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Less of What We Don't Need

Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.

AMLO in office: from megaprojects to militarization

By: 
Caitlin Manning

While hiding behind a mask of progressiveness, Mexican president AMLO is championing a neoliberal regime and promoting highly controversial megaprojects.  ​

Many on the left, both in Mexico and abroad, welcomed the new president of Mexico, hoping that his progressive rhetoric of a “fourth transformation” augured a new era of positive change in Mexico. Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) even convinced a number of Indigenous resistance groups that his administration would be favorable to their struggles against the neoliberal extractivist megaprojects that are devastating their lands.

How to Make Wind Power Sustainable Again

By: 
Kris De Decker

For more than two thousand years, windmills were built from recyclable or reusable materials: wood, stone, brick, canvas, metal. When – electricity producing – wind turbines appeared in the 1880s, the materials didn’t change.

It’s only since the arrival of plastic composite blades in the 1980s that wind power has become the source of a toxic waste product that ends up in landfills.

'The Changes Are Really Accelerating': Alaska at Record Warm While Greenland Sees Major Ice Melt

By: 
Eoin Higgins

The climate crisis is rapidly warming the Arctic, and the effects are being felt from Alaska to Greenland.

The northernmost point on the planet is heating up more quickly than any other region in the world. The reason for this warming is ice–albedo feedback: as ice melts it opens up land and sea to the sun, which then absorb more heat that would have been bounced off by the ice, leading to more warming. It's a vicious circle of warmth that's changing the environment at the north pole. 

The price of plenty: how beef changed America

By: 
Joshua Specht

Exploitation and predatory pricing drove the transformation of the US beef industry – and created the model for modern agribusiness. Meatpacking lines, pioneered in the 1860s in Cincinnati’s pork packinghouses, were the first modern production lines.

The meatpacking mogul Jonathan Ogden Armour could not abide socialist agitators. It was 1906, and Upton Sinclair had just published The Jungle, an explosive novel revealing the grim underside of the American meatpacking industry. Sinclair’s book told the tale of an immigrant family’s toil in Chicago’s slaughterhouses, tracing the family’s physical, financial and emotional collapse. The Jungle was not Armour’s only concern.

Greta Thunberg Gave up Flights to Fight Climate Change. Should you?

By: 
Umair Irfan

For regular flyers, air travel is often the dominant contributor to their greenhouse gas footprints. With the window rapidly closing to limit global warming to a bearable level — scientists warn that the planet has as little as 12 years to halve global emissions to restrict warming to 1.5 degrees this century — it is more critical than ever to find a way to shrink aviation’s carbon footprint. Every bit of carbon dioxide we emit now will linger in the atmosphere and warm the planet for decades, but completely decarbonizing aircraft will likely require technologies that are decades away. Reducing the number of flights is one of the few surefire ways to curb emissions in the meantime...

But that’s if you fly to begin with. In the United States, fewer than half of travelers in 2017 took a trip by air, according to an industry survey. Globally, less than one-fifth of the population has ever buckled in for a flight. That means a minority of frequent flyers contribute a disproportionate share of emissions. So reducing air travel is one of the most effective things individuals can do to shrink their carbon footprints.

A Green New Deal must deliver global justice

By: 
Asad Rehman

For too long the severity and scale of the climate crisis has been deliberately understated, but October’s release of the IPCC’s Special Report on the Global Warming of 1.5°c finally sent shockwaves into the populations of rich countries. The urgent need for action was clear with the world now in ‘decade zero’, when every decision taken in the coming years will determine the extent to which the critical 1.5°c guardrail is breached triggering run away climate change. Despite these warnings the UN estimates that current emission targets will put the world on a trajectory of at least 3.4°c and possibly up to 7°c warming.

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