Meet a TikTok Ocean Cleaning Superstar, Researchers Unveil Four Steps to Protect Earth’s Biodiversity, Electric School Buses Outside DC, UN Global Climate Poll Says People Less Talk, More Action!

by | Mar 5, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Meet TikTok ocean-cleaning superstar, Shane Brown, in our “Profiles in Green,” plus, researchers unveil ‘Four Steps for Earth’ to help protect biodiversity. Electric school buses arrive in suburban Washington, DC, and a United Nations global climate poll finds the people want action.




In THIS climate daily “Profiles in Green”, I recently came across young Shane Brown. Who, when he looks back on his life, will enjoy vivid memories that will include video recording himself collecting trash from Hawaii’s oceans and sharing educational content about marine life and ocean conservation with his 8 million TikTok followers. Yes, videos of collecting trash from the ocean’s surrounding Hawaii and sharing them with his 8 million followers.

Shane Brown has made well over a hundred videos of his forays to rid his tiny spot of the planet of human-made waste. Brown started this whole journey shooting videos about sustainable food harvesting, focusing on sustainable fishing, and uploading them to YouTube. Then a younger friend suggested he upload his videos to TikTok because that’s where Gen green new deal was. So he did.

Almost 8 million followers later, Shane doesn’t see himself as a leader. Just somebody who’s hoping to positively impact his viewers. “I’m not just cleaning up the ocean on my own — I’m also teaching people that they can go out and do that on their own and it doesn’t take much to do,” he said referring to his videos.

His reference point is the original Hawaiian way of life, which respected the ocean and the land. “I wanted to make videos that showed people that it was still possible today to go back to that kind of living and minimize your environmental impact while also feeding yourself,” he said. And he has. Follow Shane Brown @shangerdanger on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.

DEEPER DIVE: @ShangerDanger, TikTokGlobal Citizen



Researchers across 22 institutions have come together to develop the ‘Four Steps for Earth’ paper to help protect biodiversity on the planet. Published by One Earth in anticipation of the Convention on Biological Diversity Meeting, the paper emphasizes the importance of taking action over the next few years to recover humanity’s relationship with the planet. 

And implementing ‘Four Steps for Earth’ can help do so! The steps are as follows: Refrain, reduce, restore and renew. Reported by Environment Journal, the refrain step involves avoiding negative impacts on nature as far as possible. The reduce step involves minimising damage to nature where it cannot be completely avoided. The restore step involves remediating any immediate damage to nature. The renew step involves investing in revitalising nature.

In an interview with Environment Journal, lead author of the researcher Professor Mil-NER Gul-land said, “we hope that ‘Four Steps for the Earth’ will provide an intuitive and flexible framework for tying all the threads together.’

DEEPER DIVE: Environment Journal, One Earth 



In a victory for mothers, Fairfax County Public Schools in Fairfax County, part of Suburban Washington, DC recently got its first electric school bus as part of a statewide initiative led by power provider Dominion Energy. It is the first of eight vehicles that FCPS will receive from Dominion in an initial deployment of 50 buses throughout Virginia. FCPS says it anticipates getting the remaining seven buses by spring 2021. 

The arrival of Fairfax County’s first electric bus is a welcome step forward for community members and public officials who have been advocating for a transition to electric vehicles, citing health and financial benefits as well as environmental ones. “Electric school buses in FCPS will benefit not only the school division and its community, but the entire national capital area,” FCPS says. “…They will help reduce carbon emissions, serve as a resource for national emergency planning efforts, and provide stability and capacity to the grid with meeting increasing energy demands.”

While electric buses are more expensive to purchase than diesel ones, they are cheaper to maintain and operate. One of the most prominent advocates for electric school buses has been the Fairfax County branch of the national climate advocacy group Mothers Out Front, which launched a campaign in 2019 calling on FCPS to commit to converting its entire fleet to electric power by 2024.

DEEPER DIVE: Mothers Out Front, FCPS


In one of the largest opinion surveys ever conducted on climate change, a United Nations global climate poll found the people want action. Reported by the Guardian, the United Nations Development Program possessed questions to roughly 1.2 million people across 50 countries. The results showed two-thirds of people support climate action and voice demands for politicians to also take action. 

Check these out. In countries where fossil fuels are a primary source of emissions, people strongly supported green energy, including the 65% of people in US, 76% of people in Australia and 51% of people in Russia.  The most popular actions to tackle climate change were protecting and restoring forests, followed by renewable energy and climate-friendly farming. 

Now let’s talk demographics. 69% of those aged 14-18 said there is a climate emergency, 58% of those over 60 agreed, which suggests there is not a huge generational divide.  Overall, the UN global climate poll delivered a message. In an interview with The Guardian, United Nations Development Program’s strategic adviser on climate change  Cassie FLynn said, “the voice of the people is clear – they want action on climate change.”

DEEPER DIVE: The Guardian