Government unveils £50m plan to build first all-electric bus town

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced the plan to create England’s first town to have all-electric buses through a £50m fund. Transport Secretary Grant Shapes said buses have an essential role to play in bringing down emissions. Grant also noted that local authorities could bid for money to help pay for a new fleet of electric cars. The government keeps maintaining its momentum in playing the role of planet saviours.

According to Darren Shirley, the head of Campaign for Better Transport, the development is a good start after years of cuts to services. The Department for Transport said that the winning town would serve as a model for the government as it aims to ensure all buses are fully electric by 2025.

About £70m has been earmarked for the development of high-frequency “Super bus” networks. There is one already in Cornwall where a mix of lower fares, more frequent services, and multiple bus lanes has proven to be successful. The government has also set aside £20m towards the trials of on-demand buses, which can be ordered through an app. With the alarming climatic changes, all hands must be on deck to serve as the planet saviours.

These services are designed to serve the rural or suburban areas where the passenger demand does not justify having permanently fixed routes. Currently, there is an Uber-style bus service that operates in Oxford and Liverpool. Arriva runs the scheme in partnership with Merseytravel. It allows passengers to choose the route of a minibus by selecting their pick-up point and destination on a mobile app.

Despite the promising strides in this scheme, Oxford Bus Company has recently
warned that its “PickMeUp” service may be aborted due to a lack of funds. The Company said they might end services unless it finds additional funding. Having been in service since June 2018 and made 250,000 journeys, the Oxford Bus Company said it is still challenging to operate a full commercial scale. Investors ought to partner with Oxford Bus Company to protect our environment. Playing the role of planet saviours will not always yield enormous profit. However, the task needs to be done for the good of us all.

The Reduction of Emissions

The transport secretary Grant Shapes said, “with 200 electric buses able to replace 3,700 diesel cars, it is clear they have a vital role to play in reducing emissions. Mr. Shapes also added that a £170m package would help the government to create communities that will be cleaner, easier to move around, and more environmentally friendly. The package will speed up journeys and making them more reliable for passengers.

In 2020, the English local authorities outside of London will receive £30m funding to help them improve or restore bus services that have been cut. The last decade has seen the council funding for buses in England fall by 40%. This figure does not include the capital, which has bucked the trend.

Darren Shirley, the Campaign for Better Transport chief executive, told BBC that the proposals were a “good start.” For many years, we have seen services cut and reduce, leading to the inability of commuters to see their families or get to work, Shirley said.

For the government, reinstating some bus services and introducing zero-emission buses for one town is a good start. According to a 2019 study conducted by the Campaign Group, more than 3,000 local bus routes had been lost or reduced over the last decade. In the study, the group called for a discount on fares for concessions such as students and elderly people.

Playing the role of planet saviours is a collective effort and should not be left only to a particular group of people or the government. If I play my part and you play your part, we will definitely achieve our collective goal of a better planet.

House coal and wet wood not to be in use by 2023 to cut pollution

In a bid to cut pollution, the government acting as is planet saviours looking to
phase out house coal and wet wood. The government hopes the ban will push users towards a cleaner and better alternative like dry wood and manufactured solid fuels. According to the government, the sale of the most polluting fuels burned in household stoves, and open fires will be phased out from next year. The reason is to clear up the air and make it healthier for the people.

The move to ban the sale of house coal and wet wood is all part of the government’s effort to tackle tiny particle pollutants called PM2.5. This particle can penetrate deep into the lungs and bloodstream to cause serious health issues. The PM2.5 particles are mostly found in wood-burning stoves and coal
fires. According to the Department of Environmental, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the PM2.5 contributes thrice the amount of pollution that comes from road transportation. The people need to also play the role of planet saviours by adhering to the government’s directives.

The phasing out of these two most polluting fuels (wet wood and house coal)
will commence from 2021 and last through 2023. This time frame is to give
householders and suppliers enough time for them to move to cleaner alternatives such as dry woods and manufactured solid fuels. Officials say
these manufactured solid fuels and dry wood are cheaper and more efficient
to burn. They also produce less smoke and pollution in the environment. As
human beings, we must rise as planet saviours to ensure the sustainability of
our planet for the coming generations.

George Eustice, the environmental secretary, said, “Cosy open fires and wood-
burning stoves are at the heart of many homes around the country, but the use of certain fuels means that they are also the biggest source of the most harmful pollutant that is affecting people in the UK.”

By adopting the use of better and cleaner fuels such as dry wood and
manufactured solid fuel, every one of us will play an important role in improving the health of millions of people. To achieve our goal of having a world-leading clean air, we all must play a part by adhering to this plan by the government.

As we work towards our goal to reduce by half the harm to human health from air pollution by 2030, we will not relent in our innovative approach to tackling air pollution from all sources, George Eustice said.

Beginning from February 2021, the sale of all bagged traditional house coal will be phased out. By February 2023, the sale of loose coal direct to customers through approved coal merchants will end too. The purchase of wet wood in
units below two cubic meters will be restricted from February 2021. This is
done to allow for all existing stocks to be used up.

