It goes way beyond my powers of reasoning to figure out how so many can believe all this blatantly evident garbage. QAnon is probably at the top of the list of stretching belief, but there are also many other other writers, organizations and social media including those of big oil competing to be at the top. All their misleading, even outright lies, on the source and impact of our climate crisis contributes nothing to the betterment of the world and to humankind, just the opposite. How can our society and countries ever come together to battle such darkness? It’s bad enough that so many politicians, including even leaders within the Conservative Party of Canada, amplify such dangerous messages. These liars are literally destroying the world.
Last week I cited a good number of current on-going climate crisis emergencies happening around the globe; it was actually frightening just listing them. People are already suffering all over the world and more and more are being forced from their homes. What we really need is a giant STOP SIGN. We all stop our cars at an intersection with a stop sign, and we surely need one now at the intersection of all our decision making. The current climate events are sufficient warning to stop; the predictions should be causing our foot to pump. We must stop burning fossil fuels at the current rates. We must quickly and drastically reduce their use and increase green energy sources. It’s all feasible, but we are way behind and the energy crisis caused by the Russian war is now taking us backward. We must really stop and think about what we are doing and our leaders must facilitate this. But there is just too much silence.
Going forward though is also not a choice. Minute by minute we’re losing time. You won’t lose any time, though, by reading today’s Planetary Health Weekly (#36 of 2022) for:
CLIMATE & BIODIVERSITY CRISES UPDATES:
What is COP15 (on Biodiversity, upcoming in Montreal), and why does it matter for all life on Earth?
Now ‘inevitable’ that Greenland’s ice cap will melt and cause major sea-level rise, scientists warn,
Major sea-level rise caused my melting of Greenland ice cap is ‘now inevitable,’
‘It’s getting extremely hard’: climate crisis forces China to ration electricity,
Media reaction: What Joe Biden’s landmark climate bill means for climate change,
A smarter transition to electric vehicles,
UN says up to 40% of world’s land is now degraded,
Even modest climate change may lead to major transitions in boreal forests,
Canadian government insists it will meet its 2030 emissions target despite extension for oil and gas sector,
Women most hit by climate change effects – UNDP,
Sahara solar could soon rescue Britain’s broken energy system,
Australia wildfires damaged ozone layer,
In pictures: ‘unprecedented’ flooding in Pakistan,
New wastewater surveillance method detected SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern up to 2 weeks before clinical tests,
Which Covid-19 vaccine saved the most lives in 2021?
Older people who get Covid are at increased risk of getting shingles,
How much death, illness and infections are we willing to live with?
With only a few short months until Cop15 in Montreal, governments are gearing up to create targets on biodiversity for the next decade. The world has so far failed to meet any UN targets on halting the loss of nature, yet awareness of the challenge is greater than ever. Here we examine why this UN meeting matters and how it could herald meaningful action on nature loss.
What is COP15?
Nature is in crisis and for the past three decades governments have been meeting to ensure the survival of the species and ecosystems that underpin human civilization. The Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 saw the creation of three conventions: on climate change, desertification and biodiversity. The aim of the convention on biological diversity (CBD) is for countries to conserve the natural world, its sustainable use, and to share the benefits of its genetic resources. Read more the Guardian
Scientists are warning that it's now "inevitable" that Greenland's ice cap will melt and lead to a major rise in sea levels, The Guardian reports. In a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, an international team of researchers found that ice melt from Greenland alone will cause sea levels to rise by at least 10.6 inches. But actually, that sounds like a best-case scenario. If record melt years like 2012 were to become routine due to climate change, the researchers found that sea levels could rise a "staggering" 30.7 inches. At The Guardian: Major sea-level rise caused by melting of Greenland ice cap is ‘now inevitable’
Major sea-level rise from the melting of the Greenland ice cap is now inevitable, scientists have found, even if the fossil fuel burning that is driving the climate crisis were to end overnight. The research shows the global heating to date will cause an absolute minimum sea-level rise of 27cm (10.6in) from Greenland alone as 110tn tonnes of ice melt. With continued carbon emissions, the melting of other ice caps and thermal expansion of the ocean, a multi-metre sea-level rise appears likely. At Star (Kenya): Women most hit by climate change effects - UNDP
According to United Nations Development Programme(UNDP), the climate change crisis does not affect everyone equally and it is experienced differently by individuals according to their gender. The fact that women globally have less socioeconomic power than men is seen as the main reason why women are more vulnerable to climate change.
