Terrifying new study warns of more heat-related deaths

March 9, 2022 by  
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If  global warming  increases by two more degrees Celsius, the death rate from extreme temperatures will increase significantly, according to a terrifying new study. The researchers expect heat-related deaths in summer will rocket up at a non-linear rate as the climate heats up. The  study , published in  Environmental Research Letters,  examined climate change’s impact on death rates in England and  Wales . Researchers focused on the risks of summer heat and winter cold. They predict temperature-related mortality to increase by 42% on the hottest days of summer. This would bring the death count from our current level of around 117 deaths per day to about 166 deaths on the year’s 10 hottest days. Related: Coral in the Mediterranean threatened by heatwaves “The increase in mortality risk under current warming levels is mainly notable during heatwaves, but with further warming, we would see risk rise on average summer days in addition to escalating risks during heatwaves,” said lead author Dr. Katty Huang of University College  London , as reported by Newswise. “What this means is that we shouldn’t expect past trends of impact per degree of warming to apply in the future. One degree of global warming beyond 2°C would have a much more severe impact on health in England and Wales than one degree warming from pre-industrial levels, with implications for how the NHS [National Health Service] can cope.” What if the globe heats up by 2.5°C, or even three? If the climate gets three degrees hotter, researchers predict mortality could increase by 75% during  heatwaves . The good news is that deaths from extreme cold in winter should decrease — unless there’s a bad winter storm. “As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change impacts report recently showed, it is increasingly common to examine how different levels of mean global warming raise the risk of significant harm to people and society,” said project lead Andrew Charlton-Perez of the University of Reading, as reported by Newswise. “Our study shows that because  death  rates will go up significantly if countries experience very high temperatures, limiting the average global rise in temperatures is likely to have substantial benefits for the overall health of the population.” Via Newswise Lead image via Pixabay

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Terrifying new study warns of more heat-related deaths

"Clean(ish)" book outlines simple steps for big changes

February 18, 2022 by  
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Tackling change can be overwhelming. Bestselling author Gin Stephens set out to make the task easier with her newest book “ CLEAN(ISH):  Eat (Mostly) Clean, Live (Mainly) Clean, and Unlock Your Body’s Natural Ability to Self-Clean. “ The idea is that perfection is a fantasy, yet it can be a major obstacle in achieving our goals, or even working towards them. Stephens approaches the subject of lowering the toxic load in our lives by making incremental changes in the pursuit of progress, not perfection. Related: Children help LEGO write handbook on saving planet for COP26 She addresses every corner of our daily life, from food to fasting, household cleaners to personal care products. Yet her solutions are simple and obtainable without the overwhelming stress. With the book as a guide, anyone can gradually work towards a healthier lifestyle.  Setting a goal to eat clean comes with unforeseen challenges, such as being able to find the foods that are actually free of ingredients you hope to avoid. In addition, genetically modified foods, or bioengineered, aren’t properly labeled, allowing them to fly under the radar. There is good news on this front, with the USDA’s mandate for accurate labeling on these foods that went into effect on January 1, 2022. However, the legislation isn’t clear cut. “CLEAN(ISH)” makes the process of identifying clean foods easier so consumers can limit exposure to GMOs and chemical additives.  Sustainability is all about being able to maintain the process. “CLEAN(ISH)” aims to provide small changes rather than sweeping ones, cutting through the noise to provide knowledge and information about how to make lasting, sustainable change in your life.  Review of “CLEAN(ISH) “ book At my request, a copy of the book was provided for my review. It’s an empowering read, but perhaps my favorite line comes in the first pages and reads, “ Change doesn’t happen from the reading, it happens from the doing.” The author makes the point that in order to enact real change, it’s important to take time to reflect on information and implement changes over time. This isn’t intended to be an overnight answer for a healthier lifestyle. It’s a guidebook for a long-term plan.  The layout of the book is easy to digest with a table of contents in the front for easy reference. It’s equally approachable for another reason too — Stephens is very straightforward about how difficult her own journey has been. She discusses being a product of the food culture in the 1970s and how that translated into an unhealthy lifestyle for her kids. It resulted in making her feel like a parenting failure.  She manages to shortcut the journey many of us are on by basically showing that if she can do it, anyone can. In truth, you’re probably further along in your journey than you think.  The book covers a variety of topics you may not have even considered, like the potential benefits of fasting. This is something I already do, so it resonated with me, but for those who are new to the concept, there’s plenty of information to get you started.  While she provides background information to understand why changes are necessary, her focus is on achievable action anyone can take to clean up their lifestyle . It’s a flexible, modular plan that allows individuals to do what works for them, when it works for them. There’s no shaming or pushing guilt, just opportunity and optimism. Food is perhaps the primary transport system for toxins into our body, so a good portion of the book addresses where the problems lie in sourcing food and making wholesome recipes , while understanding how to implement changes that will stick in the long term.   Actionable smart swaps for the home include some basics like converting from plastic storage containers to glass ones, or replacing Teflon-coated pans with cast-iron or stainless steel. She addresses plastic bags, cooking utensils and cutting boards. In the bathroom, she provides alternatives for vinyl shower curtains and liners, plastic-backed bath mats and a host of personal care items.  The book also outlines options for laundry detergents and fabric softener along with ways to clean up cleaning products throughout the home. Along with replacing toxins with natural ingredients for each type of surface in the home, it addresses the issues of plastic jugs and other packaging waste .  While there may not be anything shocking about these tips, having them all sorted and conveniently ready for reference results in a quick “how-to” guide for living a cleaner lifestyle for yourself and the environment .  Throughout the book, there are checklists, questionnaires and “take action” prompts, as well as tips for getting the family on board. There is also a guide for choosing your own clean(ish) timeline, so you can create a plan that works and will continue to work in the future. Although the book outlines a lot of potential changes, the format encourages the reader to identify his or her own priorities that define successful change rather than throwing a pass-or-fail-type rigidity to the topic. In short, it’s a plan for success on your own terms.  Images via Gin Stephens and St. Martin’s Griffin Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by Gin Stephens. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commissions at no cost to you.

