Time for a new post! This time we are featuring Asia C. Guerreschi from Rethinking Climate, a podcast initiative making climate change discussions personal and accessible - go check them out! Asia talks to us about Covid-19, Italy's environmental policies, and the motivations behind founding Rethinking Climate along with Lena Grobusch (A TCC Alumni) and Amy Moses.
"COVID-19 has opened the conversation about the effects of climate change (and the human impact) more deeply than ever. The latest report this year about Italy's environmental state highlighting specific hydrological and agricultural risks resulting from climate change and the current environmental management. Although Italy's current Ministry of the Environment seems interested and quite active in improving the recycling process and the biodiversity state, there is a lot of work to be done by the bigger industries. There was a referendum on oil and natural gas drilling held in Italy in 2016, where only 31% of Italian in the country and abroad voted. The referendum was on the proposed repealing of a law that allows gas and oil drilling concessions extracting hydrocarbon within 12 nautical miles of the Italian coast to be prolonged until the exhaustion of the useful life of the fields. This is the demonstration that the interest, hopefully, increased now, is yet too low. Therefore, the need to expand the conversation is essential. Hence, after my training with the Climate Reality Project - even after over 12 years of climate activism - I created Rethinking Climate with other activists.
Rethinking Climate opens conversations about complex and overlooked climate issues to make them more personal and accessible. To this point, Rethinking Climate created 'Clearing the Air' a podcast talking with professionals in diverse fields to tell us about sustainability, the environment, and its place in society. We trust experts from a global network to bring different perspectives to our learning journey to show that there is a space for everyone in the climate movement."
Part 3/3 of our ‘extended’ chat with the lovely @em_atks of @foodwaste.stories, as always full story on our Facebook- link in bio ☝️
“Of all the food waste made in the UK, 70% of it comes from households. Many government campaigns target individual behaviour change to tackle this issue. Yet scrutiny rarely falls on supermarkets and the wider food system, and how they contribute to this 70% in people’s homes.
Food charity Feedback demonstrated that supermarkets make billion-pound profits off the food wasted by their customers. Relying on overbuying, selling food in bulk, and trumpeting 2-for-1 deals encourages people to take excess food home with them. Think even of the structure of supermarkets: food like snacks and chocolate are situated in the middle isles, so people will pass them twice as they walk through the store.
We must also be cautious of companies that monetise the waste stream. Schemes like wonky veg and companies like Imperfect Foods have been hailed as saviours of food waste, yet they may contribute to the problem. Writer Emily Atkin points out that Imperfect Foods compete with community farms in the US and this farmer explains that “ugly” produce becomes canned goods and ingredients for the hospitality sector.
Wonky veg schemes incentivise farmers to produce even more food, as they are expected to meet the new quota for wonky veg consumers on top of producing enough for supermarket standards. The solution is to remove cosmetic standards altogether, so farmers are not incentivised to overproduce at all.
When campaigns target individuals without also addressing the systems in which we live, they are expecting people to row against the tide. If we lived within a sustainable society, we would all make sustainable choices without any effort! Government must hold big food companies accountable and draw up policy that encourages more sustainable food systems. What is exciting is that there is SO much opportunity for change, and it will make us all healthier and happier in the process. ”
Part 2 with the lovely @em_atks of @foodwaste.stories:
“Why is food waste so fun? I think it is because to tackle food waste, you have to open your brain up to some very pleasurable activities: creativity, community-building and being closer to nature. We end up rethinking a lot of what we know about food practices, and what we perceive as “waste”.
One very enjoyable food waste hack is to regrow vegetables from what you’d normally throw away. When you next use a spring onion, leek or cabbage, keep the bottom 10cm or so. Drop in a small glass and fill with enough water to cover about half the roots, and refresh the water every two days. It will start to regrow immediately, turning into new food in a matter of weeks. Meanwhile, you have some nice new houseplants!
A food practice that was once commonplace but feels strange now is food sharing. Sharing dishes with neighbours (perhaps post-pandemic) is a great way of building community and save food from waste. This kind of activity is now easier with apps like Olio and should be normalised.
We forget that food is nature – all the items in your fridge were once living things. I think this is why looking after food feels good; we all know about the mental health benefits of interacting with nature. Composting is a similarly enjoyable activity, as you are literally making the soil where food comes from again. However not everyone has access to this; composting usually requires a garden. Even micro-composting has costs associated which can make it inaccessible.
