#Cutoutcutlery–One woman’s quest to remove excess plastic cutlery from food apps, plus plans to save Keystone Species Whitebark Pines across the United States. French schooner Tara sets sail on scientific mission to study climate change, and experts calculate exactly how much solar energy we need to save the climate.
#CutOutCutlery, Saving Keystone Whitebark Pines, French Launch “Tara” to Study Climate Change, How Much Solar Energy Do We Need to Save Climate?
ONE WOMAN GETS CUTLERY REMOVED FROM FOOD APPS/ #CUTOUTCUTLERY
Sheila Morovati is one of those people who believes she just can’t do nothing. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to combat environmental degradation and the climate crisis. Sheila recently got fed up with the 40 million plastic utensils that restaurants include with takeout orders annually that go unused. She realized that the millions of plastic utensils that nobody uses is no longer “single-use” plastic. All that plastic is now “zero-use” plastic.
So she began the #cutoutcutlery campaign to persuade delivery services like uber eats and postmates to make those utensils optional. Thanks to her efforts, uber eats and postmates changed the default settings on their apps so that users only receive plastic cutlery or straws upon request.
Sheila also founded habitsofwaste.org after proving that changing the habits around one simple object at a restaurant or on a food delivery app can make a huge environmental impact. Her goal is to get us all to rethink all societal behavior engrained in our daily actions, toward a better planet.
DEEPER DIVE: CBS NEWS, Habits of Waste
PLAN TO SAVE WHITEBARK PINES
You might not know much about whitebark pines, but these trees are vital to the high-altitude ecosystem they grow in. Growing up to 12,000 feet, Whitebark pines are a keystone species, providing an essential habitat for birds, bears, squirrels, and over one-hundred other species. Unfortunately, these pines are being destroyed by a toxic fungus. According to the US Forest Service, more whitebark pines are dead than alive across the United States.
However – here’s the good news – reported by Wired News, admirers are working with old and new methods to save the last whitebark pine populations. Founding member of the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation, Melissa Jenkins has been working for 30 years to save these trees. She said these trees “represent WILD-NESS” and “[her] passion for the outdoors.”
Jenkins and other conservationists are working to boost funding for studies that combine old techniques, such as seed collection, and modern strategies to identify fungus-resilient trees. Conservation groups have also pushed the US Fish and Wildlife Service to propose a threatened species status change for the whitebark pines.
DEEPER DIVE: Wired
FRENCH SCHOONER TARA SETS SAIL ON SCIENTIFIC MISSION TO STUDY CLIMATE CHANGE VIA MICRO-ORGANISMS
French sailing ship Tara has set off from its home port of Lorient in northwestern France, on a nearly two-year-long research expedition. The team on board will study the role played by micro-organisms in the context of climate change. Conceived by the Tara Ocean Foundation, this is the boat’s 12th mission and it involves 42 research institutions around the world. This time it will study the most fundamental fabric of the Ocean, its micro-organisms, and the future of this ecosystem under the new stresses of climate change.
Over a two-year voyage, the sailing laboratory will travel 70,000 kilometres in the South Atlantic, along the South American and African coasts, as far as Antarctica.
DEEPER DIVE: France24
EXPERTS CALCULATE HOW MUCH SOLAR ENERGY WE NEED TO SAVE THE CLIMATE ?!
As global carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, experts are calculating the extent of solar electricity needed to save the climate by 2035. Reported by DW News, professor of solar economics at the LUT University in Finland, Christian Breyers estimates roughly 100 solar panel factories must be constructed by 2025 to eliminate fossil fuels energy supplies by 2035. While these plans are aggressive, significant changes must made in order to reach a zero-carbon-emissions energy system. Plus, Professor Breyer said their calculations show how it can be done.
According to Breyer’s 2019 cost-optimized model, solar panels supply 69% of the total global energy demand, while the remainder is supplied through hydropower, geothermal power, wind, biomass and waste. As far as timing, Breyer said the current target for zero emissions in 2050 is way too late. The world must be working towards zero emissions as soon as possible after 2025. So, we all better get to work.
DEEPER DIVE: Deutsche Welle