Replay–Robot Shark Devours Marine Trash, Eden in England? Help End Coal! Meet Climate Heroes

by | Jul 22, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Robot shark devours marine trash, plus Eden in England? Help end coal, and meet Climate Heroes!



Before the rise of regenerative agriculture, increased human farm production often necessitated increasingly large petrochemical nutrient “inputs.” Increasingly, those nutrients seep into surface and ground water which in turn acts as a growth enabler of waterborne plants and other fauna. This “supercharging” of natural elements in the water causes an imbalance in the natural state of the water body and can have devastating side effects. 

This is called biomass, and it can have severe consequences for aquatic ecosystems, reducing oxygen and building toxins in the water. That can lead to plant and marine animal die-off and methane gas emissions production. No bueno.

That’s why RanMarine developed the autonomous, robotic marine drone, the Waste Shark. RanMarine Technology specializes in the design and development of industrial autonomous surface vessels (ASV’s) for ports, harbours and other marine and water environments. It’s called the Waste Shark because it looks like a shark, mouth wide open, gobbling up biomass and trash in ports, harbors and marinas. It also features onboard data sensing, allowing the operator to harvest things like turbidity, pH levels, nitrogen and depth. And with 3 km (about 1.9 miles) of radio range, the Waste Shark can be used manually or autonomously with online control.

Look, at only about five feet by three and half feet in size, it’s going to take a whole lot of Waste Sharks to clean up all the biomass and plastic polluting surface waters around the world. But it’s a great start. And that’s why this matters to us. Because you have to try. You have to try.

DEEPER DIVE: Anaerobic Conditions, WasteShark, GlobeStats



You know, if all the plastic and all the biomass were cleaned up from the planet, we might just return to Eden. Which reminds me that one of the underreported but significant sites at this past G7 summit in Cornwall, England, is The Eden Project.

The Eden Project is an educational charity that connects humans with nature, exploring how people can work towards a better future. It was started by British music producer Sir Tim Smit back in 1996.

Smit was inspired to build the Eden Project after helping to restore the Lost Gardens of Heligan, considered one of the most popular of 19th Century Gardenesque-style gardens built at the mega-estates of Britain’s uber-wealthy. Those gardens were lost in the second half of WWII.  The last living relative of the Lost Gardens’ family is John Willis. 

Smit’s and John Willis’s restoration proved to be an outstanding success, not only revitalising the gardens but also the local economy around Heligan by providing employment. From that success came the Eden Project.

The Eden Project complex is dominated by two huge enclosures consisting of adjoining domes that house thousands of plant species,[3] and each enclosure mimics a natural biome. The larger of the two biomes simulates a rainforest environment (and is the largest indoor rainforest in the world)[4] and the second, a Mediterranean environment. The attraction also has an outside botanical garden which is home to many plants and wildlife native to Cornwall and the UK in general; it also has many plants that provide an important and interesting backstory, for example, those with a prehistoric heritage.

Not sure if this matters to us, but In 2016, Eden became home to Europe’s second-largest redwood forest (after the Giants Grove at Birr Castle, Birr Castle, Ireland) when forty saplings of coast redwoods were planted there.  

DEEPER DIVE: Eden Project, Wikipedia, Tim Smit


Did you know there are more than 13,100 coal fired plants around the planet? does. Their website tracks the status of those 13,179 coal plants, from permitted to under construction to retired to mothballed and even cancelled. The good news is of those 13, 179 coal-fired units, over 2,600 have been cancelled and 334 have been shelved.

 And this is why matters to us. According to their website, coal is the single biggest contributor to climate change. Thanks to efforts by EndCoal and its coalition, In the European Union, 109 proposed coal-fired power plants have been defeated. Due to China’s air pollution crisis, mainly caused by massive coal burning, 10 of China’s 34 provinces have pledged to peak and decline their coal consumption and have banned the construction of new coal-fired power plants. 

International financial institutions such as the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank have adopted policies restricting or eliminating support for coal plants. The US and several European countries have also enacted bans on financing coal. Most recently and forcefully at the latest G7 meeting, the richest nations will end all coal financing by the end of 2021.

US groups have defeated 179 new coal-fired power plants, and more than 200 existing plants are slated for retirement. Coal-burning in the US actually peaked in 2007 and has dropped by an astonishing 21%. BTW, did you know U.S. coal plant retirements were up 67% during the Trump Administration compared to Obama’s?

(Isn’t it ironic?…)

DEEPER DIVE: EndCoal, Report



 A little while ago, I Googled “climate heroes” looking for some, well, climate heroes. I was surprised to discover there’s actually a website called! It calls itself a “multimedia storytelling platform: we produce documentaries about the women and men around the world who fight tirelessly to protect our environment and mitigate climate change.”

The goal of the founders of Climate Heroes is to inspire thought and foster change, hopefully provoking others to join the movement and act for the planet by sharing stories and actions that bring actual solutions. Climate Heroes was founded in Paris, France, by photographer, videographer and producer Max Riché,  

Climate Heroes does not rely on user-generated content to tell its climate heroes’ stories. In other words, Climate Heroes uses a core team of two Asia-based photographers and videographers, Luke Duggleby and Nicolas Axelrod to tell their stories. 

Their criteria for becoming a climate hero? A climate hero has to demonstrate positive impacts, should be local in context, but inspirational globally. The impact must be sustainable, and if part of an organization, the organization must be able to communicate effectively to the public how its projects will have a positive impact on the climate. 

Sounds like the same criteria we have here at The Climate Daily, too!

DEEPER DIVE: ClimateHeroes, YouTube