According to the government, wet wood sold in larger volumes will need to be sold with advice on how to dry it before burning. The manufacturers of solid fuels will have to show their products have very low sulfur content and will only emit s small amount of smoke. Serving as planet saviours rest on the shoulders of every one of us, so let us do the job passionately and without grudges.

Warm Weather Forcing Wildlife into Early Spring Action

As planet saviors, we must start paying attention to environmental changes that have been pushing wildlife to the edge. In Britain, warmer winters and erratic weather conditions are confusing the wildlife population. This warning came from the Woodland Trust, and we have to pay close attention to protect our wildlife. According to the Trust, “lost” winters are causing species like butterflies and blackbirds to nest earlier than normal.

The result from an analysis of 50 spring events showed that all but one came earlier than expected in 2019. Nature Calendar released the data and has asked the general public to record the signs of changing seasons. The Woodland Trust is in charge of the calendar and had warned that many wildlife species are losing their seasonal cues. They linked the aberration to warm winters and the lack of clear distinction between seasons. Our actions as planet saviors will be judged by how well we work to protect these endangered species.

Over the last decade, there has been an exponential increase in global temperatures. As humans and planet saviors, it is our duty to ensure the safety of these wildlife species. The latest data has shown that seasonal shifts have led some birds to start breeding too late, which means that these birds were unable to make the most of vital food sources.

According to Lorienne Whittle, who is a Calendar citizen science officer at the Woodland Trust, Britain almost lost winter as a season. Ms. Whittle said it was much milder, and the available data shows wildlife is responding in a way that potentially puts many at risk. She said their records showed random events such as frogspawn arriving far earlier than expected. Whittle said these frogspawn risks been wiped out should a late cold snap occur.

She also pointed out that some wildlife species and plants adjusted well to the blurring seasons. Some of the species were able to adapt to the changing conditions better than others. The caterpillars are adjusting well while the Oak trees are responding by producing their first leaves earlier. The story is quite different for the blue tits, great tits, and pied flycatchers. They are all struggling to react in time for their chicks to take advantage of the availability of caterpillars, which is their major source of food.

The Trust recorded two surprising reports of peacock butterflies on the wing in Kent and Cornwall in December. Also, there was a red admiral spotted in the Channel Islands. These butterflies were believed to have been woken early as a result of the mild weather witnessed in the South of England.

In other parts of the country, current news has recorded Cheshire in December while a blackbird was also spotted building its nest at the beginning of January. It came as a big surprise because the breeding season for blackbirds usually begins in March and lasts until July.

We need to start acting as the planet saviors to ensure that our environment is conducive to support diverse wildlife species. With such positive actions towards our environment, we can be able to ensure the survival and sustenance of these wildlife species.

The Rainbow Eucalyptus: Most Beautiful Tree in The World

There are many trees of note in the world, but the Eucalyptus deglupta is a sight to behold, especially its multi-colored back. The name “rainbow” eucalyptus is due to the color of the tree. This tree has been called various names such as Mindanao gum and rainbow gum. Deglupta is derived from the Latin word called degluptere, which means peeling skin.

The eucalyptus is derived from eu in Greek, which means well while the calyptus means covered. It means that together, the eucalyptus provides good cover. We all serve as planet saviors and should help ensure the longevity of trees such as the Eucalyptus deglupta.

The rainbow eucalyptus starts off as a little seed produced from a delicate white flower. It begins with a small green bud with a dark cap clustered at the end of the twigs on the branches. Depending on the habitat the tree is growing, a delicate white flower sprouts at a number of different seasons in the year.

Upon fertilization, the flower produced seeds that are dispersed by the wind, and some of them fall to the ground where they begin to grow under the right
environmental conditions. All species on earth are planet saviors and should be protected for the sustenance of future generations.

Once it is established in its environment, the Eucalyptus deglupta is a fast growing evergreen tree. It means that the rainbow eucalyptus provides shade all through the year. The leaves are very green and broad, around six inches long with a sweet-smelling aroma when crushed.

Unlike other eucalyptus trees, the Rainbow eucalyptus does not have the same
aromatic ascent as its bark. It is the only species of eucalyptus not to do so. The tree starts the production of buds when it has matured from the tiny seed and starts o blossom.

During the year, Eucalyptus deglupta changes its bark continually. The old bark gets worn out and drops to the ground while the beautifully multi-colored new bark is revealed. The color ranges from bright green and yellow, to orange, grey, and purple. The mixture of these colors and the overlap creates a stunning and beautiful rainbow effect.

When grown outside its natural habitat, the tree does not produce colors as variant as the one seen when it grows on its natural habitat. The Eucalyptus deglupta relies on both the climate and naturally occurring resources to produce the range of colors that gives it the name rainbow eucalyptus.

