Earth Day came and went this week. Did you notice? Or were you, like me, trying to stay sane during the never-ending shelter in place, safer at home, whatever we are dealing with right now?
I kind of feel like every day the past month has been Earth Day in some respects. Oil and other fossil fuels are in the tank because no one is driving or flying. Retail sales are down, save for groceries, since no one needs anything other than food and drink to get them through the day. It’s like all the behaviors people said needed to be changed to help the planet came about in a month or so due to coronavirus.
Now, these changes are not sustainable and most trends are likely to revert back to pre-coronavirus norms. However, there is a blueprint and more so an example of what can be accomplished with just behavioral changes.
Stay safe out there.
On to the links…
New Data Show Air Pollution Drop Around 50 Percent In Some Cities During Coronavirus Lockdown—I find it a little funny that people are surprised that if we stop driving and flying the attendant air pollution drops. Duh.
Florida: Endangered Sea Turtles Thriving Thanks to Covid-19 Restrictions—Well, if we just leave the animals alone they can thrive.
Renewable Energy Way Up During COVID19 Shutdowns—As people use less electricity overall the percentage that is generated by renewables is going up. Why? If you have to pick a source to shut down, you are going to pick the one that costs money to fuel. Solar and wind get their fuel for free.
Bikes Sales Surge to Coronavirus-Hit Americans Wary of Public Transit—Bicycles are truly the cockroaches of transportation. No matter what the disaster, the humble bicycle is the first method of transportation to come back following people on foot.
It’s Possible To Cut Cropland Use in Half and Produce the Same Amount of Food, Says New Study—Maybe if we did not plant millions of acres for animal feed and ethanol we could just let nature do its thing.
‘Coronavirus Profiteers’ Condemned as Polluters Gain Bailout Billions—I believe that we are in the “twilight” of the power of these old line industries that value profit above everything else, including the long term sustainability of a livable planet. Coronavirus has laid bare their wanton disregard for anything other than money.
How A $110 Trillion Green Recovery Can Save The World: New Report—Instead of throwing good money after bad on fossil fuels maybe there is a better way.
We can Restock the Oceans by 2050, Netting $10 for Every $1 Spent on Conservation — Here’s How—This is some return on investment.
Keystone XL Permits Fail To Pass Muster In Federal Court—Geez, you would think with people having to pay you take oil right now that building a boondoggle pipeline to transport expensive tar sands oil from Canada would be a non-starter. However, leave it to the oil and gas industry to keep pounding on a dead horse.
Big Banks Pull Financing, Prepare To Seize Assets From Collapsing Oil and Gas Industry—Big banks versus big oil is the battle I want to see. It’s like Celebrity Death Match for the 21st Century.
Trump’s EPA Weakens Justification for Life-Saving Mercury Pollution Rule—In Trump’s America mercury is good for you. At the very least, your health is not as important as the ability of rapacious coal companies to pump out pollutants in a last gasp of money grabbing.
Austria’s Last Coal-Fired Power Station Closes as the Country Pushes Renewables—One by one countries are closing down their last coal plants as the shift to greener energy is happening.
Clear Skies Over Germany Lead To Record Amount Of Solar Energy—It is like a virtuous feedback loop. Less pollution leads to more renewable energy which further crowds out polluting power plants leading to even less pollution. You get the idea.
LOL the White House’s Economic Council for Restaurants Is Just a Bunch of Chains and Four Fine Dining Chefs—Remember, losses are for the little people. If you are a big business or a famous person the government will bend over backwards to make things all right for you.
Amazon Invests $10 Million to Help Conserve Forests as Part of Climate Change Plan—How much cardboard do you think Amazon uses in a day? Would this even cover a month’s worth of forest destruction for cardboard?
Thanks to Bookshop, There Is No Reason to Buy Books on Amazon Anymore—There were already some great independent bookstores with solid online presences, e.g. Powell’s in Portland, but this is good news. As Amazon is positioned to lay waste to all retail maybe there is hope that something else can survive and thrive.
The Tire Industry Pushes Back Against Evidence of Plastic Pollution—It’s not just the emissions from your car’s tailpipe that are a problem. The tires are shedding microparticles of rubber. The brakes are releasing small clouds of particulate. The oil pan is leaking droplets of oil all over town. It’s high time we just stop the automobile madness.
Ten Weeds You Can Eat—I have not gotten to this point yet, but it might happen. You never know.