Things That Matter

Greta Thunberg Has Launched A Global Movement Trying To Save The Planet From Greedy Corporations

If you’ve made it through the week without watching or hearing all about Greta Thunberg’s emotional and moving speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York; here it is.

The Swedish climate activist shamed world leaders this Monday in a passionate and furious speech, for failing younger generations by not taking sufficient steps to stop climate change in what has turned into a viral news story around the world. “You have stolen my childhood and my dreams with your empty words,” said the 16-year-old. “How dare you,” she continued while holding back tears. 

“I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us for hope. How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” she told the U.N. UN Climate Action Summit 2019 aimed at strategizing ways to curb the effects of climate change

In case you’re still left wondering, who exactly is Greta Thunberg and what is she campaigning for, ask no further, we got you covered. Here are just a few facts on the relentless teenage activist who has called out world leaders and scolded their actions on this hugely important issue.

People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction,” Thunberg told the summit. “And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

Greta first gained notoriety after staging a “School Strike for Climate” in front of the Swedish parliament in August last year.

Credit: @shallow_nel / Twitter

Thunberg’s idea of a global walk-out in the name of climate change drew millions of young people around the world demanding change. Last year, she was along in front of the Swedish parliament demanding action.

She continued to gain popularity after speaking at the U.N. Climate Talks in Poland in December of 2018. “This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced,” she said to UN secretary-general António Guterres before the conference. “First we have to realize this and then as fast as possible do something to stop the emissions and try to save what we can save.”

Her strike for climate change inspired young people all around the world, resulting in tens of thousands of students to join her #FridaysforFuture school walkout demonstrations. Young people in more than 123 countries skipped school to demand tighter climate policies and the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions.

Her actions to fight against climate change caught the attention of the people at the Nobel Peace Prize.

Credit: @GretaThunberg / Twitter

Greta was nominated for a Nobel peace prize, which would make her the youngest recipient of the award won by the likes of Nelson Mandela, and Mikhail Gorbachev. “We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict, and refugees.” said Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy André Øvstegård in an interview with The Guardian.

She is leading by example.

Credit: gretathunberg / Instagram

The teenager traveled to the US on board a zero-emission sailboat to draw attention to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by air travel. A single round-trip flight between New York and California generates roughly 20 percent of the greenhouse gases your car emits in a year. In Sweden, she is said to be credited for the spread of the term ‘flygskam’ which translates to “flight shame,” which has encouraged Swedes to avoid traveling by air.

She has Asperger’s and won’t be shamed about it.

Credit: gretathunberg / Instagram

Four years ago, Greta was diagnosed with Asperger’s, a form of autism. “Being different is a gift,” she told BBC. “It makes me see things from outside the box…If I would’ve been like everyone else, I wouldn’t have started this school strike for instance.”

Her biggest inspiration is an American Civil Rights icon.

Credit: @SamJamesWard / Twitter

Rosa Parks is reportedly Greta Thunberg’s inspiration. “One person can make such a huge difference,” she said to Rolling Stone magazine about the civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus.

Thunberg’s glare at President Trump is a social media mood.

Credit: @MatAuryn / Twitter

Greta’s speech this Monday didn’t go down well with President Donald Trump, who has questioned climate change and has challenged every major U.S. regulation aimed at combating it. He took to twitter to mockingly comment on the 16-year-old activist: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

She even trolled him after he made comments about her.

Credit: @weijia / Twitter

Greta clapped back by changing her Twitter bio to include Trump’s own words calling her: “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.” *Drops mic*

Her fight is not slowing down.

Credit: gretathunberg / Instagram

Greta continues to miss school on Fridays to protest climate change. This year on September 20, she led the largest climate strike in history, which included an estimated 4 million people across 161 countries to combat the use of fossil fuels and their catastrophic effects on global warming and future generations worldwide.

READ: AOC Is Putting The GOP On Notice For Preventing Science From Saving American Lives From Climate Change

It Could Be Time To Say Goodbye To Your Salsa Forever As Tomatoes And Chilies Are In Danger Of Going Extinct

Culture

It Could Be Time To Say Goodbye To Your Salsa Forever As Tomatoes And Chilies Are In Danger Of Going Extinct

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Two of Latin America’s most important ingredients – staples of cuisines across the region – are in danger of possible extinction thanks to climate change. Tomatoes and chilies both make up a huge part of traditional recipes from Mexico to Brazil and Argentina to Cuba – and they’re close to disappearing from grocery stores everywhere.

We know that tomato and chili are two fundamental ingredients in Mexican cuisine. Due to the threats suffered by its main pollinator, the bumblebee, these basic ingredients could disappear forever.

Climate change is wreaking havoc on the planet. But one of the most at-risk species is the humble bumble bee. These often feared insects are a vital source of pollination for thousands of plant and flower species around the world – if they disappear so too do the species of plants that depend on them.

Pollinators are species of great importance for a healthy environment. They are responsible for the the diversity and health of various biomes. Across Latin America, the bumble bee is largely responsible for the pollination of modern agriculture and this could have a major impact on the production of tomatoes and chilis.

