CROWDSOURCING SUSTAINABILITY

Alarming

This section explores the current and future effects of climate change that we need to know about and work towards solving. It also examines society’s current status of where we stand in our efforts to solve the problem.

The following content is from the “Alarming” section of the What on EARTH?! sustainability newsletter:

 

Some super important things to understand 🌎

Some super important things to understand 🌎

Today I'm sharing some key, high-level ideas and research that I've found to be extremely helpful in understanding where we stand and where we may be going. I hope it helps you to wrap your head around everything a bit more too! Big Picture: Where society stands The...

The world that is…and what it *could* be (part 1)

The world that is…and what it *could* be (part 1)

I'm pretty excited about this one because I think it's super important for us to have a better understanding of the world as it is today and, critically, have a picture in our minds of the future world that we want to live in - the safer, healthier, and more just...

Reality check

Reality check

This week I'm just going to share excerpts from some important articles I read recently. To be honest, I don't care much for their titles, but the articles themselves are all worth reading. And then I'll share some brief thoughts. ​ ​“Big Words, And Little Action”:...

$25,000 prizes for climate projects & help debunking deniers

$25,000 prizes for climate projects & help debunking deniers

I don't know about you, but I got another wave of deep relief this week. Possibly the most powerful person in the world has just changed from someone who was actively making the climate crisis worse, to someone who is working to rapidly accelerate climate solutions....

What on EARTH?! 🌍

What on EARTH?! 🌍

We're mixing it up and going back to the original "What on EARTH?!" structure for the Crowdsourcing Sustainability newsletter this week! For those who don't know, this was my way of using an acronym to balance the newsletter when I first started writing it in 2018 -...

Wisdom from Carl Sagan

Wisdom from Carl Sagan

    Two quick things for you this week.   First - Hallelujah! Seriously, what a relief. I hope you have celebrated and found some moments of peace 🙂 More than 78 million Americans stood up and voted to get Trump out of power. (Of course, Trump is still...

Climate action helps improve *every other issue at the same time*

Climate action helps improve *every other issue at the same time*

I hope all is well with you in these trying times. Living in 2020 is a lot, isn't it? I'm just coming back from a brief, much-needed break from work (I swear, time has never moved as fast as it did last week). Today, as promised, I'll be connecting the dots between...

The *Most Important* Action of the Year

The *Most Important* Action of the Year

  I hope you are well or coping to the best of your abilities in these trying times. As Benjamin Franklin walked out of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Elizabeth Powel asked him, "Well Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarch?" He replied: "A...

The *Most Important* Action of the Year

Democracy itself is on the ballot this November

  I would regret keeping my mouth shut on this...part of me already regrets keeping it shut for this long. The United States of America I am terrified of what's happening in the US right now - of the road we're on and continue to head down. My country is...

Latest climate crisis fueled disasters

Latest climate crisis fueled disasters

  Wildfires send California into a state of emergency "It’s been an apocalyptic few days, even by California standards." - Julia Wick As if the historic heatwave, rolling blackouts for hundreds of thousands (because of the heatwave), and the ongoing pandemic weren't...

Pollution, power, propaganda…and some promising actions to take

Pollution, power, propaganda…and some promising actions to take

  Pollution is killing us at an insane rate. We're talking 7 million people are dying prematurely from air pollution every year. That's 19,178 people dying prematurely every day. One person every five seconds. A whopping 91% of people "breathe air containing high...

Coronavirus: Staying home = Saving lives

Coronavirus: Staying home = Saving lives

I typically write to help reverse global warming. I do this because I believe informing and inspiring people to act is the best way I can help to save and improve lives. But I'm going to step out of my lane slightly for a second because we're facing a global pandemic...

Latest Effects Of Global Warming & Some Very Good News

Latest Effects Of Global Warming & Some Very Good News

  So...yeah. Things are really bad. Global warming is ramping up everywhere. 1. Antarctica had T-shirt weather In February of 2020 it was 69.35°F (20.75°C)...in Antarctica. That's T-shirt weather. Context: it usually doesn't get above 50°F (10°C). This smashes the old...

