winter blog reading

Hello! Are you keeping cosy in this cold weather? We’ve had snow and ice and all sorts, so I’ve been spending some time in front of the fire this week researching my family tree.

It’s been so fascinating. I knew that some of my family were miners, but it turns out I’m from a really long line of coal miners, which is somewhat funny given that I’m an advocate for keeping the stuff in the ground! I wonder what all of these many mining ancestors would make of the world today.

1.The EU is proposing a ban on 90% of micro-plastic pollutants. It is “unknown for now” whether the measure would apply in the UK after Brexit.

The draft law targets microplastics that are not necessary but have been added to products by manufacturers for convenience or profit, and would target cosmetics, detergents, paints, polish and coatings, as well as products in the construction, agriculture and fossil fuels sectors.

2. Did you know there are over 400 free Ivy League University short courses that anyone, anywhere in the world, regardless of educational background, can study online for free, most of them at your own pace?

I’ve had a scan through the full list and the ones most aligned with sustainability are: The Ethics of Eating (Cornell University); The Age of Sustainable Development (Columbia University); The Health Effects of Climate Change (Harvard University); Backyard Meteorology: The Science of Weather (Harvard University); Shark Conservation (Cornell and Queensland Universities); The Climate-Energy Challenge (Harvard); Introduction to Environmental Science (Dartmouth University); and Feeding the World (Pennsylvania University).

All fascinating stuff! I’m thinking about the shark one, or the ethics of eating. If you study a course, do let me know – I’d love to hear your experiences.

3. We need a new lexicon.

In an epic feat of brand mismanagement, the climatologists who first began ringing the alarm that Earth was on a crash course for inhospitality called the situation “global warming.” That remains accurate, on a planetary scale: 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, based on global annual temperatures… But that term, “global warming,” is too easily misconstrued, too easily manipulated by bad-faith actors like US president Donald Trump,
who point to cold weather events or rainstorms and say “how could Earth be turning hot and dry when it’s colder and raining more than ever?

4. Plastic or paper – which type of bag is greener?

5. What happened when an entire village went almost waste-free. It really shows you what can happen when a community comes together to work towards a shared goal.

6. Beyonce encourages her fans to go vegan by offering free concert tickets for life in return for committing to eating more vegan meals.

7. The biggest climate victories of 2018.

8. This is American based but it’s a great example of what happens when you campaign on climate action and win.

9. Carbon capture to fight climate change is dividing environmentalists.

10. Finally, this was a good read from Grist on where to move to in order to escape climate change.

Spoiler: “the future isn’t for sure, but running away from the problem ensures that it will be“.

That’s it for this week’s Ten Things. Whatever you do today, keep warm!


ps: catch up with 27th January’s post here, if you missed it.

Found this post useful?  You can buy me a virtual coffee to help support the site’s running costs.  You can also sign up for the free Moral Fibres monthly newsletter to get all the latest eco news and ideas straight to your inbox.