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"Clean(ish)" book outlines simple steps for big changes

This eco artist uses her gift to highlight climate change

November 3, 2021 by  
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Most people see crushed beer cans, water bottles, old coffee cups and broken shoes as trash. Not Mariah Reading. She looks at these discarded items and gets inspired to make beautiful art . Reading is an ecological artist using her gift to show the world through a different lens. She visits national parks, beaches and forests to find discarded items that become the inspiration for her art. Reading’s goal is to showcase the reality of climate change and the beauty of nature when it is left intact and undisturbed by humans. Related: Artist 3D-prints biodegradable agar floral lamps “I collect most of the trash I use as my canvas, although sometimes I have friendly neighbors who find some cool trash and gift it to me! When I complete a painted work, I photograph the item aligned within the environment it’s based off. I share and display my work with my Instagram audience, and sell both the physical paintings as well as the photographic prints of the work in both galleries and my online shop,” Reading said. Her favorite female artists include Maya Lin, Marina Abramovic, Judy Twedt, Natasha Cunningham, Lisa Ericson and Emma Longcope. But which artists helped shape Reading’s style the most? “Growing up, I was overwhelmingly inspired by M.C. Escher and Rene Magritte because their work was so transfixing and felt like the opposite of my own impressionistic paintings at the time. I find it interesting how my work has now gravitated toward optical illusions, in vain of these formative artists,” Reading told Inhabitat. As for using her artwork to shine a light on the effects of climate change , Reading said, “I think most people in my generation are hyper-conscious of climate change – eco-anxiety is hard to avoid. Being a landscape painter, I have the privilege of living in dynamic and breathtaking environments, many of which express dramatic evidence of climate change right before my eyes.” Discussing the goals of her work, Reading said, “As an eco-artist, I aim to paint the ever-changing landscapes and fleeting moments as a historical marker and as a way to protect them. I don’t think I could navigate life without trying to make the world a more beautiful place.” + Mariah Reading Photography by Mariah Reading

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This eco artist uses her gift to highlight climate change

Climate change is already affecting 85% of world population

November 3, 2021 by  
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A recent  study  Nature Climate Change has concluded that climate change is already affecting people across the world. The study found that at least 85% of the world’s population has already been affected by climate change in some way.  The unprecedented changes that await the world are not yet well understood due to limited research . One known fact is that the effects of climate change will affect poor countries more than wealthier ones. This is despite wealthier nations having fueled the majority of pollution worldwide. Related: 110 countries pledge to end deforestation by 2030 Discussing this topic, the Nature Climate Change study states, “Our results reveal a substantial ‘attribution gap’ as robust levels of evidence for potentially attributable impacts are twice as prevalent in high-income than in low-income countries.” Friederike Otto, a senior lecturer at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College, says that we are at a time where almost everyone is exposed to the effects of climate change. “It is likely that nearly everyone in the world now experiences changes in extreme weather as a result of human greenhouse gas emissions ,” Otto said. The disparities in data across the world make it difficult to accurately predict the future. For instance, most studies concerning the effects of climate change have been conducted in North America and Europe, leaving little to no information about Africa and South America. These disparities leave huge gaps that make it impossible for the most threatened countries to prepare for climate change’s effects. Researchers have found that climate change will force behavior changes in several ways. For instance, scientists predict the need for species to move from their traditional habitats in search of habitable ones. Additionally, reforestation measures will likely become more relevant. Mangrove forests can store four times more carbon than other tropical forests, but they are threatened by rising ocean levels. With severe weather patterns already being experienced worldwide, the recent pledge to end deforestation from countries at COP26 is more necessary than ever. + Nature Climate Change Via The Revelator Lead image via Pixabay

