Newsdesk – July 14

The green funeral of Sally Pollard at Dale Hill natural burial ground in Derbyshire (Photo Credit: Chris Frost)

Green is the new black: How eco-friendly funerals are becoming the only way to go – people seeking to reduce their environmental impact in life now looking to do the same in death. In the middle of a meadow in rural Nottinghamshire are a small group of 20 men, women and children. They are dressed smartly and have their heads bowed. Four of them are lowering a shrouded body into a hole in the ground. This was a green burial – an increasingly popular form of eco-funeral where the emphasis is on pared-down, environmentally friendly send-offs in which the deceased is, essentially, returned to the untamed, oft-unmarked earth. In the earth under this meadow, 932 other bodies and space for 2,000 more under the 36-acre meadow. Each one is marked with nothing more than an optional piece of inscribed Welsh slate hidden flat beneath the grass or a planted tree in a specified copse. These now deceased people As have sought to reduce their environmental impact in life, and have many looked to do the same in death. These natural burials offer this chance by getting rid of much of the excess traditionally associated with funerals. “Going natural is the perfect solution,” says Rosie Inman-Cook, manager of both the Association of Natural Burial Grounds and the Natural Death Centre charity. “What I always say is that this way is gentler on the earth and gentler on the family, so it makes such sense.” Back at Tithe, that is just how Leon Hemingway is feeling. “I’m not sure funerals can exactly be good things,” he says. “But, if they can, I think Mum has just had one.” – Independent

  • ‘Just a matter of when’: the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar – The Guardian
  • By 2050, London’s climate will be as warm as Barcelona’s, says new study – CNN
  • Corbyn pledges Labour transparency on UK carbon footprint – The Guardian
  • Trains deliver emergency water to drought-hit Chennai – Climate Home News
  • Has Your Doctor Talked To You About Climate Change? – NPR
  • The Utah Way to Achieving 100 Percent Clean Energy – Sierra Club
Gardeners at work at the Rubens at the Palace hotel near Victoria, central London. Photograph: Solent News / REX / Shutterstock

Battle for clean air is sending our gardens to new heights – More living walls are being created in cities to tackle pollution, but keeping them alive can be a major challenge. Living walls range from simple wire structures to support climbing plants to sophisticated modular systems, using soil or hydroponic manmade substrate, and solar-powered irrigation. For instance, at St Mary’s Catholic primary school in Chiswick, Andrea Carnevali and other parents crowdfunded almost £100,000, and last month a 126-metre “living wall” of 12,000 plants was installed as part of a clean-air initiative at the school. They hope the wall – designed to trap exhaust particles, absorb sound and increase biodiversity – will transform one of London’s most polluted schools into one of its greenest. This wall, the St Mary’s living wall, is one of many being installed around the country by local authorities and private developers. Calvin Dalrymple, a living wall consultant with ANS Global, one of the country’s leading suppliers, and the creator of St Mary’s living wall, stated that “It’s being mainly driven by local authorities, but also a greater awareness in the private sector of the need for sustainable architecture.” Lucy Dunhill hopes that her green walls plan will “become an attraction in itself as well as improving the environment” – The Guardian

A couple walks past a “carbon clock” meant as a vigil being held by the climate awareness movement Fridays or Future in front of the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany last month. The clock shows the time remaining before, should the world’s carbon emissions continue at the current rate, the globe’s average temperature will rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Climate crisis is upon us, but ‘doomism’ doesn’t help .This ‘doomism” is what a distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State, Michael Mann, calls the essence of a big climate dilemma. Mann, who is also a renowned climate expert, is concerned about overstated scenarios backed by inadequate and sometimes shoddy science. Dr. Mann’s main worry is that “doomism” leads to defeatism, and may create in many minds the impression a “tipping point” has been passed or soon will be. Some of the elements of this Australian study are based on solid evidence of future ramifications of atmospheric and oceanic warming, along with related rising sea levels, but this evidence to support the breakneck acceleration of those scenarios in the study, however, appear to be highly speculative – the world being clearly on track for serious to grave impacts in future climate change. Mann concluded that “Experts are laying out pathways to avoid disastrous levels of climate change and clearly expressing the urgency of action. There is still time to avoid the worst outcomes, if we act boldly now, not out of fear, but out of confidence that the future is largely in our hands.” – Buffalo News