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Environment and Spirituality
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20984

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

‘Literally drowning in plastic’: 414 million pieces of trash washed up on remote islands

When Jennifer Lavers first arrived to the remote collection of tiny islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean, she saw all the makings of a “quintessential tropical oasis.”

Beneath the waves, abundant coral reefs teemed with marine life. Clear turquoise water lapped against pristine white sand beaches lined with palm trees. Home to roughly 600 people and located about 1,300 miles off the coast of Western Australia, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands are touted as the country’s “last unspoiled paradise.”

But upon further exploration during a 2017 trip, Lavers, a researcher with the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, and her fellow scientists came across a starkly different sight — stretches of beach littered with an estimated 414 million pieces of garbage, a majority of which was buried underneath the sand. Almost all of it consisted of plastic items such as straws, toothbrushes and shoes, according to a study published last week in the journal Scientific Reports.

“Cocos is literally drowning in plastic, which is really sad considering how incredibly remote these islands are,” Lavers, the study’s lead author, said in an interview released by the university. “Most of the beaches are inundated with plastic.”

Photo and more...

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/literally-drowning-in-plastic-414-million-pieces-of-trash-washed-up-on-remote-islands/ar-AABKbtW?li=AAggNb9&ocid=mailsignout
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20984

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

World Environment Day: The gift of nature

The word environment has many layers of meaning. It can be understood as our surroundings, conditions, or the natural world as a whole. It is comprised of our planet and its atmosphere, humans, animals, plants, and built structures that societies construct. The environment is all around us, and everyday we live within it.

The faith of Islam teaches followers to care for Allah’s creation, encouraging us to look after the natural resources which have been gifted to us, and not to waste or disrupt the delicate balance of nature. Since we only inhabit the earth for a relatively short time, each of us has a responsibility to leave behind a better social and physical environment for the next generation.

Mawlana Hazar Imam has often spoken of the importance of caring for the environment. In Ottawa in 2013, he said, “Our faith constantly reminds us to observe and be thankful for the beauty of the world and the universe around us, and our responsibility and obligation, as good stewards of God’s creation, to leave the world in a better condition than we found it.”

Stewardship is the understanding that humans are responsible for nurturing, protecting, and conserving the earth, a tradition that has existed and been practiced for many centuries.

Historically, Muslims have adapted to the environment in diverse ways at different times, honouring the natural world. When constructing their capital city of Baghdad, the Abbasid caliphs designed large gardens, providing homes for animals, birds, and rare plants, and spaces for humans to enjoy. Under the Umayyad caliphs in the city of Cordoba, Spain, new farming methods were introduced from regions of the eastern Mediterranean such as water wheels, mills, and tree planting. This helped farmers grow better crops and cultivate more land. In Cairo, the Fatimid Imam-caliphs built networks of canals and water channels for transportation, dams to control flooding, and cleared streams to improve the flow of water.

As time has passed, the environment has changed immensely. Industrialisation has led to increased use of natural resources such as coal, oil, gas, and water, to fuel the continuing development of societies around the world. Today, the world is witnessing changes in climate, extreme weather patterns, and ecological instability, and many people are directly impacted by the effects of these changes.

Prince Aly Muhammad travelled to Northern Pakistan in 2017 to hear of and witness these effects first hand, and made a film entitled Close to Home to highlight the challenges faced by communities due to the effects of natural disasters and environmental degradation caused by climate change. Explaining the context behind his film at the International Film Festival last year in Lisbon, Prince Aly Muhammad said, “Climate change is an issue that is becoming more and more urgent. And it’s an issue that my generation and young adults will have to deal with. And that’s why I went to Northern Pakistan and I made Close to Home.”

The film illustrates the resilience and bravery of the young people in the region, who show a sense of hope and motivation to overcome the daily challenges they face due to a changing climate.

This example of hope can be harnessed and carried forward to help mitigate the dangers of environmental disaster, and reverse the negative impacts of industrialisation and over-consumption on our planet and its oceans.

Prince Hussain has been an avid environmentalist since a young age, and established Focused on Nature to share his passion and personal mission of conservation. Speaking at the inauguration of his Nature Photography exhibit at the Diamond Jubilee Celebration in Lisbon last year, he explained, “We have so many issues to deal with and the environment is a very important one, a very big one.”

His photo exhibit focuses on the fragile beauty of the underwater environment, shining a positive light on aquatic animals that are often feared or misunderstood. “[I am] doing the part that I can, a small part to reverse things and change people’s minds a little bit and to share the beauty I see,” Prince Hussain said.

All individuals and communities have a part to play in redressing the balance of nature. Even small actions can add up to a significant positive impact over time. Being conscious of our consumption is a good place to start; using reusable or recyclable bags and packaging, reducing excessive use of energy and water, and being mindful of how much we tend to waste.

Members of the Ismaili community are participating in environmental programming, and in the process, applying the ethic of stewardship to this real-world situation. Jamats around the world have organised tree-planting events, have been involved in park and beach clean-ups, and have gathered at events to dialogue on ways to reduce waste, and live in harmony with the natural world.

Similarly, Jamatkhanas and Ismaili Centres have been designed to complement their surroundings. Often incorporated within them are courtyards, gardens, and fountains, which promote a sense of peace, and mirror the beauty of the natural world’s open spaces, greenery, and flowing water. The elegant and timeless appeal of the buildings and their gardens is one way in which the Ismaili Imamat and Jamat gives back to the environment in various parts of the world, and is also a reflection of the Islamic tradition which gives beauty its own intrinsic value.

Respecting the gifts of creation by following examples from history and finding new ways to adapt to and care for our shared planet, can allow us to thrive and grow alongside the natural world, enabling us to handover a sustainable environment to those who will inherit the world after us.

https://the.ismaili/our-stories/world-environment-day-gift-nature
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saving the Environment - Florida Jamatkhanas Go Green in 2019

Florida Jamatkhanas have turned to eliminate usage of plastic water containers and plastic bags. These are just two steps, in addition to other best practices, to “Going Green.” The initiative was launched January 1st in three Florida Jamatkhanas, and will continue to be implemented in the remaining two centers.

