware almost daily of the dire impacts of biodiversity loss and climate change. It can be overwhelming, but the good news is that there are simple things we can do in our daily lives that can make a real difference. And Earth Day is the perfect time to consider taking a couple of small steps. I've had the good fortune to travel the world with my brother making documentaries about the environment for more than four years, and here are just a few tips that we've picked up, and you can consider adopting them too.
04/22/2015 08:46 EDT
Almost everyone who has seen the gruesome videos of sharks having their fins cut off and their mutilated bodies dumped back into the ocean, barely alive but doomed to drown, is outraged by this barbaric practice. Even more so upon learning that there is no nutritional value in shark fin soup or any shark fin products.
04/06/2015 05:48 EDT
If there is one country that stands out as the ultimate example for this emerging trend of extreme fluctuations in weather and the water cycle, it is without a doubt Bangladesh. Bangladesh has become the poster child for climate change for many reasons.
10/23/2013 05:27 EDT
Salmon seems to be the perfect food -- very tasty, high in protein and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, and easy to prepare and cook. But as with every other overfished species in the sea, there simply aren't enough of them left in the wild to meet our growing demand.
10/14/2013 08:45 EDT
Canada is a country with countless pristine rivers and lakes and an incredible seven per cent of the world's renewable freshwater supply. It might seem odd that any Canadian could be living without clean drinking water, but some are. What is shocking, however, is the wildly disproportionate degree to which water advisories affect Canada's First Nations communities.
10/03/2013 05:26 EDT
Without clean water it becomes almost impossible to climb out of poverty. When communities live in poverty and cannot afford to properly dispose of human waste, already scarce water sources become even more polluted. It is a vicious cycle.
09/27/2013 03:37 EDT
Across the world, vast areas of oceans and lakes are running out of oxygen, making it nearly impossible for marine life to survive. In the 1960s, there were 49 dead zones throughout the ocean; today there are more than 400 and the number is still growing. When water becomes too low in oxygen, or "hypoxic," marine life flees and everything that is too slow or cannot move will die, creating a dead zone. This will not go away on its own.
09/20/2013 12:26 EDT
Small pieces of plastic are capable of absorbing other forms of pollution in seawater. Mercury, PCBs, DDT and oily pollutants attach to plastic, so when animals consume plastic, the pollutants attached to them enter their bodies and move up the food chain, ultimately to the humans who eat seafood.
09/13/2013 05:44 EDT
The biggest learning lesson from our trip down the Ganges is that even the holiest and most worshipped river on Earth is still vulnerable to the same threats that currently face every other major river system in the world today. How can we accept this unprecedented rate of destruction?
09/05/2013 12:16 EDT
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