Although food waste solutions are fun, it shouldn’t just be up to individuals to act. Often, we are presented with a false dichotomy of individual action and system change, but we need both! I think saving food should be easy and free, and governments and companies should be making this a reality. as “waste”.
One very enjoyable food waste hack is to regrow vegetables from what you’d normally throw away.”
PART 1 OF 3
Today we doing a mini series on food waste with the wonderful @em_atks of @foodwaste.stories fame:
“Food waste is INHERENTLY optimistic. “Waste” just means something that has no use for us anymore. So all we have to do is find use for it again! For me, food waste is particularly endearing because it is the underdog of climate solutions. It is rather neglected in policy and popular culture – the ugly sister of sexier subjects like rewilding, renewable energy and sustainable fashion.
According to the FAO, we waste 1/3 of all food produced, along with all the land, water, energy and human labour with it. When food decomposes, it produces methane, and accounts for 8% of global emissions. Saving food is saving nature, and ultimately an act of self-care. Which is the opposite of most climate actions, which require us to practice self-care to recover!
Why self-care? Because the two tasks before us – find ways of preventing food from going to waste and find better ways of disposing it if that’s not possible – are both really fun and make us closer to our food.
In the following posts of this three-part series, I will explore what we can do as individuals, and what grander, system changes we need to tackle food waste. Stay tuned! “
Want to get involved in some aviation-based research??? Today we hear from Alex on a VERY important Masters project 👇👇👇👇
My name’s Alex and I am a master’s student at The Institute of Development Studies (University of Sussex) studying Climate Change, Development and Policy. My major interest is in the ongoing transition to renewable energy and wider energy policy, where I work for an energy start-up with a focus on their market engagement. For my master’s thesis I’m studying people’s flying habits and a range of other attitudes and behaviours, with an emphasis on those that have a self-perceived environmental identity and engage in some pro-environmental behaviours. I don’t want to give too much away in case that impacts my results but if you have flown in the last 2 years, I would be so grateful if you could fill out my survey to help me comprehend this field of climate discourse. The survey will take around 10 mins and is made up almost exclusively of one click questions. Just click on the link below and it will take you to a page with further instructions. Thanks so much in advance!”
Our feature on Chile continues, with Part 2 of Fran Soto's story on Constitutional Reform and the environment. Like & Share <3
"[...] Thirdly, the issue of climate change has taught us that environmental problems are collective and require solutions at the international, national, and local levels. The current Chilean Constitution is excessively centralist and depends strongly on the power of the President for passing legislation, defining the annual budget of the nation, and issuing executive orders to implement laws. Alike the case of the United States of America, it can happen that a First Mandate holds a set of values, which emphasise macroeconomic development.
This could be dangerous for environmental protection because it can seriously damage environmental standards, by allowing some contaminant industries to function, by relaxing regulations on environmental matters, or by not considering the scientific evidence in order to make decisions that may affect the environment. Therefore, within the context of climate change, we would wish to have a new Constitution that allows a polycentric system of governance, that empowers local communities to make their own decisions regarding the use and access to common resources, such as fisheries, water, forests, or biodiversity. A useful measure would be that regions are allowed to collect their own taxes, in order to provide resources to local communities to propose and implement rules regarding their own development.
Lastly, albeit other matters that should be discussed, we shall expect a direct reference to sustainable development that allows social and economic development while respecting the capacity of each ecological system to regenerate their essential properties by themselves or recognition of a State that follows the rule of law for nature."
Over this weekend all eyes on Chile, as we will feature a two-part story by the amazing Fran Soto! Fran talks to us about the new Chilean Constitution and its implications for environmental protection and climate change policy. Read Part 1 of the story below. Please like and share to spread awareness on this very important issue ❤️
"On October 25th, an overwhelming majority of 80% of Chileans voted to replace the current Constitution, which was imposed during the appalling dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The new Constitutional text will be agreed, following a deliberative process by a Constituent Assembly, whose members will be elected next April 11th 2021.
