Environment

A small ecosystem of a tree, the soil beneath and grass sit in a broken sphere of glass. In the background there are some trees and the brown forest floor.
Pixabay | Andreas Aux

ENVIRONMENT Guide

Our environment encompasses everything around us. From the atmosphere above, the soil below, the water in our oceans and rivers, the air that we breathe, and every living thing.

This extraordinary environmental platform was created as a knowledge toolbox, a space for networking, and a catalyst for positive change. The most reliable and useful information has been compiled for activists, environmental defenders, conservationists, educators, students, and anyone with an interest in protecting our fascinating natural world.

For many years now scientists have understood the enormous pressure that humans are placing on our environment. The global climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis are changing our planet faster than plants and animals can adapt.

We must shift to a more sustainable way of life, stop the cycle of endless exploitation, and respect the true value of our planets nature.

In the last 160 years humans have produced 2.3 trillion tons of harmful greenhouse gas emissions. This has disrupted important climate systems and is increasing the frequency of extreme weather events such as heatwaves, hurricanes, drought, and flooding.

In fact, the number of climate driven disasters have increased by five times in the last 50 years. In 2021, the number of climate refugees reached 59 million. The number of people now displaced by the climate is larger than that forcibly moved by conflict.

Events such as the UN Climate Change Conferences (COP) and the UN Biodiversity Summits have encouraged world leaders to come together and take long-term, meaningful action towards environmental protection. Progress has so far been slow, and hampered by profit hungry destructive industries such as Big Oil.

Better World Info has the latest on all environmental developments. We are your one stop shop for all things environment. Learn how you can get involved, how to campaign online, who are the main players (good and bad), top initiatives to support, and excellent tools for environmental activists and changemakers.

For our German speakers head over to our German site Bessere Welt Info and visit our comprehensive Umwelt category.

Where Can I Find Reliable Environmental News?

If you have been searching for reliable sources of environmental and climate news, then look no further. Find our top selection of the most up to date and fact-based environmental news sources covering the most important topics affecting our planet today.

Explore newspapers, online magazines, and blogs from environmental experts, scientists, and activists. Get up to the minute developments from our selection of the most important social media accounts to follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Finally, checkout our essential environment Twitter lists where you can follow handpicked environmental experts, organisations, and campaigns all in one place. For climate news, find Twitter lists on climate journalists, NGOs, scientists, activists, and politicians.

 

Graphic for Earth Day - Four different people surround a globe holding hands. Large green leaves surround the Earth. The words Earth Day are written in blue on the left.
Mei Lau | Better World Info

Where Can I Get Background Info on the Environment?

Here you will find an extensive collection of essential environmental information including top resources, directories, portals, and databases where you can discover key facts, statistics, and reports.

There are categories dedicated to ethical and green businesses for you to support. Learn about alternative banking options and investment opportunities from companies who actually care about the environment.

If nature is your passion and you are wondering how you can make a positive contribution as well as money, search through our recommended green jobs, careers, and volunteering options.

Our handpicked catalogue of books, documentaries, and films will leave you informed, inspired, and ready to change to the world!

Find excellent guides to awareness days such as Earth Day and World Environment Day. Created to promote restoration and protection of our natural world, learn about different ways you can celebrate, spread the word, and be part of the movement.

Environmental prizes such as the Earthshot Prize and Global Green Awards celebrate, honour, and support the work of inspiring organisations and individuals who, often at risk to their own lives, champion for the safeguarding of our precious environment.

We highlight hardworking conservation initiatives, and provide a wealth of information on rewilding, the 30 by 30 initiative outlined in the UN Biodiversity summit COP15 and the global deal for nature.

Environmental law is being used more frequently to successfully enforce environmental protection. Many countries have now adopted legal protections and rights for nature. Environmental defenders are fighting against ecocide from corporate giants and even governments. These types of legal challenges are making frontpage headlines and are inspiring others to stand-up against environmental impunity which has become commonplace.

We must continue to fight against environmental destruction and degradation as a top priority, and see through the thin veil of corporate greenwashing, and greed.

Who Are The Best Environmental Organisations?

Environmental organisations the essential frontline in protection, monitoring, and analysis. They help to raise awareness of the dangers of overexploitation, and expose and hold accountable those responsible.

They also raise vital funds to invest in restoration projects, sustainable practices, education, clean-up operations, endangered species, at-risk habitats, air quality initiatives, improved waste management, and a host of other important areas.

Learn about top international organisations such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. Also search by country for local initiatives in our regional subcategories. Organisations often release breaking news stories, advise how you can get involved, and can help you to connect with brilliant people in the environmental world.

 

A white seabird is sitting on a rocky shoreline surrounded by red and blue plastic fishing nets and other debris.
Pixabay | A_Different_Perspective

What Are the Effects of Waste and Toxins on Our Environment?

Globally, humans produce approximately 2 tons of waste every year, this is expected to increase to 3.4 tons by 2050. The US are the official kings of waste, not only do they produce a lot more, but they also recycle a lot less than all other developed countries.

