Eco News

Eco News

Ten Things – 4th August 2019

Hello there! This week I have been enjoying the video of the lady in the red raincoat in 1977. So fascinating! I’ve also been enjoying this Facebook group – terrible art in charity shops – so good in every way! But without further ado, on to this week’s environmental news.

1. It’s official, July was the hottest month in human history.

In cities and towns around the world, record high temperatures outpaced record low temperatures on nearly a 3-to-1 basis during July, underscoring the fact that this crisis is being felt almost everywhere, by almost everyone.

But there’s an added absurdity to this crisis. In its annual Statistical Review of World Energy released a few weeks ago, the global oil giant BP confirmed that in 2018 the world burned the most fossil fuels of any year in history. In short: Our addiction to fossil fuels is getting worse and worse even as the planet gets hotter and hotter”.

2. This week Greenland lost 11 billion tons of surface ice. In one day. This caused sea levels to rise by 0.5mm. In one day. Temperatures are currently up to 9C above the 1981 to 2010 average, and it may be the second-largest melt event – in terms of surface area of melt – since records began in the 1950s.

3. Ethiopians planted 350 million trees. In 12 hours.

4. Government intervention works – plastic bag sales fell by 90% in the four years since the 5p plastic bag charge was introduced in England.

5. Fossil fuels are becoming a toxic market – BlackRock, the world’s biggest fund manager and the single largest investor in the global coal industry, has lost $90bn investing in fossil fuel companies. What a crying shame. Let’s get the violins out for them, shall we?

6. Three steps to a more diverse green movement.

In 2015, Craig Bennett (Chief of Friends of the Earth) referred to the green movement as a “white, middle class ghetto”. This condemnation of the green movement was widely acknowledged, however, 4 years later, little has changed in the movement to make it more inclusive and relevant to a broader and more diverse variety of people“.

7. “This is the beginning of the end of the beef industry” – alternative meats aren’t going to stay alternative for long, and cattle are looking more and more like stranded assets,

8. “Zero waste swaps I’m not making“. Seconded on the dental and sun care products. See also medication.

9. “It’s grown-ups who are doing this and other grown-ups who are letting it happen” – on why if you want to change the world then talk to kids.

10. I’ll end this week’s post with this article on a vampire tree stump. It’s undead and feasting on other trees. Trees. Infinitely fascinating. Seriously – see also exhibit b and exhibit c and tell me trees don’t fascinate you either.


PS: catch up on last week’s Ten Things post here, and find some top tips on how to save fuel when driving.

Eco News

Ten Things – 28th July 2019

peaches come from a can they were put there by a man in a factory down town

Man alive, it’s been hot. Unless you’ve been living in an actual cave, you’ll know that temperature records were set this week across western Europe. We will no doubt have to get used to temperature records, and other extreme weather records, being smashed on a regular basis. I’ve been finding this climate mood flow chart useful – do something!

What has your ‘something’ been this week? I emailed my local MP using this handy template from Mothers Rise Up. In case you missed it, our new Environment Minister backs fracking so we need public pressure on our MPs to prioritise action on climate change.

1. 12 Years to Save the Planet? Critical decisions must be made within the next 18 months.

2. Carbon offsetting schemes aren’t working.

3. The world is literally on fire – so why is it business as usual for politicians?

We need to significantly change our behaviour and, even more importantly, overhaul our economic system. After all, only 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. You know all this already; we all do. But our politicians still are not taking meaningful action. Capitalism is carrying on with business as usual. The world is literally on fire – and it feels as though we are fiddling with paper straws while it burns”.

4. Environmentalism is a black issue.

We live in pollution, play around it, work for it and pray against it. Hell, we even sing about it. Black women are everyday environmentalists; we just don’t get the headlines too often.

Rarely do we see or hear black voices as part of national conversations about policy solutions, the green economy or clean energy. We’re relegated to providing a comment on environmental justice issues like the water crisis in Flint; or we’re the faces in the photos when candidates need to show that they’re inclusive when talking about climate solutions.

5. Those who look for climate change-related information on YouTube are more likely to stumble upon conspiracy theories than real science.

6. I love this approach to stop hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada, where animals like black bears, wolves and cougars can still be legally killed as trophies – a conservation group is buying up all the licenses.

The ultimate goal of Raincoast is to buy all commercial hunting licences in the 64,000 square kilometres of the Great Bear Rainforest, so the area will be protected not only from trophy hunters, but also political whims. In 2002, for instance, the Liberal government scrapped the short-lived ban on grizzly hunting brought in by the former NDP government.

The organization also hopes that, by eliminating the need for governments to compensate tenure holders, it will remove a major disincentive to restrict trophy hunting of other species.

However, everything depends on Raincoast’s capacity to fundraise and, unless there is a massive cash donation, not all offers to sell tenures can be immediately accepted“.

7. Why the lawnmower must die.

It does not make sense for rich countries to demand that less developed countries in the Global South keep their forests standing when we are importing agricultural commodities from them that we could have grown ourselves locally but chose not to because of our love of ornamental little patches of grass. The crops they grow for our markets replace the forests we need to sustain life on Earth.

Vegetable patches, allotments, orchards and all forms of regenerative agriculture provide much more habitat for wild species like endangered butterflies and hedgehogs then do lawns whilst also massively reducing the ecological impact of food production. An effective response to global ecological breakdown requires us to change the way we use land, not just in distant, exotic places, but also immediately around where we live”.

8. I’m an ordinary person who joined an Extinction Rebellion blockade. Here’s why you should too.

I am an ordinary mid-career professional. I work a nine-to-five job in the city, and I’m well respected and growing in my career. I have never broken the law. And recently, I joined Extinction Rebellion, blockading traffic.

I have never done anything like this before. It was way out of my comfort zone, and I felt like vomiting at the idea. But climate change makes me want to vomit even more. I am a scientist, and I can say with confidence: the science is absolutely terrifying. So I went“.

9. Zara’s quest for sustainability reveals the limits of fast fashion.

10. Finally, a reminder that the most sustainable thing is the thing you already own.


ps: In case you missed it, find the 21st July post here.