Environment News – The Hunger Strike That Went Mostly Unnoticed / What a Difference Just 10% Could Make!
Some bite-sized pieces of news from the environment this week.
14 August, 2019
A London university is banning the sale of beef in campus food outlets in order to help tackle the climate crisis. It will also phase out single-use plastics, and install more solar panels to power its buildings. Goldsmiths, University of London plans to become carbon neutral by 2025. They will also switch to a completely clean energy supplier when its current contract ends, and look into how all students could take curriculum options related to the climate crisis. Good for them!
19-year-old Giovanni Tamacas went on hunger strike for 10 days in front of the White House and the US Capitol Building. He was protesting at the lack of action to thwart the climate crisis. Sadly, he didn’t seem to get a lot of mainstream media coverage. People from a wide spectrum of political affiliations approached Tamacas – one called him an idiot. But others were shocked when he explained the urgency of the climate emergency, as well as the extinction crisis. “People need to be terrified. We are racing toward the extinction of human beings” he said, calling the US government “criminally complicit”.
Humanity is having a hard time feeding itself, and it is only expected to get worse thanks to the climate crisis, according to a new United Nations report presented on Aug. 8. Written by more than 100 experts from 52 countries, the report said the time to address the threat is now. Climate change will bring extreme weather which will threaten the global food supply. Food shortages will cause increased migration, and this will happen all over the world. The solutions include re-evaluating land use and agriculture worldwide, encouraging consumers to eat meatless diets and reducing food waste. Last year, the same body issued the alarming finding that we have roughly a dozen years left before the world misses its window for averting runaway global warming.
Numbers and statistics can sometimes be a little…. well, boring. But these numbers are amazing! Switching just 10% of the huge subsidies supporting fossil fuels, to renewables would bring about a clean energy revolution, according to a new report. Renewable energy is very close to being price-competitive with fossil fuels – swapping subsidies would tip the balance, making renewables suddenly viable and able to replace large amounts of energy generation. When electricity from renewables is cheaper than fossils, governments around the world will start implementing renewable plants. Getting power from renewables also reduces air pollution, which saves money, and also reduces health care costs. And of course, renewables cut the carbon emissions that are causing the climate crisis.
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