Care of the larger environment and the planet is every individual’s responsibility and by launching this initiative it is hoped that the Jamat will extend it to homes. The initial idea was presented by Amin Lalani, Volunteer Resource Management (VRM) Lead, and soon the “Go Green” project was approved under the direction of President Zahra Hayat-Daya and the the Ismaili Council for Florida.

Naina Panjwani, the “Go Green” Project Manager began planning the requirements and next steps to make this a reality within six months. There were challenges to be overcome, including the cost of installing filtration systems in all centers, making eco-friendly bags available for naandi, plastic elimination, placing blue recycle bins in centers, and planning for increasing awareness in the Jamat to help them understand how they can contribute to protecting our environment with small steps.

“This project is a real initiative to improve lives in the community,” says Naina. The project has three objectives:

1) Reduce the amount of waste that we create; for example, by installing a water filtration system. Reducing waste is at the top hierarchy of this Green initiative. If we use less, then there is less to reuse and recycle.

2) Reuse the resources by implementing innovative ideas such as reusable bags.

3) Recycle the materials that we have used; the Go Green project will do this by introducing blue recycle bins.

“We will announce the benefits to the Jamat, every quarter,” said VRM Lead Amin. The idea here is to collect the data, and share it with the Jamat by means of educational videos, speakers, flyers, and even field trips to the recycling plants for REC students and seniors. He hopes this will inspire the Jamat to implement the initiative in their daily lives.

Based on the implementation success of the Florida centers, the second round of Go Green deployment would be nationwide. This would not only saving thousands of dollars, but also improve the general environmental health of our planet.

Photos at:

https://the.ismaili/usa/saving-environment-florida-jamatkhanas-go-green-2019?utm_source=Direct
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fake Meat Will Save Us

Until we have real leadership on climate, changing what we eat is the biggest thing we can do to save the planet.


Excerpt:

At a moment when animal-based agriculture is near the top of planet-killing culprits, ditching meat for substitutes, faux or otherwise, is the most effective thing an individual can do to fight climate change, according to a study in the journal Science. I say this as an appreciative omnivore. I love a flank steak fresh off the grill, a leg of lamb seasoned and slow-cooked, a brat at a ballpark, as do most of us. Vegans and vegetarians make only about 8 percent of the population, a static number.

Industrial agriculture to produce meat is the coal-mining of food production. Producing a single beef burger takes about 660 gallons of water — equivalent to a full week of water use by the average household in the United States. At the same time, unhealthy diets pose a greater risk of early death than unsafe sex, alcohol, drug and tobacco use combined, as the medical journal Lancet recently reported.

The cautionary note is that we don’t have enough experience yet with the “secret sauce” that makes the new line of fake burgers taste so good. Both Beyond Meat, and Impossible Foods, the two darlings of alt-meat, use about 20 different ingredients in their patties. They are highly processed Frankenfoods hatched in a lab, not carrots pulled out of the earth.

Also, food panaceas in general don’t have the best track record. Remember margarine as a healthful alternative to butter? “Diet” soda makes people crave a big hit of real sugar water. Some granola is worse for you than an Oreo cookie.

That said, these are very dangerous times for all living things. You may have missed the sad notice that the friendship tree given by France to President Trump has died an early death. As a metaphor for what happens to everything touched by Trump, it’s too easy. It’s as if the little oak sapling, acting on behalf of all that is endangered by this biohazard of a presidency, died to send a message.

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/21/opinion/fake-meat-climate-change.html?em_pos=small&ref=headline&nl_art=5&te=1&nl=opinion-today&emc=edit_ty_20190621?campaign_id=39&instance_id=10381&segment_id=14527&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=45305309emc=edit_ty_20190621
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interview with Abyd Karmali, leader in climate change and sustainable finance

The.Ismaili is pleased to publish an interview with Abyd Karmali, OBE, Managing Director and Climate Financing Executive at a multinational financial institution, and Vice Chair of the Aga Khan Foundation (UK) National Committee. Abyd discusses his perspective on the interaction between humankind and nature, and the implications of climate change in today’s rapidly changing world.

Full interview:

https://the.ismaili/our-stories/interview-abyd-karmali-leader-climate-change-and-sustainable-finance

*******

The Flower That Came Back From the Dead

The Tennessee coneflower is proof that much of nature might yet recover — if we commit ourselves to change.


Excerpt:

The star of the cedar glades of Middle Tennessee is the Tennessee coneflower. First identified as a distinct species in 1898, it was for decades assumed to be extinct. In 1968 it was rediscovered by Elsie Quarterman, a legendary Vanderbilt botanist, who immediately went to work to protect it. The Tennessee coneflower became one of the first plant species added to the Endangered Species List.

Through the combined efforts of Dr. Quarterman, the Tennessee chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as many private and corporate donors, the Tennessee coneflower population rebounded. It was removed from the endangered species list in 2011. Dr. Quarterman attended the delisting ceremony at Cedars of Lebanon State Park. She was 101.

The Tennessee coneflower is not the only species to return from the dead. Other so-called Lazarus species include the New Guinea wild dog, the Nelson shrew, the stubfoot toad, the takahe bird and the Bocourt’s terrific skink, just for starters. (There is also some hope for the Formosan clouded leopard, with a number of yet-to-be-confirmed sightings reported recently in Taiwan.) Each one reminds us that recovery is sometimes possible, even for a species believed to be lost forever.

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/24/opinion/tennessee-coneflower-nature.html?em_pos=small&ref=headline&nl_art=6&te=1&nl=opinion-today&emc=edit_ty_20190624?campaign_id=39&instance_id=10434&segment_id=14593&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=45305309emc=edit_ty_20190624
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Climate Change Finds Its Way to the 'Rooftop' in Tajikistan

PAMIR, Tajikistan (IDN) – The great mountains of Pamir that have been known as the ‘Roof of the World’ over the centuries is now falling victim to climatic change. One of the largest glaciers here, Garmo glacier, has retreated by a staggering 7 kilometers in the past few decades with the annual mean temperatures recording an upwards trend over the past decade.