Eucalyptus deglupta is the only member of the eucalyptus family to only grow in the northern hemisphere. It is native to the Philippines and across the Papuasia region. The rainbow eucalyptus can add up to a meter in height every season. Aside from its beauty, the Eucalyptus deglupta can be used for the production of hardwood timber and pulp used for both heavy and light construction.

We must continuously work as planet saviors by ensuring the protection and preservation of our environment. When the environment is in good shape, trees like the rainbow eucalyptus will be around for the coming generations to behold the awe and beauty of nature. The seeds need light to germinate and should be pressed into the substrate. Eucalyptus deglupta grows at a temperature of 230c after just 1 to 3 weeks.

Students Are in It for The Long Haul; Strike 4 Climate Leader Explains

Newcastle’s Young Citizen of the Year and teenage activist, Alexa Stuart, has dedicated the award she received to the Hunter and National Student Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) Action Campaign. According to Alexa, it feels great for their hard work to be recognized.

She seemed visibly happy when the Mayor of Newcastle Nuatali Nelmes announced her win at the Australia Day event in the Civic Theatre. Cr Nelmes was full of praises for Ms. Stuart and described her as an inspiring young person. She said Ms. Stuart maintained excellent academic grades while she was leading her pears amid the climate emergency that the recent bushfires have brought to national and global prominence.

At her young age, Ms. Stuart has represented the SS4C at various meetings with local Members of Parliament, Unions, University staff, and local businesses, where she spoke on issues of climate change both at her school and the local church.

During the last Septembers Global Strike, the teenager gave an inspiring speech in front of a 10,000 crowd. She was very pivotal in writing the national SS4C constitution.

At almost 11 years of age, the young teenager attended her very first rally in 2018. In subsequent rallies and strikes, Ms. Stuart took up a leader’s role in delivering speeches, speaking with the media, liaising with law enforcement agents like the police, and creating banners. She was also vigorously promoting the Student Strike 4 Climate movement.

Talking about this year’s bushfires, Ms. Stuart described it as tragic, saying that it explains why students have taken to the streets to incite political leaders for urgent action and the need to reduce carbon emissions as well as set up as a global change action leader.

She says it is a wake-up call to Australians and the rest of the world that this is what climate change looks like. Ms. Stuart was quoted as saying that the bushfire represents what the future will look like and that it will certainly affect everything and everybody.

She reminded everyone that the bushfires, the smoke, and the glaring fact that
Newcastle has just gone to level two water restrictions because of drought shows the impact of a warming climate. She went ahead to reiterate that the impact of climate change does not take sides, hence it doesn’t discriminate.

The global focus on Australia’s drought and bushfires are more like a sweet-bitter pill in the context of a warming planet. It shows that in the face of the fear and anxiety about the future, there is also hope for climate action, Ms. Stuart said.

The announcement of the award came in a week when Ms. Stuart was selected as one of five Newcastle students to attend a Student Strike 4 Climate summit in Sydney. This summit is to be attended by 100 student activists across the country, with 60% coming from regional and rural Australia.

With her voice at such a young age in promoting positive climate change actions, I think her best is yet to come.

The Most Sustainably Developed Country in The World Is Cuba; Here Is Why

A report launched late year November has described the South American country of Cuba as the most sustainably developed country in the world. This socialist island has performed far beyond expectation by outperforming advanced capitalist nations like the United States and Britain that have subjected Cuba to long six-decades of economic blockade.

Dr Jason Hickel, an anthropologist, and author designed the Sustainable Development Index (SDI), which calculates its results by merely dividing a country’s human development score. The human development score is obtained by looking at the statistics on life expectancy, health, and education, and the extent to which per capita carbon footprint exceeds Earth’s natural limits.

In Hickel’s SDI design, those countries with strong human development and lower environmental impact score high, whereas countries with more reduced life expectancy and literacy rates and which exceed ecological limits are scored low. The recent figures from 2015, Cuba are surprisingly on the top spot with a score of 0.859 while Venezuela and Argentina are 12th and 18th, respectively.

The purpose of the creation of the SDI was to update the Human Development Index (HDI) that was developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq. The HDI has been used by the United Nations Development Programme to produce its yearly reports since the 90s.

The HDI ignores the environmental degradation caused by the economic growth of top performers like Britain and the United States. It focused only on life expectancy, education, and the gross national income per capita.

These countries leading the economic chart are significant contributors to climate change and another related ecological breakdown. According to Hickel, such activities by the economic powers disproportionately affect the poorer countries of the global south, where climate change is already causing hunger rates to be on the increase.

This shows that the HDI promotes a model of development that is empirically incompatible with ecology and which is full of fundamental contradiction. To achieve development, according to HDI, means helping de-development somewhere else in the world. For a universal development indicator, such a level of inconsistency is a shame.

Britain was ranked 14th in 2018’s HDI but has fallen to 131st, whereas the US
moved from 13th in the HDI to 159th out of the 163 countries that were featured in the system.

What the SDI shows is that all countries are still developing as countries with the highest levels of human development still need to improve on their environmental impact significantly. The countries with high and positive ecological impacts also need to enhance their performance in social and economic development substantially.