Grace Rodgers Makes Us Proud, Latest IPCC Report, Final Straw Cornwall, 70-Year Old UK Grandma Spent 52 Weeks Cleaning Beaches

by | Aug 12, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Grace Rodgers Makes Us Proud, plus the Latest IPCC Report. Final Straw Cornwall and a 70-Year Old UK Grandma Spent 52 Weeks Cleaning Beaches.



Just want to give a quick shout out to a Climate Daily original, Grace Rodgers. Grace co-hosted The Climate Daily with me from its launch through March, when she went on an embed assignment in the American Southwest as part of her M.S. degree in health, environment and science journalism at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwest University. This summer, Grace graduated and she just announced on her Instagram and LinkedIn that she’s already employed! “I’m thrilled to share that I will be joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Alaska region this year for a climate communications fellowship through The Great Basin Institute‘s research associates program,” Grace wrote. 

“Thank you to my professors, mentors and friends at Northwestern University Medill School, American University and Defenders of Wildlife for all your support. Special thanks to Sara Boario and Alissa Gardner, M.Ed. for your help along the way. I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to do what I love for an agency working on the forefront of climate change.” 

You go, Grace Rodgers. Out there doin’ big things. Doin’ big things. 



 So, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its most comprehensive report on climate change science since 2013. It was in that report where the world was advised to keep temperature rise on the planet below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Farenheit), or else! What is the IPCC and why does it matter to us? The IPCC is a U.N. body of 195 member states that assesses the science related to the climate crisis. It was founded in 1988 by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization to provide world leaders with periodic updates about the scale of the climate emergency, its implications and risks and to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. 

The latest findings by the IPCC report were approved by 195 member states before its wide release on Monday. So how’re we doing? The good news is in the eight years since the first report was released, climate scientists have improved the methods they use to measure different aspects of climate and to model (or project) what might happen in the future. They’ve also been monitoring the changes that have developed right before our eyes. That’s it. That’s the good news. The bad news?  

The report clearly lays out how human actions still have the potential to determine the future course of climate. The evidence is clear that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main driver of climate change, even as other greenhouse gases and air pollutants also affect the climate. IPCC Working Group I Co-Chair Panmao Zhai said, “Stabilizing the climate will require strong, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and reaching net zero CO2 emissions. Limiting other greenhouse gases and air pollutants, especially methane, could have benefits both for health and the climate.” Get used to hearing ABOUT “IPCC”. They’ve got 3 or 4 more reports to release in the next 18 months.

DEEPER DIVE: CNBC, IPCC Report, The Conversation



Think about this for a second: Every straw on the planet right now will outlive everyone listening to me. That means that straw you used five years ago to enjoy your favorite cold beverage for about 20 minutes and then chucked, is still around, and will be around when your grandkids grandkids have children. 

That’s why Cornwall resident Pat Smith founded “Final Straw Cornwall” back in 2017. Pat says she admits she’s very aware it was her generation that did two things—invented plastic and dumped about 88 billion metric tons of into the planet since 1948. Final Straw Cornwall recognizes one person cannot retrieve, recycle or rid Earth of all that plastic, but it also recognizes one can motivate her community to take responsibility for their actions, on behalf of future generations. And that’s why Final Straw Cornwall matters in every other community on the planet. We can all change our habits, and those of businesses in our community. Final Straw Cornwall assists businesses by offering alternatives to plastic straws, like paper, bamboo and stainless steel.  

Bosinver Farm in Cornwall was an early adopter of straw banning on their 35-acre vacation spot. Its owner, Farmer Dave says, “We’ve always understood the fragile balance of the environment and the demands we all make on it. Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Bosinver; it drives everything from the way we manage our land to how we run our business.”

DEEPER DIVE: Final Straw Cornwall, Break the Plastic Obsession,  


 What started out as a new year’s resolution to clean 52 beaches in one year continues to this day. “I won’t stop as our beaches need me,” Pat Smith says. British grandma, Pat Smith, spent all of 2018 on the beaches of Devon and Cornwall each week.  Armed with trash bags, rubber gloves and a litter picker, she travelled from one end of the South West of England to the other, collecting litter in beauty spots from Coverack, Cornwall, to Blackpool Sands, Devon. Sometimes during her forays into litter fighting by the sea, she’d run into people who mistook her good deeds for forced community service. 

Now she says, “I’m still driven to try and protect our living planet for my children and grandchildren and I will continue to do everything in my power to achieve that.”

DEEPER DIVE: Daily Mail, People, Cornwall Live