The Paris Effect and Mini Giraffes Discovered! – Top 5 Happy Eco News – 2021-01-25

Thanks for reading the Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5 newsletter. This week we have a guest blog by Digital Debbi in which she tells her story of transitioning from the music industry in the city, to an off-grid life on a remote inlet in BC. We also have a story about how some single-use companies are working towards zero waste, a rare find in nature, what impact the Paris agreement has on the global economy, more on net-zero emissions, and the beauty of whale song in an endangered species.

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Connecting Off-Grid

Guest post by Debora Lucyk (@digitaldebbi)

The inlet

It’s all calm and quiet after hours of the sound of rain. A raven is squawking, and the trees are glistening with the sun shining on them, making them appear to be covered in sparkles; fresh and glittery, full of light.  Somehow you can see they are happy, that they are somehow spirited with an inner life.  I’m completely myself here, also full of life, and I get a huge grin on my face as I unconsciously connect with their peaceful resolve, joy, and strength.  I’m on my own but left with a sense that I am not alone.

When I first came to this place, boat access, off the grid, I originally thought I’d open an Airbnb or unofficial hostel style place for people to come to know what it’s like off-grid; without electricity running through every wall and space of ground and air.  I wanted to share, for them to feel the energies of nature, as I do when I am here. The feeling comes at the relaxing of the cells of our bodies and our brains. The calm our bodies become. This is the space in which we can heal and digest our thoughts and feelings. Where we are by ourselves but never alone.  I thought I wanted to share this en masse.

In the first few months of being here, I realized that bringing in too many people could ruin all that. I was torn if I should even post on social media about it. It’s a tad of a catch to bring tourists who simply want to come to party without an understanding of the connectedness. Some may believe that the altered state of consciousness from drugs or alcohol can potentially open the mind to the connectedness of nature, but I believe that can really only leave trash behind instead. It really depends, I guess.

So, three years later I’m still torn… [read more]

 

The Happy Eco News – Weekly Top 5:

  1. 5 sustainable packaging developments to watch in 2021

For companies with sustainable packaging goals, 2025 is fast approaching. That’s the year when many have pledged to become zero waste, or to use 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging. But COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in those plans, with single-use packaging skyrocketing, low fossil fuel prices and disrupted recycling systems, already weakened by China’s 2018 plastics waste ban. Yet, at the same time, the pandemic has led to a surge in environmental and sustainability awareness by showing how much carbon emissions can drop, or wildlife can flourish, when the world’s economic engine slows down. As TerraCycle founder and CEO, Tom Szaky, put it, “The world is waking up, but the systems that are there that allow them to act are going the other way. There’s this divergence, which is a great opportunity for anyone who can bridge the gap.” Bridging that gap with novel solutions and collaborations, in a race against the clock, is one of five key themes to keep an eye on for sustainable packaging in 2021. 1. A year for reckoning — and opportunity In September, Waste Management published a report identifying gaps in the plastics recycling system, in response… [read more]

 

2. Mini Giraffes Spotted In Africa For The First Time Ever

Two dwarf giraffes in separate populations in Uganda and Namibia have been photographed in the wild by researchers dwarf giraffe Emma Wells, Giraffe Conservation Fund Two dwarf giraffes have recently been found in Africa as the result of standard photographic surveys used by researchers to track the animals’ population dynamics. One dwarf giraffe was found in Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda, and the other was found on a private farm in central Namibia. This is the first time that dwarf giraffes have ever been spotted in the wild. Both giraffes appear to be affected by skeletal dysplasia, a rare collection of genetic disorders that cause dwarfism and other developmental disorders. Skeletal dysplasias affect the development and growth of cartilage, bones and joints, causing abnormally shaped bones, especially in the head, spine and long bones of the arms and legs. “Instances of wild animals with these types of skeletal dysplasias are extraordinarily rare”, said lead author of the study, conservation biologist Michael Brown, a joint postdoctoral fellow with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute . Dr Brown has studied interactions between the population ecology and spatial ecology in giraffes and in Grevy’s zebras for a [read more]

 

  1. The Paris Effect: how the climate agreement is reshaping the global economy

The world is not yet on track to avoid dangerous, irreversible climate change. But in the five years since the Paris Agreement, progress on low-carbon solutions and markets has been much faster than many realise. And SYSTEMIQ’s latest report finds that low-carbon solutions could progress rapidly through the 2020s. Published today, “The Paris Effect” finds that by 2030, low-carbon solutions could be competitive in sectors accounting for nearly three-quarters of emissions; this is up from one-quarter today (electricity) and no sectors five years ago​. “It is clear the global long-term goal of Paris – net zero GHG emissions by mid-century – is now the reference point for governments and financial actors”, says Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation. “World leaders started a journey in 2015 and now is the time to accelerate.” The Paris Agreement laid out a clear framework for 195 countries to steadily cut their emissions. This shared direction of travel increased the confidence of political leaders to provide consistent policy signals. In turn, these have created the conditions for companies to invest and innovate, and for the markets for zero-carbon solutions to start scaling – from electric vehicles to alternative proteins to sustainable aviation fuels. … [read more]

 

  1. Global heating could stabilize if countries go net-zero emissions, scientists say

The world may be barreling towards climate disaster but rapidly eliminating planet-heating emissions means global temperatures could stabilize within just a couple of decades, scientists say. For many years it was assumed that further global heating would be locked in for generations even if emissions were rapidly cut. Climate models run by scientists on future temperatures were based on a certain carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. If this remained at the current high level there would be runaway climate disaster, with temperatures continuing to rise even if emissions were reduced because of a lag time before greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere. Get Grist in your inbox Always free, always fresh Ask your climate scientist if Grist is right for you. See our privacy policy But more recent understanding of the implications of getting to net-zero emissions is giving hope that the warming could be more swiftly curtailed. More than 100 countries have pledged to get to net-zero by 2050, which means they will emit no more carbon dioxide than is removed from the atmosphere by, for example, restoring… [read more]

 

  1. Scientists Discover New Population of Endangered Blue Whales Using Their Song

A new population of endangered blue whales has been hiding in the western Indian Ocean. According to NOAA , these gentle giants weigh up to 330,000 pounds and grow up to 110 feet long. The largest creature to have ever lived on Earth would seem hard to miss, but this group has been unknown to researchers – until now. All blue whales sing in loud, low-pitched, recognizable songs, New England Aquarium (NEAQ) reported. Distinct populations have distinct songs. According to the study , which was published in the journal Endangered Species Research , there are currently two or three known subspecies of blue whales in the Indian Ocean, believed to constitute four populations, each with a specific, diagnostic song-type. “It’s like hearing different songs within a genre – Stevie Ray Vaughan versus B. B. King,” Salvatore Cerchio, a marine mammal biologist at the African Aquatic Conservation Fund in Massachusetts and the study’s lead author, told The New York Times. “It’s all blues, but you know the different styles.” Scientists discovered the… [read more]

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