Pamir is situated at an altitude of over 2000 meters in the heart of Central Asia. Throughout centuries it has been the hub for many great empires such as the Persian Empire and the Roman Empire led by the boundless Alexander the Great. However, in the recent years, climate change has had its toll on the great mountains here and the whole of Tajikistan.

“The rain and snow patterns have changed in terms of frequency and intensity. The change appears out of sync with livelihood practices, such as agriculture” says Murodbek Laljebev, researcher at the University of Central Asia in Khorog.

The annual average temperature in Pamir glacier zones has been increasing over the past decades from a -4 degrees centigrade in the 1960s to -0.8 degrees centigrade in 2019. According to research, by 2100 the average temperature is to be around 2.2 degrees. Over the past few years the retreating process has increased tremendously, and it is predicted to increase even more in the future.

A climate change induced rise in temperature of 1.8 - 2.9 degrees will lead to significant reduction in the glaciers.

Tajikistan is considered as the main glacial center of Central Asia, with glaciers occupying about 6 percent of the total country area. Most of them situated in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast. These glaciers perform an important function by retaining water, controlling water flows and regulating the climate as a whole.

According to data, Tajikistan and its mountainous region of Pamir is the source of 50% of the water that Central Asia needs. This is worrying to many researchers as Laljubaev points out, “the fact that most of the Central Asian water finds its sources from glaciers situated in the Pamirs which have retreated due to climate change, draws a concerning future for Central Asia. It sadly means there will be less water available for a larger population in the future.“

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https://www.indepthnews.net/index.php/archive-search/central-asia/2773-climate-change-finds-its-way-to-the-rooftop-in-tajikistan
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One Casualty of the Palm Oil Industry: An Orangutan Mother, Shot 74 Times

Indonesia has promised to stop clearing jungle for plantations. So why are endangered apes still on the front lines of the conservation battle?


BUNGA TANJUNG, Indonesia — The men came at Hope and her baby with spears and guns. But she would not leave. There was no place for her to go.

When the air-gun pellets pierced Hope’s eyes, blinding her, she felt her way up the tree trunks, auburn-furred fingers searching out tropical fruit for sustenance.

By the end, Hope’s torso was slashed with deep lacerations. Multiple bones were broken. Seventy-four pellets were lodged in her body. Her months-old baby had been ripped away.

Hope, who was named at a rehabilitation center, is a Sumatran orangutan — a critically endangered animal that scientists warn could be the first major great ape species to go extinct. As jungle and swamp are cleared for palm oil plantations, orangutans, whose name means “people of the forest” in Malay, are losing the very habitat that gives them their identity.

All around the Indonesian island of Sumatra, charred landscapes of blackened tree stumps and singed earth attest to the devastation wrought by humans.

“Twenty thousand hectares are cleared and a couple trees are left and the orangutan looks around and says, ‘What happened to my forest?’” said Ian Singleton, the director of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program.

Two nations, Indonesia and Malaysia, provide the world with more than 80 percent of the palm oil used in everything from biofuel and cooking oil to lipstick and chocolate. Last September, amid concerns over diminishing habitat for endangered species and dangerous carbon emissions from mass burnings to clear land, Indonesia stopped issuing new licenses for palm oil plantations.

But as Hope’s plight shows, directives issued in air-conditioned government offices can mean little in poor villages. The global appetite for palm oil is still voracious.

More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/29/world/asia/orangutan-indonesia-palm-oil.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_190630?campaign_id=2&instance_id=10576&segment_id=14792&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=453053090630
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheerleaders and police usher in a new era of trash-sorting

Shanghai authorities use propaganda, shame, and the threat of fines to urge residents to obey strict new recycling rules


“What kind of rubbish are you?” This question might normally provoke anger, but in Shanghai it has elicited weary groans over the past week. On July 1st the city introduced stringent trash-sorting regulations that are expected to be used as a model for the country. Residents must divide their waste into four separate categories and toss it into specific public bins. They must do so at scheduled times, when monitors are present to ensure compliance (and to inquire into the nature of one’s rubbish.) Violators face the prospect of fines and worse.

Shanghai authorities are responding to an obvious environmental problem. It generates 9m tonnes of garbage a year, more than London’s annual output and rising quickly. But like other cities in China, it lacks a recycling system. Instead, it has relied on trash pickers to sift through the waste, plucking out whatever can be reused. This has limits. As people get wealthier, fewer of them want to do such dirty work. The waste, meanwhile, just keeps piling up. China churns out 80bn pairs of disposable chopsticks a year.

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https://www.economist.com/china/2019/07/06/cheerleaders-and-police-usher-in-a-new-era-of-trash-sorting
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leave wholesome planet better than you found it for our successors

In Summary

The government, the commercial sector and civil society all have a responsibility to create an environment of interacting forces for development.
Kenya has shown continuous and unwavering efforts to protect the environment and preserve its natural resources

The AKDN is a private network of 11 commercial as well as not-for-profit agencies that has a 100-year legacy in Kenya.

Man is God’s noblest creation to whom He has entrusted the stewardship of all that is on earth.

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https://www.nation.co.ke/oped/opinion/Leave-planet-better-than-you-found-it/440808-5190900-154w01kz/index.html
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We Went to the Moon. Why Can’t We Solve Climate Change?

The original moon shoot inspired billions. Calling climate action a moon shot isn’t a perfect parallel — but maybe we should try it anyway.


Could a “moon shot” for climate change cool a warming planet?

Fifty years after humans first left bootprints in the lunar dust, it’s an enticing idea. The effort and the commitment of brainpower and money, and the glorious achievement itself, shine as an international example of what people can do when they set their minds to it. The spinoff technologies ended up affecting all of our lives.

