Volume 7 | World Oceans Day Edition
As we celebrated World Oceans Day this past week, we were also faced with two cataclysmic pieces of news as it relates to our current climate crisis:
Our monthly peak level of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere hit the highest level in human history - and likely the highest level in the past 3 million years.
And a report out of Australia confirmed that climate change represents a “near to midterm existential threat to human civilization” with temperatures rising more than 2 degrees celsius by 2030. This equates to “lethal heat conditions beyond the threshold of survivability” and weather conditions that can displace over a billion people.
Yet as we come to terms with our current climate reality, we are also reading some hopeful news. Bans on single use plastic are making headway everywhere from California hotels to Mexico City. Great Britain met a power milestone by going for two weeks without using any coal power to generate electricity. And in the US, our Democratic candidates released the most ambitious plans for the US becoming carbon neutral before 2050.
And our own Founder & CEO Sunjay Guleria shares why - even on World Ocean’s Day - we have to look beyond the impact of single-use plastic on our devastated marine life, and go deeper into the true cost of single use plastic.
More in this edition of The Future Is Clear.
It’s stark. Turns out a single seat on a modest 2,500 mile flight (NYC - LAX) results in emissions that will melt 32 square feet of Arctic sea ice. In this enlightening take from Andy Newman of the NY Times, he walks us through a highly-researched piece on what our summer holidays mean for the future of our planet.
In the Trump-Clinton debates of 2016, not a single question was posed about global warming. Looks like that is about to change as the Democratic candidates finally acknowledge that the climate crisis is a top issue among millennial voters right after healthcare - and that our existence also counts on our leaders acting on a solution.
Our take: It’s high time for all candidates to put some deep thought into their climate action proposals - and not just because it’s politically expedient. But because our future literally depends on it.
Michael Mann and Jonathan Brockopp of Penn State University make a compelling case for the need for systemic change to tackle climate change, quoting a recent study that by focusing on individual actions we’re distracting ourselves from the necessary political and corporate action.
Our take: We agree that fundamental change led by our country’s largest carbon polluters hold the greatest hope to drive meaningful progress. Yet corporations also respond to consumer demand, so let’s make our own lifestyle changes because it matters - and it drives corporate decision making.
The impacts on our oceans is just the beginning. In this piece by our Founder & CEO Sunjay Guleria, we share why - even on World Oceans Day - it’s important to understand that single-use plastic’s carbon impact goes beyond what we visually see in our devastated marine life. Read our take here, and please share yours as well in the comments or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Favorite Climate Saving Tips of the Week
As we enter the first weekends of summer, look at Amtrak’s latest routes as an alternative to hopping on a plane for your family getaway. And those of us looking to curb our meat consumption can find some grilled veggie inspiration from Goop. And from Ziploc bags to plastic wrap, our kitchens may seem to be the hardest place to end our single-use plastic addiction. Here are some great tips to make your kitchen plastic-free.