Your handy guide to preventing mass species extinction
The Green Fix talks to the people helping make sure the ecosystem doesn't, you know, collapse.
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It’s not an abstract idea.
I feel like I sit here all day saying sustainability like a broken record when what I’m trying to say is:
Nobody really believes we could be represented by a government made of men who all went to the same elite universities together. We just grew up with things being that way.
None of us depend on every fruit from around the world being in the supermarket all the time, having a choice of 40 different shirts in every shop, or holiday flights across Europe being €30. We were just taught that that was normal.
Now the economic and political system that has driven overproduction at the expense of people’s rights and the planet is crumbling, and we must reclaim the true sense of abundance.
Because sustainability is abundance. It’s securing safe climates, foods and cultures for us and our children and grandchildren, ad infinitum.
It’s recognising that when we step away from the capitalist productivity and profit-driven machine, we free up time for education, for community, for political action, and for rest without guilt. That no corporation can tell us what we ‘must have’ - we will not find satisfaction at the bottom of a Primark receipt.
Sustainability is the bare minimum to ask for, really. So let’s get started.
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What’s Going On?
In case anyone forgot: Now is our only opportunity to prevent devastating global climate disasters in our lifetime, IPCC report shows.
Useful: The report summary.
76% of proposed coal plants have been cancelled since 2015.
Related: The UN has just launched a pledge to stop all new coal projects.
In related news: China declares no more funding for overseas coal projects.
Useful: Why is this a big deal?
Indigenous resistance has staved off 25% of U.S. and Canada’s annual emissions.
Useful: Why is it so dangerous and so important to be a human rights & land defender?
World’s largest carbon capture plant launches in Iceland.
Related: Will carbon capture actually save the planet?
Meat and dairy production emits twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as plant-based foods, study finds.
Useful: What does the study actually say?
Three quarters of young people very worried about future because of the climate crisis, study finds.
Related: The Green Fix on eco-anxiety and how to cope with it.
Controversial UN Food Systems Summit brings together 150 countries to discuss need to change global food system.
Relevant: Why was the UN Food Systems Summit controversial?
Rapid climate action could save 1.8 billion people, study finds.
Useful: How is the climate crisis making tropical storms more dangerous?
Focus On… Species Extinction
I’m Paul Goodenough, founder of the Rewriting Extinction campaign. Rewriting Extinction is 300 people from all over the planet creating stories - mainly comic stories - to raise money and awareness to save species from extinction.
The environmental sector can be baffling. Rewriting Extinction tries to be a simple one-stop shop. It’s a place you can trust is giving 100% of your money to projects that have a tangible positive impact on the planet.
Why the focus on the biodiversity crisis?
When it comes to the climate crisis, it can feel hard for the average person to have an effect. When it comes to the biodiversity crisis, individual action can have a much more tangible immediate effect.
What motivates me personally is the animals. Nobody is more innocent of the environmental situation they’ve been put in.
The climate and biodiversity crises are intrinsically linked. For me, the climate crisis needs systemic change. Even though I drive an electric car and am almost waste-free, ultimately the climate crisis is a more systemic and political issue.
With the biodiversity crisis, the solutions are far more based in what the average person can do themself. It’s about rewilding, it’s about regenerative agriculture. There will almost certainly be a project near you you can help with.
You dedicate your campaign around 7 projects. How did you choose the 7 projects for fundraising?
I was inspired by a video produced by Tom Mustill, George Monbiot and Greta Thunberg, called #NatureNow. It laid out three things required for the planet:
What we did as a collective is divide the project into thirds and look at projects across the planet to identify what charities best work in each of these three areas.
For systemic change, we chose Greenpeace for its global reach and influence on governments and business.
For land protection, we chose World Land Trust, which identifies land in danger of being sold for corporate exploitation and buys it and returns it to its indigenous owners.
Then for nature restoration, we chose 5 charities: Rewild, The Wildlife Trust, Rewilding Europe, Reserva, and Born Free.
I see you work a lot with artists and creators. Why is that?
I looked into how Instagram promotes content and how a time-poor audience reads. A 4-panel comic has a whole story in one picture, which makes it a very good way of communicating complex messages in one image.
I also just love creating comics. And it works! We’ve had over 100 million views, particularly because we work in partnerships with NGOs and celebrities.
Our biggest audience comes from our comic creators. Their audience is ravenous and they love the comics and they love the planet.
If you show a statistic or documentary, millions of people will scroll past. People don’t engage with statistics. People engage with stories and social media is a perfect channel to do that.
How do you avoid just reaching out to the same audience that are already engaged in climate issues?
There’s a group of social media users between 25-35 years old that are less likely to be involved in youth activism like Fridays for Future, but are primed to get active. We’re reaching out to them and getting them engaged in environmental issues.
We’ve had a lot of success so far. It blows me away the number of people that comment on our posts saying they’ve never heard of the biodiversity crisis before.
The next challenge is fundraising: it is an additional step to getting people engaged in our messages to get them to donate money. We hope our upcoming plans will help with that.
How can anyone reading this support the campaign?
Simplest thing is to just follow us for tips. We share plenty of no BS lazy ways to save the planet. Following us also teaches us how to communicate with you. Outside of that we have petitions. Share our messages.
If people have money, they can donate on our posts. 100% goes to the projects - everyone in the campaign is working voluntarily.
I’d also love for people to rewrite extinction themselves. I want this to be a movement, not a campaign led by us, but about what everyone can do themselves.
I’d encourage people to understand that every decision has an impact and that impact can extend to a whole family of animals or the whole ecosystem.
Have confidence to go and make some changes in your life and if you’ve been inspired, please tag us and let us know what you did!
You can follow Rewriting Extinction on Instagram @rewritingextinction. They’re on the lookout for volunteers to help with partnerships. If you’d like to learn more then please email email@example.com
So Now What Do I Do?
Read: Four ways to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises at the same time.
For all those requesting podcasts! Future Earth has a fantastic roundup of climate podcasts here.
Under 35? Tune in to Green New Deal Rising’s call to find out their plans to pressure politicians at COP26 and how you can get involved. 30th @ 6pm BST.
TRY SOMETHING NEW
Take 15 seconds to share what change you want to see in the world for the UN’s Voices for Change campaign, in the run-up to COP26.
Also from the UN: Get stuck in to their #AnatomyOfAction social media challenge to showcase what sustainable living looks like for you.
Join the single-use rebellion campaign! Take a picture of single-use plastics in the supermarket and share them to phase out plastic waste.
CHANGE THE SYSTEM
Tired of your phone getting out-of-date every two years? Sick of premature obsolescence? Place your order for a 10-year phone here.
Sign the petition for climate-friendly food to be served at upcoming UN climate conferences.
EU citizens can sign the call to end toxic pesticides and save the bees until midnight on Thursday 30th September. Sign here.
By the way…
Working on a cool sustainability project? Want a shoutout? Or just seen something you think deserves a mention in the Green Fix? Tell us about it.
The Bloom is a global community for impact-driven opportunities through a weekly newsletter. Founded by Jasmine Anouna, who started the project from a storage closet at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva while working as an unpaid intern, frustrated by the systemic exploitation of young people and lack of diverse resources for changemakers. Subscribe.
Stay in the loop
You can connect with me on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also follow the Green Fix LinkedIn page here for more climate opportunities.
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