Author: Mike Soszynski

About The Author

Mike Soszynski

Mike Soszynski graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Rutgers University with a Masters in Public Policy in 2012 & 2015 respectively. He currently works for a community development nonprofit based in New York City and enjoys riding his bicycle, punk music, and baking. Mike also likes birds, eating doughnuts, and public land.

Taiwan Moves to Save Their Beaches by Banning Plastic Bags and Straws

Taiwan is set to ramp up its fight against plastic waste. With an announcement last week, their Environmental Protection Department released a plan with targets for limiting and phasing out use of single-use plastic bags, straws, takeout containers, utensils, and cups. According to the plan, officials and civic groups estimate that by 2030 Taiwan will have a complete ban on all of these single-use plastics that are piling up on beaches and polluting the sea. The “Taiwan Marine Waste Management Action Plan” contains specific dates and a timeline for the phaseout of different varieties of single-use items. For instance free...

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Vets Called on to ‘Fix’ Cat Overpopulation in the May Spay Challenge

Kitten season is coming. Unfortunately, “kitten season” does not mean happy, loved kittens posing for selfies in warm, caring homes. It means an unmanageable influx of cats brought to shelters and a significant portion of them being put down because of overcrowding. In response, a national nonprofit is preparing for its annual campaign to address the issue. Alley Cat Rescue (ACR) is ramping up for their May Spay Challenge. The Challenge calls on veterinarians to pledge to spay or neuter at least one feral cat each week in May. “Veterinarians are an important part of trap-neuter-return and many cat caretakers...

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Elephants Win! Hong Kong To Ban Domestic Ivory Sales

Hong Kong’s government has voted to end the domestic sale of ivory. The autonomous territory will gradually phase out the trade, and by 2021 ivory sales will be completely banned. This move follows China’s plan to ban the domestic sale of ivory taking effect December 31, 2017. This vote was a critical step forward. According to Hong Kong lawmaker Ted Hui, “Hong Kong is one of the last havens for smugglers to conduct their activities with impunity.” Though the territory abides by the 1990 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, which banned the international trade of ivory, it has...

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This Major City Will Run Out of Water in 90 Days

In an estimated 90 days, Cape Town will be the first major city to run out of water. This is not hyperbole or hype— when reservoirs hit 13.5% capacity, the city will turn off the taps for all but essential services. Cape Town once received an abundance of water in winter. But a lack of rain in recent years has put the city of 3.7 million people in a severe dry spell. It is in the midst of the worst drought it has faced in a century. Despite efforts by the municipal government to curb consumption, residents continue to...

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It’s Not Just Human Bloodshed: War is Killing our Wildlife, Too

The effects of war on human populations are generally well documented. With some exceptions, the harm done to animals and ecosystems is considered only as an afterthought (if at all). But this week, in a letter in science journal Nature, researchers shifted the focus and examined how war in Africa effects large mammals. What does war do to elephants, hippos, warthogs or zebras? Researchers found that the frequency of war is strongly linked to declines in populations of large mammals. During war, organizations set up to protect wildlife lose the capacity to maintain their programs and defend nature reserves. As local residents struggle to make ends meet...

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