A round-up of this week’s environmental, green and ecofriendly news and updates.
The Arctic as we know it, is gone. It won’t freeze again. This is what polar scientists announced at a conference last week in New Orleans. It has massive implications for global climate as well as national security and ecosystems.
NOAA are now calling it the “New Arctic“. What happens in the Arctic – doesn’t stay in the Arctic. The rapid warming and thawing there will affect our food, fisheries, tourism, transport, sea level rise and of course, global weather patterns.
There is a strong link between a warming Arctic and the risk of drought in California, as well as more extreme weather events for North America and elsewhere. The rate of change in the Arctic is now so fast that computers are having difficulty analyzing the data.
The Arctic shouldn’t be alone in changing so rapidly. We should be changing our habits too.
My Recommendation of the Week is 2 pieces of advice.
Don’t use glitter. At all. Anywhere. Remember those nasty microbeads that were popping up in products like shower gels and face washes? Consumer pressure made many manufacturers stop using them – they caused havoc in water. It’s the same with glitter – it’s too small to be picked up in water filters so it accumulates in drinking water. Not good. Avoid it – yes, even though kids (and many adults) love it.
Secondly, Christmas is nearly here. Whether you celebrate it or not, it’s a time that’s synonymous with peace and goodwill. Sadly though it’s all to easy to get caught up in the frenzy of buying and organizing. So I’d like you to take a moment, and check out The True Spirit of Christmas.
And on The Big Day, I’ve got 6 great tips that will help you to make it a special and memorable day for everyone – 6 Fun Christmas Ideas.
Batteries. We all have battery-operated gadgets at home – from mobile phones to computers to kids’ toys to computer games and fitness devices.
But batteries have some problems. Find out what they are – and what you can do about them here.
Of course we all know that it’s more important than ever not to buy “stuff” as gifts this year. If you do feel the need to buy gifts, remember:
- Give gifts that you don’t buy (see Gifts from the Heart)
- If you’re buying items, make sure they’re useful and ecofriendly. (For example, I always found it difficult to find good gifts for the men in my life – somehow, women seem easier to buy for. I’ve come up with some ecofriendly and useful, practical gift suggestions for men that you may like here).
- Don’t panic if you need last-minute gifts. People often buy complete rubbish when they run out of time. Don’t make that mistake, here are some last-minute suggestions instead.
Global Green News:
BHP-Billiton is a massive British-Australian mining company. After denying climate change for many years, it’s now leaving the World Coal Association – because BHP says “warming of the climate is unequivocal, the human influence is clear, and physical impacts are unavoidable”. Good for them. (Of course, the coal lobbying group doesn’t agree).
The internet is full of comment about how well Bitcoin is doing (its value has rapidly increased). But what they’re not talking about is Bitcoin’s dark secret.
Because the currency is secure and decentralized, it takes massive amounts of computing power to make it work. That computing power is using unimaginably huge amounts of electricity. By July 2019 (only 19 months away), it is estimated that Bitcoin will use as much electricity as the entire United States uses. By February 2020, it’s expected to use as much energy as the entire world uses today.
And most of our electricity still comes from fossil fuels. More stress on the grid from Bitcoin is likely to be fueled by fossil fuels rather than renewables. We should be moving away from climate-change-causing fuels, not increasing our usage.
US Green News:
The wildfires raging in California are appalling – and they’re a sign of the problems we are facing. It’s the first time there’s been a Winter megafire. December temperatures reached the 80s – while at the same time, rare snow was falling in Texas. The jet stream (which affects our weather) is affected by climate change and is causing extreme weather events. It’s really not good.
Remember the book by George Orwell called “1984”? It was all about how those in power controlled what people knew. The elite decided what people learned and thought. They re-wrote history and everyone was under constant surveillance for “thought crimes”. It’s beginning to feel a bit like that now. The Trump administration has banned the terms “science-based” and “climate change” from official documents, national parks staff have been ordered not to comment on climate change happening in their parks, and EPA employees are having their emails scanned for any criticisms they may have made about the Agency or Scott Pruitt. Trump’s new National Security Strategy does not even mention climate change – even though it’s a massive threat to security. Scary.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.
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