Environment

Five ways we are exposed to microplastics every day

When humans began mass usage of plastic in the 1940s, it was a miracle and a blessing. It brought more convenience to our lives and some products became more affordable when they were packaged in plastic. But because plastic isn’t easily biodegradable, the disposal of this polymer has become a massive problem in just a few...

Big Smile, No Teeth: As the Amazon burns, world leaders move urgently to … uninspire us

When the G7 countries met recently in Paris, they discussed the big issue on everyone’s minds: the ongoing burning of the Amazon rainforest in a series of devasting fires. Naturally, you’d hope some inspiring climate leadership would emerge when Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States meet. But nothing did. In fact,...

Human Writes: An electric bus transport system is the answer to our traffic and air pollution woes

Some of the world’s most congested cities are in South-East Asia. Horrendous jams and hour-long commutes are the norm in Manila and Bangkok. Jakarta once won a “World’s Worst Traffic” award. Kuala Lumpur folk talk about traffic jams like the Brits chat about the weather. Singapore is the exception, with its efficient public transport system. Cities...

Good for the planet, bad for the brain

The momentum behind a move to plant-based and vegan diets for the good of the planet is commendable, but risks worsening an already low intake of an essential nutrient involved in brain health, warns a nutritionist in the online journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health. Choline is an essential dietary nutrient, but the amount produced...

A new trail for adventurers in Brazil

Luiz Pedreira walks with other hikers beneath the Atlantic Forest’s thick canopy in Brazil, where an 8,000km trail stretching the full length of the country is being opened up. He says he hopes that the creation of the trail, one of the world’s longest, will raise awareness about the fragility of the forest – long...

How the dengue virus spread around the world

I read about the recent rise in cases of dengue fever in Malaysia. How common is dengue fever around the world? Dengue fever is extremely common around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers dengue fever as the most critical mosquito-spread viral disease globally. In the past 50 years, there has been a 30-fold increase in...

Fishing for rubbish at Amsterdam’s famous canals

Equipped with fishing rods and thick gloves, a group of people peers into the water from one of the many boats that line Amsterdam’s famous canals. But it’s not fish they’re hunting on their cruise along one of the Dutch capital’s most famous tourist attractions – it’s plastic. With eco-tourism booming around the world, the canal...

‘We’re consuming the equivalent of one credit card a week from various sources’

By SL WONG While he was undergoing a health check-up, Malaysian marine biologist Dr Yusof Shuaib Ibrahim had a question for his doctor: “Can you observe plastic in the human gut?” (Photo above shows microplastics on a beach in the Canary Islands; marine animals end up ingesting 5mm pieces that can travel up the food chain and into human stomachs. Photo: 123rf.com) Consultant gastroenterologist...

Extinction rate of flora, fauna, animals is a crisis of humanity

More than 1,300 conservationists from 87 countries descended on Kuala Lumpur to attend one of the world’s biggest conferences on conservation biology. Themed “Conservation Beyond Boundaries: Connecting Biodiversity With Communities, Governments And Stakeholders”, the Inter-national Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) was held for the first time in Malaysia. The five-day event at the Kuala Lumpur Convention...