Category Archives: climate change

The Future of the Amazon, and Maybe the Planet, Depends on Brazil’s President-Elect Lula

I asked Lula about the path to zero deforestation, and suggested that his “moral responsibility” was huge. “People around the world are expecting you not only to save the Amazon but to save the world,” I said. He nodded, then raised his voice and said, “Yes, I know, and that scares me, because people are very optimistic about our government. I spoke to President Biden, and I just spoke to Josep Borrell,” the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. “People are expecting that something will change, and it will change. As for the question of the Amazon, I intend, in Egypt, to make a speech to show what the Amazon will be from now on. We don’t want to transform the Amazon into a sanctuary for humanity. What we want is to study, to research the Amazon. Nor should it be a place where you cut down a tree for no reason. If you want to make a lumber factory, you should have a policy of afforestation, to plant new trees, so that later you can cut them down. There has to be a replacement plan.”

This Is How Tourism Must Shift to Actually Address Climate Change

An estimated 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions are due to tourism, and that’s predicted to double by 2050, the year scientists have forecast as the tipping point for all sorts of ecological disasters. By then, our planet will have warmed 1.5C (2.7F) above preindustrial times. By the end of the century, the figure looks to be 2C (3.6F), with that half-degree making a huge difference. If emissions are left unchecked, this warming will accelerate, bringing forth a distinctly heightened level of cataclysmic weather patterns.

Blindspots/Known Unknowns – Electric vehicles catch aflame during Ian aftermath

Saltwater flooding in the state’s coastal areas caused the lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles to combust, catching fire. Firefighters near Naples had to put out six blazes related to the vehicles in the days following Ian’s landfall.

Eric Wachsman, director of Maryland’s Energy Institute, stated that the qualities of lithium ion battery cells that allow them to move a passenger vehicle also make these cells vulnerable to ignition, due to the cells having closely placed electrodes that are filled with a flammable liquid electrolyte.

Fast fashion: European Union reveals fast fashion crackdown

For every person in the EU, textile consumption requires nine cubic metres of water, 400 square metres of land, 391kg of raw materials, and causes a carbon footprint of about 270kg.

In the UK, politicians have called on the government to change the law to require fashion retailers to comply with environmental standards.

The government rejected most of the Environmental Audit Committee’s recommendations in 2019, including making clothes producers pay for better clothing collection and recycling, but has made textile waste a priority.

A robust and standardized framework for reuse measurement is needed. Here’s why

Only 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling, with an effective recycling rate of approximately 2% globally. Reusable packaging, designed to be used several times, is necessary to reduce total virgin material consumption, emissions and waste generation by keeping resources in circulation.

Measurement and reporting is a significant barrier to scaling reuse models of consumption. There are currently no standardized and tested metrics to track progress on reuse, which is critical for companies to fully understand the economic, consumer and environmental benefits of reusable business models. Organizations still tend to operate in siloes, using different reuse metrics and calculation methodologies. Standardization of reuse metrics across industry, government and standard-setting institutions will accelerate the systemic shift toward reuse models.

Activists take over billboards to call out impact of flying on global carbon

Billboards in 15 European cities have been covered with satirical artwork highlighting the role of airline marketing in driving up greenhouse gas emissions.