Newsdesk – September 8

Backlash against GDP as measure of growth. Is our species’ addiction to consumption responsible for climate change and a host of other environment ills? Politicians and economists hail consumption as the economic driver key to keeping our economies thriving. Without consumption, the thinking goes, there is no economic growth. However, the more we consume, the more the planet suffers. Soils are leached of their nutrients, forests felled, and minerals ripped from the earth to leave gaping holes where little can survive. Can we reconcile the two? – DeutscheWelle

Pages updated this week: Indigenous PeoplesYouth-led ActivismIPCC talksOceansWater is LifeBattery storage

  • Rise of Climate Day – September 8
  • Peruvian villagers face murder and intimidation in one of Peru’s most biodiverse forests – Guardian (See Indigenous People’s page)
  • Top UN official says governments ‘not on track’ to meet greenhouse gas targets – Independent
  • Fiji PM: Governments are unprepared for a crucial climate change meeting in Poland – Reuters
  • Indonesia, a top plastic polluter, mobilizes 20,000 citizens to clean up the mess – Mongabay
  • The demand for plastic bottles – about one million being bought every minute – is driven by an apparently insatiable desire for bottled water- Guardian
  • Global soft drink firms back plan to eliminate packaging waste, and end use of throwaway plastic bottles – Guardian

The Swedish 15 year-old who’s cutting class to fight the climate crisis.  Every day for two weeks, 15 year-old Greta Thunberg has been sitting quietly on the cobblestones outside parliament in central Stockholm, handing out leaflets that declare: “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future. I am doing this because nobody else is doing anything. It is my moral responsibility to do what I can,” she says. “I want the politicians to prioritise the climate question, focus on the climate and treat it like a crisis.” (2-minute BBC video)Guardian

Large scale wind and solar power could green the Sahara. Installing huge numbers of solar panels and wind turbines in the Sahara desert would have a major impact on rainfall, vegetation and temperature. The actions of wind turbines would double the amount of rain that would fall in the region. Solar panels have a similar impact although they act in a different way. Calculations, a massive installation in the desert would generate more than four times the amount of energy that the world currently uses every year – BBC

Bangkok struggles to stay afloat. As Bangkok prepares to host climate-change talks, the city of more than 10 million is itself under siege from the environment, with dire forecasts warning it could be partially submerged in just over a decade. Nearly 40% of Bangkok will be inundated by as early as 2030 due to extreme rainfall and changes in weather patterns, according to a World Bank report. Bangkok, built on once-marshy land about 1.5 metres above sea level, is projected to be one of the world’s hardest hit urban areas, alongside fellow Southeast Asian behemoths Jakarta and Manila   (photo Getty: from 2011 flooding) – SpaceDaily

As the climate warms, hazardous algae blooms are becoming more prevalent around the world. If ingested, cyanotoxins from these blooms can cause organ damage – even death. Since the mid-2000s it’s gotten worse, and the worst blooms on record have happened more or less in the last 10 years. More and more these days, health officials are grappling with the threat of algae to drinking water. In the USA, Oregon for the first time has rules largely unheard of in the United States. It’s requiring public water suppliers to test for toxins from algae. Only Ohio has similar rules, but there’s reason to believe more states will soon be following suit – NPR