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The Breakdown: May 14th

A selection of notable publications on sustainability, climate change, organics recycling, and soil nutrition brought to you by Full Circle Environmental. As innovators in organics recycling, we want to help our friends and partners stay informed about the topics that motivate us every day. 

Climate change: ‘A moral, ethical and economic imperative’ to slow global warming say UN leaders, calling for more action

Calling on Member States to take “urgent action to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”, the leaders of more than 30 UN agencies and entities, issued a formal, joint appeal for governments everywhere to “step up ambition and take concrete action” ahead of the landmark Climate Action Summit, which has been convened by UN chief António Guterres this September.

The appeal noted that to keep rising temperatures down, countries had to strive to "fulfill their obligations on human rights, including the right to health, the right to food security, the right to development, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women, intergenerational equity, and decent work and a just transition for all, as stated in the Paris Agreement.”

Continue reading on UN News.

How to talk to kids about climate change without scaring them

When my 4-year-old daughter discovered the documentary series Blue Planet II, thanks to a relative who shares her love of marine life, I was thrilled that she wanted to watch it instead of animated standbys like The Octonauts and Llama Llama. 

I counted it as a parenting victory: My preschooler liked science and exploration and David Attenborough's voice. When things got real and one sea creature ruthlessly ate another, I explained that it was an example of the food chain. Her grimace turned into a look of satisfaction — the kind that comes with feeling like you understand the world a little better. 

Then we arrived at the episode about coral reefs dying off en masse because of climate change. My daughter had a lot of questions, and I teared up looking at footage of the desiccated reefs, thinking about what those images meant for her future. Suddenly I regretted letting Blue Planet II into our lives so easily. 

Read more on Mashable.

Nature crisis: Humans 'threaten 1m species with extinction'

On land, in the seas, in the sky, the devastating impact of humans on nature is laid bare in a compelling UN report.

One million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction. Nature everywhere is declining at a speed never previously seen and our need for ever more food and energy are the main drivers.These trends can be halted, the study says, but it will take "transformative change" in every aspect of how humans interact with nature.

From the bees that pollinate our crops, to the forests that hold back flood waters, the report reveals how humans are ravaging the very ecosystems that support their societies.

Three years in the making, this global assessment of nature draws on 15,000 reference materials, and has been compiled by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). It runs to 1,800 pages.

Read more on BBC.

1 million species face extinction — soil could be a solution

An intergovernmental science-policy group of the United Nations found — and the United States agreed — that 1 million species are threatened with extinction, and that one factor in that decline was the decline of carbon in soil. Specifically, 5.6 gigatons of annual CO2 emissions are sequestered in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. That’s equivalent to 60 percent of global fossil fuel emission.

The finding released in a report May 6 also found that it is not too late to stop this decline, but action is needed immediately at the local, country, and global level. For soil, it proposed “sustainable agricultural practices that enhance soil quality, thereby improving productivity and other ecosystem functions and services such as carbon sequestration and water quality regulation.”

Read more on The Hill.

Qantas passengers in world-first 'zero waste' flight

Mini Vegemite servings were out and compostable crop starch cutlery was in on what Qantas says was the world's first zero-waste commercial flight.

Passengers flying from Sydney to Adelaide on Wednesday sipped from water bottles destined for an Adelaide recycling plant and ate meals out of containers made from sugar cane as the Australian carrier trialled an initiative it says will cut 100 million single-use plastics by the end of next year and eliminate 75 per cent of the airline's waste by the end of 2021.

Read more on SBS News.

From Apples to Popcorn, Climate Change Is Altering the Foods America Grows

The impact may not yet be obvious in grocery stores and greenmarkets, but behind the organic apples and bags of rice and cans of cherry pie filling are hundreds of thousands of farmers, plant breeders and others in agriculture who are scrambling to keep up with climate change.

Drop a pin anywhere on a map of the United States and you’ll find disruption in the fields. Warmer temperatures are extending growing seasons in some areas and sending a host of new pests into others. Some fields are parched with drought, others so flooded that they swallow tractors. 

Decades-long patterns of frost, heat and rain — never entirely predictable but once reliable enough — have broken down. In regions where the term climate change still meets with skepticism, some simply call the weather extreme or erratic. But most agree that something unusual is happening. 

“Farming is no different than gambling,” said Sarah Frey, whose collection of farms throughout the South and the Midwest grows much of the nation’s crop of watermelons and pumpkins. “You’re putting thousands if not millions of dollars into the earth and hoping nothing catastrophic happens, but it’s so much more of a gamble now. You have all of these consequences that farmers weren’t expecting.”

Keep reading in The New York Times.
About Full Circle Environmental, LLC:
At Full Circle, we're developing the future of composting. Our microbial inoculant powers an anaerobic fermentation process that's faster than traditional composting with simpler input management and greater nutrient retention in the resulting fertilizer. We see food waste as both a global challenge and massive opportunity and believe now is the time for action. 
Learn more at fullcircle.green
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