For any new readers, when I can on a Sunday I round up the week’s environmental news/points of note. Here is what I found this week:
1. Whilst coronavirus set off a sudden plunge in global greenhouse gas emissions, the amount of greenhouse gases actually in the air just hit a record high. May 2020 saw the highest monthly average value of CO2 ever recorded. We have so much work to do.
2. Face masks and latex gloves have become a new environmental problem. To be clear, I am for the use of masks and gloves to help fight this pandemic but we have to be responsible in how we dispose of them.
“Environmentalists tend to be well-meaning, forward-thinking people who believe in preserving the planet for generations to come. They will buy reusable cups, wear ethically made clothing, and advocate for endangered species; however, many are hesitant to do the same for endangered Black lives, and might be unclear on why they should.“
4. This is a useful piece on the links between racism and the environment. Somini says she has put together a quick reading list about climate change and social inequities, but there is a lot there to get started with.
5. The five biggest banks financing destructive oil projects in the Amazon. If you bank with HSBC then it’s time to move your money if you can. I promise to write an updated guide to ethical banks soon – it’s been on my to-do list for an embarrassing amount of time!
6. China has raised protection for pangolins by removing their scales from the official listing of ingredients approved for use in traditional Chinese medicine. Animal protection groups say this is a key step in stamping out trade in what is the world’s most trafficked mammal, and which has also been identified as a possible host for Covid-19.
7. “Life attracts life” – the Irish farmers realising that more regenerative forms of agriculture is the way forward when it comes to farming.
“It is no secret that the environmental movement’s history is red with the blood of Indigenous genocide. Many of the movement’s founding fathers, such as Madison Grant, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold, were white supremacists that created the language of conservation to accommodate racialized conceptions of nature. Inspired by European Romanticism, these conceptions laid the groundwork for establishing environments worth protecting, and for whom.”
9. Britain has gone coal-free for 2 months now – the longest period since the start of the industrial revolution. Renewables are generating more power than all fossil fuels put together. However, going beyond the headlines, it’s important to note that gas, another fossil fuel, has contributed around a third of the power to the grid during the coal-free period, so we still have some way to go.
10. Finally, got an old phone lying around in a drawer? Hubbub is calling for donations of old phones (and its charger if possible), for cleaning and refurbishment, and donation to vulnerable people without a phone to help them get connected during COVID-19.
Until next week,
ps: catch up on last week’s Ten Things post here, in case you missed it.