A report by UNDP states that women represent the majority of the poor worldwide. Another main reason for the differentiation of the impact of climate change on women and men is the different social roles and responsibilities assigned to them. The report noted that gender equality was an important tool for sustainable development and combating climate change.
The UNDP report further highlighted the main effects of the climate crisis to be losses in natural resources due to drought, irregular precipitation and the flooding of coastal areas due to sea-level rise. Women are more dependent on natural resources and thus face the effects of the climate crisis more. Agriculture is the primary employment sector for women in low-and middle-income countries.
Within five years, the world’s longest undersea cable will link Devon to a vast territory of solar panels in the Sahara Desert, supplying electricity directly into Britain’s grid at a fraction of today’s power prices.
A second cable will land two years later in 2029. Together they will provide 3.6 gigawatts (GW) of constant baseload power, equivalent to two Hinkley-sized nuclear reactors. The difference is that we will be able to afford it. That, at least, is the plan.
The £16bn Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project – chaired by former Tesco chief Sir Dave Lewis – has an elegant feature. It combines wind and solar in perfect geographic circumstances to make near-constant power for 20 hours a day.
The Inflation Reduction Actcontains $437bn of spending, $369bn of which will go towards emissions-cutting measures such as tax breaks for low-carbon energy and electric vehicles.
It was agreed after months of haggling with Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a coal “baron” who has repeatedlysunk Biden’s attempts to pass ambitious climate legislation. No Republicans supported the bill.
In terms of the money committed, the bill is still far off the scale of the earlier proposals put forward by the administration when Biden took power back in 2021. It also includes some provisions to expand oil-and-gas drilling on public lands.
Human damage to the planet’s land is accelerating, with up to 40% now classed as degraded, while half of the world’s people are suffering the impacts, UN data has shown.
The world’s ability to feed a growing population is being put at risk by the rising damage, most of which is caused by food production. Women in the developing world are particularly badly affected as they often lack legal titles to land and can be thrown off it if conditions are tough.
Degraded land – which has been depleted of natural resources, soil fertility, water, biodiversity, trees or native vegetation – is found all over our planet. Many people think of degraded land as arid desert, rainforests maimed by loggers or areas covered in urban sprawl, but it also includes apparently “green” areas that are intensely farmed or stripped of natural vegetation.
Growing food on degraded land becomes progressively harder as soils rapidly reach exhaustion and water resources are depleted. Degradation also contributes to the loss of plant and animal species and can exacerbate the climate crisis by reducing the Earth’s ability to absorb and store carbon.
The sensitivity of forests to near-term warming and associated precipitation shifts remains uncertain. Herein, using a 5-year open-air experiment in southern boreal forest, we show divergent responses to modest climate alteration among juveniles of nine co-occurring North American tree species. Warming alone (+1.6 °C or +3.1 °C above ambient temperature) or combined with reduced rainfall increased the juvenile mortality of all species, especially boreal conifers. Species differed in growth responses to warming, ranging from enhanced growth in Acer rubrum and Acer saccharum to severe growth reductions in Abies balsamea, Picea glauca and Pinus strobus. Moreover, treatment-induced changes in both photosynthesis and growth help explain treatment-driven changes in survival. Treatments in which species experienced conditions warmer or drier than at their range margins resulted in the most adverse impacts on growth and survival. Species abundant in southern boreal forests had the largest reductions in growth and survival due to climate manipulations. By contrast, temperate species that experienced little mortality and substantial growth enhancement in response to warming are rare throughout southern boreal forest and unlikely to rapidly expand their density and distribution. Therefore, projected climate change will probably cause regeneration failure of currently dominant southern boreal species and, coupled with their slow replacement by temperate species, lead to tree regeneration shortfalls with potential adverse impacts on the health, diversity and ecosystem services of regional forests.