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Climate change is already affecting 85% of world population

It’s code red for Earth, says new UN study

August 10, 2021 by  
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Being an environmental website, Inhabitat, unfortunately, reports on many terrifying new studies. But in what’s probably the most terrifying of all recent terrifying new studies, the U.N. chief called the report by the  U.N.’s  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “code red for humanity.” In this first major review of  climate change  science since 2013, the results are clear. “It is a statement of fact, we cannot be any more certain; it is unequivocal and indisputable that humans are warming the planet,” said University of Reading Professor Ed Hawkins, one of the study authors, as reported by the BBC. Related: The 10 countries most and least threatened by climate change The other most urgent message? We’re not talking about an  emergency  in the distant future. Change must happen  now  if we have any chance to avert disaster. Global surface temperatures have risen more since the 1970s than they have in any other 50-year stretch in the past two millennia. Back in the good old climate days of  1850 , the global surface temperature was 1.09 degrees Celsius lower than it was between 2011 and 2020. And the last five years have been the hottest of all. Then there’s the melting sea ice, retreating glaciers and rising oceans. In the last 50 years, the sea level rise has sped up nearly three times as fast as it increased between 1901 and 1971. The report’s authors concluded that, again, human influence was very likely the cause of glaciers’ global retreat. We’re also responsible, at least in part, for the recent spate of heatwaves, floods and other extreme  weather  events. And,  scientists  say, we’ve set changes in motion that aren’t reversible, at least not in the foreseeable millennia. Even if we start behaving now, the oceans are still going to grow warmer and more acidic, and the glaciers will keep melting. “The consequences will continue to get worse for every bit of warming,” said Hawkins. “And for many of these consequences, there’s no going back.” The scientists prepared a series of models, none of them good. While nearly every country on the planet signed the  Paris agreement , which aims to contain the global rise in temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, preferably 1.5 degrees, the study authors don’t think we’ll make it. In fact, they think we’ll hit the 1.5C mark by 2040, if not sooner. “The new report’s best estimate is the middle of 2034, but the uncertainty is huge and ranges between now and never,” said study author Malte Meinshausen of the University of Melbourne in Australia, as reported by BBC. However, the report allowed a glimmer of hope alongside the huge dose of terror. Cut  emissions  in half by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 and we might survive. “The thought before was that we could get increasing temperatures even after net zero,” said Piers Forster from the University of Leeds, another study author. “But we now expect nature to be kind to us and if we are able to achieve net zero, we hopefully won’t get any further temperature increase; and if we are able to achieve net zero greenhouse gases, we should eventually be able to reverse some of that temperature increase and get some cooling.” Via BBC Lead image via Pexels

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It’s code red for Earth, says new UN study

London floods spark worry over climate change preparedness

July 28, 2021 by  
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On Sunday, the residents of London were caught up in flash floods following a heavy downpour, reigniting conversations about climate change preparedness. Experts have previously warned that the world’s largest cities are at the risk of facing devastating climate change consequences, which they are not prepared to handle. Images from Sunday’s floods show Londoners wandering through floodwater, not knowing what to do or where to go. Some drivers even attempted to drive through the water against expert warnings. According to the London Fire Brigade, over 1,000 emergency calls relating to floods were made on Sunday, indicating that most people were caught unprepared. Related: Moon wobble could lead to massive flooding The situation caused two London hospitals to scale down operations, a reminder that even the world’s richest cities can be affected by climate change . London is one of the world’s largest cities, designed without considerations for severe flooding events. Parts of the city are built on flood plains and use a Victorian drainage system unable to withstand intense flash floods. “It’s deeply concerning that we’re seeing hospital emergency departments having to close because they flooded, something certainly needs to be done to make sure that critical infrastructure is not at risk,” said Liz Stephens, associate professor at the University of Reading’s department of geography and environmental science. The Greater London Authority data shows that about 17% of the city is at high or medium risk of flooding. With more than 1 million Londoners living within flood plains, the city may find it difficult to cope with climate change-related flooding events. Recently, the city has developed a flood defense strategy along the River Thames, but such barriers have been unable to deal with flash floods. According to Stephens, even weather forecasting warnings are not enough to help the residents stay protected from flooding events. “I think there was an amber warning which tells you that that there could well be severe impacts, but the amber warning covered a very large area of southeast England,” said Stephens. “So really as an individual, what would you do with that kind of information. If you don’t know that your property is at risk of flooding, and you’ve got some very broad scale flood warning or not even a flood warning.” Via CNN Lead image via Pixabay

