Newsdesk – September 8

“Happy hour” at the S-market store in the working-class Vallila neighborhood in Helsinki, Finland. [Photo Credit: Juho Kuva for The New York Times]
The World Wastes Tons of Food. A Grocery ‘Happy Hour’ is one Answer. “Happy hour” at the S-market store in the working-class neighborhood of Vallila in Helsinki happens far from the liquor aisles. Food that is nearly unsellable goes on sale at every one of S-market’s 900 stores in Finland, with prices slashed to 60 percent off at exactly 9 p.m. It’s a two-year campaign to reduce food waste in the hopes of drawing in regulars, like any decent bar. In Finland, reducing food waste has yet to become a political issue, but it is a selling point for at least one restaurant. Every dish on the menu of Loop is made from past-due ingredients donated by grocery stores and bakeries. From 8 to 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are related to food lost during harvest and production or wasted by consumers.  Landfills of rotting food emit methane, a gas that is roughly 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. Cutting back on food waste is one of the few personal habits that can help the planet. A lot of people who are concern about their carbon footprint aren’t sweating the vegetables or steak they toss into the garbage.  “Food waste might be a uniquely American challenge because many people in this country equate quantity with a bargain,” said Meredith Niles an assistant professor in food systems and policy at the University of Vermont. “Look at the number of restaurants that advertise their supersized portions.”  Nine of the 10 United States supermarket chains that were assessed by the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity last year were given a C grade or lower on food-waste issues – The New York Times

  • How climate change is driving emigration from Central America – The Conversation
  • Whale Songs Are Getting Deeper – The Atlantic
  • What you need to know about carbon footprints – CNN Philippines
  • Prince Harry wants to make tourism more sustainable — is he a hypocrite? – CBC News
  • Pope says deforestation must be treated as a global threat – Thomson Reuters Foundation
  • How tampons and pads became so unsustainable – National Geographic
  • This Entire Week Has Been Incredibly Depressing. But Then Today in New York I Saw a Young Woman Give People Hope – Mother Jones
A fire burning near Yamba, in northern New South Wales, Australia.New South Wales Rural Fire Service

Australia Bushfires Arrive Early, Destroying Historic Lodge in ‘Omen’ of Future. Binna Burra Lodge, one of Australia’s oldest nature resorts in lush mountains was built by the conservationists more than 80 years ago in hope to protect and share the natural beauty of the surrounding rainforest. But over the weekend, a bushfire destroyed the beloved getaway, drawing tears from neighbors and alarm from officials who warned that climate change and drought threatened to bring Australia its worst fire season on record. “This is an omen, if you will,” said Andrew Sturgess, who is in charge of fire prediction for the state, where the lodge had stood in Lamington National Park. What we’re facing now “is a historic event,” he said at a news conference. “Fire weather has never been as severe this early in spring.” Indeed, the recent flames were spreading not just through the country’s dry middle but also into its rainforests. Experts have been quick to identify climate change as a major cause. It is a very contentious argument for some people in Australia that is heavily reliant on the coal industry, with a conservative government that has resisted making climate policy a national priority. Joëlle Gergis, a climate scientist and writer at the Australian National University said, “It is devastating to see these usually cool and wet rainforests burn. Although these remarkable rainforests have clung on since the age of the dinosaurs, searing heat and lower rainfall is starting to see these wet areas dry out for longer periods of the year, increasing bushfire risk in these precious ecosystems”- The New York Times

An aerial view of the damage Hurricane Dorian caused on Great Abaco Island. The storm stalled over that island and Grand Bahama, lashing them with powerful wind, heavy rain and dangerous storm surge. Nearly half the homes there were damaged or destroyed. [Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images]
Dorian One of Strongest, Longest-Lasting Hurricanes on Record in the Atlantic. After the devastation in the Bahamas, the U.S. coast was largely spared, but even a wobble in Dorian’s storm track could have brought very different results. Dorian had struck the northern Bahamas’ Great Abaco and Grand Bahama islands as one of the strongest Category 5 storms on record in the Atlantic, making landfall on Sept. 1 with 185 mile-per-hour winds. The Hurricane has damaged and destroyed more than 13,000 houses, nearly half the islands’ dwellings, according to the American Red Cross.”What has happened in the Bahamas is like nothing I have ever seen in my career, and I have been doing this for more than 30 years,” said Rob Young, a professor of geosciences and natural resources and director of the Western Carolina University Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines. It looks like Dorian may also have influenced the Gulf Stream, the strong ocean current that brings warm water from the Gulf of Mexico into the Atlantic Ocean, contributing to localized coastal flooding. Global warming, fueled by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gas from activities like burning fossil fuels, can exacerbate extreme weather, and it contributes to sea-level rise that then worsens the impact of storm surges. Warmer air also holds more moisture, so storms can dump more rain, particularly when they stall as Dorian did – Inside Climate News