Regarding environmental protection, there is a considerable hope that the constitutional and legal framework can improve and be more accomodating towards sustainable development, for the following reasons. Firstly, the Constitution recognises the fundamental right to every person to join “an environment free of contamination” . While the law defines what is “contamination”, it currently links it to the existence of administrative norms that regulate the type, figures, and periods of certain contaminants in the environment. Yet, if there is no administrative norm, we cannot legally affirm that there is a contaminated environment. Giving this scenario, we would expect that the new Constitution recognizes -as the majority of modern Constitutions and international agreements on Environmental Law- the right of every person to a healthy or adequate environment.
Secondly, the current Constitution specifically refers to licenses for exploiting water and mines, within the article that regulates the fundamental right to private property. Thus, constitutional guarantees established to protect the private right to property also protects the holders of mining and water rights (licences). After 30 years of the Constitution, it can be recognised a legal culture with a majoritarian understanding that water and mines are ‘natural resources’, omitting their environmental role and implications for sustainable development.
Furthermore, by adopting such paradigm, the law has been able to develop a legal framework that privileges private companies to exploit water and mines, notwithstanding issues of public interest, such as environmental protection and distribution of benefits and losses. Within this context, we should expect from the constituent process, that environmental elements are not framed in an economic development perspective, but rather in a way that allows the law to set ambitious goals in terms of environmental justice, climate change, biodiversity loss and promote a transition towards net zero carbon economy."
Stay tuned for the rest of this insightful story tomorrow!!!
Post-US Election results, today we share the voice of Queer Brown Vegan, the wonderful Isaias 🎉:
“We voted for an administration that believes in environmental justice. For the last four year we’ve had an administration that has continually perpetuated anti-environmental laws while harming low income BIPOC communities. Injustices are real and we cannot afford anymore time to protect our communities. This is a bold future for climate action”
On our final post for the American #electionday series we feature Stephen S. Mejia-Carranza and his powerful thoughts. Remember friends, #vote for the climate!
“The electoral college system in the US ensures a small handful of states have a disproportionate influence in presidential elections - this is the clearest sign of privilege. Living abroad, it has been painfully clear to see US privilege in action influencing social, political, environmental struggles elsewhere - including Europe. This US presidential election is not only about halting the growth of institutional violence, racism, sexism, fascism and environmental rape at home - its also about recognizing our privileged position to influence the struggles of those fighting injustice everywhere else. In the midst of undeniable signs that we are transgressing and continuing to accelerate past the climactic and biological limits of our planet to sustain human and countless other life - we have to take this first step, and there are many many more.”
Today is #ElectionDay in the United States! And even though at this point every election is a #climateelection, the US can play a leading role in combatting climate change. We close off our feature with Wes Purpura:
"2020 has provided a new meaning to the expression “20/20 vision.” Over the course of the summer, the world has witnessed what happens when you ignore the impacts of slavery and how It perpetuates cycles of racial injustice; what explicit exacerbation of socio-economic structural inequalities looks like; and how disregarding a health crisis and encouraging deep political divisions can both effectively tear families apart. To me, this is a glimpse of America’s future if we continue to procrastinate from a climate/biodiversity catastrophe that is and has been happening for a long time now. It is certain that the shocks of today will be tomorrow’s normal. While the November 2020 election may decide what America’s fate will be, It will not seal It but It is indeed our fallacy to both underestimate and overestimate our importance in the world.
At a time when the world seems to shift every hour, I have had the privilege to witness and assist in the tireless yet often invisible efforts of those who are committed to engineering a global recovery from the devastation of COVID-19 to build a society that confronts our mistakes. While I do not speak for them, I can tell you that the work to identify and then put the most vulnerable and those who are most at risk of being left behind in the forefront of progress, IS happening. The work to reaffirm the principles of human rights, democracy, fair-just societies and to innovate a new economy that integrates accountability, transparency, climate science and ethics IS occurring. But to have institutions that meet the demands and crises of the 21st century, it requires YOU. The Climate Collective epitomizes the importance of listening, connecting and amplifying voices to empathize with the stories that shape our global community and the future that we want to write and strive for. This work must be continued and I challenge YOU to do more. Will you accept?"
