Forward from Grant: This week I am away on a great adventure to the West coast of Vancouver Island, BC. I have been lucky in that someone has stepped up to help write the Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5 this week. With much gratitude, I hand over the weekly Top 5 to Maggie B.
Maggie is an adventurer and traveler and is focused on sustainability. With a great mind and many miles underfoot, Maggie provides thoughtful insights into our modern world.
Hello Happy Eco News readers!
I’m Maggie and I am currently writing from the beautiful and wildlife-rich Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, where I’m spending time with a family who runs sled dogs and has an amazing greenhouse and vegetable garden. We are doing lots of work prepping for the harsh winter to come- canning, preserving, chopping wood, etc.
I first connected with Grant when I was working on an article on overcoming eco-anxiety. If you’re like me, you look forward to getting his weekly emails in your inbox because it’s a welcome respite in this world of doom and gloom news. In my article, I write “News, in essence, only makes the news if it’s worthy of reporting. If you pay attention to the standard news cycles, the only reports you’d get are ones that convince you the world is about to end. Media reports negative news because that’s what makes headlines, and those headlines are the same ones that cause us anxiety, it’s time we looked elsewhere for news that will brighten our day rather than make us depressed. I’m not advocating for thinking everything is unicorns and rainbows, but if we seek out positive environmental news, it may help us feel a little less hopeless when it comes to the environment.”
I’ve traveled all over the world learning from others who share the same values of preserving and protecting the environment, reveling in nature, and leaving a positive legacy in the world. Usually, when I read the Top 5, I take great joy in seeing the range of industries where positive news is being reported. What that tells me is there are heaps of people everywhere doing what they can to make this world a better place. Looking through this week’s Top 5, the same theme emerges. Whether it’s energy, politics, farming, or working with a local First Nations tribe to remove a dam, we need all hands on deck. We need everyone’s voice and everyone’s efforts. It can be something as local as growing your own vegetables and being off-grid, or something on a bigger scale like the UK developing actual targets to reach their 2050 net-zero carbon emissions pledge.
We cannot sit there and expect other people to do all the work for us. If the environment is something you care deeply about, connect with others that feel the same, and get involved in a way that feels meaningful for you. Find inspiration from others, chart your own path, see hope in the future, and relentlessly move forward. Now let’s get to the Weekly Top 5.
Connect with me on IG or Maggie.email@example.com
Happy Eco News, September 7, 2020
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The Weekly Top 5:
Independent climate think tank Ember, after examining data from 48 countries, reported that energy from wind and solar rose by 14% during the first half of 2020, and output from coal plants fell by 8.3%.
To follow up on the UK’s commitment to being net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the Environment Bill has been updated by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs to include hard targets that address biodiversity, air quality, water, and waste. The goal is to ensure when Parliament resumes, the Bill will “Provide some much-needed certainty to businesses and society, as we work together to build back better and greener.”
It’s dirt’s time to shine! Soil not only helps in the fight against climate change by sequestering carbon, but it is also an amazing resource for our food system. Carbon smart farming methods such as reducing tillage, planting cover crops, and using organic matter (like compost) increases the amount of carbon stored in soil. Healthy soil is full of living organisms that are crucial in the ecosystem.
Side note: If you haven’t seen the film Biggest Little Farm, it’s worth a watch!
BP plans to cut its oil and gas output by 40% by 030, while increasing its low carbon investments from $5 million in 2019 to $5 billion per year by 2030. It appears there is much more to come as BP begins to reveal details of its 2050 net-zero strategy.
Dams, while used for diverting water sources for humans, have created lots of havoc in the natural world. Snohomish County is working alongside the Tulalip Tribe to manage the removal of the second dam project in recent months along the Pilchuck River. The Tulalip Tribe is managing the project, with hopes that they can help bring back the once plentiful chinook salmon. The Pilchuck serves as an important watershed with cultural and environmental significance to the tribe. With the two dams gone, multiple aquatic species will have access to more of its old habitat.