So why not do it all over again — but instead of going to another astronomical body and planting a flag, why not save our own planet? Why not face it with the kind of inspiration that John F. Kennedy projected when he stood up at Rice University in 1962 and said “We choose to go to the moon,” and to do such things:

“ … not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win …”

But President Kennedy did not have to convince people that the moon existed. In our current political climate, the clear evidence that humans have generated greenhouse gases that are having a powerful effect on climate, and will have a greater effect into the future, has not moved the federal government to act with vigor. And a determined faction even argues that climate change is a hoax, as President Donald Trump has falsely stated at various times.

More....

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/19/climate/moon-shot-climate-change.html?em_pos=small&ref=headline&nl_art=1&te=1&nl=science-times&emc=edit_sc_20190720?campaign_id=34&instance_id=11047&segment_id=15403&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=45305309emc=edit_sc_20190720
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UAE Jamat strives towards a sustainable future

Today, climate change affects every country on every continent. It has become a global challenge that requires local engagement. In response, the Jamat in the United Arab Emirates has actively participated in environmental programming in the country, acting as stewards for a sustainable, green future.

Islam encourages humankind to live in harmony with the natural environment, and not to take advantage of it, nor disrupt the delicate balance of the earth’s ecosystem. Residents of the UAE find themselves fortunate to be situated in a region of the world where access to safe water, clean air, and habitable land is relatively easy to come by. However, not all communities are as fortunate, with warmer temperatures, stronger storms, and rising sea levels already having an adverse impact, especially in the developing world.

Sura Rahman from the Holy Qur’an serves as a reminder that awareness and participation in environmental practices is an individual responsibility.

“Sun and moon in measured order,
Shrubs and trees bow down;
The sky He raised, and established the balance,
So that you do not infringe the balance,
But measure in fairness, and not shortchange the balance.
The earth He laid out for the living,
Wherein are fruits and palms in clusters,
Grains on stalks, and sweet-scented flowers.” (55:5-9)

For a number of years, the Aga Khan Boy Scouts and Girl Guides have provided a shining example through their involvement in the “Clean Up UAE” campaign. The initiative was established by the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) 17 years ago, to help protect and enhance the region’s natural environment. In 2018 Clean-up UAE saw 32.5 tons of waste collected by thousands of volunteers across Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, and Abu Dhabi.

More recently, the Ismaili Centre Dubai hosted an EEG awards ceremony on 19 May to unveil and celebrate the winners of this year’s Environmental Drawing Competition. The 13th edition of the competition saw the participation of more than 162,000 students and aims to foster creativity amongst the young generation and maximise awareness on sustainability issues, guiding them towards developing a sense of care and respect for the environment through art.

Photos and more...
https://the.ismaili/our-stories/uae-jamat-strives-towards-sustainable-future?utm_source=Direct
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Farmers Don’t Need to Read the Science. We Are Living It.

A new report is another dire warning on climate change.


FIREBAUGH, Calif. — Many farmers probably haven’t read the new report from the United Nations warning of threats to the global food supply from climate change and land misuse. But we don’t need to read the science — we’re living it.

Here in the San Joaquin Valley, one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions, there’s not much debate anymore that the climate is changing. The drought of recent years made it hard to ignore; we had limited surface water for irrigation, and the groundwater was so depleted that land sank right under our feet.

Temperatures in nearby Fresno rose to 100 degrees or above on 15 days last month, which was the hottest month worldwide on record, following the hottest June ever. (The previous July, temperatures reached at least 100 degrees on 26 consecutive days, surpassing the record of 22 days in 2005.) The heat is hard to ignore when you and your crew are trying to fix a broken tractor or harvest tomatoes under a blazing sun. As the world heats up, so do our soils, making it harder to get thirsty plants the water they need.

The valley’s characteristic winter tule fog is also disappearing, and winters are getting warmer. Yields of many stone fruits and nuts that feed the country are declining because the trees require cool winters and those fogs trap cool air in the valley. Warm winters also threaten the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which provides 30 percent of California’s water. We had a good wet winter this year, but a few years ago the snowpack was at its lowest level in 500 years. We also worry that last year’s record California wildfires, which blanketed the valley with smoke for weeks, might become the new normal. I don’t get sick much, but that summer I had a hard time breathing because of the congestion in my lungs.

More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/09/opinion/climate-change-food-report.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_190810?campaign_id=2&instance_id=11408&segment_id=16040&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=453053090810
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Thick Gray Line: Forest Elephants Defend Against Climate Change

If the species is wiped out by poachers, Africa’s vast rain forest will lose 7 percent of its carbon storage ability, scientists estimate.


Poaching destabilizes nations, disrupts ecosystems and threatens biodiversity. A recent study suggests still another consequence: Some types of poaching may also accelerate climate change.

Forest elephants — the smaller, endangered relatives of African savanna elephants — promote the growth of large trees that excel at storing carbon, according to research published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Should forest elephants disappear, scientists estimated, Central Africa’s rain forest will lose about three billion tons of carbon — the equivalent of France’s total CO2 emissions for 27 years.

“This new paper points to something that we in Central Africa have suspected for a long time, but now this group has thrown some serious science at the issue,” said Fiona Maisels, a conservation scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Society and at the University of Stirling in Scotland.

More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/19/science/elephants-climate-change.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_190820?campaign_id=2&instance_id=11593&segment_id=16305&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=453053090820
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Veggie Burgers and Fake Meat: Pros and Cons

SUMMARY

Inspired by health, ethical, and environmental concerns, more and more people are eating plant-based foods and plant-based meat alternatives. And the range of options is growing rapidly. But how do veggie burgers and fake meats stack up? We know they can be better for the environment and the animals, but what about your health? This article evaluates the pros and cons of popular plant-based meat options.

Back in the 60s, when my parents were coming of age, the dream of a plant-based hamburger that could satisfy meat-eaters was practically inconceivable. The best they could find in their local health food co-ops were hockey puck-shaped patties comprised of lentils, red beans, corn, or wheat. These earnest imitations didn’t fool anybody. And nobody ever tried to cook them on a grill — at least, not twice.

