Environment Stories Setting the Tone for 2019

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#1 There is No Planet B

At first it might appear all negative, but people all over the world are actively working on solutions and there is still time. Kim Robinson of Sierra Magazine analyzes the drastic changes taking place in our “Anthropocene” as well as some of the top-debated solutions for putting a halt to the global temperature rise. Here’s an excerpt that hits us particularly close to home as conservationists:

“Many of the most promising ideas for carbon dioxide drawdown are local and regional rather than global, and they make use of biological processes already well tested by evolution. Take, for example, preserving or restoring forests and peat bogs. These are good practices in and of themselves for the long-term cycling of elements crucial to life; at the same time, protecting and expanding forests can help sequester atmospheric carbon. The same goes for improving farming and ranching practices to prioritize soil health, conserving coastal wetlands, seeding and sustaining offshore kelp forests, and restoring native grasslands.”

Kim Stanley Robinson, award-winning novelist and author

#2 Wold’s First Lab-Grown Steak Revealed-But the Taste Needs Work

Steaks and burgers born in a petri dish; this new concept is sure to cause a hefty share of debate in 2019. Artificial … Natural … GMO … Sustainable … How will these products be labelled?

And is this just a distraction from the root of the problem? (i.e. The environmental costs of the existing mass-market meat industry). It’s obvious that there are some good intentions here, but there’s also great marketability, so all possible impacts need to be laid out on the table.

Would you embrace lab-grown steaks in your diet?

#3 Banksy Delivers Heart-Breaking Jab at Industrial Polluters

Banksy has struck again, this time with a green message for the holidays. The art itself is one thing, but the video reveals the real picture…

#4 These 13 Words Defined Our Overheating Planet in 2018

This year, various dictionaries highlighted the words “toxic”, “single-use” and “misinformation” as some of the most popular terms of 2018.

Grist reporter, Kate Yoder, adds 13 more words (some real words, some mere concepts) that she feels are defining our time. We’re especially interested in the term “New Green Deal”, which, as an economic endeavor that incentivizes green industry growth, may become one of our greatest hopes for tangible results in 2019.

#5 This is the ‘Last Generation’ That Can Save Nature, WWF Says

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is calling for an international treaty to protect wildlife and start to reverse our human impacts on nature. The numbers from the group’s newly publish 2018 Living Planet Report are staggering:

“Global wildlife populations have fallen by 60% in just over four decades …”

“Current rates of species extinction are now up to 1,000 times higher than before human involvement in animal ecosystems became a factor.”

“The proportion of the planet’s land that is free from human impact is projected to drop from a quarter to a tenth by 2050 …”

Rob Picheta, CNN News

Shaping the New Year Ahead

These are just five of what is a seemingly endless number of key environmental topics, ideas and opportunities that are shaping our present-day and setting the tone for the year ahead.

The challenge will be to sift through all the misinformation; prioritize which battles to fight and which aren’t worth the time; and become more conscious about how we can change our own individual behaviours so that we’re contributing to the solutions and not the problems.

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