The creation of such vast amounts of waste has led to soil contamination, excess methane release, climate change, contamination of water supplies, and all sorts of issues for animals and plants trying to survive in polluted ecosystems.

The huge quantities of plastic that is dumped into our oceans are eventually broken down into microplastics. They are now found literally everywhere on the planet - in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we consume.

The problem is so bad that 97% of children now have microplastic debris in their bodies. The health effects are not fully understood, but what is certain is that microplastics are toxic. They have already been connected with Alzheimer's disease, allergies, cell damage, reproductive issues, and obesity.

Better World Info explores issues such as toxic substances, the plastic crisis, pesticides and herbicides, the pollution of space and electronic waste.

Additionally find information on waste management, how to reduce your impact, zero waste, minimalism, and the effectiveness of recycling.

 

Many dark plumes of smoke can be seen above factories and powerplants. Electric towers and cables can be seen in the background. The air is covered in an orange smog.
Pixabay | Photo Raven

How Bad is Air Pollution For Our Health?

The biggest sources of air pollution are transport, the fossil fuel industry, factories, urban development, and agriculture. Each release dangerous toxins into the air which have serious environmental implications, can cause cancer, asthma, heart disease, and other serious health conditions.

Air pollution is now so bad that 91% of the world's population are now breathing polluted air every day. It has become one of the planets biggest killers. In the UK alone, 36,000 early deaths a year are directly related to polluted air.

Coal fired power stations cause acid rain, forests wither, crops fail, and ecosystems become unbalanced. Not only is the majority of air pollution invisible, but it is also incredibly costly. The World Bank estimates that the global cost of air pollution is $225 billion annually.

Transportation is responsible for 27% of nitrogen oxides in the air and is a major source of climate change causing greenhouse gases. Better World Info investigates the impact that cars, air travel, and the shipping industry have on air quality.

Learn about smog, the ozone hole, airport expansions, how air quality is measured, and the true cost to humans and the natural world.

Find detailed information on low-carbon transport options such as bicycles, car-sharing initiatives, public transport, and the benefit of electric vehicles for both personal and commercial use.

In the last four years, the UK has seen a 26-fold increase in the number of electric car ownership. Many countries are investing in free or low-cost public transport options, and the infrastructure for bicycle users is improving.

To meet strict air pollution targets, governments have started placing restrictions on diesel vehicles, and many automakers have confirmed that they will stop the production of gas-powered cars by 2035. Greener and more sustainable cities are helping to filter pollution and ensure cleaner air for everyone.

 

Three stacks of gold coins increasing in height from left to right have small green plants growing behind them, also increasing in height with each stack.
PickPik

How are Environment and Economy Connected?

The environment and the economy have always been closely intertwined. Our natural world provides us with a huge economic resource from tourism, extraction, energy, timber, medicine, agriculture, and more. In fact, 40% of global employment relies directly on a healthy, clean, and balanced environment.

Over-exploitation and unsustainable natural resource use have devastatingly created an environment vs economy scenario. Economic development has long been prioritised over sustainability due to the short-term financial benefits. Ironically, we quickly see a decline in quality of life if financial gains take precedent over caring for our environment. Profits simply cannot be the only goal.

In recent decades economists have begun to understand that environmental protection actually supports a healthy economy. They belong together. If managed correctly, our natural world can sustain us indefinitely, as well as acting as an essential filter for waste and emissions.

The corporate world can no longer greedily reap gigantic profits without considering its impact on the environment. Emissions and sustainability regulations, air quality control, protected land, conservation projects, have all opened up new opportunities for a green economic transition.

The aim of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is that companies consider their social and environmental impact. Playing a positive role in communities leads to greener investments, improved reputation, happier clients, and can even improve financial performance.

Better World Info dives deep into the world of green economies, green growth, and circular economies. These concepts embrace sustainability for both the environment and financial systems by incorporating recycling, renewable clean energies, net zero goals, equality, climate policies, waste reduction, and strong ethics embedded into their business models.

Learn about eco taxes which place accountability on organisations for their environmental impact and promote eco-friendly business practices. Find categories on ecology and politics, energy democracies, and other green alternative economic theories.

Better World Info's Final Thoughts on The Environment

As we enter unprecedented times regarding climate, biodiversity, natural resources, and environmental instability, it has never been more important to stay informed and educated.

Corrupt governments and greedy multinational corporations want us to stay ignorant to the irreversible damage that they are inflicting on our natural world. Their inaction, apathy, and sluggishness to protect and restore our planets most precious asset is affecting us all.

There is now more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere than at any other point in history. Wildlife populations have dropped by 60% in the last 40 years. Extreme temperatures are now killing 5 million people a year.

Enivronmental protection needs to be our number one priority.

There are reasons for hope - The landmark deal for biodiversity agreed at COP15 is an excellent start. The EU is implementing a carbon tariff on the most polluting imports. Short-haul flights and private jet use are being cracked down on. Plastic alternatives are gaining momentum and vital funding. The renewable energy transition is well underway.

This inspiring platform for environment will guide you through all the key issues, connect you to top initiatives and organisations, teach you how to become active in the environmental movement, and show you how to live more sustainably. We can all play a part in helping to create a better world for future generations.

