Top 6 Reasons to Get Outdoors and A Climate Justice Win! – Top 5 Happy Eco News – 2021-03-29

Thanks for reading the Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5 newsletter. This week we have a blog post by James Black, owner of Wilderness Redefined, talking about the top 6 reasons to get outdoors. We also have stories on how otters are saving kelp forests, a vegan revolution in China, the progress of geothermal energy, legal victory in climate justice and how a digital double of the world could help fight climate change.

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Top 6 Reasons to Get Outdoors

Guest Post By: James Black

Intro

Life in the pandemic has been hard. Most of us have spent the best part of last year indoors, unable to get out and fully enjoy the great outdoors.

But with the summer approaching and the vaccination program off to a good start, we all might be able to get out of our homes and into the wilderness soon.

And there are loads of reasons to get out into the backcountry when you can again. There are so many benefits to our mental and physical health that nature can offer like improving your body’s ability to fight off disease.

Here are my favorite six benefits the great outdoors can offer.

  1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

It’s been a pretty stressful year. With the pandemic threatening so many people’s health and jobs, it’d be expected that a few of us have tossed and turned through some restless nights.

Sleep hygiene has become a big trend in recent years as more people try to get a good night’s sleep. Your sleep hygiene refers to your sleep habits and bedtime routines. For example, drinking a big cup of coffee before bed would be BAD sleep hygiene. Using your phone in bed is another one…[read more]

The Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5

  1. Green-pawed sea otters are saving California’s kelp forests

Kelp forests off the coast of California have declined dramatically since 2014, with large areas being replaced by a carpet of sea urchins. However, there are often healthy patches of forest next door – and a study from the University of California, Santa Cruz has shown that it’s sea otters’ green paws that help them thrive. Sea otters are a ‘keystone species’: they play a disproportionately important role in their ecosystem, influencing the populations of the plants and animals that live there. In particular, they protect kelp forests by preying on sea urchins. Two separate environmental factors have been taking a harsh toll on California’s kelp forests. An unprecedented marine heatwave known as ‘the Blob’ hit the Northeast Pacific in 2014, at the same time as the unusually warm ocean conditions known as El Niño came up from the south. Kelp grow best in cold, nutrient-rich water. Giant kelp is one of the world’s fastest-growing organisms, and in ideal conditions can grow up to around 60 cm in a single day. But with the heat from the Blob and El Niño, the kelp’s growth rate dropped dramatically. A further threat to the kelp began a year earlier. In 2013… [read more]

  1. China’s appetite for meat fades as vegan revolution takes hold

The window of a KFC in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou hosts the image of a familiar mound of golden nuggets. But this overflowing bucket sporting Colonel Sanders’ smiling face is slightly different. The bucket is green and the nuggets within it are completely meat free. Over the last couple of years, after many years of rising meat consumption by China’s expanding middle classes for whom eating pork every day was a luxurious sign of new financial comforts, the green shoots of a vegan meat revolution have begun to sprout. Although China still consumes 28% of the world’s meat, including half of all pork , and boasts a meat market valued at $86bn (£62bn), plant-based meat substitutes are slowing carving out a place for themselves among a new generation of consumers increasingly alarmed by food crises such as coronavirus and African swine fever. China’s most cosmopolitan cities are now home to social media groups, websites and communities dedicated to meat-free lifestyles. VegeRadar, for example, has compiled comprehensive maps of vegetarian and vegan restaurants all across China. According to a report by the Good Food Institute , China’s plant-based meat market was estimated at 6.1bn yuan (£675m) in… [read more]

  1. Geothermal Energy Is Having A Magic Moment, This Time For Real — CleanTechnica Interview

The geothermal energy industry has never realized its true potential in the US, despite the seemingly magical promise of nonstop, 24/7 renewable energy sitting just below the surface of the Earth. However, it seems like things are finally starting to gel. No, for real! For the inside scoop on the prospects for a geothermal revolution CleanTechnica sought out Nneka Uzoh, the director of energy innovation at the climate-tech accelerator Elemental Excelerator. Geothermal Energy & Elemental Excelerator Elemental Excelerator popped up on the CleanTechnica radar because it is one of the backers behind the geothermal energy startup Fervo Energy. The company has also caught the eyeball of the US Department of Energy and the now-familiar Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which is also dipping into green hydrogen , fuel cell aircraft , and air batteries among other ventures. Elemental Excelerator has been focusing on Hawaii, California and the Asia Pacific, but for its next cohort it is expanding across the globe with a worldwide search for innovators emphasizing equity and access. “We are looking for passionate, diverse teams from around the world who are committed to solving climate change, addressing social inequities both in their companies and through their work… [read more]

  1. A historic legal victory for climate justice in France

Legal activism can be slow and expensive, but boy can it be effective, especially when combined with mass campaigning. Kudos (chapeau?) to four French NGOs for winning this court ruling that could force their government to get serious on the climate crisis. This post by Armelle le Comte first appeared on Oxfam’s Views and Voices blog On February 3 rd 2021 in Paris, a landmark ruling found the French at fault for failing to take enough action to tackle the climate crisis. Two years after the launch of the “Case of the Century” by four NGOs including Oxfam France, this decision should serve as a warning to other governments to keep in line with their public commitments and do more to tackle climate change. A second ruling is expected by the summer in which the court could compel the French Government to take further steps to reduce emissions. The “Case Of The Century”: The First Legal Action On Climate Change In France In December 2018, Oxfam France with three other French NGOs – Notre Affaire à Tous , The Nicolas Hulot Foundation and Greenpeace France launched legal action against the French State for failing to reduce the country’s emissions… [read more]

  1. Scientists are planning to create a ‘digital twin’ of Earth to help fight climate change

The digital double could be an important tool in preventing climate change. The European Union has launched two programmes to become climate neutral by 2050: ‘Green Deal’ and ‘Digital Strategy’. Alongside this, their 10-year ‘Destination Earth’ initiative will involve creating a digital ‘twin’ of the Earth to map climate development. This digital model will also be used to predict how certain scenarios would affect Earth and create effective solutions against climate change. To become climate neutral by 2050, the European Union launched two ambitious programmes: ” Green Deal ” and ” DigitalStrategy “. As a key component of their successful implementation, climate scientists and computer scientists launched the ” Destination Earth ” initiative, which will start in mid-​2021 and is expected to run for up to ten years. During this period, a highly accurate digital model of the Earth is to be created, a digital twin of the Earth, to map climate development and extreme events as accurately as possible in space and time. Observational data will be continuously incorporated into the digital twin in order to make the digital Earth model more accurate for monitoring the evolution and predict possible future trajectories. But in addition to the observation… [read more]

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