Climate and ecological crises
EU holds the key to stop the ‘Notre Dame of forests’ from burning
Last week, a tearful Greta Thunberg begged the EU to act on the climate and ecological crises we are facing. “It’s OK if you refuse to listen to me,” she said, “I am, after all, just a 16 year old schoolgirl from Sweden. But you cannot ignore the scientists or the science… I beg you, please, do not fail on this.” The EU officials present gave her a standing ovation.
Today, the EU has a chance to act on her message. Scientists are asking the EU to demand tougher environmental standards from Brazil in ongoing trade talks. They explained their concerns in an open letter in Science signed by 600 EU scientists and 300 Brazilian Indigenous groups. They hope that they will not be ignored.
Message to the EU: you have the chance to stop fuelling devastation in the Amazon
The effects of European consumption are being felt in Brazil, driving disastrous deforestation and violence.
But the destruction can end if the European Union demands higher environmental standards on Brazilian goods. Hundreds of scientists and Indigenous leaders agree: the time to act is now, before it’s too late.
In an open letter published today in the journal Science, more than 600 scientists from every country in the European Union (EU) and 300 Brazilian Indigenous groups asked the EU to demand tougher standards for Brazilian imports.
Nature is not just nice to have, it sustains our very existence.
Today the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services or IPBES launches a global assessment of the state of nature. The findings are stark; we are already in the sixth mass extinction and are eroding the life support systems of this planet. Drastic and devastating consequences will be seen in my lifetime unless we change course. This is an existential crisis every bit as dangerous as climate breakdown, and intimately connected to it in multiple ways. The IPBES report is set to be every bit as shocking as October’s IPCC report on climate breakdown. Solving the climate crisis alone is not enough; if we keep destroying nature, we will go down with it.
Climate breakdown is not someone else’s problem
The science-fiction writer Douglas Adams had a great idea for how to make something completely invisible. You generate a ‘someone else’s problem’ field around it. That way, every time someone looks at the thing, whatever it is, all they see is someone else’s problem, and they completely ignore it. I think that this is what we do when we think about the climate and ecological crises that are unfolding around us. These are huge problems, but they are also conveniently invisible. I’m not just talking about the fact that we can’t see the carbon dioxide in the air, or that species go extinct before they are even named by science; it goes deeper than that.
With a Rebel Yell, Scientists Cry ‘No, no, more!’
Adrenaline makes experiences hyper-real. Everything seems to move in slow motion, apart from my heart, which is so loud that I am sure people can hear it even over the traffic.
It’s 11:03 on a sunny November morning in central London. As the green man starts to shine, I walk into the middle of the road and sit down. On either side of me, people do the same. There can only be about 50 of us sitting on this pedestrian crossing, and I murmur ‘are we enough?’
‘Look behind you,’ says a new friend.
Climate’s last stand: Why Extinction Rebellion protesters are breaking the law
“A 4 degrees C future is incompatible with an organized global community,” climate and energy professor Kevin Anderson once told Grist.
Even if we cut emissions by 3.5 percent a year after 2020, we’ll hit 4 degrees Celsius warming by the end of this century. Just let that sink in for a minute. When babies born now are in their 80s, there could be no human civilization left to speak of. The Amazon rainforest is likely to die at 3-4°C of warming. And the corals? They’ll be long gone, dying out at 2°C. Currently, perversely, terrifyingly, global emissions are still rising.
If that is what we are facing, why are we all carrying on as normal? Well, some people aren’t. Extinction Rebellion is a UK-born group committing civil disobedience…
Bats and land use