Through the lens | Global Ideas | DW | 27.04.2017
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Global Ideas

Through the lens

Marching protesters, marching crabs, plastic eating moths and fake clouds. Join us as we take a look through the lens at some green events from around the world over the past week.

The March for Science was everywhere this past week. Literally. More than 600 cities across the world participated, celebrating Earth Day and the role of science in our everyday lives. Although the event was explicitly non-partisan, many participants voiced their concerns about the Trump administration's agenda on science.

A march of an entirely different kind is currently underway in Cuba. After the first spring rains, land crabs are crawling out of the underbrush on the Carribbean island and making their way to the ocean by the millions. They do this every year to deposit their eggs and sperm in the sea. The crustaceans are so numerous that they wreak havok in the streets, puncturing car tires and invading homes.

The great wax moth made some unexpected news this week when scientists discovered that the insects can digest plastic.They suspect this is made possible by an enzyme in their bodies. The parasitic caterpillars lay their eggs in honeycombs in beehives and since bee's wax, like plastic, is a polymer, it sort of makes sense that the creepy crawlies might be able to digest both. Researchers have high hopes that this discovery could eventually offer a way to effectively breakdown the plastic trash that is increasingly choking life on planet earth. 

And speaking of scientific solutions to takle environmental problems: Researchers in Australia have proposed artificial clouds as a way to save the Great Barrier Reef - or to at least to buy it some time. The coral on the world's largest reef system is dying due to rising water temperatures, so the scientists have proposed spraying salt into the atmosphere to boost the formation of water droplets, resulting in larger, denser clouds and thus cooler temperatures. The process only has a minor impact on the environment and would only be used when the water gets too hot. Unfortunately it is only a quick fix. To really save the reef, we'll have to do more to combat climate change.

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