Each week find a round-up of selected news and resources related to global ethical issues and positive solutions that you can use in your solutionary teaching/work.
Here’s some recent news worth knowing, sharing, and teaching:
Small steps toward positive solutions …
- The Wyss Foundation has pledged $1 billion — in partnership with the National Geographic Society, the Nature Conservancy, and Fundacion Flora y Fauna — to help meet the UN goal to “protect 30 percent of the Earth by 2030.”
- Thirteen food and beverage companies in Japan have agreed to stop conducting animal tests unless they are required by law.
- Portugal has banned the use of wild animals in circuses starting in 2024. The ban covers 40 species.
- Ethiopia has sworn in its first female Supreme Court chief. The Parliament unanimously approved the nomination.
- The nation of Palau has become the first country to ban several kinds of sunscreen, to help protect their coral reefs. The ban will take effect in 2020 and applies to “reef toxic” sunscreens that contain one of 10 prohibited chemicals.
In the courts …
- Wyoming’s “ag-gag” law has been ruled unconstitutional by a state district court. The “Data Trespass Law” made it illegal for anyone to collect data on “public or private open land.”
- The US Supreme Court has declined a petition by sea urchin fishermen to reconsider a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that will not allow the forcible removal of Sea Otters from their native habitat in Southern California.
- A US federal judge has ruled that the US Fish and Wildlife Service violated federal law in removing protections for the critically endangered North Carolina red wolf.
We must do better …
- New research reveals that the world’s oceans are retaining far more heat than realized –- 60% more per year than previously thought –- “suggesting that Earth could be set to warm even faster than predicted in the years ahead.”
- Despite objections from the US Congress, veterans, and concerned citizens, the Department of Veterans Affairs is continuing with “invasive and ultimately fatal experiments on dogs.”
- The multinational pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. Inc. has announced that it is ending a long-term agreement to provide a “lifesaving” rotovirus vaccine to hundreds of thousands of children each year in West Africa. At the same time, Merck will begin selling the vaccine in China, at a much higher price.
- The US EPA has decided to allow farmers to use the dicamba pesticide for two more years, a weedkiller that often drifts into nearby fields and damages other farmers’ crops.
- The US EPA is also promoting “biomass as an energy solution,” calling for burning trees, which scientists say is “more environmentally devastating than coal-fired power.”
- And the US EPA has proposed a rule that would allow industrial animal agriculture facilities not to report air emissions from animal waste.
- A plan to create the world’s largest marine sanctuary in a “tract of pristine Antarctic ocean” has been rejected, after Russia, China, and Norway contributed to blocking the proposal.
- According to USDA statistics, the number of nonhuman primates used in biomedical research in the US has increased to record numbers, with an increase of 22% from 2015. In 2017 scientists in the US used nearly 76,000 nonhuman primates.
- Trappers in Saskatchewan (Canada) sold a record number of coyote skins in 2017-18, with nearly 40,000 pelts sold.
Did you know? …
- Thousands of Google employees at locations around the world held brief walk-outs to protest how sexual misconduct allegations against executives were handled.
- Researchers have released a new map showing that just five countries – Brazil, the US, Canada, Russia, and Australia – have “more than 70% of the world’s last, undisturbed wilderness areas.”
- It appears that the US EPA has permanently removed information about climate change from its website. In April 2017 a “holding page” announced that the pages were being updated “to reflect the agency’s new direction.” Now even that page has disappeared.
- A new study highlights how many people in the US underestimate the number of people of color and people of low-income who care about the environment. Researchers note that “the consequences of these stereotypes can make their way into policymaking by overlooking the concerns of minority communities.”
- After the regional governor of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania called for rounding up people who are gay, members of Tanzania’s LGBT community are “fearing for their lives, hiding in their homes and even fleeing the country.”
Be sure to add these resources to your solutionary educator toolkit:
- This essay about the importance of humane education in the classroom.
- This video about the US’s biggest collection of racist objects.
Be sure to forward this to at least ONE person who would benefit from these resources.