These days as a climate scientist, the line of separation between the research I do in my professional life and the events unfolding in the world at large is growing ever thinner. The extreme events that our community has been talking about for decades are now becoming part of our lived experience, season after season, year after year across the entire planet. What we are seeing play out now is much faster than many of us ever imagined. Barely a week after sweltering through an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lead author meeting discussing the UN group’s sixth global climate assessment report during an unseasonable European heatwave, it’s been surreal to return home to find much of Australia’s eastern seaboard engulfed in unprecedented bushfires crisis. In spring. Right now there are about 80 fires in Queensland and a further 60 blazes raging through New South Wales. The maps show the east coast terrifyingly lit up like a grotesque Christmas tree. … [Read more...] about I never thought I’d see the Australian rainforest burning. What will it take for us to wake up to the climate crisis?
Al gore averting the climate crisis
It's nearly half a century since the 'green movement' started, but it's the next 50 years that will be most crucial to the planet. What was once a marginal concern for a minority is now a mainstream priority, so much so that 71 per cent of the British public recently said that the climate crisis was more important to them than Brexit. Here we look at what Friends of the Earth, the world's largest grassroots environmental organisation, is doing to save the environment and how you can get involved in the UK. Friends of the Earth was founded in the UK in 1971 and is part of the world's biggest grassroots environmental organisation Who are Friends of the Earth? Friends of the Earth was founded in 1971 by four organisations from the UK, USA, France and Sweden. Their mission was to campaign on both local and international issues to protect the environment and the people in it, and create sustainable societies for future … [Read more...] about The organisations tackling the climate crisis: Who are Friends of the Earth, what do they do and how can you get involved?
In this age of rapidly melting glaciers, terrifying megafires and ever more puissant hurricanes, of acidifying and rising oceans, it is hard to believe that any further prod to climate action is needed. But the reality is that we continue to live in a business-as-usual world. Our media is filled with enthusiastic announcements about new fossil fuel projects, or the unveiling of the latest fossil-fuelled supercar, as if there’s no relationship between such things and climate change. In Australia, the disconnect among our political leaders on the deadly nature of fossil fuels is particularly breathtaking. Prime minister Scott Morrison continues to sing the praises of coal, while members of the government call for subsidies for coal-fired power plants. A few days ago, the energy and emissions reduction minister, Angus Taylor, urged that the nation’s old and polluting coal-fired power plants be allowed to run “at full tilt”. In the past, many of us have tolerated … [Read more...] about I now look back on my 20 years of climate activism as a colossal failure
In the dappled shade of Santiago’s Parque Almagro, hundreds of Chileans sat immersed in conversation, reflecting on the past, present and future of their country. As strikes and protests continue across the country, tens of thousands of people have attended spontaneous town hall meetings to seek a way out of more than a month of sometimes violent political unrest. “These past weeks have been physically and emotionally exhausting,” said Florencia Olivares, 27. “We have been protesting every day, choked by teargas and not knowing how this might end, but seeing people come together to discuss a better future gives me hope.” As President Sebastián Piñera wavers between attempts at conciliation and promises of further crackdowns, many Chileans have given up waiting for the government to offer solutions – and are instead taking it upon themselves to address the causes of the crisis. Self-organised events, known as cabildos, have been held the … [Read more...] about Neighbours meet to plot path out of Chile crisis amid exasperation at elite
The UK's fast fashion epidemic is producing more than 50 tonnes of carbon emissions every minute. Oxfam has released a report detailing the severity of the ongoing crisis within the fashion industry which is a global leader in greenhouse gas emissions. It found that the obsession with short-lived fashion trends is causing the same amount of carbon emissions every two minutes as driving a car around the world six times. Scroll down for video Each week, 11 million garments end up in landfill in the UK and it is driven by a constant splurging on new clothes. The textile supply chain is a major contributor to global warming The statistics are based on lifetime emissions for new clothing bought in the UK. It accounts for the sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing, production, transport, washing and disposal. According to Oxfam, a six-time trip around the world (150,000 miles) creates 50 tonnes of carbon emissions - the same as a single minute on … [Read more...] about ‘Fast fashion’ is driving climate change: Two tonnes of clothes are purchased on the UK’s high streets every MINUTE – producing 50 tonnes of carbon emissions