U.S. trial judge Loretta Preska has denied all Zoom access to the upcoming contempt trial of human rights lawyer Steven Donziger in a widely condemned move that his lawyers say is designed to limit public access to an unprecedented one-sided trial run by a private Chevron prosecutor.
Five years ago this month, the UK took a step to cut back plastic use, slapping a 5p charge on plastic carrier bags. Two years later, Kenya did the same.
The East African country has since gone one further, celebrating this year’s World Environment Day in June by banning single-use plastic in all beaches, forests and conservation areas. Continue reading →
Consider the pig. You might think of it as an animal that snuffles around the farmyard and ends up as bacon. If you are more acquainted with industrial agriculture you might think of it as one of the animals that frequently spends most of its life in a small pen, with thousands of others, before ending up as bacon. But, as this fascinating account of the role of pigs in American social, economic and gastronomic life shows, there is a lot more to the hog.
On 12 March, British PM Boris Johnson informed the public that families would continue to “lose loved ones before their time” as the coronavirus outbreak worsens. He added:
We’ve all got to be clear, this is the worst public health crisis for a generation.”
In a report, the Imperial College had warned of modelling that suggested over 500,000 would die from the virus in the UK. The lead author of the report, epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, has since revised the estimate downward to a maximum of 20,000 if current ‘lockdown’ measures work. Johnson seems to have based his statement on Ferguson’s original figures.
Twelve-year-old Aeshnina Azzahra’s letter to Donald Trump. (click to enlarge)
On 12 July 2019, a twelve-year-old girl from Gresik (Indonesia), Aeshnina Azzahra, wrote a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump. The letter was delivered to the U.S. embassy in Jakarta and released to the press. ‘My country’, she wrote, ‘is the second largest contributor to waste. And some of that waste is your waste’. Then, she asked three powerful and sincere questions: ‘Why do you always export your waste to my country? Why don’t you take care of your own waste? Why do we have to feel the impact of your waste?’
Fashion is the world’s second-most polluting industry after the oil industry
Even before it gets worn once, that new T-shirt you bought is already dirtier than you can imagine. It’s soaked through with toxic waste, factory smog and plastic debris—all of which is likely just a few spin cycles away from an incinerator, or maybe a landfill halfway around the world. Our obsession with style rivals our hunger for oil, making fashion the world’s second-most polluting industry after the oil industry.
22 December 2018 — True Publica
By Zach Boren and Russell Scott: The number of site inspections by England’s environmental regulator has fallen by more than a third over the past four years, an Unearthed analysis has found.
Conservation experts told Unearthed the cutbacks – which have come at a time of rapid staffing cuts at the Environment Agency (EA) – had hampered efforts to revive the country’s dirty rivers and depleted fish stocks.
A valuable invention is massively misused in the service of profit, producing unprecedented waste and pollution. How can we stop the plastic plague?
Plastic is bad, isn’t it? That is certainly the new consensus. And no wonder there has been a public outcry. Many of us have been shocked by images like those on Blue Planet of a sperm whale with a stomach full of plastic waste, albatrosses feeding their young plastic or turtles trapped in plastic bags.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just released its report on Global Warning. Global temperatures broke through the 1 Degree barrier in 2017 and will breach the planet altering threshold of +1.5 Degrees sometime in the next ten to twenty years. The IPCC has produced a vivid graph showing the thresholds:report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_fig1.pdfThe only important point to come out of this report is that capitalism is not slowing down this rise, never mind reversing it. It confirms that capitalism is putting society together with the planet, in harm’s way.
A sperm whale was found dead on a Spanish beach. 29 kilograms of plastic in its stomach blocked its digestive system.  This is the fate many fish, turtles, whales, birds, dolphins, and other animals risk daily as our ocean becomes a plastic soup.