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Dyson is releasing a combination air purifier, bladeless fan, and space heater for $599

August 26, 2016 by  
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Thanks to Dyson ’s newest innovation, you will only need one outlet to run an air purifier , cooling fan, and space heater. The Pure Hot + Cool Link combines all three devices into one , saving space and money. Dyson integrated its Cool bladeless fan, Hot heater, and Pure Cool Link air purifier into one multipurpose, climate-controlling product. The Pure Hot + Cool Link uses the same revered HEPA filter used in other products, which is said to remove 99.97 percent of bothersome air particles. Nasty smells, pet dander, pollen, mold, and other forms of pollution are safely filtered away. Related: Dyson has developed an LED lamp that lasts for 37 years Hot or cool air can be dispersed throughout an entire room or in a targeted blast toward your reading corner. Auto mode can be enabled to take the guess work out of creating a comfortable environment and the whole system can be controlled with a smartphone app. The app also monitors air quality and can turn on its sleep function for quiet filtering. The $599 device will be available online starting September 8 and will hit stores on September 18, 2016. + Dyson Via  Gizmodo Images via  Dyson

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Dyson is releasing a combination air purifier, bladeless fan, and space heater for $599

Toyota donates $1m to build an ultra-green youth campus for Yellowstone National Park

August 26, 2016 by  
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As its name suggests, the new Yellowstone Youth Campus will provide a place of learning for future generations of conservationists. Designed by Hennebery Eddy Architects of Portland, Oregon, the new Yellowstone Youth Campus aims to be the first buildings in a national park to achieve the Living Building Challenge Certification. The Living Building Challenge integrates ecological relationship, cultural heritage, stewardship, sustainability and leadership into all aspects of design, construction and operation. Related: Toyota’s new Texas headquarters will get 25% of its power from the sun “The new Yellowstone Youth Campus is an opportunity to support the conservation principles of the National Park Service while reinforcing Toyota’s commitment to the environment,” said Toyota Motor North America Environmental General Manager Kevin Butt. “We hope this environmental learning center will inspire and empower future leaders in building a more culturally aware, ecologically responsible and regenerative future.” How exactly will the campus achieve the Living Building Challenge Certification? According to Toyota, the buildings have been designed to significantly reduce energy use through special insulation and windows and natural ventilation. Planned photovoltaic arrays on-site will provide more than 100 percent of campus energy needs and 100 percent of the water used at the campus will be locally sourced and all wastewater will be treated on-site for reuse. + Toyota All images @ Toyota

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Toyota donates $1m to build an ultra-green youth campus for Yellowstone National Park

Obama expands Hawaii marine reserve to double the size of Texas

August 26, 2016 by  
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President Barack Obama will issue a proclamation to expand the existing Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument (PMNM), off the coast of Hawaii, to four times its current size . At 582,578 square miles (1.5m sq km), the new borders will make the protected area twice the size of Texas and the largest protected marine area in the world. The move is intended to protect animal and plant life as well as the world’s deepest and northernmost coral reefs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nlpDHSJ06o Hawaii’s governor David Ige requested the expansion of the marine reserve earlier this year in response to a community-driven effort to protect what has been called “one of the earth’s last best examples of a healthy marine ecosystem.” Enlarging the already protected area will provide further safeguards for the biodiverse region, parts of which have been designated as a marine reserve for decades. PMNM was originally established in 2006 by then-President George W. Bush as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument , and the name was updated the following year. Related: Chile is creating the largest protected marine park in the Americas Initially, the protected area covered 140,000 square miles, including 10 islands and atolls that are home to 7,000 species. Among the ocean creatures living in the protected area are green sea turtles, the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, Laysan and Nihoa finches, the Nihoa millerbird, Laysan duck, seabirds such as the Laysan albatross, as well as numerous species of plants and arthropods. Obama has made marine protections something of a priority during his tenure. In 2014, he ordered the expansion of another South Pacific Ocean marine reserve . Since marine reserves close even more ocean territory to commercial fishing, industry leaders are criticizing the decision, claiming political motivations are trumping scientific findings. Obama will travel to Hawaii next week to mark the proclamation ordering PMNM’s expansion and highlight the importance of protecting the world’s oceans. Via The Guardian Images via Wikipedia ( 1 , 2 )

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Obama expands Hawaii marine reserve to double the size of Texas

Libromat frees women from laundry to read with their families

November 7, 2015 by  
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It may be hard to imagine, with all of our modern convenient appliances, but in some areas of the world women spend 9 hours a day just doing laundry . Libromat, a program from entrepreneurs at Oxford, gives women that time back so they can use it reading and bonding with their kids. READ MORE>

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Libromat frees women from laundry to read with their families

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