Smoke from Australia’s extreme wildfires between December 2019 and February 2020 increased atmospheric temperatures and probably made the hole in the ozone layer bigger. Satellite observations show that the plumes of smoke that rose into the atmosphere caused temperatures to spike by 3 °C over Australia. Globally, temperatures in the lower stratosphere rose by 0.7 °C. The temperature spike lasted for around four months. Models indicate that chemical reactions between the smoke and ozone in the atmosphere exacerbated the Antarctic ozone hole. “The scale of that bush-fire season was just off the charts,” says palaeoclimate scientist Nerilie Abram.
Severe flooding has killed more than 1,300 people in Pakistan since mid-June, officials said, and by the end of August more than a third of the country was underwater, according to satellite images from the European Space Agency. At least 33 million people have been affected by the disaster, said Pakistan's Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman. She called the floods "unprecedented" and "the worst humanitarian disaster of this decade." She highlighted in particular the impact on the south of the country, adding that "maximum" relief efforts are underway.
Globally, nationally and locally, the pandemic continues in many countries. Many though erroneously feel it's over, whereas it continues with higher levels of hospitalization and death and with new founded worries about long Covid. Collective action and leadership has all but disappeared.
Over the last week, cases continue down slightly at about 600,000/day (though reporting is highly inaccurate); deaths were down substantially to about 2000/day; and vaccinations are down from 7 to 6 million/day.
Vaccination, despite ongoing concerns about waning immunity, along with other proven public health measures, remain the best ways to keep yourself and others safe from serious consequences. Get all the shots/boosters you can, asap, and practise the other public health measures especially indoors with crowds.
See below for a few global stats and current hotspots:
Most people with current or recent SARS-CoV-2 infections shed the virus RNA in their stool, regardless of whether they’re symptomatic, and fragments of this RNA are detectable in wastewater samples.
Monitoring wastewater provides an efficient snapshot of the types and amounts of viruses and bacteria spreading in a community, which can augment data from clinical tests. A single wastewater sample gives a substantial amount of information about an entire building, town or county, making it cost-effective. “[Y]ou would have to sequence a ton of clinical or nasal swabs to get that level of resolution,” Smruthi Karthikeyan, PhD, MS, a UCSD postdoctoral scholar and lead author of the recent study, said in an interview with JAMA.
The new study suggests that, in addition to tracking SARS-CoV-2 transmission levels, wastewater surveillance also could be used to detect emerging viral variants when they first appear in an area. Read more at Jama Network
Even since coronavirus hit the world, over 150 million people have been added to the list of those affected by hunger, a new report by the United Nations has revealed. The SDG goal of ending hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition by 2030 remains a far cry with the latest UN global hunger report revealing that 828 million people - across the world - were in the list in 2021 - a surge of 46 million as compared to the previous year.Read more at Hindustan Times
Milner on Biodiversity
Blog #6: Plastic Waste
Credit: Edward Milner
Biodiversity is adversely affected by the torrent of plastic pollution in every aquatic environment from the smallest stream to the depths of the ocean. What can be done about it? A recent news report from the Food Packaging Forum (a trade paper) proclaimed the news that ‘drafting of the International Plastics Treaty is now underway’. Wonderful! I nearly ran outside to let off fireworks and festoon the street in bunting! Reports that the treaty resolution itself had been signed in March this year, were almost as wildly congratulatory.
But there is no international plastics treaty. What was signed to ludicrous fanfare at the international gathering of 175 country representatives in Dakar, Senegal was agreement for a ‘multi-stakeholder dialogue’ to start work to draw up principles for serious action on plastic waste, while still delaying any actual interventions. Because, as with most of these high-profile environmental conferences, serious action on this urgent issue was fatally compromised by the influence of big business. This is what the euphemism ‘multi-stakeholder’ means. Decisions which might impact the bottom line of big business are resisted. Since politicians everywhere are overwhelmingly influenced by pressures, commercial and political, expectations about progress must be modest – however much they are trumpeted by an uncritical media. Critical voices, like campaigning organizations, citizens organizations and youth groups, are generally missing inside a ‘multi-stakeholder’ negotiating process. Far from putting out the bunting, I remain sceptical. Glaciers move quicker than this, and their melt leaves such processes in its wake.
