Archive for BBC
This evening (24th January) at 6:10, Plastic Shores director Edward Scott-Clarke will be on BBC Wiltshire talking about the film. Shortly after at 7:30, a screening is taking place in Salisbury, Wiltshire with Ed holding a Q&A afterwards. Organised by Agenda 21, the showing is part of a broader fund-raising attempt to raise money to create a shorter version of Plastic Shores for schools across the country.
Top Gear may be one of the most popular programmes on the BBC but, it appears, this has not stopped it breaching the channel’s editorial guidelines on numerous occasions. According to the BBC’s guidelines, its programmes must be of ”the highest standards of due accuracy and impartiality and strive to avoid knowingly and materially misleading our audiences.” The most recent example of Top Gear’s breach of these guidelines was revealed by Nissan, whose new electric LEAF was being tested by the programme’s Jeremy Clarkson and James May. In the programme, the two drove the car to Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire, 60 miles away from the Top Gear studio. The car unexpectedly ran out of battery and had to be pushed by the time it got to Lincoln. Fortunately for Nissan, the car had a monitoring device in it that transmits data on the state of the battery. This discovered that although Nissan delivered the car to Top Gear fully charged, the programme’s producers ran the battery down so that by the time Messrs Clarkson and May set off, the LEAF was only 40% charged. Furthermore, the car dashboard would’ve told the duo how far they could have travelled on that charge and so the ‘unexpectedness’ of the breakdown shouldn’t have been particularly significant. And on top of all this, in order to stage this ‘unexpected’ breakdown, the car was driven in ‘loops’ for 10 miles until it ran out of battery. When confronted by this revelation, Mr Clarkson said, ”That’s how TV works.” Top Gear is also being sued by electric sports car manufacturer Tesla, after the programme claimed, among other things, that the Tesla Roadster’s true range on a full-charge of battery was only 55 miles, rather than the 211 the company claimed.
The link above is a short clip of BBC presenter Simon Reeve visiting Kamilo Beach in Hawaii. LMV was out there at the end of March and it is a truly sad spectacle. From a distance the beach looks quite colourful. That is until you look more closely. The sand is full of bits of blue, orange, pink and black plastic. On top of that lies a solid mass of twisted plastic products from bottles to baby chairs, baskets to buoys. The Hawaii Wildlife Fund organises regular cleanups of the area but the plastic tide keeps bringing more ashore. Unfortunately, most of this does not come from Hawaii but from the western USA and eastern Asia. We even found a black plastic box with the logo CCCP on the side. This is the old Russian acronym for the Soviet Union, which disbanded in 1991 meaning the box had been floating in the Pacific Gyre for at least 20 years.
www.independent.co.uk 6th December 2010
Numbers of captive pandas in China have risen above the critical 300 mark, allowing conservationists to begin releasing the bears into the wild. The success is due, in part, to an innovative breeding technique developed by Chinese scientists at the panda-breeding centre in Chengdu, Sichuan. Around 50% of panda births are twins but the mother invariably abandons one of the cubs. Experts at the centre have overcome this problem by incubating the abandoned cubs and swapping them with their sibling up to ten times a day. Apparently the mother panda cannot distinguish between the two and happily continues rearing the twins as if they were one. The centre, which is funded mostly by loaning pandas out to foreign zoos for a cost of $1 million a year, has been so successful in ensuring the survival of panda twins that almost all make it to adulthood. Other innovative action such as artificial insemination and careful study of the female panda’s ovulation cycle means that the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding alone will produce 140 cubs in 2010. Reintroduction of captive pandas is a contentious issue. The only previous attempt ended in disaster four years ago when a lone male was found dead, probably mauled by a rival. Panda habitats are also in peril due to ongoing human development. Much development goes ahead despite the designating of areas as conservation zones. Just 2,000 pandas survive in the wild due to poaching and habitat destruction.
The twin swapping technique has been captured on film by BBC2 in a documentary narrated by David Attenborough to be aired next week.
e360.yale.edu 5th November 2010
Quoted from source:
‘An examination of dead loggerhead turtles in the Adriatic Sea found that one-third of the turtles had swallowed marine debris — including plastic bags, rope, foam, and fishing line — an indication of the impact of trash and pollution in a critical feeding ground for the turtles. One of the turtles had ingested 15 pieces of plastic that nearly filled its stomach, according to researchers from the University of Zagreb. That was enough to “probably cause the death of this individual,” one of the team members told the BBC. The shallow waters of the northern Adriatic — a critical feeding area for Mediterranean turtles — are also among the most polluted waters in Europe, according to the research team’s study, published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin. And while the full impact on wildlife is unknown, the scientists say the pollution is likely harmful, if not fatal, to a range of creatures, from large mammals to invertebrates. “Loggerheads are opportunistic feeders which will eat almost anything that is in front of them and plastic stays around for a very long time in the sea,” said Romana Gracan, a researcher at the University of Zagreb. ‘