GOOD
Jean-Christophe André

Save the whales, because the whales can save us.

A team of economists at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) waned to drive home how important whales are, so they put it in terms we could understand: money. A new analysis detailed in Finance & Development puts a price tag on exactly how much whales are worth to us, and why we should care about the world's whale population.

Whales absorb large amounts of carbon in their bodies. During the lifetime of the average whale, which is 60 years, it will sequester 33 tons of CO2. In comparison, a tree absorbs up to 48 pounds of CO2 each year. Whales also promote the growth of phytoplankton. Phytoplankton captures 40% of the world's CO2 and contributes at least 50% of oxygen to the atmosphere. "At a minimum, even a one percent increase in phytoplankton productivity thanks to whale activity would capture hundreds of millions of tons of additional CO2 a year, equivalent to the sudden appearance of two billion mature trees," the study says.

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The Planet

At this point most reasonable people agree that climate change is a serious problem. And while a lot of good people are working on solutions, and we're all chipping in by using fewer plastic bags, it's also helpful to understand where the leading causes of the issue stem from. The list of 20 leading emitters of carbon dioxide by The Guardian newspaper does just that.

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The Planet

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past year, you know who Greta Thunberg is. But depending on your chosen media and information outlets, what think you know about her might be totally false.

I've perused comments on articles about Thunberg's climate change activism and have seen the same false statements about her over and over again. Here are some actual cut-and-pasted comments (misspellings included) from just one article in the past week:

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The Planet

A new report from the United Nations warns that climate change is threatening to shrink our global food supply. Extreme weather such as droughts and floods plus our own exploitation of natural resources might prevent the human race from being able to feed itself. The report also shows we are losing soil between 10 and 100 times faster than soil is forming. But one company in Finland might have found the solution.

Start-up company Solar Foods is ready if the day ever comes where we finally consume all of our resources thanks to a new protein powder they've created based on a concept by NASA. The company pulls carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by using carbon capture technology, then adds water, nutrients, vitamins, and electricity to the CO2, triggering a fermentation process that's not too different from beer, according to CNN. The finished result is a white, powdery, high-protein substance known as Solein.

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Innovation

Eden Reforestation Projects (Eden) — a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide poverty relief by employing local villagers in Haiti, Madagascar, and Nepal to help with reforestation — recently announced they've planted 250 million trees around the world.

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Articles

Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

We have a plastics problem. Since the 1950s, 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced. Yes, that’s billion with a “b.” But it isn’t just the production of plastic that’s the problem. It’s also the disposal of plastic. Whatever you do, don’t burn plastic.

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