Fortunately, there are other initiatives that offer much more prospect of success, especially those involving action rather than talking - however much ‘multistakeholder’ participation is involved. I was recently walking along the bank of the River Lea in north London when I came across a floating barrage at the point where a small tributary, the Pymmes Brook, enters the main channel. The barrage had trapped a mass of mainly plastic debris, including several large CocaCola bottles and at least six plastic footballs, perhaps fifty kilos altogether. An excellent idea – if it was cleared regularly and replicated at thousands of similar sites across the globe. How many such schemes are there on other rivers, I wondered?
Around the world the Clean Currents Coalition has pioneered river plastic clean-up techniques in a number of highly polluted watercourses in different continents including the Citarum River in west Java, Indonesia and the Los Laureles Canyon on the US-Mexico border. Very innovative and probably very successful so far as it goes, but I became suspicious when I discovered that Clean Currents is a collaborative project between University of California Santa Ana and the CocaCola Foundation; ‘a network of dedicated, passionate problem-solvers combating the flow of plastic waste from river to ocean’ as per the Clean Currents website. It didn’t seem to have occurred to the University that their partners were a primary cause of the problem. Getting brownie points for helping clear up the mess they have made is obviously part of CocaCola’s business model. The clean-up of discarded plastic in watercourses and the Ocean needs more than a token effort from one of its biggest polluters.
The head of the UK Environment Agency recently warned that efforts at greenwashing like this ‘create false confidence’ in the climate fight, and the conservation of biodiversity is similarly undercut. Aware of this danger I was relieved to discover that a different approach altogether was predicted to make a real dent in the whole plastics problem. California Governor Gavin Newsom has recently signed serious, unambitious legislation restricting the use and disposability of plastics by business throughout his state. In particular single-use plastic must be reduced by 25% in the next ten years, as must the total use of plastic packaging. Combined with other initiatives including a shift to refillable containers made from other materials, the targets for reduction in plastic pollution are no longer just aspirational, they are mandatory. Perhaps these targets are less than impressive but such is the size of California’s economy (4.5 million tons of plastic currently discarded annually) these changes are likely to have a much wider impact on American business as a whole. With the bottom line affected, managers and investors are soon likely to see which way the wind is blowing. Similar legislation is envisaged elsewhere, including Canada.
Other legislative measures could have an even bigger effect. Part of the problem with single-use plastic is that being so cheap it has become almost universal. But disposal of the waste has not until now troubled the manufacturers. A more serious measure would be to impose a levy on single-use plastic at source. Not only would this provide funds for clean-up and disposal, but it would encourage innovation – favouring biodegradable alternatives that currently can’t compete.
As with other environmental issues tackling the source of the problem – in this case the origin of the plastic pollution - would offer the best prospects for the long-term health of the planet. River clean-ups are an essential contribution and should be encouraged everywhere. But they can’t be considered more than a stop-gap measure if the cause of the problem isn’t tackled. Ultimately, plastic pollution is caused by the reckless overproduction and overuse of plastic in the first place and this must be curtailed one way or another; reducing its profitability would seem to offer one way forward. As for an international plastics treaty I, for one, remain unconvinced.
An artificial leather jacket. Production of garments made from polyester and other synthetics has tripled since 2000, according to an industry group. Credit:Georgie Hunter/Getty Images
It’s soft. It’s vegan. It looks just like leather. It’s also made from fossil fuels.
An explosion in the use of inexpensive, petroleum-based materials has transformed the fashion industry, aided by the successful rebranding of synthetic materials like plastic leather (once less flatteringly referred to as “pleather”) into hip alternatives like “vegan leather,” a marketing masterstroke meant to suggest environmental virtue.
Underlying that effort has been an influential rating system assessing the environmental impact of all sorts of fabrics and materials. Named the Higg Index, the ratings system was introduced in 2011 by some of the world’s largest fashion brands and retailers, led by Walmart and Patagonia, to measure and ultimately help shrink the brands’ environmental footprints by cutting down on the water used to produce the clothes and shoes they sell, for example, or by reining in their use of harmful chemicals.
