Newsdesk – Nov. 2


Honduran migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the US, walk alongside the road in Huixtla, Chiapas state, Mexico, on 24 October. Photograph: Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images

The unseen driver behind the migrant caravan: climate change. While violence and poverty have been cited as the reasons for the exodus, experts say the big picture is that changing climate is forcing farmers off their land – and it’s likely to get worse. Thousands of Central American migrants trudging through Mexico towards the US have regularly been described as either fleeing gang violence or extreme poverty. But another crucial driving factor behind the migrant caravan has been harder to grasp: climate change. Experts say that alongside those factors, climate change in the region is exacerbating – and sometimes causing – a miasma of other problems including crop failures and poverty.  “The focus on violence is eclipsing the big picture – which is that people are saying they are moving because of some version of food insecurity,” said Robert Albro, a researcher at the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at American University.  “The main reason people are moving is because they don’t have anything to eat. This has a strong link to climate change – we are seeing tremendous climate instability that is radically changing food security in the region” – The Guardian 

  • John Kerry & David Cameron: Help us protect oceans from climate change, pollution, overfishing – USA Today 
  • Climate change is redrawing maps – AXIOUS 
  • Big Oil is using brute financial force to kill 2 state sustainability initiatives – VOX
  • Brazil: Experts warn of Bolsonaro threat to the Amazon – Made For Minds
  • Greens Won Big in Vancouver. What Will They Stand For? – The Tyee
  • This group is helping voters make sense of which candidates take climate change seriously – VOX
  • Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, report finds – The Guardian


Plastic in your mouth
Microplastics are defined as smaller than 5 milimeters in diameter. But these tiny particles accumulate in the sea, can enter the food chain, and are even found in the air. Personal care products containing microplastics, such as toothpaste, represent one of the most common intentional uses of microplastics in our daily lives.

EU Commission plans ban on plastic waste.  Plastic utensils, straws, coffee stirrers and cotton swabs may soon be a lot harder to come by in Europe. The EU Commission presented a draft directive to ban the single-use products in the fight against plastic waste. EU officials noted that the single-use plastic objects and fishing gear accounts for 70 percent of trash in the ocean and that the move towards “innovative alternatives” could create some 30,000 jobs. What they are proposing is also curbing the use of plastic cups for beverages as well as plastic food containers, such as the ones used for take-away.  Each member state should use a deposit system or other measure in order to collect 90 percent of plastic bottles used in their country by 2025 – Made For Minds 


Feds are ‘trying to silence’ the kids suing the Trump administration over global warming.  After years of hearings, a trial date had been set for October 29.
But 10 days before trial, the US Supreme Court issued a stay that has temporarily halted proceedings.  Federal attorneys are questioning whether the kids have a right to “a climate system capable of sustaining human life” under the Constitution or public trust doctrine.  When the case was filed on their behalf in August 2015, Levi Draheim, the youngest plaintiff, was 8.  Now he’s 11. “I am a kid, and so I’m very impatient — and I’m impatient for a very good reason,” Levi said at a courthouse rally on Monday, his shock of sun-bleached hair barely peeking above a wooden podium. “I live on a barrier island, and I have seen the sea level rise maps. I have personally had to evacuate my home because of hurricanes. I have seen fish kills on my beach, and I have seen changing weather — more and more hot days. That’s why it’s so important to move forward with this trial” – CNN


We Can’t Save the Climate Without Also Saving the Trees.  Forest Conservation Is Part of the Climate Conversation Too.
A new report and platform show how saving and restoring forests are key.  Scientists agree: Preserving forests is critical to combating climate change. The most recent report from the International Panel on Climate Change was unequivocal: “Our planet’s future climate is inextricably tied to the future of its forests,” wrote the authors of the UN-sponsored study. On the eve of publication of the IPCC report, a group of international scientists released a statement saying that preserving forests is “just as urgent” as abandoning fossil fuels. “We must protect and maintain healthy forests to avoid dangerous climate change and to ensure the world’s forests continue to provide services critical for the well-being of the planet and ourselves,” the scientists declared – Sierra