Snippets for 4 August 2022



Thanks for reading our Snippets newsletter this week. We have once again included a mixed selection of articles we hope you find interesting.


The time to change is now. Our first article by George Monbiot, a writer known for his environmental and political activism, lays out the need to talk openly and act on climate issues now. Extreme weather is gripping the UK and Europe as they experience record temperatures, fire, deaths, and infrastructure failures. Change is required.


But change is difficult when one of the primarily responsible industries, the oil industry, has massive quantities of money to stymie change by effectively buying out the very people that can effect change. With an estimated wealth of $52 Trillion since 1970 it’s easy to see how they carry so much influence.


Change is possible and, yes, it will cost a lot of money. But it will be money well spent and we need to spend it in a multitude of areas. There needs to be less food waste and legislation in this area is important to get right. We need to use less pesticides and restore ecosystems for the long run. Alternatives to manufactured fertilizer, such as human urine, need to be explored and considered. And large mammals, with their own vital contributions, need to be protected.


NZ also needs to pull its weight and we need to get our approach right. But right now NZ is on track for oodles of trees, but barely any pollution cuts. We finish this edition with a look at part of an extensive car free, pedestrian/cycling network in Auckland, which is taking back the roads from being car-centric, to being open and free for people on foot or bicycle.


As the climate change extreme weather events continue to grow in size and frequency – at what stage do we say enough? The answer to that question probably depends on which group you belong to. The fossil fuel sector continues to downplay things, the financial markets increasingly see risks, politicians play with words, but little action. And then there are those who work in the environmental sector who can see the impact only too well. And for George Monbiot from the Guardian Newspaper – he experienced his ‘Day of Rage’. Read more....

And extreme weather events manifest themselves as a heatwave broiling Europe, fuelling ferocious wildfires in Spain, Portugal, and France. The loss of lives in the fires in Spain led the Spanish prime minister to say, “climate change kills”. And our infrastructure was never built to cope with these new extremes.In the UK the rail network buckled, airport runways melted, and people sweltered in the record breaking temperatures in homes that do not have air-conditioning. Read more....


The oil industry has made $2.8bn-a-day profits for the last 50 years, allowing it to massively influence political and economic systems to delay action on climate change - according to a new analysis. Oil cartels have restricted supply keeping prices high, influenced military action resulting in millions of deaths, and ravaged eco-systems all while knowing the catastrophic damage oil products cause to the planet. Dismantling these systems and building more democratised, sustainable, renewable energy systems, will be vital for the future of the planet. Read more....

There is one, clear, decisive way to slow climate change: cut emissions. That means rapidly switching to renewables, using electric vehicles, and dialling back our energy needs overall. Instead of facing this challenge head on, companies and politicians often look to engineered solutions, to enable them to conduct business as usual. The problem is, these solutions don’t work at the scale required and the costs would be astronomical if we tried. We need real, tangible, behavioural change if we want to save the planet. Read more....

Now that we have had a quick recap on Climate Change 101, let us delve into Food Waste. One-third of all food produced is either lost or wasted. That roughly equates to 940 billion dollars or around 1.3 billion tons of food. Food waste legislation can be a very important tool in this fight as seen in places like Milan, Malmo, San Francisco etc. This author of the article reflects on how govt intervention can tackle food waste efficiently and correctly. Read more....


Speaking of legislation, the European Commission has adopted its proposal for new regulations to restore damaged ecosystems and bring nature back across Europe. These proposals aim to reduce the usage of pesticides by 50% by 2030. It also lays down binding goals to increase farmland bird populations, reverse the decline of pollinators, and restore 25,000 km (15,500 miles) of rivers to flow along their natural courses. Provided all the member states do their part, the obligation to restore the EU’s natural and semi-natural biodiversity ecosystems can be a game changer. Read more....

The Haber-Bosch process which is used for manufacturing ammonia is guilty of producing 1.2% of global CO2 emissions. Most fertilizers that are commonly used in agriculture contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These also happen to be the key constituents of urine. Researchers have investigated the use of pee as fertilizer and have witnessed amazing results. This can bolster food production as seen in Niger, where the experiments were conducted.A true “boss” move indeed!! Read more....

A new study has shown that alongside flora, fauna has a significant place in mitigating climate change by restoring ecosystems. Large mammals can help reduce forest and bush fires, increase albedo, aid in spreading seeds for vegetation diversity and help retain carbon in the vegetation and the soil, reducing its presence in the atmosphere. Protecting large animal wildlife supports local biodiversity and ecological resilience. Marine mammals are not excluded. They too have a part to play. Read more....

The NZ Government needs to shake up the rules for carbon credits or we will have many tree farms but barely any real pollution cuts, according to the Climate Change Commission. They think there should be different rules for activities that suck in carbon dioxide, like forestry, versus activities that actually cut the production of planet-heating gases and recommend the cost of heating the planet should be allowed to rise dramatically. If the carbon price increases enough, organisations will have to take more solid action to reduce emissions. Read more....


We need transformational change worldwide, and locally – removing vehicles and surrendering the city back to pedestrians. Auckland has made a start - the city is now one step closer to having a cohesive network of shared-space laneways, with a stretch of Federal Street now converted into a tree-lined pedestrian-friendly space. A small start, but with moves towards provision of public transport and a focus on pedestrians and cyclists, Auckland is a step further towards a transformed future. Read more....









This week we have a few innovation articles we hope you find interesting:






Subscribe to SnippETS





Copyright of all featured articles lies with the original authors

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Twitter Basic Square