You are not crazy. You are not alone.

You are not crazy. You are not alone.

  You are not alone. You are not crazy. What's happening is insane. This is a passage from journalist Wen Stephenson's "What We're Fighting for Now is Each Other": "The window in which to prevent the worst scenarios is closing before our eyes. And the fossil-fuel...

Greta’s speech, climate strikes, and the UN

Greta’s speech, climate strikes, and the UN

    I hope you've had a great week so far! If you read nothing else in this newsletter, please do watch... Greta's speech to the United Nations It is powerful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAJsdgTPJpU This is raw emotion from a 16-year-old's rational,...

This is the Best Article I’ve Read in Months

This is the Best Article I’ve Read in Months

  There aren't many people who have been following, writing, and thinking about climate change longer than Bill McKibben. He nails this article. Here's how it starts: "Let’s imagine for a moment that we’ve reached the middle of the century. It’s 2050, and we have...

Land is warming nearly *twice as fast* as the global average

Land is warming nearly *twice as fast* as the global average

I just discovered this in the IPCC's latest report on land and agriculture and was shocked I'd never heard it before. I did understand that the ocean takes longer to heat up (like how it takes time to boil a pot of water). But I didn't realize just how different land...

Plastic vs trees, Greenland melting, and debate highlights

Plastic vs trees, Greenland melting, and debate highlights

  Hope you're having a great week so far! And staying cool! Did you know that June was the hottest June on record? And July was the hottest month ever recorded? I was on a family vacation for part of this week and haven't had much time to work. When I did, it...

Air pollution is in our hearts

Air pollution is in our hearts

Billions of air pollution particles were just found in the hearts of city dwellers my age. This makes my blood boil. The climate crisis aside for a second - this is so basic. We should not allow dangerous pollutants into our hearts. You know, those things that keep us...

The Carbon Bubble

The Carbon Bubble

Today I’ll share two stories (that are absolutely terrifying) because I believe they’re so important that they’ll ultimately accelerate the time it takes for the planetary crisis to become the central concern of our society. I’ll also mention an enormous disruption to...

Loss of Biodiversity and Jay Inslee’s Climate Plan

Loss of Biodiversity and Jay Inslee’s Climate Plan

  Two things for you today. A dose of despair/reality-check followed by a genuinely exciting development: A look at just how dramatically our current system has been annihilating life on Earth. US Presidential candidate Jay Inslee is slowly unveiling an amazing...

Top 5 Actions to Eliminate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Top 5 Actions to Eliminate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  A few weeks ago I told you what you need to know about our sea level rise situation. I just added an analogy to it because I like putting things in perspective - so these monumental numbers actually mean something to us. I wanted to start this week by sharing...

Kindergarteners and Climate Migrants

Kindergarteners and Climate Migrants

    Hope you've had a great week so far! Okay, hmmm. Let's start with... Kindergarteners and Climate Migrants Last week I spoke at my neighbor's kindergarten class (the same room I was in 21 years ago actually - kind of surreal). They were adorable, engaged, and...

Climate change wreaking havoc and climate action wisdom

Climate change wreaking havoc and climate action wisdom

    I hope you've had a great week so far! Just a couple of things today.   Climate change wreaking havoc As I'm writing this, my thoughts and wishes go out to the millions of people who are suffering in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe after...

More Americans waking up to climate crisis

More Americans waking up to climate crisis

  Three things this week: For those who want to wrap their heads around the Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Ed Markey's Green New Deal resolution, David Robert's article is excellent (I am very excited about the GND and will be covering it again in the future...my...

Magnitude and pace of climate change

Magnitude and pace of climate change

For those who don't know, I live just outside of Boston, MA in the US. We've had a bit of freezing cold this week, but it was nothing compared to the cold felt in the upper Midwest. If you didn't catch it the first time, here's my quick article on why climate change...

Where we stand in 2019

Where we stand in 2019

Welcome to the Crowdsourcing Sustainability community! I hope you're 2019 is off to a great start. I thought this would be a good time to do a brief summary of the big picture and where we stand today (it's not pretty), then share some highly encouraging news, and end...