Fast forward 50 years, and the plant-based, “fake animal products” industry is exploding. There are more alternatives to cheese, milk, butter, and eggs than ever before. Some taste and perform almost or as well as their animal analogues. And they’ve gone mainstream too; many mainstream supermarkets carry these products to cater to the growing number of consumers who are trying to curb their consumption of meat, dairy, and eggs.

And the part of that industry making the biggest technological strides is plant-based meats. Many grocery stores now carry several meat alternatives like plant-based burgers, hot dogs, and sausages. And more and more restaurants and fast food chains are adding plant-based burgers and other fake meats to their menus.

Is this a positive trend? What are the pros and cons of eating plant-based meat alternatives? Are they healthy, or just another way to grow heart disease and obesity?

More....

https://foodrevolution.org/blog/plant-based-meat-alternatives/?utm_campaign=frn19&utm_medium=email&utm_source=email-automated&utm_content=5555&utm_term=existing-email-list&email=kmaherali%40gmail.com&firstname=Karim&lastname=
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

United States Jamat works to promote sustainability

Science has provided humankind with countless advancements, but also the ability to cause damage to the environment. Through awareness, education, and action, small steps at the individual level can lead to collective positive change. In this vein, Ismailis across the United States have taken steps to help sustain the planet’s resources for the future.

The advent of science has generated numerous technological innovations, including those in transportation, communication, health, and agriculture, which have improved the quality of human life. At the same time however, technological progress has also led to an array of challenges such as overpopulation, climate change, species eradication, and pollution. The daily actions of humans, of which we are sometimes completely oblivious, have been shown to result in irreversible environmental damage.

The Holy Qur’an says, “It is Allah Who has made for you the earth as a resting place, and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape and made your shapes beautiful and has provided for you sustenance.” [40:64]

Due to growing awareness of the state of the planet we share, and more than ever before, there is interest in developing solutions to help curb the many environmental problems that have arisen over time. We now have many novel and more efficient technological solutions, such as the generation of clean renewable energy, advanced methods in recycling, and precision agriculture.

“Future generations will either remember us as the generation that destroyed its home, or the one that finally came to respect it,” said Munir Meghjani, who helped to initiate Sustainable Nation, a program which has eliminated the use of plastic water bottles and plastic bags in Jamatkhanas across the United States.

Photos and more...

https://the.ismaili/our-stories/united-states-jamat-works-promote-sustainability
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fashion Kills

How our hunger for more clothes is killing the environment and exploiting workers


To mark New York Fashion Week, longtime style reporter Dana Thomas is ripping the veil off the industry. Her new book, Fashionopolis, is an indictment of the true costs of fashion—like poisoned water, crushed workers, and overflowing landfills—that never make it onto the price tag of a dress or pair of jeans. Between 2000 and 2014, the annual number of garments produced doubled to 100 billion: 14 new garments per person per year for every person on the planet. The average garment is only worn seven times before being tossed—assuming it’s not one of the 20 billion clothing items that go unsold and unworn. It’s no surprise, then, that the fashion industry accounts for at least 10 percent of global carbon emissions and 20 percent of all industrial water pollution. Though the industry employs one out of every six people globally, fewer than two percent of them earn a living wage—more than 98 percent of workers are not only underpaid, they also toil in unsafe, unsanitary conditions. But change is underfoot: retailers are shifting their supply models, circular and slow fashion are on the rise, and new technology is making the manufacture of new and recycled fabrics cleaner. Dana Thomas joins the podcast to explain what will be required to fix a broken system.

Podcast and more...

https://theamericanscholar.org/fashion-kills/?utm_source=email#.XYF8sShKgU4
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caring for our environment: The gift of nature

The faith of Islam teaches followers to care for Allah’s creation, encouraging us to look after the natural resources which have been gifted to us, and not to waste or disrupt the delicate balance of nature. Since we only inhabit the earth for a relatively short time, each of us has a responsibility to leave behind a better social and physical environment for the next generation.

The word environment has many layers of meaning. It can be understood as our surroundings, conditions, or the natural world as a whole. It is comprised of our planet and its atmosphere, humans, animals, plants, and built structures that societies construct. The environment is all around us, and everyday we live within it.

Mawlana Hazar Imam has often spoken of the importance of caring for the environment. In Ottawa in 2013, he said, “Our faith constantly reminds us to observe and be thankful for the beauty of the world and the universe around us, and our responsibility and obligation, as good stewards of God’s creation, to leave the world in a better condition than we found it.”

Stewardship is the understanding that humans are responsible for nurturing, protecting, and conserving the earth, a tradition that has existed and been practiced for many centuries.

As time has passed and societies have progressed, the environment has changed immensely. Industrialisation has led to increased use of natural resources such as coal, oil, gas, and water, to fuel the continuing development of societies around the world. Today, the world is witnessing changes in climate, extreme weather patterns, and ecological instability, and many people are directly impacted by the effects of these changes.

Prince Aly Muhammad travelled to Northern Pakistan in 2017 to hear of and witness these effects first hand, and made a film entitled Close to Home to highlight the challenges faced by communities due to the effects of natural disasters and environmental degradation caused by climate change. Explaining the context behind his film at the International Film Festival last year in Lisbon, Prince Aly Muhammad said, “Climate change is an issue that is becoming more and more urgent. And it’s an issue that my generation and young adults will have to deal with. And that’s why I went to Northern Pakistan and I made Close to Home.”

The film illustrates the resilience and bravery of the young people in the region, who show a sense of hope and motivation to overcome the daily challenges they face due to a changing climate.

This example of hope can be harnessed and carried forward to help mitigate the dangers of environmental disaster, and reverse the negative impacts of industrialisation and over-consumption on our planet and its oceans.

Prince Hussain has been an avid environmentalist since a young age, and established Focused on Nature to share his passion and personal mission of conservation. Speaking at the inauguration of his Nature Photography exhibit at the Diamond Jubilee Celebration in Lisbon last year, he explained, “We have so many issues to deal with and the environment is a very important one, a very big one.”

His photo exhibit focuses on the fragile beauty of the underwater environment, shining a positive light on aquatic animals that are often feared or misunderstood. “[I am] doing the part that I can, a small part to reverse things and change people’s minds a little bit and to share the beauty I see,” Prince Hussain said.

