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The Climate Crisis: 5 Key Reads From Earth | Food | Life

This dramatic photograph captures Dawes Glacier in Tongass National Forest, Alaska, calving from its 200-foot-high face. The blue coloration is from highly compressed ice crystals. “The Arctic is warming at a rate twice as fast as the rest of the planet,” writes EFL reporter Lorraine Chow for Salon. “Not only that, frozen Arctic soil—or permafrost—is starting to melt, causing the release of methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.” (Photo credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory/U.S. Department of Energy)

Through the work of its writing fellows, freelance reporters and expert guest contributors, Earth | Food | Life covers the climate crisis from multiple angles, including the impacts of climate change, the role of the government, the energy and agriculture sectors, and solutions. EFL reporter Lorraine Chow explores the worst-case climate scenarios if humanity allows the global temperature to rise above 1.5° Celsius. EFL writing fellow Lucy Goodchild van Hilten figures out how to talk to kids about climate change—without freaking them out, and while having fun, too. Rainforest Action Network executive director and EFL contributor Lindsey Allen calls out big banks for going against their own standards in simultaneously undermining the climate and Indigenous rights. EFL reporter Daniel Ross explores how carbon capture, a climate solution that has been flying under the radar, can be a key piece in the fight against climate change. Scroll down for excerpts.

Lorraine Chow on Salon: Today, around 30 percent of the global population suffers deadly levels of heat and humidity for at least 20 days a year. If emissions continue increasing at current rates, 74 percent of the global population—three in four people—will experience more than 20 days of lethal heat waves. (11 min read)

Lucy Goodchild van Hilten on Yes! Magazine: No matter how many times world leaders sit at a table to fix the climate problem, we can’t seem to get anywhere. The grown-ups are failing, and it’s the kids who are holding us to account. Around the world, children are taking action—they’re going on strike from school, calling on governments to do something, and filing lawsuits. They are willing to be bold in the face of indifference, and to shout louder than today’s failing leaders. We need to listen. And we need to hold their hands and do something, together. As grown-ups—parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, doctors, and friends—we can help by talking to kids about climate change and empowering them to be a part of the solution. (9 min read)

Lindsey Allen on Truthout: JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Crédit Agricole and 91 other global banks met in Washington, DC, to revise the Equator Principles, industry-led due diligence standards meant to prevent banks from supporting environmentally and socially harmful projects. On the very same day, in a bitter irony, many of those same banks re-upped their support for Enbridge, the Canadian company behind the Line 3 tar sands pipeline, which tramples Indigenous rights and is flatly incompatible with the goals of the Paris climate agreement. (4 min read)

Daniel Ross on Truthout: Time for action to stem the worst effects of climate change is quickly running out. If we’re to stay below or within range of that 1.5°C threshold, global carbon emissions must decrease by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, and we must reach zero carbon output around 2050. Energy sector carbon emissions, however, are still growing, not shrinking. What’s more, it won’t be enough to simply slash carbon emissions to zero. As the latest IPCC report points out, we’ll also need to suck up to 1 trillion metric tons of carbon from the biosphere over the 21st century. (9 min read)

Robert Engelman on Salon: Reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine add to the already strong case that those concerned not just about climate change but also biodiversity and indeed our capacity to sustainably feed future human populations should be thinking a bit more about world population. Happily, that future can be addressed constructively with strategies that already make sense for other reasons and support the childbearing intentions of women and their partners worldwide. (4 min read)


Earth | Food | Life (EFL) explores the critical and often interconnected issues facing the climate/environment, food/agriculture and animal/nature rights, and champions action; specifically, how responsible citizens, voters and consumers can help put society on an ethical path of sustainability that respects the rights of all species who call this planet home. EFL emphasizes the idea that everything is connected, so every decision matters.

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Questions, comments, suggestions, submissions? Contact EFL editor Reynard Loki at [email protected]. Follow EFL on Twitter @EarthFoodLife.