Here, at Ecophiles, we wanted to give you an update on what’s happening in the world, the good news and the bad. From climate change and its impact on coffee to students saving elephants and the Paris Agreement — it’s important to stay informed about the politics of the world in which we live so we understand what we must and can do to help. Here is some news to get you up to speed:
Climate change is about to ruin your coffee: Climate change is impacting coffee bean growth. As warmer regions get even hotter, the coffee plant is unable to grow in changing soil and increasing temperatures. According to Sara Chodosh with Popular Science, it’s already happening in Ethiopia. Longer, hotter dry seasons have made it difficult for farmers to yield the same quantity of beans. Our future may not see our beloved caramel macchiatos if climate change continues to worsen.
Students save endangered elephants: One student at Murdoch University in Australia, Obelia Walker, is taking to social media to promote wildlife conservation. She created a project, now three months old, to study how tourist photographs of pygmy elephants could be used to help their conservation and management. As Isabelle Bilton with Study International explains, “participants in the project are told to [take pictures of rare elephants and] hashtag #PicMeElephant on their [social media] post and geo-tag it.” Since the main threats to pygmy elephants are habitat loss and poaching, this project is so important, and is definitely good news for the world. Tag away!
Map for US cities and states taking charge of the Paris Agreement: Data-Driven Yale through Scientific American has presented new information about which cities and states in the United States are committing to climate action. Though the Trump administration has stepped back from the Paris Agreement, this map shows more than 500 United States city and state governments taking initiative to support climate policy in place of the Federal government. Find out if your representatives are on it!
Era of Climate Change Refugees has begun: Rick Noack with The Washington Post discusses how New Zealand could become the first country in the world to recognize climate change as an official reason for individuals to seek safety elsewhere. Although this proposal has mostly been blocked by other governments and courts, New Zealand’s model could act as a way to continue the dialogue concerning climate change refugees. Noack admits, “the vast majority will likely either face the prospect of staying in their home countries—if they still exist—or becoming ‘second class’ citizens abroad.” But, because of New Zealand, there is hope to prepare for refugee residency for those who are displaced by natural disasters.
The oceans are coming for our cities: Kevin Loria with Business Insider presents the facts that nearly 40% of the United States population lives in coastal areas. With a prediction that the end of the century will bring 2-8 feet of sea-level rise, environmental experts believe that we are not prepared for climate change to take control. But, there is a certain degree of preparation happening right now: roads are being raised, pumps are being installed, and buildings are being raised as well. Though we cannot stop sea levels from rising, Loria explores the findings from different experts on how we can take key steps to prevent flooding of entire cities.