“There’s no global warming because the weather’s been colder!”

These past winters, temperatures in southern Europe have plunged to double figures below freezing, and countries used to mild weather were carpeted in thick snow. Across the pond in US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) reported double the number of extreme snowstorms in the last half of the 20 th century compared to the first. In the face of this Arctic weather, it’s no wonder that climate sceptics find global warming hard to believe. But weather isn’t the same as climate. Weather is the state of the atmosphere for a short period, while climate describes what’s happening long-term.

The Arctic is circled by a polar vortex – circular winds that contain the chilly air. At the edges, the vortex interacts with a jet stream that brings warm air up from the equator. Normally, the worst of the winter chill is confined by this air movement, but an increase in air pressure over the Arctic, or a disruption in the jet stream, can send frigid weather southwards.

Overall, global temperatures have been rising and its approximately a degree hotter today than it was in 1880. While fluctuations in air movement have been sending cold weather into North America, Europe and Asia, the average temperature has been climbing, hence the widespread concern.

By Philippa Grafton from Save The World.

Plastic and Climate

Synthetics, mostly called ‘plastic’, surrounds us everywhere. Over the past 15 years, 9% of the global production has been recycled, 12% burned and 79% disposed in landfills or in the wild.

Microplastics are the smallest particles of it with a size of 100 billionth (nano-) to 5 thousandth (milli-)meter. The raw material for plastic is petroleum as well as the crude gasoline that comes from the distillation of petroleum.

These substances influence the climate as follows:

1. The raw material (petroleum and products of it) must be transported from the oil stores to the plastic production facilities worldwide, processed and then transported to all areas of our life (food, furniture, equipment, car tires, etc.). This huge effort in production and distribution provides carbon dioxide (CO2), microplastics due to abrasion of tyres and dust in the air. Microplastics are found everywhere on and in the ground, in water, in the air, in almost all food and beverages, as well as in every human being and animal. Wind, evaporation of water and combustion carry microplastics up to the atmosphere.

2. Separate from the health risks, microplastics, like dust, form a condensation core for droplets in the air. The warmer the air, the more water vapour it can absorb: at 0o Celsius it is 5g (grams) per m³ (cubic meter), at 20oC 17g and at 30oC even 30g per m³. That is 6 times more than at 0oC. That means: the warmer (CO2! and other substances) and damper the air and the more condensation nuclei (here: microplastics and dust) are in it, the greater the risk of heavy rain, flooding, tornadoes and hurricanes, because the clouds can empty like a torrent. That changes the climate significantly.

By Dr. med. Peter Kosek, General Practitioner and Scientist from Be healthy and stay healthy Community.

Plastic from hemp???

Hemp, one of the names of a cannabis sativa plant is not similar to marijuana as of the belief of most of the people. In fact, it is very much different. Industrial hemp is being produced for its numerous benefits. It is a natural fibre which is considered to be the strongest of all the natural fibres.

Due to the characteristics of the hemp, it can also be used as a material for making plastic. The plastics that we have in existence right now lack sustainability and have a significant negative impact on the environment, whereas hemp can be used to produce better quality, more sustainable plastics

When used as a raw material, hemp can be a good alternative to typical plastics. It is a bioplastic which can be made from industrial hemp. Although there are no options yet available for producing plastic from hemp completely, it can however be easily used as a component of producing compound plastics.

Let us have a look at some of the pros that hemp has over the typical kind of plastics that we use and what benefits we can have from that.

Biodegradable: One of the biggest problems of typical plastic is that it is not biodegradable. Probably the biggest producer of plastic waste comes from single-use plastics. These are the plastics that are used for an extremely small period and then thrown away. It results in the storage of plastics that are not biodegradable. So, we need something that is biodegradable or decomposes in a short period. Plastics made from hemp could be this alternative. Usually, it
takes around three to six months for plastics to decompose that are made from hemp. So, if hemp is used as a material for producing plastics then these can be decomposed or will decompose in a relatively short time. This will be beneficial for the environment land, sea and forests.

Versatility: One of the significant benefits of hemp is its versatility, it can be
turned into anything of any shape. Some greatly used products or components that are usually made from plastics can also be made from hemp. This includes
car parts, plastic toys and bottles most importantly.

Strength and weight: Hemp can produce stronger and more durable plastics. It is also lightweight which is a great advantage. So, more durable items can be used for a longer time and thus will reduce the need to be reproduced more often.

Recyclable: Recycling is very important for improving the economy and the environment. Hemp takes around six months to decompose, making it easier to recycle. Plastics cannot be recycled as efficiently as hemp plastic.

Reducing pollution: The most important benefit that hemp can bring is improving overall pollution. Fossil fuel is used for the plastics that we use on a daily basis. It contributes to climate change issues whereas the process of growing hemp increases the amount of oxygen in the environment.

As we can see. Hemp is a better alternative than plastic in the long run. So, we should consider using plastics from hemp.

The UK farmland likely to be converted into forests

Scientists recommend to create place for wildlife and woodlands to fight climate change.

The scarcity of the climate change has impacted the UK a long time back and they are still trying hard to fight the issues. A recent study has shown that the need of calories and protein can be met without the need of farm animals. Mainly, the farmlands were vital for meeting the needs of the protein and other health benefits coming from mostly meat. The study is a
great news for tackling the climate change problems.

Many people are also eating a plant-based diet already which has also added to the good cause of converting the farmlands. A study in Harvard has also found similar results and it is said by the experts that the UK is able to sustain comfortably if a portion of the farmlands is converted into forests.

The easiest and at the same time the most sensible way to fight the pollution due to climate change and the lack of forestland is to increase the number of trees and wildlife. This can be achieved by creating more and more lands habitable for the wildlife and suitable for growing tress. Because going green is undoubtedly an amazing and extremely effective way to tackle these problems. Scientists have also advised the UK government to do the same.

Prof. Boyd has become vegetarian and said that this change will help in reducing the animal lands and the amount of carbon di oxide and increase the number of trees. He says, “We need a large, radical transformation and we need to do it quickly, in the next decade. You can tick an immense number of boxes simultaneously.” He further said, “Farmers argue that uplands and pasture where livestock are reared cannot be used to grow crops. But Boyd said: “It would be much better to store carbon and water, grow trees and make the land available for people to improve their health and welfare.”

He continues, “I know there are big companies looking at how to really scale this up. Most of the livestock production in the UK is unprofitable without public subsidy. The public are subsidising the production of livestock to produce huge environmental damages, all the way from greenhouse gas emissions to water pollution. Why should we continue to do that? It’s not sensible. If anybody asked me: If there is one thing, I can do to help save the planet, what would it be? I would say just eat a lot less meat. It’s the easiest thing to do. I’ve done it. Freeing up 50% of the land would probably result in a reduction in the amount of livestock by about that amount, because it would be mostly livestock land we would be taking out of production. This proposal is not about being negative about farmers. It’s about being positive about their futures and helping them to adapt and continue providing support for society, but in a different way from in the past.”

NFU’s deputy president Guy Smith said as a response to Boyd’s proposal, “Urgent action is needed to tackle the climate emergency. British farmers are already some of the most sustainable in the world. For example, the beef produced in Britain is already 2.5 times more efficient than the global average. And they are committed to doing even more.”

He further said, “However, we will not halt climate change by curbing sustainable, British production and exporting it to countries which may not have the same climate ambition as we do here.”