ten things

weekend links

Ten Things

Hello! There’s not been a lot to write about this week – it’s definitely been a slow news week, climate and environmental news wise ;) I joke – let’s dive straight in because it’s been a busy old week:

This week’s links:

1. After Scotland and Wales both declared climate emergencies this week, Westminster declared a climate emergency on Wednesday, making the UK parliament the first in the world to declare an “environment and climate emergency”. Massive thanks to all involved in Youth Strike 4 Climate and Extinction Rebellion for leading the way and to everyone who contacted their local MP pressing them on this issue. Now we await action.

2. Related: we just might be at a tipping point on how seriously the world treats climate change.

Sometimes it might seem like democracies, with their short political cycles, are unable to take the sort of action on climate change that requires long-term thinking… But democracies, by their inherent nature, are more accountable. That accountability, combined with commitments to global pacts like the Paris agreement, can spur them to act for the greater good. In its report, the UK’s Climate Change Committee said the country should “ideally begin redressing” its historical contributions to global emissions. Setting an ambitious net-zero goal would set an example for other countries to follow. The ease with which the climate-emergency motion passed in parliament shows that Britain’s political parties acknowledge the privileged position its economy commands thanks to its past consumption of fossil fuels.

3. What an interesting read on why your brain doesn’t register the words ‘climate change’.

Which phrase does a better job of grabbing people’s attention: “global warming” or “climate change”? According to recent neuroscience research, the answer is neither. If you want to get people to care, try “climate crisis,” suggests new research from an advertising consulting agency in New York. That phrase got a 60 percent greater emotional response from listeners than our old pal climate change.

4. In California, their latest weapon against climate change is as low-tech as they come – weeds.

5. Biodegradable isn’t the answer.

6. The Government’s fracking commissioner has resigned – citing environmental activists, and them being “highly successful” in encouraging the government to curb fracking as a key part of her resignation. Yesssss – what a victory!

7. Can you be a fashion lover and a feminist at the same time?

8 Climate change activists in the US have begun using a legal argument called the “necessity defense,” which justifies non-violent action taken to prevent a greater harm.

Under this argument, defendants can be acquitted of an act that is technically illegal. Like its better-known cousin, the doctrine of self-defense, it permits a judge and jury to consider context and morality.

9. Following along and offering virtual support with Mothers Rise Up. If you’re in London you can join them on 12th May.

10. Finally, this post by Paul Jarvis on keeping up with the Insta-Joneses is a great piece on consumerism and envy. Don’t have time to read it all – unfollow anyone on social media who makes you feel like you’re not good enough because you’re not wearing the latest clothes, or constantly on fancy holidays.


weekend links

Ten Things

Hi there! I’ve got a fire in my belly – it feels like so much has been happening this week. So many more people seem to be talking about climate change and thinking about how they can help. Have you noticed it too? I really really hope all this talk translates into action and change. We CAN do this.

This week’s links:

1. Could coffee waste replace palm oil? Excitingly, two Scottish entrepreneurs at Revive Eco are working to make this a reality, using the coffee waste from coffee shops. I really hope this succeeds – what a game changer this could be.

There are oils in coffee with a wide range of uses in different industries – cosmetics pharmaceuticals, food and drink, household products – you name it, there’s probably a use there. We’re developing a process to extract and purify these oils. The most exciting part for us is that they have all the same components as palm oil“.

2. Think your actions buying loose fruit and vegetables are just a drop in the ocean? The good news is that collectively we are making a difference – loose fruit and veg sales are actually growing at double the rate of plastic-packed fruit and vegetables in the UK.

3. Before we get too carried away with patting ourselves on the back, it’s worth highlighting that over the course of one week a staggering 35,000 people have signed a petition urging McDonald’s to bring back plastic straws. Whilst I never thought I would be giving McDonald’s credit, McDonald’s isn’t bowing to public pressure and have said that they are doing the right thing, by offering only paper straws and that they are “pleased” to be “taking significant steps to reduce our environmental impact”.

4. This article on Climate Change: The Mother of All Problems is simply superb. Give it a read, all the way to the end – you won’t regret it.

5. Green gas – made from farm and food waste – is now powering 1 million homes in the UK. According to the article, currently only one supplier – Green Energy UK – guarantees all of its gas is green.

5. This quiz on climate change solutions was fun and definitely eye-opening. I won’t ruin any of the questions and answers for you – all I’ll say is try it for yourself!

6. My favourite tweet of the week.

7. Speaking of challenging the system, Extinction Rebellion activists have hailed their protests in London as a “huge success” after data suggested they caused a five-fold increase in online searches for climate change.

8. Hopefully, this new interest and enthusiasm in tackling climate change comes at just the right time. This week alone I’ve read heartbreaking news about giraffes undergoing a silent extinction and the emperor penguin colony that disappeared overnight, losing thousands of chicks.

9. If, after that, you’re feeling downhearted, I was definitely buoyed after reading this piece on the orchestras, the villages, the entire countries all working to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.

I especially loved reading about the Swedish orchestra so determined to cut its emissions that it has promised not to employ any musicians or conductors who travel by air. “We are convinced that we can get all we need in terms of talent and artistic energy from within Europe, and from people living in Europe who come from other parts of the world,” said Fredrik Österling, director of Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, and are calling out to artists, conductors and composers willing to make their way to the Swedish city by train, road or boat.

Remember to share what you have been doing to help the environment.

10. Finally, this week is Fashion Revolution Week – the week when we’re encouraged (more than ever) to demand more transparency in the fashion industry, by asking clothing retailers “who made my clothes”?

There are lots of ways you can take part to help campaign for greater transparency. Here are just some examples:

  • Take a photo with your clothing label and ask the brand on social media #WhoMadeMyClothes?
  • Send an email to brands you have shopped with in the past asking them to disclose more information about their supply chain and manufacturing.
  • Write to a policymaker, asking them what they’re doing to create a fairer, safer, cleaner more transparent fashion industry.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!