Newsdesk – November 8

Jane Goodall remains a bright light of optimism. Photo by blogchef, Creative Commons.

Jane Goodall Isn’t Giving Up.  Faced with mass species die-offs and presidential horrors, the dazzling doctor still finds hope in resiliency. The recent film about her life directed by Brett Morgen, chronicles Goodall’s love affair with Hugo van Lawick, her first husband and the father of her son, and her passion for the chimpanzees and the forests of Tanzania.  Goodall’s talk at the film festival, one statement leapt out. She was asked how she keeps going despite the challenges. In spite of the grim news for the environment from the U.S., and now Brazil, where a newly elected presidential nightmare threatens to sell off the Amazon rainforest and jettison all Indigenous land rights, Goodall argues that there is ample reason for hope. “There is a great deal of optimism, and so many great projects, kindness to animals, people devoting their lives to eradicating poverty, environmental design. It’s important not to give up.” Hers is a love story. Not simply with other creatures – child, husband, chimpanzees – but with the planet itself. Love is a transformational force, and it carries with it the seeds of ongoing, unrelenting change, stubborn as a dandelion – The Tyee

  • Americans of color are way more likely to be environmentalists – Mother Jones 
  • How climate-change fiction, or “Cli-Fi,” forces us to confront the incipient death of the planet – The New Yorker 
  • Should we really all fly less? – BBC
  • If climate change doesn’t scare people, maybe a ‘rat explosion’ will – The Post and Courier
  • 6 ways ordinary people can prevent climate change, according to researchers and advocates – NBC News
  • Riding bikes because they’re green misses the point – Outside
  • Just how important are sustainable investments? – DW Made For Minds 
A turbine at Green Rigg windfarm in Northumberland. Photograph: Murdo Macleod/Guardian

UK renewable energy capacity surpasses fossil fuels for the first time.  Renewable capacity has tripled in past five years, even faster growth than the ‘dash for gas’ of the 1990s. The capacity of renewable energy has overtaken that of fossil fuels in the UK for the first time, in a milestone that experts said would have been unthinkable a few years ago.  In the past five years, the amount of renewable capacity has tripled while fossil fuels’ has fallen by one-third, as power stations reached the end of their life or became uneconomic. Imperial College London, which compiled the figures, said the rate at which renewables had been built in the past few years was greater than the “dash for gas” in the 1990s. Dr Iain Staffell, who undertook the research, said: “Britain’s power system is slowly but surely walking away from fossil fuels, and this quarter saw a major milestone on the journey” – The Guardian

Bodhi Yang, the 12-year-old NEPSA winner, is fighting climate change. Living in Aspen, the fragile dance that has become winter is all too apparent. With climate change continuing to take away that joy, its future might be in the hands of a bunch of local children, led by Bodhi Yang. Last winter, Bodhi, now 12, created a short film alongside local filmmaker Andy Curtis as part of his sixth-grade mentorship program. Bodhi, like a handful of children in Aspen, usually turns down birthday presents and instead asks people to donate to Protect Our Winters, the nonprofit environmental organization founded by pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones. There are no adults in the film. And what the children have to say about climate change is well beyond what is expected of anyone their age. Their passion for protecting what they love, which is winter and its recreational opportunities, is impossible to miss – The Aspen Times

Getty images

Green group backs keeping nuclear plants open.  A major environmental group is sounding an alarm over the climate change consequences of closing nuclear power plants. In a report issued Thursday, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) says more than a third of the nation’s existing nuclear plants are slated to close. “Nuclear power plants are being squeezed economically at a time when we need every source of low-carbon power we can get to replace retiring coal plants and prevent an overreliance on natural gas,” Steve Clemmer, UCS’s director of energy research and analysis, said in a statement. Nuclear power provides about 20% of the nation’s electricity and about half of its carbon-free power. UCS projected that if policies aren’t put in place to help nuclear plants stay open, the country’s carbon emissions would likely rise 6% by 2035 – The Hill