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:
Small steps toward positive solutions …
- Madrid, Spain, is testing new restrictions on vehicles in the city’s downtown area. So far, some parts of the city are reporting a more than 30% drop in vehicle traffic, which is reducing pollution levels (specifically nitrogen dioxide).
- Canada has passed a bill that will prohibit new cetaceans, like dolphins and whales, from being held in captivity. Those already in captivity will remain, but “they cannot breed a new generation or capture more in the wild.”
- Luxembourg has plans to become the first country to lift all fares for its public trains, trams, and buses. The change is planned for summer 2019.
- California has become the first US state to require solar panels on most new homes. There are some exceptions, including for houses that are too shaded or that have roofs that are too small.
- The Brussels (Belgium) Parliament has adopted a draft resolution recognizing nonhuman animals as sentient beings.
- The (US) Texas Board of Education has finally voted to recognize slavery as the central issue of the US Civil War “and not, as previous standards had dictated, a cause eclipsed by states’ rights and sectionalism.”
- Germany’s Environment Ministry has published a five-point plan to reduce plastic waste. The plan includes avoiding unnecessary packaging, encouraging more recycling, and limiting plastic waste at sea.
- The results of a new study that piloted growing a quarter of cropland with flowering economic crops have revealed an increase in biodiversity, more income for farmers, and fewer pesticides – and it attracts and protects more pollinators.
We must do better …
- Researchers have discovered that if we humans continue to release greenhouse gases at our current rate, “we have no reason to think it wouldn’t cause a similar type of extinction” as the mass extinction from 252 million years ago, which wiped out more than two-thirds of life on Earth.
- The Trump administration plans to roll back protections for waterways in the US by redefining “waters of the United States” to only include major waterways.
- Researchers who examined the bodies of more than 100 turtles across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean have found plastics in the gut of every single turtle examined.
- The US EPA is planning to roll back regulations enacted to reduce climate change emissions by allowing new coal-fired plants to be built without CO2 capture systems.
- The US plans to allow oil and gas drilling, mining, and other destructive activities on public lands and to allow waivers to allow these activities to encroach on the habitat of endangered species like the greater sage grouse.
- Investigators and officials have discovered a massive illegal network of trade in endangered turtles and other reptiles. Thousands of turtles and tortoises have been seized as part of a sting that covered multiple countries and uncovered significant corruption.
- The COP24 climate change conference featured a meat-heavy menu, despite the fact that numerous reports and agencies have identified going plant-based as one of the most important actions that can be taken to reduce climate change emissions.
- A new report by the World Resources Institute notes that wealthier countries must slash their consumption of animal products in order to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change.
Did you know? …
- A new Politico poll shows that a majority of those in the US (58%) now agree with the scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human activity.
- A new US government report reveals that “more than half of work-related deaths among children in the US occur in agriculture,” despite the fact that farms employ less than 6% of child workers.
- According to a farmed animal advocacy group, between January 2015 and October 2018, 610,000 farmed animals died in barn fires in Canada. The group asserts that “society has a blind spot when it comes to the wellbeing of livestock.”
- Researchers found that having a photograph along with a claim influenced people to be more likely to believe the claim; and those tested also believed that the photo had no effect on them.
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