All individuals and communities have a part to play in redressing the balance of nature. Even small actions can add up to a significant positive impact over time. Being conscious of our consumption is a good place to start; using reusable or recyclable bags and packaging, reducing excessive use of energy and water, and being mindful of how much we tend to waste.

Members of the Ismaili community are participating in environmental programming, and in the process, applying the ethic of stewardship to this real-world situation. Jamats around the world have organised tree-planting events, have been involved in park and beach clean-ups, and have gathered at events to dialogue on ways to reduce waste, and live in harmony with the natural world.

Similarly, Jamatkhanas and Ismaili Centres have been designed to complement their surroundings. Often incorporated within them are courtyards, gardens, and fountains, which promote a sense of peace, and mirror the beauty of the natural world’s open spaces, greenery, and flowing water. The elegant and timeless appeal of the buildings and their gardens is one way in which the Ismaili Imamat and Jamat gives back to the environment in various parts of the world, and is also a reflection of the Islamic tradition which gives beauty its own intrinsic value.

Respecting the gifts of creation by following examples from history and finding new ways to adapt to and care for our shared planet, can allow us to thrive and grow alongside the natural world, enabling us to handover a sustainable environment to those who will inherit the world after us.

Photos:

https://the.ismaili/our-stories/caring-our-environment-gift-nature?utm_source=the.ismaili&utm_campaign=ce63c585a9-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_09_20_03_37&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_701966eea3-ce63c585a9-173435533

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The Crisis for Birds Is a Crisis for Us All

The mass disappearance of North American birds is a dire warning about the planet’s well-being.


Nearly one-third of the wild birds in the United States and Canada have vanished since 1970, a staggering loss that suggests the very fabric of North America’s ecosystem is unraveling.

The disappearance of 2.9 billion birds over the past nearly 50 years was reported today in the journal Science, a result of a comprehensive study by a team of scientists from seven research institutions in the United States and Canada.

As ornithologists and the directors of two major research institutes that directed this study, even we were shocked by the results. We knew of well-documented losses among shorebirds and songbirds. But the magnitude of losses among 300 bird species was much larger than we had expected and alarmingly widespread across the continent.

What makes this study particularly compelling is the trustworthiness of the data. Birds are the best-studied group of wildlife; their populations have been carefully monitored over decades by scientists and citizen scientists alike. And in recent years, scientists have been able to track the volume of nighttime bird migrations through a network of 143 high-resolution weather radars. This study pulls all of that data together, and the results signal an unfolding crisis. More than half our grassland birds have disappeared, 717 million in all. Forests have lost more than one billion birds.

More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/opinion/crisis-birds-north-america.html?te=1&nl=david-leonhardt&emc=edit_ty_20190920?campaign_id=39&instance_id=12517&segment_id=17192&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=45305309
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The World Begins To Slowly Cooperate On New Nuclear Energy

Canadian and United States nuclear regulators have signed a first-of-a-kind Memorandum of Cooperation that will see our two countries collaborate on the technical reviews of advanced reactor and small modular reactor technologies.

Kristine Svinicki, Chair of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Rumina Velshi, President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, signed the MOC in Ottawa that is specifically designed “to increase regulatory effectiveness through collaborative work on the technical reviews of advanced reactor and small modular reactor technologies.”

The MOC, the first of its kind between U.S. and Canadian regulators on nuclear power development, builds on a joint memorandum of understanding signed by the regulators in 2017.

More...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2019/09/30/the-world-begins-to-slowly-cooperate-on-new-nuclear-energy/#2771f73c3e9e
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Climate explained: how much of climate change is natural? How much is man-made?

As someone who has been working on climate change detection and its causes for over 20 years I was both surprised and not surprised that I was asked to write on this topic by The Conversation. For nearly all climate scientists, the case is proven that humans are the overwhelming cause of the long-term changes in the climate that we are observing. And that this case should be closed.

Despite this, climate denialists continue to receive prominence in some media which can lead people into thinking that man-made climate change is still in question. So it’s worth going back over the science to remind ourselves just how much has already been established.

Successive reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – mandated by the United Nations to assess scientific evidence on climate change – have evaluated the causes of climate change. The most recent special report on global warming of 1.5 degrees confirms that the observed changes in global and regional climate over the last 50 or so years are almost entirely due to human influence on the climate system and not due to natural causes.

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https://www.cnbcafrica.com/news/special-report/2019/10/10/climate-explained-how-much-of-climate-change-is-natural-how-much-is-man-made/
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amyn Dahya

Only you can restore the climate…


In the recent months, we have seen a surge in awareness and concern about the state of our climate. Many protests have been held all over the world in an effort to reach out to people in positions of power and influence. However, the change is not occurring at a fast enough pace. We can all, as individuals, effect significant change by implementing simple, practical solutions, which I have shared in the video below..

Have a blessed week ahead my dear friends, graced with happiness and empowerment in all aspects of your lives.

Video at:

https://www.facebook.com/amyn.dahya.2/videos/808984856185540/
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Steel Mill That Helped Build the American West Goes Green

Wind and solar power will replace coal at a Colorado furnace.


PUEBLO, Colo. — Sparks flew a hundred feet in the air. Bare metal shrieked as powerful jolts of electricity passed through a furnace that melts scrap — like old cars and tossed-out refrigerators — into puddles, turning them into shiny recycled steel.

As I watched recently, the great arc furnace at one of the nation’s most storied steel mills was sucking in more electrical power than any other machine in Colorado, produced in part at a plant a few miles away that burns Wyoming coal by the ton.

But the electrical supply for the mill is changing.

A huge solar farm, one of the largest in the country, is to be built here on the grounds of the Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel mill. In addition to producing power for the giant mill, the farm, Bighorn Solar, will supply homes and businesses across Colorado. So far as I can tell, Evraz Rocky Mountain will be the first steel mill in the world that can claim to be powered largely by solar energy.

The announcement at the plant a couple of weeks ago, by Gov. Jared Polis and other dignitaries, was a striking turn of events in the history of American industry.