*Illustration by our own Mayra Salazar
We are very close to the actual #ElectionDay. Today we feature Natalie Pelekh's interesting thoughts:
"The U.S. political system is flawed at its core, but right now what we can do is leverage our right to vote. A president who doesn't believe in climate change is dangerous when we have already transgressed its planetary boundary, and we don't have another 4 years to spare. The impacts of climate change and environmental degradation have been and will continue to disproportionately affect marginalized communities, and it’s up to us to use our privilege and fight to change the status quo. As an expat in Europe who reaps the benefits of a social democracy, I want my home country to turn onto the same trajectory rather than continue moving backwards. This is about more than just the environment — this is about basic human rights and beginning to deconstruct the unjust, racist, inequitable system American was founded upon. This is just the beginning."
Next in our US election series, an insightful account by Maria Mystridou all the way from Chicago. Like, Share, and, if you are based in the US, make a plan to vote!!
"The upcoming election comes at a critical point for the steps we need to take in order to tackle the existential threat we are facing. At an important juncture of American political history, when populism flourishes in the White House, two important needs seem to be partially at odds: on the one hand, necessary and radical environmental interventions and the realism that a presidential candidate must run their campaign with. With the obvious assumption that the Democratic Party is the only hope for those wishing to see some positive change in the environmental policy of the US, one must also take into account the electoral consequences and colliding pressures that Joe Biden is facing at the moment. Swing states that are critical in order to defeat Trump are the very same places where fracking remains a primary source of income for a number of constituents who - despite reassurances that they will be absorbed in alternative fields - prioritize their jobs over the environment and might hand a victory to Trump. In the recent debate, Biden faced the challenge of having to reassure both the Democratic voters who wish to see some radical change and those potential voters in critical swing states. However, even if political realism dictates that Biden refuse to openly endorse the Green New Deal before the elections in order to win, in the instance that he does, the country - and indeed the world - needs the Democrats to suffer short-term electoral losses (possibly in the next midterms) in order to establish an environmental policy fit to the needs of our time."
6th in our US Election series with Savana Zumwalt, who shares her heartbreaking and honest experience with us:
“I have never personally experienced more division between the people in my country. I have lost friends and estranged family members because of this election. But we are fighting for the planet, and I’m not sure what can be done if we are left with a president who openly mocks and misunderstands any talk of climate change.
This is my country’s last chance to be on the right side of this fight against climate change, and I’m honestly terrified to even think of what another four years of irreversible damage the Trump administration will do. Waiting another four years is not a viable option.”
Today we share the amazing Madeline Goulet:
“At this moment in time, it seems as if all of the world’s largest problems have come to a head all at once. As someone who is generally optimistic about the world, I have found myself overwhelmed frequently this year due to the simultaneous climaxes of so many world issues. One overwhelming day in particular was September 9th.
I woke up in San Francisco to my alarm at 6:30am and was convinced it was a mistake because my room was still pitch-dark. I peeked through my window blinds and was puzzled by the strange overtones in the sky. As the morning went on, the sky continued to take on a more-dramatic orange tone. After exchanging reactions with friends and coworkers and skimming Twitter, I learned that the orange-colored sky was caused by the excess of smoke in the atmosphere from the persistent fires throughout California and the entire West Coast. The fire season in California begins earlier and burns more dramatically every year due to climate change. As of now, over 4 million acres of California have burned in 2020 alone. September 9th was a scary and shocking day that served as a wake-up call for many people.
Despite days like this, I continue to be a (realistic) optimist through it all. The Bay Area is home to nearly 8 million people, many of whom are gifted with entrepreneurial spirits, creative problem solving, and the ability to adapt quickly. This apocalyptic-orange doomsday was experienced firsthand by every single one of these people. I believe that if our communities and governments prioritize the environment and fully realize the existential threat that climate change presents, we will find a way out. But this means we all have to VOTE for a better future and better leaders. We must rethink, reimagine, and readjust to the world we live in and work together to make it better.
4th installment in our US ELECTION SERIES 🗳, we hope you’re enjoying engaging in our new content, have a read and long think on the amazing thinkers, voters and non-voters who were sharing - if you want to share your story too then get in touch. Today we are sharing the story of Laura Jay:
‘this election is literally a matter of life or death. the importance of participating, of doing your civic duty, cannot be understated. there are so many issues at play, and they’re all connected through the climate. not to mention, our entire democracy is at stake. we have so little time to get our act together, and it’s going to be an uphill battle even if trump loses. we only have two presidential terms before we pass the point of no return and enter into the era of complete runaway climate change. voting is the best thing we can do individually, and collective action is what we can do best, together. i’m very nervous, but i am also hopeful. we’re a week away from the election, and we’ve already broken all kinds of early voting records. it shows that people care. it shows that they’re paying attention. i believe it’s our job as climate activists and social change advocates to make sure they continue to pay attention after the election, regardless of who wins.’
