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Waste, sustainability and conservation: all buzzwords in the conversation around global warming and pollution. But what do they really mean? During this evening, our speakers will discuss some of the environmental issues facing our planet – plastic pollution in our oceans, carbon dioxide emissions, and energy sources – and how we can address them.
Antarctic Ocean: the "other dead end" of plastic debris
Clara Manno (Scientist, British Antarctic Survey)
Around 80% of all the litter in our oceans is plastic. Observations of plastics debris in both Polar Oceans suggest that they have already spread across the world and thus recognized as one of the most important worldwide threats for oceans. Antarctic Ocean is thought to be a highly isolated, pristine wilderness but can become the last frontier of the plastic debris.
Disposing of Industrial Carbon Dioxide Waste: Geological Carbon Storage
Alexandra Maskell (Research Associate, Department of Earth Sciences)
In the first 11 months of 2017, 1167 metric tonnes of waste carbon dioxide were released into the atmosphere every second! As carbon dioxide molecules float around the atmosphere, they trap heat in the lower atmosphere. If we want to avoid a runaway heat effect, then waste carbon dioxide needs to be captured and stored. The only viable way to deal with the sheer volume of this waste is geological carbon storage.
One Lonely Thought
How do ordinary people respond to global problems like climate change? When something is so huge and feels so abstract, how do we make it tangible so people feel like they can be part of the solution? That was the challenge facing Steven Day when he left a highly-successful corporate career to set up renewable energy brand Pure Planet. The answer, he believes, is to look at the small changes we can all make, starting with switching to 100% renewable energy.