James Herald, president and chief executive of Evraz’s North American unit, declared that the mill “will produce the greenest steel and the greenest steel products in the world.”

More....

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/opinion/solar-colorado-steel-mill.html?te=1&nl=david-leonhardt&emc=edit_ty_20191017?campaign_id=39&instance_id=13140&segment_id=17968&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=45305309
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's it like to suffer from climate change in Pakistan?

Climate Stories Pakistan travelled across the country to collect people's stories.


Pakistan is the eight-most vulnerable country to climate change. What does life in such conditions look like? The Climate Stories Pakistan team travelled the length and breath of the country to collect stories of people's climate suffering as well as of their resilience. These accounts showcase the human dimension of climate change and will hopefully inspire empathy and collective action in face of increasing catastrophes.

Stories and more...

https://www.dawn.com/news/1512123/whats-it-like-to-suffer-from-climate-change-in-pakistan
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Earth might look like in 80 years if we're lucky — and if we're not

Slide show at:

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/lifestyle/smart-living/what-earth-might-look-like-in-80-years-if-were-lucky-%e2%80%94-and-if-were-not/ss-AAJhycr?li=AAggNb9&ocid=mailsignout
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Extinction Rebellion Is Creating a New Narrative of the Climate Crisis

In London, activists are taking to the streets to eschew hopelessness in favor of repair.


Excerpt:

But it wasn’t until I encountered the Uncivilisation festival, a gathering that explored creative responses to systemic collapse, hosted by Dark Mountain Project, that I knew what was missing from any positive narrative about climate change I might write. The talk around the fire was not about climate data and behavior change, but about an existential crisis — a crisis that made space for people to turn away from the myths of progress, human centrality and our separation from “nature” and, instead, become humbler, more imaginative creatures.

To speak with each other about the complexity of the crisis meant we could not remain in a conventional culture. This is what you could see this month on the streets. Where politicians encourage people to be hostile and individualistic, the “rebels” work together and make rigorous efforts to listen beneath and beyond inflammatory rhetoric. Where the manufactured world wears a slick corporate style, Extinction Rebellion brings color, texture and diversity.

The shape of their rebellion is not the orderly stream of protesters flowing down the streets with placards. It’s a wild, impromptu mix — of circus performers and a funeral procession, of 400 trees left outside Parliament for legislators to plant and 40 “rebel writers” reading in Trafalgar Square, of a mothers and babies “nurse-in” outside Google’s headquarters. It’s a marriage, a game of cricket and a ceilidh (a gathering with dancing and music) on Westminster Bridge, and a singer in a baroque band singing Henry Purcell’s “Remember Me” at the end of Downing Street.

More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/28/opinion/extinction-rebellion-london.html?te=1&nl=david-leonhardt&emc=edit_ty_20191029?campaign_id=39&instance_id=13450&segment_id=18328&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=45305309
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Hidden Cost of Gold: Birth Defects and Brain Damage

CIDAHU, Indonesia — Thousands of children with crippling birth defects. Half a million people poisoned. A toxic chemical found in the food supply. Accusations of a government cover-up and police officers on the take.

This is the legacy of Indonesia’s mercury trade, a business intertwined with the lucrative and illegal production of gold.

More than a hundred nations have joined a global campaign to reduce the international trade in mercury, an element so toxic there is “no known safe level of exposure,” according to health experts.

But that effort has backfired in Indonesia, where illicit backyard manufacturers have sprung up to supply wildcat miners and replace mercury that was previously imported from abroad. Now, Indonesia produces so much black-market mercury that it has become a major global supplier, surreptitiously shipping thousands of tons to other parts of the world.

Much of the mercury is destined for use in gold mining in Africa and Asia, passing through hubs such as Dubai and Singapore, according to court records — and the trade has deadly consequences.

More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/09/world/asia/indonesia-mercury-pollution-gold-mining.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_191110?campaign_id=2&instance_id=13708&segment_id=18674&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=453053091110
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

5 Global Trends Shaping Our Climate Future

WASHINGTON — Wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles are spreading far more quickly around the world than many experts had predicted. But this rapid growth in clean energy isn’t yet fast enough to slash humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions and get global warming under control.

That’s the conclusion of the International Energy Agency, which on Tuesday published its annual World Energy Outlook, an 810-page report that forecasts global energy trends to 2040. Since last year, the agency has significantly increased its future projections for offshore wind farms, solar installations and battery-powered cars, both because these technologies keep getting cheaper and because countries like India keep ramping up their clean-energy targets.

But the report also issues a stark warning on climate change, estimating that the energy policies countries currently have on their books could cause global greenhouse gas emissions to continue rising for the next 20 years. One reason: The world’s appetite for energy keeps surging, and the rise of renewables so far hasn’t been fast enough to satisfy all that extra demand. The result: fossil fuels use, particularly natural gas, keeps growing to supply the rest.

“Without new policies in place, the world will miss its climate goals by a very large margin,” said Fatih Birol, the agency’s executive director.

More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/climate/energy-trends-climate-change.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_191113?campaign_id=2&instance_id=13711&segment_id=18739&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=453053091113
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much would giving up meat help the environment?

Going vegan for two-thirds of meals could cut food-related carbon emissions by 60%


IT IS NO secret that steaks and chops are delicious. But guzzling them incurs high costs for both carnivorous humans and the planet. Over half of adults in both America and Britain say they want to reduce their meat consumption, according to Mintel, a market-research firm. Whether they will is a different matter. The amount of meat that Americans and Britons consume per day has risen by 10% since 1970, according to figures from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.

People who want to eat less livestock—but who can’t quite bring themselves to exchange burgers for beans—might take inspiration from two recent academic papers. A study published this week by scientists at Oxford University and the University of Minnesota estimates both the medical and environmental burdens of having an extra serving per day of various food types. The health findings were sobering. Compared with a typical Western adult of the same age who eats an average diet, a person who guzzles an additional 50g of processed red meat (about two rashers of bacon) per day has a 41% higher chance of dying in a given year.

