Author

Wendy Graham

weekend links

Ten Things

bird plate

Hello! How’s it going? This week I took my kids berry picking at a local pick your own farm and they had the most fun. It kept my kids entertained, and we took home punnets of plastic-free locally grown fruit. Double win! My biggest problem was trying to stop my youngest from eating the fruit as she picked it…!

This week’s links:

1. Almost 30,000 species face extinction because of human activity mainly due to overfishing, hunting, land development, and poor agricultural practices.

2. Skipping a flight might not save the Arctic, but it means you care.

The way we’re fighting global heating… unknowingly embodies the belief system that caused it in the first place. Locked in a “war mentality”, focused on fear-based appeals about the need to avert catastrophe in order to save our species, we’re being as instrumentalist as any corporate polluter, trying to manipulate the world to our ends, treating nature as a “thing”, separate from ourselves, that we need to control. Eisenstein argues for a “deeper revolution”, in which we understand that we are nature. Everything is. And one consequence is to realise that the standard question we ask about climate-related lifestyle changes – “What direct and measurable difference am I making?” – might not be the right one“.

3. Midwestern farmers’ struggles with extreme weather are visible from space. Corn and soybean have been worst affected by unprecedented heavy rain in the US.

4. We went to the moon. Why can’t we solve climate change?

Fifty years after humans first left bootprints in the lunar dust… why not do it all over again — but instead of going to another astronomical body and planting a flag, why not save our own planet? Why not face it with the kind of inspiration that John F. Kennedy projected when he stood up at Rice University in 1962 and said “We choose to go to the moon,” and to do such things “ … not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win …”

5. Cigarette butts are the most commonly littered plastic item in the world (yup, cigarette butts are plastic) with a staggering 4.5 trillion being littered each year.

Now, as well as the plastic problem, it’s been found that the butts are causing serious damage to the environment by impacting on plant growth. In areas where cigarette butt littering is prevalent, scientists have found that plants have significantly reduced germination and growth rates.

6. For the first time ever, scientists have identified how many trees to plant and where to plant them to help stop our climate crisis.

7. Related: Costa Rica has doubled its tropical rainforests in just a few decades, which in turn has created 18,000 jobs and indirectly supports a further 30,000. This was the story I needed to read right now – studies have shown that tree planting is the number one way to help reduce the impacts of climate change and it’s great to see it being done in a way that is simultaneously benefiting the local communities.

I’m hoping we can do the same in Scotland. When we talk about deforestation, we mostly think of tropical rainforests, but it has happened world wide. Here in Scotland shamefully only 5% of Scotland’s Caledonia Forest remains – Scotland’s rainforest. I donate monthly to Trees for Life, who are helping to restore this particular forest. If you are in a financial position to do so please consider financially supporting local reforestation projects. If you’re not, sharing the work that these projects are doing with your friends and family is also a huge help, to help raise awareness.

8. Did you know the UN offers a Climate Change Teacher Academy for teachers, providing free training for primary and secondary school teachers? This arms them with the knowledge they need to introduce climate change into other parts of the curriculum. This article on the first batch of UK teachers to graduate from the programme was a great read. Do share with any teacher friends!

9. What went right in the world between January and June. So much goodness in there.

10. Finally, Jamaica’s answer to tackling beach rubbish is certainly novel!

That’s it for now – enjoy your weekend!

Wendy.x

weekend links

Ten Things

Braemar Scotland

Hello! Lovely to have you back!

I’ve been on a no-fly holiday for the last two weeks. We headed up to the north of Scotland, first to the Cairngorms, where we spent a wonderful few days doing all our favourite Cairngorms activities. Lots of walking, lunches in our favourite cafe and general chilling out.

Then we headed even further north, staying in a very cosy witches hut on the Moray coast. We booked our hut through Airbnb. Airbnb does have its problems (I don’t have to look much further than Edinburgh to see what Airbnb has done to property prices and communities) but we are generally careful to only stay in properties that are clearly for holiday purposes, and couldn’t be used residentially. If you’re careful with where you book you can have a lovely holiday that benefits the local economy – here’s £25 off your first booking with Airbnb* (affiliate link).

The Moray coast is one of my very favourite parts of Scotland, and I was excited to go back to visit some of our favourite spots there – Findhorn Bay is definitely a highlight – before we made the journey back home.

On to this week’s links:

1. In installment #50987 of the world is complicated, the EU wants to restrict the use of palm oil in biofuels, with plans to phase it out completely by 2030. However, the plans have angered big palm oil producing nations like Indonesia and Malaysia, whose economies are dependent on the commodity. The Indonesian president has warned they will retaliate by lowering corporate taxes, easing labour laws, and lifting restrictions on foreign ownership if the restriction goes ahead.

2. Investors are beginning to pull out of investing in fossil fuel companies.

Asset managers Sarasin said the company’s plans to use shareholder funds to invest in fossil fuels and grow production were not aligned with global ambitions to limit temperature rises. “It cannot be in the interests of the millions of people whose long-term savings are invested in your company, for you to produce fossil fuels in such volume that planetary stability is threatened

Here’s a handy article if you are looking to divest your savings from fossil fuels.

3. The Arctic is on fire, releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than Sweden does in an entire year

4. A Dutch airline is asking customers not to fly if they don’t have to.

Its campaign will doubtless prompt claims of green-washing: raising ticket prices or scrapping routes would be a much simpler way to curtail emissions. KLM knows the train isn’t really an alternative to its many long-haul flights… However, KLM’s intervention does at least look like an acknowledgment that the unconstrained growth anticipated by the aerospace and aviation industries is irresponsible“.

5. I liked this article on hope and why it’s time to change the climate disaster script. Related: let’s get talking.

6. In case you’re in any doubt that fast fashion isn’t a feminist issue then read this.

7. A court in Ecuador has upheld a ruling that prevents the Ecuadorian government from selling land in the Amazon rainforest to oil companies, in this historic win for the Waorani indigenous tribe living there.

8. Why electric cars aren’t the promised panacea.

9. David Attenborough urges us that we cannot be radical enough when it comes to acting on climate breakdown.

10. Finally, just when you couldn’t love Morgan Freeman any more, he goes and does this.

Over and out.

Wendy.x