Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.
Shark fin soup, your days are numbered — at least when it comes to official Chinese state banquets, after a new regulation was enacted that bans dishes made from shark fins, bird nests, and other wild animal products at official events.
According to a release from the Xinhua state news agency, the new regulation was issued jointly by the general offices of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, and seeks to avoid the use of public funding on these controversial products.
Wildlife products aren’t the only items covered by the new regulation: officials also are no longer allowed to serve either cigarettes or upmarket liquors at official dinners, and cannot stay in suite rooms on business trips. Meanwhile, local hosts are banned from giving gifts to the officials who visit them.
Sharks may look fierce, but are actually disappearing in huge numbers thanks to human culinary preferences. Figures from the Hong Kong Shark Foundation estimate that 73 million sharks are harvested each year, creating considerable gaps in the ocean ecosystem.
“It’s going to have a great impact on society, because what the government does shows leadership in society and then the corporate sector will quickly follow suit,” said Alex Hofford, executive director of the marine conservation group MyOceanto AFP of the choice.
“From a cultural point of view, it’s pretty important that they… recognize how outdated traditions can be left by the wayside eventually like footbinding and slavery — why not shark fins?” he said.
Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China
Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti
“Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA
Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.
Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada
Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway
Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.
Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.
Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million
Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.
Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.
Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico
Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.
Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.
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