Solar geoengineering: the techno-fix to climate change, but for the better?

What is solar geoengineering?
Solar geoengineering is an umbrella term for numerous approaches dedicated to cooling or simply suppressing the increase in atmospheric and land temperature, by reflecting solar radiation (electromagnetic radiation from the sun) from the earth back into space. Reflecting radiation from the sun would lower the earth’s global temperature, enough to permit the continuous burning of fossil fuels, proceed with current agricultural practices, allow further mining operations, and more.

Factory farm operations in low socio-economic, indigenous, and black communities.  

We all know factory farming is cruel, produces cheap meat (for good reason), and is the supporting foundation of many large fast food chains and supermarkets. What many of us fail to realise is that this very industry – the one that’s supposed to provide food for our society – is also a major social injustice culprit affecting thousands of poor, indigenous, and black communities around the globe. Read more to find out how…

Noise pollution – where did the tranquillity go and how can we regain it?

What is noise pollution?
Noise pollution, also commonly known as sound pollution and/or environmental noise is the spread of harmful levels of noise affecting both human and animal life. Noise pollution, according to National Geographic, affects millions of people globally. Noise pollution is typically generated from industrial activity, construction, freeways, and aeroplane traffic. There are, however, many other sources of noise that have dangerous decibels (dB: the measure of sound intensity) levels such as lawnmowers, jackhammers, train stations, bars/cafés and nightlife. All of which are mainstream noise pollutants to billions around the globe.

Climate injustice: how unfair is climate change and who is responsible?

What is climate injustice?
Climate injustice refers to how certain areas of the world or even communities within the same country, will experience different effects and severities of climate change. The injustice in this, however, is that countries of the lowest socio-economic and political status – those that have done nothing to ignite climate change – are those that will suffer the most from it. Conversely, the wealthy western societies comprised of European, American, British and Oceanic countries that have burned the greatest share of fossil fuels are those whose wealth will support the best mitigation efforts.

The consequences of capitalism and a new approach forward.

What is capitalism?
Capitalism is the political and economic system that is controlled by private ownership – dictating shipping, manufacturing and distribution – to gain profits and divorce control from the state. The main principles of capitalism include capital accumulation, private control of operations, competition, voluntary exchange, wage labour and property rights recognition. The race for larger distribution of goods has led companies to flatten the global environment by extracting natural resources at completely unsustainable rates. Over the past decade it has become clear to leading scientists, journalists and economists, that in order to halt climate change, we must change our relationship to work, capital and ownership.

The ecological, societal and economic ramifications of climate change.

The USGS (United States Geological Survey) explains that climate change is the long-term effects on the climate – from precipitation levels to wind patterns and temperature. The UN (United Nations) mentions that climate change can also be caused by environmental activity – disassociated with humans – and in fact, there is evidence to suggest nature, too, plays a role in altering the climate. Conversely, global warming is one element of climate change as it only represents the average increase in surface temperatures.

What is light pollution and just how detrimental is it?

What is light pollution?
According to National Geographic, light pollution is the excessive or poor use of artificial light outdoors. Types of light pollution include but are not limited to, glare which is the excessive brightness, causing visual discomfort; skyglow which brightens the night sky over populated areas; light trespass when artificial light is directed into not intended or irrelevant spaces; and clutter which is the combination of different light sources that is too bright, excessive or confusing. Light pollution is a huge but often unrecognised global issue.

What is bilge dumping and why has it gone unnoticed?

What is bilge dumping?
Bilge dumping is an illegal practice where cargo vessels and tankers release bilge water into the ocean. This ‘bilge water’ is present in most modern vessels fueled by heavy oil. These toxic liquids are thick, oily sludge – extremely hazardous to marine life. Bilge tanks are located in “the lowest compartments of the ship” where the waste is transferred. In order to operate the ship, bilge water has to be produced and directed into the tank. On a sanitary and ecologically-sensitive vessel, the bilge tank is emptied and filtered offshore regularly. Large vessels providing goods via global shipping routes can go for weeks, however, with nowhere to adequately dispose of the waste.

Poaching and llegal wildlife trade – why?

What is illegal wildlife trade?
Illegal wildlife trade is one of the most horrific yet discrete industries in the world. The mulit-billion-dollar industry transports animals around the globe alive or dead, for pet markets, medicine, jewellery etc. The demand for valuable items like elephant tusks or Rhinosorus horns is presumably the driving force behind poaching and other illegal activity. Poaching practices have implications beyond individual animal suffering, and threaten the existence of entire species like the Western Black Rhinoceros. According to study.com, “[the] main reason the West African black rhino is extinct is because of poachers, or illegal hunters”.

The dark side of electric cars – part two:

The rise of electric cars:
Tesla Motors founded back in 2003, was another start-up aiming to rid the world of petroleum-powered vehicles. It released the ‘Roadster’ in 2008 with a range of 394 kilometres (245 miles) and was supposedly the first completely electric vehicle. Many were sceptical that the company would survive, even the CEO himself. Elon Musk said the company at one stage was a month away from bankruptcy.
Fast forward to today, Tesla is worth over $1 trillion and is ranked one of the most valuable car companies in history. Besides Tesla, the electric car market has boomed over recent years.