Meat has an even starker impact on the environment. Compared with a 100g portion of vegetables—the standard serving size considered in academic papers—a 50g chunk of red meat is associated with at least 20 times as much greenhouse-gas emitted and 100 times as much land use. Averaged across all the ecological indicators the authors used, red meat was about 35 times as damaging as a bowl of greens.

Graphical illustrations and more....

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/11/15/how-much-would-giving-up-meat-help-the-environment

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VIDEO: Muhammad Yunus: Greta Thunberg ‘will save the world’ | CNBC Conversation

Professor Muhammad Yunus speaks to CNBC's Tania Bryer about the need for businesses to act faster on climate change, the need for faster transition to renewable energy, and why Greta Thunberg will change the world....

https://www.cnbcafrica.com/zdnl-mc/2019/11/16/muhammad-yunus-greta-thunberg-will-save-the-world-cnbc-conversation/
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Makes a Church? A Tiny, Leafy Forest

In Ethiopia, church forests are withstanding environmental destruction — but just barely.


I grew up attending churches surrounded by parking lots and populated by congregations that didn’t connect their spirituality to ecology. So when I first heard about the church forests of Ethiopia, I was intrigued.

One of my great passions has been the environment, fighting for it, telling stories of its abuse and our need to be caretakers and champions of our shared home. I was eager to meet people whose religion had some built-in practice of respecting trees and preserving biodiversity. And that belief, coupled with the ballooning threat of climate change and a growing sense of despair, propelled me to visit the church forests of Ethiopia.

A few months later I was in the office of a forest ecologist, Alemayehu Wassie Eshete, who started his interview by telling me, “A church, to be a church, must be enveloped by a forest.”

I had never heard those words before or that idea, but I was hearing a truth I already knew: The church should be immersed in creation, enjoying and protecting the forest and shores and mountains, the whole earth.

As I spent time with Dr. Alemayehu and filmed in the little pockets of old-growth forest that surround the churches of Ethiopia, my moments of awe at the beauty of the church forests were countered by feelings of despair. They were so small. So much of the surrounding forest had already disappeared.

I wrestled with judging the Ethiopian Church for holding its beliefs imperfectly, like all things human. Why not save more of the forest than just a small patch around the church? Where was the church when 97 percent of Ethiopia’s primary forest was destroyed?

For me, these little blips of green forest rising out of vast swaths of deforested brown earth represent hope. They are a powerful intersection of faith and science doing some good in the world.

E.O. Wilson, in his book “Half-Earth,” declared the church forests of Ethiopia “one of the best places in the biosphere.” They are proof that when faith and science make common cause on ecological issues, it results in a model that bears repeating. We have the blueprint of life held in these tiny circles of faith, and that’s something to rejoice over and protect and expand with every resource we can muster.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/opinion/church-forests-ethiopia.html?te=1&nl=david-leonhardt&emc=edit_ty_20191204?campaign_id=39&instance_id=14264&segment_id=19275&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=4530530920191204
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Burgers for a Better Planet

My 91-year-old father-in-law happily eats plant-based hamburgers. That gives me a little more hope for the environment.


NASHVILLE — Here is how my father-in-law now begins every meal at our house: He asks the blessing, unfolds his napkin and prepares to tuck in. Then he pauses, his fork still in the air, and asks, “Is this real meat?”

No air of suspicion accompanies the question. He’s simply curious. Is what he’s about to put into his mouth the kind of food he’s been eating for nearly all of his 91 years? Or does it merely look (and smell and feel and taste) like something he’s been eating for nearly all of his 91 years?

That similarity to real meat — its appeal to the senses, the way it mimics the experience of eating familiar foods — is exactly what the fake-meat industry has invested immense resources into achieving. In recent weeks I’ve served my family plant-based spaghetti and meatballs, plant-based tacos, plant-based breakfast sausage, plant-based bratwurst and two brands of plant-based hamburgers, almost always without telling anyone what they were eating until the meal was over.

It all started when I read “Meat Hooked,” a chapter in “The Fate of Food,” Amanda Little’s wide-ranging examination of how we’ll eat in “a bigger, hotter, smarter world,” as the book’s subtitle puts it. According to Ms. Little, “Livestock production accounts for about 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions globally, more than all forms of transportation combined.” And that’s not even taking into account the water resources monopolized by livestock production or the deforestation caused when land is cleared for grazing.

Worse, the demand for meat keeps growing. Worldwide, it has nearly doubled in the past 30 years and is expected to double again by 2050. Already, the single greatest cause of deforestation in the Amazon is cattle ranching, accounting for 80 percent of newly lost forest. “Razing forests to graze cattle,” writes Tad Friend in a brilliant piece for The New Yorker, “turns a carbon sink into a carbon spigot.

More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/16/opinion/plant-based-hamburgers.html?te=1&nl=david-leonhardt&emc=edit_ty_20191217?campaign_id=39&instance_id=14608&segment_id=19664&user_id=b5e5426f5c89f06ac9cd19778d3e6de3&regi_id=4530530920191217
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What really happens to plastic drink bottles you toss in your recycling bin



The infinite, triangular loop of arrows that we know as the recycling symbol adorns millions of plastic pop and water bottles we carefully sort in the blue bin. It comforts us with the idea that each one will be recycled over and over again forever.

But unfortunately, most of the time, it's a lie.

Many bottles aren't recycled at all, and those that do get recycled usually aren't turned into other bottles or recycled again after that.

Instead, they end up in the world's landfills — or worse, in the ocean. In Canada, plastic bottles and caps were the top plastic trash items collected during shoreline cleanups in 2019, just behind cigarette butts. They're also typically among the top three items in shoreline cleanups worldwide.

That's led some people to question why drinks are still sold in single-use plastic bottles at all.

Here's a closer look at what actually happens to those bottles after use and what needs to happen to boost recycling in the future.

More...

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/what-really-happens-to-plastic-drink-bottles-you-toss-in-your-recycling-bin/ar-BBYGWYx?li=AAggNb9&ocid=mailsignout
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