Big picture of where we stand

Big picture of where we stand

Watch out, comin' in hot! Quick high-level reminder and update. We have warmed the world by at least 1°C (1.8°F) so far. We are on pace to reach 3°C to 3.5°C (5.4°F to 6.3°F). The Paris Agreement is our attempt to limit global warming to 1.5°C because of how much...

Why So Many Americans Are Silent About the Climate Crisis

Why So Many Americans Are Silent About the Climate Crisis

Last weekend I had the pleasure of presenting to a class of confirmation students and their parents. As always, I did my best to toe the line of telling the hard truth about the climate crisis while also inspiring action and hope - showing how we're each far more...

Sea Level Rise: It’s Probably Worse Than You Think

Sea Level Rise: It’s Probably Worse Than You Think

As you know, this newsletter is usually fairly inspiring. But this one is not (overall). And that's because we really need to talk about sea level rise again. Sorry, but the stakes are insanely high and everyone needs to know about this stuff! That being said, I do...

Cape Town’s Water Crisis

Cape Town’s Water Crisis

Putting Cape Town's Water Crisis into Perspective A look at the effect on Cape Tonian's day to day lives and the pre-climate change odds of this happening Can you imagine waking up, brushing your teeth, hopping in the shower, and then running out of water for the rest...

Record-Breaking Heat is the New Normal

Record-Breaking Heat is the New Normal

Record-Breaking Heat is the New Normal 17 of the 18 hottest years on record have occurred since 2001. The 18th was just a few years earlier in 1998. The last four years are the hottest of the bunch. 2018 looks like it will make our last five years the hottest five...

A Climate Poem for 2019: Big Oil’s Lies and How to Respond

A Climate Poem for 2019: Big Oil’s Lies and How to Respond

  I've got something a little different for you this week. On occasion, I dabble with poetry. This one sort of just started pouring out of me the other night when I couldn't fall asleep. The next day I decided some of you may actually enjoy it, so I spent several...

Climate Change in 2019: Where Do We Stand?

Climate Change in 2019: Where Do We Stand?

Climate Change in 2019: Where Do We Stand? A brief check-up on the biggest issue facing humanity. I thought this would be a good time to do a brief summary of the big picture and where we stand today. Buckle up because it's not pretty and I refuse to sugar-coat it....

CO2 Levels and Sea Level Rise

CO2 Levels and Sea Level Rise

CO2 Levels and Sea Level Rise A brief look at where we have been, where we are now, and where we're going The last time there was this much CO2 in the atmosphere (>400ppm) was 3 million years ago. Back then, temperatures were 2°C to 3°C (3.6°Fto 5.4°F) higher than...

China’s Trash and Recycling Ban is Causing Chaos Around the World

China’s Trash and Recycling Ban is Causing Chaos Around the World

China's Trash and Recycling Ban is Causing Chaos Around the World An overview of China's new ban, the effect it's having, and what it means moving forward China, which typically processes half of the world's exported waste paper, plastic, and metals is done being the...

Permafrost: The Arctic’s Ticking Time Bomb

Permafrost: The Arctic’s Ticking Time Bomb

Our Thawing Permafrost and Why it Matters  The Permafrost is thawing decades ahead of schedule. That is a huge deal. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. In 2016, the average temperature was 3.5°C (6.2°F) warmer than it was in 1900....

US White House Acknowledges but Fails to Lead on Climate Change

US White House Acknowledges but Fails to Lead on Climate Change

US White House Acknowledges but Fails to Lead on Climate Change They basically say "there's nothing we can do...so screw it!" The White House is working to roll back efficiency standards for vehicles. The EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s...

Co2 Emissions Per Capita Put in Perspective

Co2 Emissions Per Capita Put in Perspective

CO2 Emissions Per Capita Put in Perspective The average US citizen is responsible for 19 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions each year. That’s roughly equivalent to the weight of 12 cars. To break it down further that’s 115 pounds (51kg) of greenhouse gas...

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