Daily Media Briefing

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Climate Change, Daily Media Briefing, Environment, Policy & Research

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July 23, 2018

Climate Change

Earth Overshoot Day 2018 is August 1st

On August 1st, humanity will have used nature’s resource budget for the entire year, according to Global Footprint Network, an international research organization. This date is called Earth Overshoot Day—the date when humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth’s ecosystems can renew in that year. In other words, humanity is currently using nature 1.7 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate – akin to using 1.7 Earths. Global Footprint Network calculates Earth Overshoot Day every year using Ecological Footprint accounting, which adds up all of people’s competing demands on nature. August 1 is the earliest Earth Overshoot Day since the world went into ecological overshoot in the 1970s. “Our economies are running a Ponzi scheme with our planet. We are using the Earth’s future resources to operate in the present and digging ourselves deeper into ecological debt,” said Global Footprint Network CEO Mathis Wackernagel. (Earth Overshoot Day)

Gina Rinehart company revealed as $4.5m donor to climate sceptic thinktank

Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, has been revealed as a key funder of the Institute of Public Affairs – one of the largest promoters of climate science denial in Australia. Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting, donated $2.3m to the IPA in 2016 and $2.2m in 2017, according to disclosures made to the New South Wales supreme court. The IPA’s 2017 annual report declared $6.1m of income but said that 86% had come from individuals. Based on that report, Hancock Prospecting’s $2.2m donation would appear to have constituted more than a third of the IPA’s income that year. Rinehart’s own views on human-caused climate change match those promoted by the IPA. In 2011, she wrote in a magazine column that she had “yet to hear scientific evidence to satisfy me that if the very, very small amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (approximately 0.38%) was increased, it could lead to significant global warming”. An IPA-sponsored climate study that claimed most global warming was natural was heavily promoted among conservative media outlets around the world. (The Guardian)


Librarians respond to suggestion Amazon should replace libraries

Librarians are in uproar after an article in Forbes magazine proposed replacing all public libraries in the US with Amazon bookstores. “At the core, Amazon has provided something better than a local library without the tax fees. This is why Amazon should replace local libraries,” wrote Panos Mourdoukoutas, a professor of economics at LIU Post in New York. Librarians across the nation sprang to the defence of libraries, saying they offer services that a private company like Amazon could not hope to match. In a series of tweets, Amanda Oliver, who has been a librarian in Washington DC for the last seven years, said the value of libraries could be seen in the services provided to a huge range of people. “This country has such a massive problem with ignoring its most needy. And the first things we want to do away with or make cuts to always seem to be the institutions that serve them. What a privilege to think libraries are just for books.” (The Guardian)


UK’s plastic waste may be dumped overseas instead of recycled

Huge amounts of the UK’s packaging waste are being sent overseas on the basis that it will be recycled and turned into new products. However, concerns have been raised that in reality much of it is being dumped in sites from Turkey to Malaysia. Britain does not have the requisite infrastructure to recycle its own plastic waste, so it is sent abroad. But a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) criticised the Environment Agency’s oversight of the scheme in England. The NAO said 11m tons of packaging was used by UK households and businesses and noted that 64% of packaging waste was reported as recycled, in 2017. The head of the NAO, Sir Amyas Morse, said: “If the UK wants to play its part in fully tackling the impacts of waste and pollution, a tighter grip on packaging recycling is needed.” (Edie)

One of the world’s largest vertical farm ventures announced in UAE

California-based Crop One just announced a $40 million joint venture with Emirates Flight Catering to build one of the largest vertical farms in the world. The new farm, set to be completed in December 2019, would harvest 6,000 pounds of greens per day in Dubai. A US Vertical farm competitor, Oasis Biotech, held the grand opening to its Las Vegas hydroponic farm just last week. The Crop One farm will allow the food service company to bring vegetables from farm to fork within 24 hours, said Saeed Mohammed, Crop One’s CEO. It also enables the company to claim a lighter carbon footprint with its supply chain, he added. (GreenBiz)


Image Source: DSC_0317 by emiliecollins24 on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.