Author: Rachael Mellor 28.12.22

For further reading on environment see below  ⬇️

 

Hot Topics

Image of the Earth on a black background - half of the Earth is normal and the other half is engulfed in flames mimicking the climate crisis
Pixabay | TheDigitalArtist

Global Climate Crisis

The signs of global warming are all around us, climbing temperatures and extreme weather events are causing desertification, loss of biodiversity, food and water insecurity, rising sea levels, wildfires and mass migration. This global threat is happening faster than predicted, the race is on to see if global collaboration on climate goals can slow down the devastating effects. We cover the causes, consequences and solutions as well as the NGOs, climate movements, COP conferences and climate camps all fighting to save our planet.

Global Climate Crisis
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Justice for Bruno&Dom

The murders of indigenous rights defender Bruno Pereira and journalist Dom Phillips have shocked the world. Both were strong activists for the protection of the Amazon, and were killed during a trip to remote areas to conduct research for a book Phillips was writing on how to save the Amazon from organised crime and corrupt governments that want to exploit natural resources for illegal profits, within indigenous territories that are home to the largest concentration of uncontacted peoples on the planet.

Justice for Bruno&Dom
Graphic for Earth Day - Four different people surround a globe holding hands. Large green leaves surround the Earth. The words Earth Day are written in blue on the left.
Mei Lau | Better World Info

Earth Day 2022 - April 22

Join us this Earth Day to raise climate change awareness, and commit to protecting the environment for a sustainable future. This year's theme is #InvestInOurPlanet - we call on world leaders, businesses, and citizens to take climate action not just today, but every day. Find events, celebrations, tools and campaigns to help our planet here. Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day 2022 - April 22
United Nations

Stockholm +50

On 2 and 3 June, the commemoration of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Environment will take place in Sweden. Under the theme "Our Responsibility, Our Opportunity", the meeting commemorates the 50th anniversary of global environmental action. And, it will be held after months of consultations and discussions with numerous experts from around the world, making it an open forum for sharing experiences and initiatives.   

Stockholm +50
A green blue and white Earth on a blue background with the letters COP26 underneath
UN | COP26

Glasgow Climate Pact

As a result of COP 26, this global agreement was created, which includes some of the strongest commitments to combat climate change ever agreed in history, including agreements on emissions cuts, reduction of carbon use, monetary aid to developing countries, measures to curb deforestation, reduction of methane emissions and investment in clean technologies.  This new agreement was welcomed as a promising step forward, but faces criticism for not including immediate actions. Find all the information about the summit here!  

Glasgow Climate Pact

World Water Day - March 22

UN day celebrating water and raising awareness of the millions who do not have access to safe water. This year the theme is 'value water' where we can learn the importance of clean water in our lives, and to safeguard and protect it in any way that we can. Get info on events, news, and how to help here.

World Water Day - March 22

Fridays for Future

After sitting in front of the Swedish parliament for 3 weeks protesting her country's inaction towards the climate crisis, Greta Thunberg decided to strike every Friday. The #FridaysForFuture movement spread, mobilizing children and adults worldwide to protest locally every Friday noon.

Fridays for Future

Green New Deal

Aiming to address climate change and economic inequality, the economic stimulus package proposes social and economic reforms and public works projects similar to those implemented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression.

Green New Deal

Extinction Rebellion (XR)

A non-violent social movement started in the UK, Extinction Rebellion has the objective of influencing national and international environment politics by civil disobedience to stop climate breakdown, biodiversity loss, ecological collapse and human extinction.

Extinction Rebellion (XR)
Image by skeeze from Pixabay

The ongoing wildfires in California

The global climate crisis has exacerbated the ferocity and duration of the wildfire season in California. The area has been plagued by drought, and unprecedented heatwaves. With the wet season predicted to arrive late, and the added complication of the pandemic, it seems the state is fighting a battle that cannot be won.

The ongoing wildfires in California
White nuclear power plant with two red and white cranes | Choppy dark blue water in the foreground and hazy mountains in the background
Flickr | IAEA Imagebank

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster - 10 years later

2021 marks the 10th year since the March 11th Great East Japan Earthquake caused the cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant nuclear to fail leading to the release of the large amounts of radioactive materials. The clean up work with the main struggle being decontaminating the water is expected to take 40 years. Synonymous with Chernobyl, Fukushima connotes catastrophe, contamination and the mass evacuation of up to 150,000 people.

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster - 10 years later
Public Domain

1.5 °C Goal

Limiting Climate Change can avoid tipping points and decrease the ecological impact of global warming. While 1.5 degrees warming is estimated to expose 14% of the worlds population to extreme heat every 5 years, 2 degrees would expose 37% of the global population. To achieve this important target we must make major structural changes of our societies.

1.5 °C Goal

Keep it in the ground!

To help reduce carbon emissions, fossil fuel divestment includes campaigns and efforts on a global scale to pressure institutes and governments to stop funding the extraction of fossil fuels, which is one of the main causes of the world rising temperatures, and invest in the production of clean energy alternatives.

Keep it in the ground!

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