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Following the Family Tradition, Chris Darwin is Leading the Fight to Protect Animals from Extinction

Photo by Jane Dalton

 

Chris Darwin, a wildlife advocate, discusses the environmental impact of eating meat:

Great, great grandson of Charles Darwin says we must change our diet to prevent more wildlife dying off.

Chris Darwin, 56, had come to London from his home in Australia for a groundbreaking conference attempting to tackle the growing crisis of the world’s rapidly diminishing wildlife, and one of the key causes of that loss – worldwide demand for meat.

More than 50 of the best minds in the fields of ecology, agriculture, public health, biology, oceanography, eco-investment and food retailing joined forces over two days to brainstorm ideas on how to stem the rapid shrinkage of the natural world caused by damaging agricultural practices.

The Extinction and Livestock Conference, with at least 500 delegates, was the world’s first ever conference examining how modern meat production affects life on Earth, and, put simply, it was designed to find ways to revolutionise the world’s food and farming systems to prevent mass species extinctions.

“We have to stop this,” says Mr Darwin, and he recalls how his great, great grandfather regretted on his death not having done more for other animals – a sentiment that shaped his decision to turn around his “self-indulgent, selfish” life, which involved working in advertising, and do something for the planet.

Read on at Independent.

Coca-Cola Increased its Production of Plastic Bottles by a Billion Last Year, Says Greenpeace

Coca-Cola increased its production of throwaway plastic bottles last year by well over a billion, according to analysis by Greenpeace.

The world’s biggest soft drinks company does not disclose how much plastic packaging it puts into the market. But analysis by the campaign group Greenpeace reveals what they say is an increase in production of single-use PET bottles from 2015-2016.

The increase puts Coke’s production at more than 110bn bottles each year, according to Greenpeace.

Coca-Cola has confirmed that single-use plastic bottles made up 59% of its global packaging in 2016 compared to 58% in the 12 months before.

The scale of production contributes to a plastic mountain which is growing vastly year on year. Figures obtained by the Guardian reveal that by 2021 the number of plastic drinks bottles produced globally will reach more than half a trillion.

Read on at The Guardian.

Industrial Meat Production is Killing Our Seas. It’s Time to Change Our Diets

Photo by Patrick Semansky/AP

How eating meat impacts the environment…

Every spring, as the snows thaw, water rushes down the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, spreading life, then death into the Gulf of Mexico. The floodwaters are laden with fertilisers washed from fields and factory farms. As spring turns to summer, excessive nutrients first drive a huge bloom of living plankton, then cause death on a gargantuan scale as a dead zone blossoms across the seabed. Most years it grows swiftly to over 5,000 square miles of seabed, killing everything that cannot outrun it.

This year’s dead zone has engulfed 8,700 square miles, the biggest ever recorded.

A new report lands much of the blame for the dead zone at the door of modern industrial agriculture. America’s addiction to cheap meat, fed on corn and soy in vast indoor factories, comes at a high cost in human health problems and environmental destruction. None of these costs are paid for by the companies that produce the meat and feed, such as Tyson, Cargill and ADM.

Read on at The Guardian.

Pepsico, Unilever and Nestlé Accused of Complicity in Illegal Rainforest Destruction

Photo by Sutanta Aditya/Barcroft Images

 

Major food corporations are responsible for major deforestation….

Pepsico, Unilever and Nestlé have been accused of complicity in the destruction of Sumatra’s last tract of rainforest shared by elephants, orangutans, rhinos, and tigers together in one ecosystem.

Plantations built on deforested land have allegedly been used to supply palm oil to scores of household brands that also include McDonald’s, Mars, Kellogg’s and Procter & Gamble, according to a new report.

Read on at The Guardian.

Jane Goodall Calls Trump’s Climate Change Agenda ‘Immensely Depressing’

Via Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images
Via Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images

The British primatologist, renowned for her work with chimpanzees, expressed dismay that Trump and others in his administration have questioned the scientific basis of climate change. “Because I’m traveling all over the world 300 days a year, I have seen the result of climate change and we know, science has shown, that global temperatures are warming and these so-called greenhouse gases are blanketing the globe,” she said, noting that ice is meltingsea levels rising and oceans losing their ability to absorb carbon dioxide.

Read on at The Guardian.

What’s The Environmental Footprint Of A Loaf Of Bread? Now We Know

Via Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

When it comes to climate change, we often think of the cars we drive and the energy we use in our homes and offices. They are, after all, some of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. But what about the toast you ate for breakfast this morning?

A new study published Monday in Nature Plants breaks down the environmental cost of producing a loaf of bread, from wheat field to bakery. It finds that the bulk of the associated greenhouse gas emissions come from just one of the many steps that go into making that loaf: farming.

Read on at The Salt.

What Does Environmental Justice Organizing Look Llike In The Time of Trump?

Via Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Via Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Environmental justice work will need to change in critical ways as Donald Trump ascends to the White House, but not in all ways, says Miya Yoshitani, executive director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). On-the-ground organizing around community members’ local concerns will still be the core.

APEN brings the voices of Asian and Pacific Islander communities to the forefront of environmental health and social justice fights in the Bay Area. The group has successfully challenged multinational corporations and swayed local political authorities, notching important wins on occupational safety, affordable housing, transportation, renewable energy, climate change, and more.

Read on at Grist.