The dark side of electric cars – part one:

The rise of electric cars:
Tesla Motors founded back in 2003, was another start-up aiming to rid the world of petroleum-powered vehicles. It released the ‘Roadster’ in 2008 with a range of 394 kilometres (245 miles) and was supposedly the first completely electric vehicle. Many were sceptical that the company would survive, even the CEO himself. Elon Musk said the company at one stage was a month away from bankruptcy.
Fast forward to today, Tesla is worth over $1 trillion and is ranked one of the most valuable car companies in history. Besides Tesla, the electric car market has boomed over recent years.

Are plant-based diets the key to healthy, sustainable and prolonged lives?

Plant-based options:
Consumers can purchase many plant-based foods and/or alternatives, such as plant-based meat and dairy, beans, legumes, oils, nuts, seeds etc. People who have transitioned from regular to vegetarian or vegan diets often purchase meat and dairy substitutes like vegan-friendly beef, pork, bacon, mince, chicken, sausages, cheese, cream and much more. According to data from the Google search engine, the search for “vegan food near me” in 2021 leapt 5,000% with continuous upward trends. Plant-based meats are entirely composed of plants and minerals. Most commonly soybeans, peas, sunflower and coconut oil, wheat, water, zinc and vitamins.

The huge environmental, social and health implications of meat and dairy:

According to the Science Journal, eliminating meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental footprint! If the world was to end meat and dairy consumption, farmland around the globe could be cut by over 75%. For context, that’s as much land as all of China, the United States, Australia and the European Union combined! Not only would that allow for massive reforestation projects and support greener industries but still feed the entire world. Meat and diary contribute to 83% of all farmland globally and make up 60% of all greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural industry.

The global implication of desertification:

What is desertification?
Desertification is a form of land degradation where productive and fertile land alters into arid landscapes, incapable of supporting biodiversity. This can occur through natural land ‘evolution’ or human activity increasingly impacting the climate and natural habitats. Farming cattle can often cause deforestation and overgrazing, two prominent contributors to desertification. Other practices/operations like large pesticide and herbicide application, urbanisation, natural disasters, tillage and excessive use of groundwater are all leading causes of desertification globally.

The cleaning marvel that fails to wipe away it’s environmental footprint:

What is Bleach?
Bleach is the generic name for an industrial and commercial product most commonly used as a cleaning agent in millions of households. In 2019, 724.15 million sales of Bleach were reported in the United States alone. Bleach is widely used in the paper, water treatment and dental industry across the globe.
Despite the miraculous cleaning powers, bleach is rife with chemicals, endangering the lives of aquatic animals when flushed down the toilet or drained down the sink. According to experts, bleach should only be applied in well-ventilated rooms and as far away from children and pets as possible.

A pandemic more often – how global warming may awaken long gone viruses:

What are viruses?
Viruses are microscopic organisms that require hosts such as plants, bacteria and animals. A virus is typically 20 nanometres to 400 nanometres in diameter. Like all other organisms, a virus is made up of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) or RNA (Ribonucleic acid) but is surrounded by a defensive coat called a ‘capsid’. Some viruses may also be covered by a second coat called an ‘envelope’ that produces spikes. According to the ISRRT, when a virus invades a host, the organism gains access to cells and uses the machinery within, as a factory to begin manufacturing more of itself.

Is the Great Pacific garbage patch a threat to global food security?

What is food security?
According to the UN (United Nations), the World Food Summit back in 1996 defined ‘food security’ as the ability to produce enough food to support the global population and ensure everyone at all times, has access to affordable and nutritious food supply. Access to such foods will allow consumers to meet dietary needs and have the ability to live a healthy and productive life. The UN estimates, 25,000 people die from hunger or hunger-related diseases every day with 854 million around the world battling food insecurity.

How to be sustainable during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:

Environmental issues during COVID-19:
Whilst the world may seem to have ground to a stop, our impact on the planet has only carried on. Our transport sector has slowed down (no pun intended) yet our use of plastic masks and single-use products have escalated. It seems we’ve replaced one problem but encouraged another in its place. Despite the ongoing social and environmental issues from COVID-19, there are ways the public can help reduce their impacts on the planet while supporting the community around them during this difficult time in history.

Your grass lawn is a global disaster:

The issues with grass lawns:
Grass lawns found predominantly in first-world countries have become a staple in landscaping and development, occupying huge amounts of land and resources. Whilst the immaculate grass lawns have become a dream to many, the history behind this obsession carries a dark past and has dominated vast amounts of land that could otherwise be used far more efficiently.
In the United States, nearly three trillion gallons of water is sprinkled onto grass lawns every year. Along with 200 million gallons of petroleum for mowers and 3.2 million kilograms of pesticides for weed infestation. While grass is a natural blanket for soil, the lawns found in neighbourhoods, streets etc, exclude native plant and tree species reducing wildlife and biodiversity as a whole.

Is this brilliant yet controversial plant natures solution to our chaos?

What is hemp?
Hemp is a part of the Cannabis sativa class and is often associated with marijuana, a plant used for medical and industrial purposes. Hemp was first grown in central Asia as early as 280 BCE and used in ancient China to grow and produce foods, textiles and paper. Hemp sits alongside bamboo as some of the quickest growing plants on earth. Today, this plant is estimated to have over 25,000 different uses with the potential to rid many industries of fossil fuels as a far greener alternative.