But the Higg Index also strongly favors synthetic materials made from fossil fuels over natural ones like cotton, wool or leather. Now, those ratings are coming under fire from independent experts as well as representatives from natural-fiber industries who say the Higg Index is being used to portray the increasing use of synthetics use as environmentally desirable despite questions over synthetics’ environmental toll. Read more at NY Times
Childhood uveitis is a rare, potentially blinding eye problem. Images taken by a new type of camera hold the potential of changing the lives of affected children – and we need your help to analyze images and help us build artificial intelligence systems able to analyze future images. Read more at Zooniverse
They have dark, hard, and mottled shells, allowing them to blend in with logs and mud as they seek cover from predators. At night the crustaceans search for food, their strong pincers finding and cutting up fish, mayflies, plants and snails. They are known here as kōura, a name given to them by the Māori, the Indigenous Polynesian people who first arrived in New Zealand in the 1300s and who now comprise more than 15% of the country’s population.
For Māori, the crayfish are economically and culturally significant, both as a delicacy and as part of a traditional value called mahinga kai, which upholds the importance of natural foods, their ecosystems, and the practices of gathering and sustaining them. Today, kōura populations are on the decline and are considered at risk of becoming threatened due to habitat loss, overfishing, and poor water quality.
In partnership with the local Māori tribe, researchers from the University of Canterbury embarked on a genetic and genomic study of kōura in 2016. Beyond conservation, what makes the study stand out is the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge and practices, and the upholding of the local tribe’s decisions at each research step — from how and where to gather data to how to store and use that data. Read more at Undark
Make an impact – vote for your favourite energy innovation
We Don’t Have Time (.org) is holding a contest (which closes on September 11) among many energy related startup businesses working to protect the environment and reduce carbon emissions. Included below is a listing of the contestants, providing examples of hope and good news going forward to deal with the climate crisis.
The voting process in the Startup 4 Climate challenge kicked off in a great way last week. Not only were a lot of people voting, they are also very curious about the 33 different energy innovations contending, and have been asking a lot of questions directly to the startups. The contestants seem very happy about that, and are eager to engage in a positive and solution-oriented climate dialogue on our platform.
If you would like to voted, you have a few more days to do so. If you vote it will help decide which energy solutions will be shortlisted for 2 million SEK (around 200,000 euro) in prize money. Read about each contestant, and click agree to vote. You can vote for as many solutions as you want to.
Cellfion – generating electricity with the help of wood
Nitrocapt – using air, water & renewable energy to produce emission-free fertilizers
COP15 in Montreal in December will be the largest biodiversity meeting in a generation – and the stakes for nature protection are higher than ever.
The UN convention on biological diversity (CBD), aims to protect the world’s 10 million species of animals and plants, but it meets less often than the COPs for the climate crisis, is modest by comparison, and has yet to make its mark with the public in the same way as climate.
This year, for the first time the “big brother” climate meeting, COP27, and the “little brother” nature meeting, COP15, will converge within days of each other before Christmas, albeit 5,600 miles apart, in Egypt and Canada, respectively. Both will attract thousands of delegates, lobbyists and non-government groups and there is much optimism that a good result in one will improve the chances of success in the other. Read more at the Guardian.
SPOTLIGHT ON POLICY
Walking and Cycling in Africa - Evidence and Good Practice to Inspire Action
More than a billion people walk or cycle in Africa every day to reach work, their homes, school and other essential services. Although there have been bold and inspiring actions to improve conditions for people that walk and cycle across the continent, most countries still lack policies, appropriate infrastructure and budgets for protecting vulnerable road users. The danger lies not just on the road, but in the air too. Vehicle emissions, which are on the rise, contribute to the climate crisis and are responsible for significant proportions of outdoor air pollution.
In Africa, on average, people spend up to 56 minutes walking or cycling for transport every day, surpassing a global average of 43.9 Minutes. These 56 minutes of daily physical activity for transport generate the least noise and air pollution, require no use of fossil fuels and have significant health benefits.
ABOUT THE REPORT
This report is a first attempt at gathering, analyzing and presenting data to demonstrate the everyday reality for the one billion people in Africa who walk and cycle every day. It baselines conditions in all 54 African countries using existing data sources interpreted through a walking and cycling lens and highlights inspiring best practices. It highlights that making the life of people who walk and cycle in African countries safer, healthier and more comfortable needs to be a core priority if we are to ensure healthier and more equitable cities.
