NYT SERIES, “WE’RE COOKED,” PART TRES: INSECTS
Last week The Climate Daily reported on the latest Opinion Video series from the New York Times. It’s called, “We’re Cooked” a three-part video series about America’s “broken food system and the three chances you get to help fix it–and save the planet–every day.”
Part One, “Meet the People Getting Paid to Kill Our Planet” released two weeks ago. If you haven’t seen it, please do. 15 minutes of stream time well-spent. examined how the powerful American agriculture lobby has fended off environmental regulation, despite the harm done by the sector.
Part Two, “See the True Cost of Your Cheap Chicken” streamed last week. A visceral, disturbing look how horribly chickens are treated. And today, “The Joy of Cooking…Insects” !
In the West, edible insects have long been the domain of food adventurers, with few other takers–until recently. In the past year, Israel, and the EU have all approved locusts, grasshoppers and mealworms for human consumption.
Why do edible insects matter to us? As we’ve reported previously on The Climate Daily, scientists have warned that unless we make major adjustments to the kinds of food we eat and how we produce it, we have no chance of meeting our climate goals. A change in dietary patterns, especially reduced demand for meat, would help relieve pressure on the environment and mitigate global warming.
So, here we go. According to the NYT, whether you regard them as agents of filth or sources of nutrition, integrating more of them into your diet, this video argues, is among a suite of dietary changes that we urgently need to consider to deal with food insecurity, biodiversity loss and climate change.
Visit NYT.com and search for “Opinion Video Series” and then search for “We’re Cooked,” or just click on the link in the Deeper Dive Section of this story at theclimate.org/episodes.
DEEPER DIVE: WE’RE COOKED
THE RED BLACK AND GREEN NEW DEAL
The Red Black and Green New Deal is a multi-year multi-issue initiative designed to educate and catalyze Black people to take actions that mitigate the impact of the global climate crisis on Black Lives.
RBGND offers the six pillars and toolkits for better engagement. The six pillars encompass water, energy, land, labor, economy, and democracy and are presented from an environmental justice perspective. The Action Toolkit was developed to support participation in the varied campaigns. It’s downloadable at redblackgreennewdeal.org.
RBGND also invites us to take its pledge, a pledge made in conjunction with MB4L. The pledge asks us to commit to our own self-transformation to confront anti-Black racism while also reducing our own climate footprint by 50% within 3 years; to engage others in our church, workplace, school and community about the impact of climate on Black lives and ways to reduce its effects; and to advance democracy by holding elected officials accountable to alleviate the impacts of climate on black lives.
Additionally, the RBGND has released the first National Black Climate Mandate. The goal of which is to inform organizing and network building, and with bottom-line engagement with law and policy as the RBGND highlights the fight for climate justice in the Vision for Black Lives.
Check them out by at redblackgreennewdeal.org, or click on the links in the Deeper Dive section of this story at theclimate.org/episodes.
DEEPER DIVE: RBGND, Toolkit, RBGND/M4BL Mandate
SENEGAL LAUNCHES WEST AFRICA’S BIGGEST UTILITY-SCALE WIND FARM
The renewable power generation company, Lekela is considering a 100MW extension to Senegal’s Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye (PETN) wind farm. AT 158.7MW, it is West Africa’s first and largest utility-scale wind farm. A utility-scale turbine is a single wind turbine that produces at least 100 kilowatts. The average American home uses about 30KWh daily, so a utility scale turbine can provide power to at least three US homes a day.
Currently, over two million Senegalese citizens enjoy electricity from this eco-friendly power source. PETN was a collaboration between the Senegalese government and Lekela back which began in 2019. It was completed in 2020. The success of the project motivated Lekela and the US-based International Development Finance Corporation to fund a feasibility study into the planned expansion.
Chris Antonopoulos, chief executive officer at Lekela said, “This study represents an exciting opportunity to continue the expansion of wind power in Senegal and provide more clean, reliable energy to local people.”
The 46-turbine wind farm is a major achievement for Senegal. The Senegalese government sees the wind farm as key to eliminating the country’s dependence on oil. The wind farm contributes 15% of the electricity produced in Senegal. Based upon the terms of the public-private partnership, the wind farm is not only providing clean energy, it also paved the way for social programs improving education, enterprise and the environment at the local level.
Why does Senegal’s large-scale wind farm matter to us? It’s evidence of how developing nations can form successful partnerships with private industry for the purpose of large-scale green energy production.
DEEPER DIVE: CNBC, Wind Power Monthly, Africa Business Community
BIPOCS IN GREEN ENERGY
Here’s some interesting trivia…. In 1982, the largest Black-owned companies in the US were oil and gas enterprises. The top five of which had annual sales over $850 million dollars.
It’s not clear how those Black-owned energy companies got their start; however, historically, in the United States, there have been government and corporate procurement programs that support minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs). Many qualifying certification schemes exist, ranging from local to national, and from public, free structures to private, paid third-party structures.
Marilyn Waite, Editor-at-Large for Geen Biz, referenced this fact in an article she wrote for Green Biz. It was a way of giving context for the argument that Black, women and other minority-owned businesses must be more than in the energy transition conversation, they must also find inroads into the burgeoning industry.
According to a 2019 Solar Foundation and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) study, 88 percent of solar energy senior execs are white and 80 percent are men.
Another report from the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Energy Futures Initiative found that women and Black workers substantially lag behind the national workforce averages for energy efficiency jobs.
Waite asks the question, “How can the two principal agents in the economy, suppliers and demanders, bring about climate justice?” Her answer: For customers and procurers, one solution is to buy Black. Support women-owned. Go local. That would require an ample supply of green products and services led by women and underrepresented people of color.
Which begs the questions: “Where are these suppliers? Who are they? And what do they have to offer? Waite has a great starter list available by clicking on the link in the Deeper Dive section at the end of this story at theclimate.org/episodes. And for Blacks in the solar industry, checkout BlackSolar.org. We will be highlighting some of these companies for #BlackClimateWeek.
DEEPER DIVE: GreenBiz, BlackSolar