3rd in our series with the wonderful Eirini Souroulidi:
My name is Eirini, from Greece and I’m based in Pennsylvania. It’s been frustrating that I can’t vote - to say the least - especially since this year it’s so important. It’s so baffling that there’s even a question about who should be in office. The current administration has harmed so many people in so many ways. From its inability to properly respond to COVID-19 to completely denying the real effects of climate change and global warming - all of which is disproportionately affecting BIPOC and low income communities.
But as an international student, i’m made to feel like there’s so little i can do to change the current state of things. And there’s always constant reminders of the fact that I can’t vote, like people on the street asking if you’re registered, friends taking about voting, etc. I’m a social work student and my school has a program called “voting is social work”, and every time i see it i think, “so because I can’t vote, I can’t do a part of social work?” And the other thing to it is that whenever i say i’m not registered - and people don’t know i’m not a US citizen - some get all judgmental about it and will either start grilling me about it or ask if i need help registering. So then i have to decide whether i should reveal my visa status etc etc.
This US election is obviously a crucial one in this country’s history, but it’s also crucial for its future. So much is at stake, especially when it comes to climate change and protecting the planet. The US has the capability to create so much positive change in facilitating a switch to renewable energy, but if the current administration stays on for another 4 years, I fear that we’ll lose the window to create any meaningful change.’
Second up in our series on the US Election, Charles Stevenson gives a searing analysis on the current situation:
‘The presidential election is showcasing the dual climate science denial that characterises US politics. On one side, there is the fringe position of the Republican Party, amplified by corporate press, that claims that human behaviour is not the cause of global heating. The far more prevalent variety of climate denial, embraced by the Democratic Party, consists of accepting climate science, but pretending that our futures are not transformed as a result.
The Trump presidency has been devastating for global climate efforts. Not only does the world's second-highest emitter have no coordinated decarbonization strategy, but in the absence of US leadership, only Morocco is on course to respect its Paris Agreement pledges. Should Trump win re-election, it's difficult to conceive of a path to limit warming to 1.5°C.
His Democratic challenger has put forward a timid Green New Deal – just don't call it that! – but his policy regarding green industry presents the drawback of pitting the US against the rest of the world at a time when cooperation is more desperately needed than ever.
Biden's position in the final presidential debate was roughly equivalent to those of Big Oil: transitioning away from fossil fuel at some point in the future. His team's strategy has led to the surreal situation of seeing questions on climate being met with a debate about which party loves fracking more. It fails to take advantage of the popularity of aggressive climate policies with the US electorate when paired with widespread jobs programs.
To get anything passed, the Democrats must retake not just the presidency, but also flip the Senate. Pressure will be needed from Day 1 to insure that Biden's inconsistent promises translate into meaningful legislation that protects indigenous and vulnerable communities and places the country with the most emissions in history back at the heart of the Paris Agreement.’
We’re back (after some technical issues...) with our new series on the intersections between the upcoming US Election 🗳 and climate change 🌏:
First up is Olivia Niedzialek, a biologist from New York:
‘This election is especially important for the future of climate change policy changes in the US (and the world more broadly) because the next president will either keep the US behind or push us towards new, renewable, and economically robust energy sources. Donald Trump has not agreed to put pressure on automobile companies to agree to stricter emissions restrictions which we need to lower our dependency on foreign oil and gas. I know Joe Biden's energy plan is not on par with Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez' Green New Deal, but I believe that any changes he places on the side of the Democrat Party will do more for our country, planet, and climate than the Republicans' refusal to pledge to developing infrastructure and committing to energy sources that are better for our planet. The US will never be the coal-producing nation it was decades ago and we have to show companies and investors that wind, solar, geothermal, and nuclear energy is the economically and ethically advantageous way to go! The Endangered Species Act has been tossed aside during the last four years of Trump's presidency and he has removed protections for our protected public lands more than any president before him. Unfortunately some of these decisions are irreversible so the sooner that we have these political changes, the sooner (I hope) the United States will be better off for it. We've lost our standing in the world by not choosing to be part of the Paris Climate Agreement, and in order for all global economies to make changes in the next 50 years that will really count, the US needs to be a part of it.’