The report sets out recommendations for governments and other stakeholders and makes the case for retaining, enabling and protecting those already moving in the most sustainable way possible. Developed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHabitat) and the Walk21 Foundation, it provides the evidence, knowledge and key actions required to ensure transport decisions made today will deliver safer, more sustainable and resilient networks in the future. Read more at UNEP
SPOTLIGHT ON INDIGENOUS WELLNESS
Canada Needs to Implement Pandemic Preparedness in Dealing With TB
Because of the pandemic, tuberculosis deaths globally have increased for the first time in over a decade. Concerning considering that before COVID, TB was the leading infectious-disease killer in the world.
In Canada we also see disruptions in services, damaging our progress toward TB elimination as part of the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs). Overall rates of TB are low in Canada, but the federal government has committed to ending TB by 2030 with a focus on Inuit Nunangat. This goal was reaffirmed on World TB Day 2021 by the national Inuit organization Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and the Canadian government. Relevant milestones in these efforts include ITK’s launch of an Inuit-specific TB elimination strategy and the establishment of a task force in 2017. Read more at Policy Options.
Quote Of The Week:
Credit: Shar Meer Baloch
"The Pakistani people are facing a monsoon on steroids -- the relentless impact of epochal levels of rain and flooding. As we continue to see more and more extreme weather events around the world, it is outrageous that climate action is being put on the back burner as global emissions of greenhouse gases are still rising, putting all of us -- everywhere -- in growing danger. Let's stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet by climate change."
"Today, it's Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country."
UN Secretary General António Guterres (August 30, 2022)
Sept. 15 Deadline and On-going: International Health Trends and Perspectives (IHTP, a new journal based at Toronto Metropolitan University, (formerly Ryerson University, Toronto) is dedicating a special issue to the topic of Planetary Health to highlight research, theoretical and community based contributions of scientists, scholars and activists globally. It is inviting manuscripts that are solutions and equity-focused. See the call for papers and details here: https://bit.ly/3tDixHT
Sept. 23 All over the World - Take part in the Climate Strike #FridaysForFuture #PeopleNotProfit There’s just 5 weeks to go for Fridays For Future’s big Global Climate Strike on September 23. Be sure to support your local youth! Here is their call to action: Join in for the Global Climate Strike as we demand policymakers and world leaders to prioritize #PeopleNotProfit! We demand that our Governments listen to MAPA voices  and immediately work to provide Loss & Damage Finance to the communities most affected by the climate crisis. One of the best ways you can help is by amplifying youth voices - if you can’t attend a march in your area (or if there aren’t any), make sure to follow youth groups on social media and amplify their call to action. All events, big or small, add up and politicians and the media take notice. Find out more: fridaysforfuture.org/september23 Official FFF Map (shows Canada events): https://fridaysforfuture.ca/event-map/
November 21-23, 2022: Canadian Conference on Global HealthJoin us in Toronto for the 28th Canadian Conference on Global Health (CCGH). This year's hybrid event will explore the theme of: "Inclusive Global Health in Uncertain Times: Research and Practice".
Most consumers and voters live busy lives, and look no further than marketing materials to assess the green credentials of their energy company or political party. However these days everyone has “gone green” – or at least that’s the way it looks on the surface. Organizations make bold environmental claims, often in place of substantive green action – a misleading practice known as greenwashing. The doublespeak of high-polluting corporations was perhaps best exposed by an HSBC responsible investment executive who recently said the quiet-part loud: “Who cares if Miami is 6 metres underwater in 100 years?”
Many environmental groups have been concerned about greenwashing for some time – one such group, Clean State, approached us to help them learn more about greenwashing.
We wanted to understand how harmful greenwashing is, and what can be done to protect consumers, so we ran an online trial.
Research on greenwashing is nascent, so we selected two interventions shown to protect people from online misinformation. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either:
A literacy intervention – we provided information to help participants understand greenwashing and its intentions. This intervention most closely resembles existing anti-greenwashing campaigns
A pre-bunking intervention – participants imagined they were an energy company and were asked to plan a marketing campaign with a greenwashing goal. The idea is that weakened exposure to greenwashing strategies can build resistance to future manipulation.
A control intervention – no greenwashing intervention.
They then saw greenwashed ads we mocked up depicting fictional energy companies deploying common greenwashing strategies. One ad distracted consumers from the wider impact of the energy company, by drawing attention to a vague low impact action (“our offices are now green”).
