Episode 2 of The Upside aired on 10 May 2022 on 2BBB from 1400-1600. The stories featured include:
2:30pm Snow Leopard Trust: The Whitley Fund for Nature, a UK charity, awarded Charu Mishra, executive director of the International Snow Leopard Trust, a Whitley Award (otherwise known as the Green Oscars) for building global capacity for community-led conservation.
The Snow Leopard Trust is based in India and aims to protect snow leopards by working in collaboration with local communities. This is instead of using a more traditional and outdated top-down approach that has been proven to be unsuccessful, even leading to people being displaced, restrictions on traditional land use and community opposition further hindering conservation efforts. The Snow Leopard Trust’s more inclusive approach uses ethical training to empower the community to help preserve biodiversity along with local ways of life.
This model has worked in 12 countries, and the award’s £100,000 of funding will be used to export the setup to other regions around the globe.
3pm Deforestation News: Moving from biodiversity to another topic related to the environment and climate change – really, our future – is a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) published a few days ago in Nature. Titled “Projected environmental benefits of replacing beef with microbial protein”, this study attempts to predict the larger impact of replacing meat with substitutes and found that merely subbing 20% of meat consumption from livestock would cut deforestation in HALF. The resulting lowered land use – fewer cows, less grazing land required – would also reduce CO2 emissions, something we could all cheer for. Personally I have dramatically reduced the amount of meat I eat, and I’ve found that many plant-based substitutes around today taste pretty damn good.
I promised to share a great recipe for pizza-flavoured tofu that’s delicious in a wrap. Make it yourself and see if you agree.
3:30pm Sweden’s 1%: That’s trash, not the rich in this case! Sweden offers an alternative to further filling already unsustainable, overflowing landfills: the country only sends less than ONE percent of its rubbish to landfills. How? First, they recycle close to half of that garbage. However, the real differentiator is what they do with the other half: they burn it to generate electricity and heat for the Swedish population.
“Energy recovery is the best available technology for treating and utilizing the energy in different residual wastes that can’t easily be recycled,” says a technical advisor for Sweden’s waste management agency. The process does emit a small amount of CO2 but is overall the most efficient and least polluting approach to garbage disposal overall while simultaneously solving an energy need. This success story provides an opportunity for countries in the EU to replace Russian gas, and of course, to stop filling up landfills and littering the oceans.
I had to do a final assignment last year in my public health degree class on the impacts of rubbish on our health, and I was shocked to discover the reality of Australia’s so-called recycling program, which ships much of our plastics overseas, often to end up being… burnt instead of recycled. Australia isn’t alone in that either, of course, and with China, a former major importer of others’ trash and recycling, no longer accepting it, we do need to find an alternative for so many reasons.
Recommendations and other mentions: Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson on Apple TV+, Licorice Pizza (movie starring Alana Haim of the band HAIM), and the Lime Cordiale gig this weekend (14 May at the Hoey Moey in Coffs Harbour).