We are looking to add a new member to the Climate Collective Team!
We are looking for a new correspondent, outside of Europe (where we are all currently based), to help us extend the reach of our stories and take a more global focus and move the Climate Collective in new directions.
The role will largely involve sourcing new stories and content to build on the Climate Collective and co-managing our social media platforms on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
We may occasionally run themed series of stories, for example, our series for Mother’s Day and on wildfires in Australia- so rolling series may evolve and all members will be on this!
The only thing you need to apply for this role is to be passionate about talking about climate change and inspiring people to have the positive, motivations, awkward, confusing and scary conversations that are vital to live in a greener future.
We are currently five members (3 co-founders, Chris Vrettos, Éadin O’Mahony and Sicily Fiennes) and two long term members Myrto Karydi and Mayra Salazar. We all met at University College London, studying arts and science, law and conservation collectively. We run using a devolved management, with rotations on when each member is in charge of stories!
The Climate Collective is a platform providing a space for people from any race, region, background, profession, and so forth, to share their personal stories and experiences of climate change. We delve into the realms of anything, from art to economics, to allow YOU to express yourself openly on the issue of climate change.
HOW TO APPLY
Please send us 200-300 words, with your full name as the name of the file, to firstname.lastname@example.org, on why you’d like to join The Climate Collective and send us 3 creative ideas or pitches on how to revolutionize our work and vision.
This is a voluntary, unpaid role and we would expect the successful person to complete around 2-3 hours a week, on a rolling, ad-hoc basis - applications in by mid October 2020!
Fernanda Sosa Shares her thoughts from El Salvador.
Climate change. Hm. Those words have been on the news a lot lately. “Prince Harry troubled by ‘Climate Change’ deniers” “How do we know if climate change is real?” “How climate change is melting, drying and flooding the Earth.” To me it all seems very ironic. Funny how we blame “climate change”. We humans have a tendency of naming things in order to lose responsibility upon them. “Its the governments faults” we say, or “Mum told me so” when we know for sure she didn’t .
Climate change never has and never will be at fault of anything. It’s only a result of the damage done for so many decades caused to our home, but i guess thats it. We now understand this place we call Earth is truly our home. No other planet could be able to sustain us the way this planet does. No matter how bad we look for it. Now we know we have nowhere to go. Yet we insist on believing we are far more important. Draining all our resources into nothing. If you can’t breath you cant have a business now can you? So lets stops making excuses, and lets take care of our planet. Start small. Yes stop using straws, plastic bags, plastic containers and so on, and yes it does contribute to a bigger change no matter how small you think you are. Do all you can to protect the only place you will ever know as home.
Lena Grobusch talks to us about Europe’s climate change policy and its plans for a green recovery coming out of the corona virus crisis
“The Covid-19 crisis has turned our lives as we knew them upside down, putting our globalized lifestyles into question and rewriting the international agenda. Notably, the pandemic has amplified pre-existing problems, from deep-rooted social inequalities to widespread environmental collapse. Covid-19 has the potential of being a defining tipping point for climate justice and other geopolitics: it has proven that taking rapid action to respond to life-threatening crises is possible across the globe.
As Lise Kingo, the UN chief for sustainable business, has stated in a recent Guardian article, the coronavirus pandemic is “just a fire drill” for what is likely to follow from the climate crisis. Moreover, the protests over racial injustice around the world show the need to tie together social equality, environmental sustainability and health, the UN’s sustainable business chief has said. Still, we see that climate change is not really treated as an urgent crisis compared to COVID-19 and the financial crisis following swiftly after it.
The COVID-19 recovery is a unique chance to carry out a green recovery – and the calls for such a green recovery are becoming louder. Now we need to focus on both ambition and action. The first defines the later, and it is the ambition or goal-setting stage that is most often compromised by other interests. Money is one of the factors that can compromise the moves needed for meaningful change, and there have already been attacks on climate action as a luxury good in the COVID-19 recovery phase. This is highly unfortunate, as a green recovery provides the opportunity to transition to sustainable and resilient societies and economies sooner rather than later. If green investments and green changes are not made now, then we are just postponing the problems to the future – which is problematic given that the climate crisis is a race against time.