The world has vast amounts of deforested and degraded forest landscapes that deliver limited benefits to both humans and nature. These areas of historical and recent loss provide opportunities for future gain. The maps in this atlas represent a first-ever global approximation of the extent and location of the opportunities for forest landscape restoration – opportunities to reduce poverty, improve food security, mitigate climate change, and protect the environment. The atlas includes maps on current forest coverage, potential forest coverage, forest condition, and human pressure on forest landscapes. The map of Bonn Challenge pledges describes the countries, regional organizations, and other entities that have made pledges toward the Bonn Challenge goal of restoring 150 million hectares of lost forests and degraded forest lands worldwide by 2020.
At least two billion hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded forest lands contain opportunities for restoration. The atlas provides a global overview of these opportunities, indicating where a more detailed analysis at the national or local scale is called for. Explore the maps to learn more about where restoration can become a reality.
The Most Damaging Farm Products? Organic, Pasture-fed Beef and Lamb
Some 28% of the world’s land is used for grazing. Credit: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Perhaps the most important of all environmental issues is land use. Every hectare of land we use for extractive industries is a hectare that can’t support wild forests, savannahs, wetlands, natural grasslands and other crucial ecosystems. And farming swallows far more land than any other human activity.
What are the world’s most damaging farm products? You might be amazed by the answer: organic, pasture-fed beef and lamb. I realise this is a shocking claim. Of all the statements in my (George Monbiot) new book, "Regenesis," it has triggered the greatest rage. But I’m not trying to wind people up. I’m trying to represent the facts. Let me explain.
The Green Electricity Guide (Australia) - 2022 Report
Credit: Greenpeace Australia
About the guide
The Green Electricity Guide is a fully independent assessment of Australia’s electricity retailers. It is designed as a tool to inform consumers about their options to switch to a greener electricity provider. This version of the guide has been researched and created by Greenpeace with advice and support from the Total Environment Centre, who remain ongoing partners to the project and co-creators of the 2014, 2015 and 2018 versions of the guide.
Radical Curiosity: Questioning Commonly Held Beliefs to Imagine Flourishing Futures By Seth Goldenberg
Credit: Book Cover
A bold manifesto arguing that the most complex challenges we face today—as individuals, businesses, and a society—require us to ask deeper questions, not seek easier answers.
In a world with an endless hunger for innovation, why is it so hard to create audacious change? According to thought leader Seth Goldenberg, the answer to this question stems from how we, as a society, view questions themselves.
In Radical Curiosity, Goldenberg argues that because we value knowing above learning and prioritize doing over thinking, curiosity has become an endangered species. Only by rediscovering the power of questions can we hope to rewrite the commonly held “legacy” narratives that no longer serve us and to remake our organizations, our politics, and our lives.
With this empowering book, Goldenberg introduces the practice of Radical Curiosity through the lens of seven narratives that are going through significant transformation: Learning, Cohesion, Time, Youth, Aliveness, Nature, and Value. Along the way, he unpacks principles intended to spark our own questioning, including:
• Education is too big to fail, but maybe it should. • Time travel isn’t reserved for DeLoreans. • Let us now praise rural communities. • Survival economics have made imagination a luxury good.
Blending philosophy, business strategy, cultural criticism, and fascinating case studies, Radical Curiosity is a new way of solving our most complex problems—one focused not on technology or science but on the power of human inquiry. By asking us to relearn how we learn, reengage in dialogue, revive our youthful sense of wonder, and rethink what we value, it reignites the curiosity needed to imagine and build a better world.
But tools should be used with caution, say scientific-communication specialists, because their suggestions aren’t always right. Ultimately, developing your own writing abilities — ideally with support from peers — will build valuable skills.
Publisher and Editor: Dr. David Zakus Production: Aisha Saleem & Julia Chalmers Social Media: Mahdia Abidi, Shalini Kainth and Ishneer Mankoo Website, Index and Advisory: Eunice Anteh, Gaël Chetaille, Carlos Jimenez, Evans Oppong, Jonathan Zakus, Dr. Aimée-Angélique Bouka & Elisabeth Huang
Bloggers: Edward Milner, Dr. Stephen Bezruchka, Aisha Saleem and Dr. Jay Kravitz