A record number of climate activists and environmentalists were killed last year (NPR)
The international human rights group Global Witness reported that 227 environmental and climate activists were killed last year. The report finds that the victims became targets as a result of their environmental efforts and activism. More than a third of the killings targeted indigenous communities and more than half of the cases occurred in Colombia, Mexico, and the Philippines. The killings were reported to be linked to logging, water and dam, mining, crop substitution, and agribusiness issues.
To read the full report from Global Witness, click here.
Prince William announces the 15 finalists competing for the Earthshot Prize (BBC News)
Last year, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and David Attenborough launched the Earshot Prize to encourage climate action and award individuals and groups working on technologies and solutions to climate change/environmental problems with funding. The group of 15 finalists will be competing for 5 winning spots, each of which will be awarded 1 million pounds. Here are a few of the finalist projects: Coral Vita, a coral farming effort to restore dying reefs, Sanergy, a way to convert human waste into safe fertilizer for local farmers, and Reedi Capsules, solar power capsules for “energy-poor” communities.
The 5 winners will be announced on the 17th of October, live-streamed on BBC One and the Discovery channel.
Artificial turf raises concerns over environmental and health related risks (NY Times)
After a field in New Jersey’s Columbian Park was replaced with artificial turf, conflict erupted among residents. The neighborhood had been hoping for the field in the park to be fixed, but were surprised to see the artificial turf when they awoke to the sounds of construction. Similar concerns have arisen in places like Connecticut, where many have worried about the potential health risks and increase in heat levels that the turf could bring.
Increase in stress among young people as the climate crisis persists (BBC)
As climate change grows more prominent in our day to day lives, young people become more worried about how it will affect both their daily lives and their futures. Feelings of stress over climate change can eventually lead to risks of mental or even physical problems. As action is refused to be taken to combat the ever growing climate crisis, young people question plans for their futures.
Climate activists accuse Facebook of inaction against the spread of climate change misinformation (The Guardian)
Facebook announces that they aim to battle climate crisis misinformation on its site: It will build its climate science center to publish trustworthy information, invest in groups against misinformation, and release a video series that promotes young climate advocates on their platforms (Facebook and Instagram). Despite these new efforts, critics claim that they are not enough as an exceeding number of climate misinformation continues to spread.
Consuming wild meat increases risk of zoonotic disease (UN Climate News)
A study shoes 70% of protected animal species are still being used for wild meat consumption. Taking of wild meat has not only damaged the populations of animals but also increased the spreading of diseases like Monkeypox, SARS and Ebola immensely through human and animal transmission.
UN warns of a "catastrophic pathway" with current global climate action plans (The NY Times)
Even if all countries meet their proposed climate change agendas, the global average temperature will still rise 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. While this number may seem minuscule, it will no doubt cause a dramatic increase in extreme weather events, from wildfires to droughts to heatwaves to floods. Luckily, this year's meeting of the United Nations General Assembly will take place next week, and António Guterres, the Secretary General of the UN, will likely stress the urgency of the situation at this meeting.
COVID-19 pandemic did nothing to slow the effects of climate change (Al Jazeera)
Despite a temporary decrease in carbon emissions due to this past year's widespread lockdowns and economic collapses, a new report has revealed that climate change is actually accelerating. Around the world, targets to reduce emissions are not being met and we are dangerously close to overshooting the 2015 Paris Agreement's goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. As 2021 draws to a close, temperatures and greenhouse gas emissions are, unfortunately, only on the rise.
Read the United in Science 2021 Report here.