If the COVID-19 crisis has taught us one thing, it is that we’re all interconnected and on the same boat – and that all hands are needed on deck to tackle the ongoing crisis and the recovery from it. This is no different for the climate crisis. Solving both crises will only be possible with a holistic approach that integrates justice, human rights and social equality.”
We close off the week with the great team behind Simi Stove. Their goal is to replace polluting biomass burning stoves, with a clean ethanol-based alternative!
"Our goal is to provide families with an affordable, clean-cook solution because we know it will save lives, but the effect of eliminating toxic emissions from the home will play a huge part in preventing climate change and protecting the environment.
Cooking with solid/biomass fuel is sufficiently polluting to affect widespread ambient (outdoor) air pollution levels appreciably and, thus, cause ill health far from the source
Our Simi Stove has been designed to use Ethanol, which eliminates the emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, toxic chemicals, and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and reduces the health-relevant exposure to air pollution, much of which occurs around households, not just indoors.
Moving forward our plans involve the creation of small-scale, farm and village-based Ethanol micro-distilleries in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, where we are operating, to not only provide local families and villagers with clean liquid energy, but also expand their economic opportunities."
From left to right Leigh Hughes (Director, Marketing)
Arshdeep Singh (Country Manger India/Bangladesh)
Sean Satterley (MD, Founder and Inventor of Simi Stove)
An insightful story by Inês De Melo Campelo about the new Lisbon airport controversy and how the tourist industry often comes at odds with goals for sustainability
"Portugal has evolved a lot over the last 5 years; we started to invest more in renewable energy and support environmental NGOs, and we fully support the EU’s Green Deal. In fact, there are many indexes available online monitoring our compliance with our environmental obligations.
However, the country also heavily relies on tourism, which as an industry, often comes at odds with goals for sustainability. Lisbon, specifically, receives the most tourists in the whole of Portugal and is always winning awards as an ideal and safe destination. It is currently trending, it is cheap, and it is getting a lot of hype. Politicians are seizing this opportunity to fill in existing gaps in the tourism industry. As a result, the Lisbon airport is really congested and is currently receiving flights twice its actual capacity; they even built a new terminal serving low-cost airlines. However, the city of Lisbon wants to build a new airport and there are three options as to the location where this will happen, all of them outside the city centre. One of them, at the Montijo military airbase (which will be repurposed to receive commercial flights) would potentially compromise a currently protected reserve area, habitat to various migratory birds.
Even though Portugal has 3 airports already along the coast and another airport in Beja, an additional airport in the interior could be beneficial. At the same time however, the destruction of natural habitats, the transportation fumes and energy required would compromise the country’s green goals. The building of the airport would destroy feeding areas for migratory birds and would also cause many birds to be culled, for air passenger safety.
The building of the new airport has been fiercely protested by civil society and NGOs even though the Portuguese are generally very passive. The future of the airport remains to be seen and even though covid-19 has pushed many such projects to the background, we will very soon have to reckon again with our priorities and commitment to a green exit from the pandemic."
Today we have a story from an amazing zero-waste initiative in France, Association Sekoia:
“We are Sekoia, an association with a zero waste charter, in the region of the south of France where we do our studies. We created it in 2019 in order to address the issue of plastic waste.
So, our (amazing) team approaches shopkeepers to make sure that they apply this charter, we try to see with them can be done and/or improved. And when they do so we give them the Sekoia label. It's a pyramidal label that we intend to extend progressively in France, adapting it to each city!
On top of that we are doing, such as environmental awareness with zero waste workshops, interventions in schools, we are launching our "blog" section to share articles on the environment according to the team members' specialities! And we have new projects in the making...“
Today we share some art from the wonderful and extremely talented artist Jamie W G Ashman, Jamie usually explores anti racist, anti sexist, pro LBGTQI+ ideas and motifs, though has in recent years shifted to more anti-climate change work:
"Entitled: 'Please Stop Climate Change'
All dressed up in Haute Couture, not fast fashion, the models in the paintings are posed (I hope) to appeal to World Politicians and Captains of Industry to help to stop climate change by creating laws about the raw materials and energy used in Industry and domestically to stop the pollution of the oceans and the Earth."
For more anti-climate change art: www.jamieashman.com
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