Facebook expands climate crisis misinformation labelling program, plus unique ways researchers use technology to measure regenerative agriculture. In green science news, scientists discover an algae that binds with microplastics, and in community action, Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet!
Facebook Expands Climate Crisis Misinformation Labelling Program, Unique Ways Researchers Use Technology to Measure Regenerative Agriculture, Scientists Discover an Algae That Binds With Microplastics, Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet!
FACEBOOK EXPANDS CLIMATE CHANGE MISLABELLING CORRECTION PROGRAM
As part of The Climate Daily’s Earth Month celebrations, we’re letting our followers on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, and on our homepage at TheClimate.org hit us up with happenings in their neck of the woods. And oh by the way, if you surf on over to TheClimate.org/episodes and click on today’s episode, you’ll not only see a transcript of the show, but also links to all the events we’re talking about today in the DEEPER DIVE section at the end of the transcript.
(And I might add, all of our episodes offer transcripts and DEEPER DIVE resource links)
And you just did…
Facebook to begin labelling misinformation about the climate crisis Facebook announced the social networking conglomerate will begin labelling misinformation about the climate crisis during a small trial in the United Kingdom. Reported by the Guardian, Facebook will label certain posts with a direct attachment to the Climate Science Information Center’s Facebook page. Facebook previously labeled posts sharing common myths or misconceptions and attached a link to a voting information center during the 2020 presidential election. While the company has yet to disclose how it will filter and label each post, the process will be similar to that used during the election.
In addition to the labeling trial, the Climate Science Information Center launched a new section debunking myths and misconceptions about climate change, carbon emissions, environmental degradation and wildlife extinction. The Facebook center is said to be working directly with climate communication experts to produce the content. The Climate Daily will be sure to check back in with the U.K. trial and follow any further expansion of Facebook’s plan.
DEEPER DIVE: The Guardian
SCIENTISTS EXPLORE UNIQUE WAYS TO MEASURE REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
Experts are using technology to measure regenerative agriculture. Reported by GreenBiz, practitioners and agricultural pioneers around the world are using these new tools to help track and understand environmental metrics on biodiversity, carbon sequestration and soil health. Here are just a few of the emerging innovative technologies: Using artificial intelligence to measure insect diversity, operating a handheld probe with pressure sensors to measure soil carbon levels, developing satellite data and remote sensors to map soil health; using recorded audio samples to study bird diversity; and using laser sensors to recognize insect species. For more on all of these technologies, surf to theclimate.org/episodes page and click on the Deeper Dive. GreenBiz breaks down each of these innovative tools and highlights the companies developing the new technology.
DEEPER DIVE: GreenBiz
GREEN SCIENCE: CLADOPHORA ALGAE’S MICROPLASTIC ATTRACTION ABILITY MIGHT PROVIDE NATURAL WATER CLEAN UP SOLUTION
Scientific researchers found that one type of algae, which has greatly expanded its range within the Great Lakes and is one of the most abundant algae by weight there, could catch up to one trillion pieces of microplastic in the Great Lakes. Researchers at Valparaiso University in Indiana recently published their findings in the science journal, “Environmental Pollution.” This study examined the most abundant group of algae in the Great Lakes: Cladophora. Cladophora, which looks a bit like green hair, readily tangles up with plastic microfibers, which are shed from synthetic clothing, carpets, and other cloth. Researchers observed indications of strong electrostatic forces and physical connections via adsorption, in which two substances stick together because of a molecular attraction. Adsorption is similar to how other types of algae may take up metals.
Microplastic pollution — defined as any plastic debris less than five millimeters long — is a very serious problem globally. Studies reveal microplastic present in tap water, bottled beer, and even sea salt. It is believed microplastics often enter the Great Lakes and other surface waters from certain discarded beauty products, rural and urban stormwater runoff, and laundering clothing made with synthetic materials. Microplastics pose a significant unknown threat to all life, as evidence suggests they are absorbed by lower-food chain species which are then eaten by everything else higher up the food chain. Accumulations of microplastics in the body are believed to contribute to everything from hormone imbalances to certain types of cancer. Julie Peller, a professor of chemistry at Valparaiso University lead researcher on the study said in an interview with Environmental Health News, “It’s just a massive amount of these microscopic particle pollutants that are now part of our environment.” Peller also said the study may offer insight into how we can stop the microplastic pollution from getting into the lakes.
GRANDMOTHERS ACT TO SAVE THE PLANET
Remember how I loved those Grandmothers Acting to save the planet, well here’s their story, submitted to us by Elta Chase of Toronto, Canada.These women ain’t your grandma’s grandma…GASP4Change, or Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet, grew from a network of some 30 women in the Halton area of Ontario province–near Toronto, who in 2017 were gathering once a month to discuss systemic racism and white privilege. Some in their ranks had been around since 1982 as founding members of the Women of Halton Action Network (WHAM) that lobbied to include the gender equality clause in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Other members had been knitting pussy hats to attend the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, DC the day after the inauguration of former U.S. President Donald Trump.
According to the Oakville News, at one of the discussion meetings, someone mentioned that it was their demographic group — educated white women — who got President Trump elected. As that information sank in, they considered how to harness their privilege to drive positive change. They asked themselves, “What is the most important thing for us right now?” The group settled on the climate crisis. In that conversation, GASP was born and now boasts more than 80 paid members in Oakville, Milton, Hamilton, Mississauga and Burlington. And there are another 200 plus active supporters in their Facebook group. Entirely self-funded through modest membership dues of $20 per year, the group organizes letter writing and social media campaigns, and continues to video-conference once a month to strategize.
A recent campaign involved assembling a team of 30 members who just this past Christmas hand wrote a thousand holiday cards and mailed them to bank executives as part of a campaign to encourage Canadian big banks to divest from fossil fuels. Their effort won them a personal audience via video chat with Royal Bank of Canada executives in Toronto. “We make an effort to retain our dignity,” co-founder Lorraine Green explains. “While we may be angry, we try to speak as mature grandmothers would speak. We appeal in a scientific sense because we have done our homework and we appeal in the emotional sense as grandmothers. As the women explain it, doing advocacy as a retired person has its benefits. For one, “we can say what we want because we’re not worried about losing our jobs.”.