Potential link found between climate change and the origin of COVID-19 (CBS News)
Scientists now believe that a climate change-induced transformation in the forests of Southeast Asia led to a bat population boom. Bats, being known carriers of coronaviruses, are also thought to have been the origin of COVID-19, a particular strain of coronavirus. The shift in vegetation has fostered a more favorable environment for new species of bats to thrive.
Australian citizens reflect on the one year mark of the early 2020 bushfires that devastated their country (NBC News)
Last year’s wildfire season in Australia scorched over 44.5 million acres of land, leaving 34 dead. Residents feel the government has not sufficiently worked towards introducing anti-climate change measures. Also considering Australia has one of the world’s highest emission rates per capita and is one of the largest fossil fuel exporters, its citizens are deeply committed to the fight for climate justice.
Kelp farming has been shown to combat the effects of climate change (The Fish Site)
Some carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are absorbed back into the ocean, raising the water’s acidity level and thus creating a toxic environment for aquatic wildlife. Mussel and seaweed farmers in Maine have been testing kelp’s effects when planted next to blue mussels, organisms very susceptible to the damage of increasing ocean acidity. The study is still ongoing, but at the moment, it seems this seaweed may be able to pull carbon dioxide out of the water that surrounds it.
Paris court rules that France is doing an inadequate job at battling climate change (CNN)
A petition which gained 2.3 million signatures, the largest in French history, led four NGOs to file a lawsuit against the country to be legally accountable for insufficient action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The 2016 Paris Agreement aims to lower global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, however, the NGOs argued that France is reducing at a pace twice as slow.
Quiet killers: The silent sounds of climate change repercussions (New York Times)
While the hurricane alarms, raging wildfires and collapsing ice shelves sound climate alarms across the globe, the majority of global warming impacts, such as governmental climate inaction and coral bleaching, go unnoticed. Without the audio reminders of climate change, the issue suffers less coverage. NYT podcast The Daily will cover climate change in a new episode to promote positive change and raise awareness.
President Joe Biden signs executive order reinstating the US refugee resettlement program (The Verge)
Roughly 21.5 million people are forced from their homes annually due to rising sea levels and natural disasters. Currently, there are no policies that permit someone who has been dislocated by climate-related disasters to apply for a green card, visa, or refugee protections in the US. The number of people seeking asylum is expected to grow, so the need for governmental action is urgent.
Australians fight two battles: COVID-19 and brush fires (CNN)
Despite an outbreak of the coronavirus which sent the nation into lockdown, just days later Australians were forced to evacuate due to raging fires. The Wooroloo destroyed over 20,000 acres after only a day of setting ablaze.
2019 UNEP Young Champion of the Earth winner founds agriculture project to aid Filipino farmers (UN News)
After the 2020 typhoon struck the Bicol region, social activist Louise Mabulo established The Cacao Project, which provides cacao seedlings to farmers, promotes reforestation and fair trade and works to regenerate infertile land through tree planting. Mabulo is exemplifying a new approach to agriculture that offers sustainable methods to fight climate change by reviving land and improving livelihoods.