Unfortunately, bumblebees are currently threatened, resulting in the possible extinction of different vegetables, including tomatoes and chili.

But why does the tiny bumble bee matter at all?

The bumble bee belongs to the insect family Apidae, which includes hundeds of different species of bumblebees. In fact, the bumble bee can be found on every continent except Antarctica and plays an outsized role in agriculture. The insects are often larger than honey bees, come in black and white varieties and often feature white, yellow, or orange stripes. This genus belongs to the Apidae family that includes different species commonly known as bumblebees. They’re almost entirely covered by very silky hairs. An adult bumblebee reaches 20 millimeters or more and feeds primarily on nectar from flowering plants. A curious fact is that females have the ability to sting, while males do not.

Bumblebees are epic pollinators of the tomato and chili plantS. Together with different species, the bumblebee helps produce many staple foods that are part of healthy diets around the world. If these become extinct the eating habits of all Latinos would suffer drastic changes as several vegetables would disappear.

So why are bumblebees in danger?

The main threat of these insects is the pesticides used in modern agriculture. That is why it is necessary to avoid consuming food produced in this way. We can all help the bumblebee planting plants, protecting native species and especially not damaging their natural environment.

But climate change is also wreaking havoc on the breeding patters of bumblebees – leading to colony collapse. With fewer colonies there is less breeding and therefore fewer bees around the world to pollinate our global crops.

Can you imagine a world without tomatoes or chilies?

Salsa. Moles. Pico de gallo. Ketchup. Chiles rellenos. Picadillo. All of these iconic Latin American dishes would be in danger of going extinct along with the bumblebee – because what’s a mole without the rich, complex flavors of dried chilies?

Several groups are already working hard to help fund programs that would work to conserve the dwindling bumblebee populations. While others are working out solutions that could perhaps allow tomatoes and chilies to self-pollinate – much as other plants already do.

Conservationists At Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Reserve Are Being Murdered And Investigators Aren’t Sure Why

Things That Matter

Conservationists At Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Reserve Are Being Murdered And Investigators Aren’t Sure Why

Alan Ortega / Getty

Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Reserve is one of the world’s most famous wildlife hotspots. Hundreds of thousands come each year to view the annual migration of millions of beautiful butterflies that call Mexico’s Michoacan state home during the winter.

However, this iconic and majestic habitat for one of the world’s most endangered animals is now the backdrop for a dramatic murder mystery that is unfolding in international headlines. Two conservationists have been discovered dead just days apart and investigators still aren’t sure why.

A second victim has been pronounced killed by authorities in Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly reserve.

Credit: Alan Ortega / Getty

One of the world’s most beautiful wildlife spots is now the backdrop for a dramatic double murder after two nature activists are discovered dead at Mexico’s El Rosario monarch butterfly sanctuary.

The deaths of Homero Gomez Gonzalez, manager of the butterfly reserve, and Raul Hernandez Romero, a tour guide at the sanctuary, have sent shockwaves across the world of wildlife conservation.

Hernandez Romero’s body was discovered on Saturday near the highest point of the mountainous sanctuary, which sits 9,000 feet above sea level in the state of Michoacan, about 130 miles west of Mexico City, according to a statement from the Michoacan state prosecutor’s office. Hernandez Romero’s family reported him missing on Friday, officials said.

The new victim was found just days after the first victim’s body was found after being missing for 16 days.

Credit: Alan Ortega / Getty

Authorities discovered his body about three days after the Hernandez Romero’s body was found in a pond near the Central Mexico town of El Soldado, prosecutors said.

An autopsy performed in the presence of State Human Rights Commission representatives determined Gomez Gonzalez died from “mechanical asphyxiation” after suffering head trauma and being submerged in water.

Gomez Gonzalez, whose family reported him missing two weeks ago, was one of the region’s most prominent conservation activists and a vocal defender of the monarch butterflies. He had launched a campaign against illegal logging that threatens the butterflies nesting grounds.

Although petty crime and theft is common in these parts of Mexico, authorities don’t believe this to be the case in Gonzalez’s death. He was found with about $9,000 pesos (or about $500 USD) on him when his body was discovered.

Mexico’s Monarch butterfly preserve is a UNESCO Biosphere reserve that draws hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Each winter, millions of monarch butterflies make their home at the El Rosario reserve in Mexico — one of the best places in the world to see them. Local guides lead tourists up the mountainside on foot and horseback to where the monarchs cluster in fir and pine trees. Their bright orange wings flit amid the mild weather of Michoacán, and signs ask for silence as visitors enter the nesting areas.

The El Rosario sanctuary is part of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, which was enshrined as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008, calling the overwintering concentration of butterflies there “a superlative natural phenomenon.” It noted that more than half of overwintering colonies of the monarch butterfly’s eastern population are found in these specific areas of Mexico.

But the same forests that draw butterflies to migrate thousands of miles each winter are under threat from illegal logging and clandestine avocado farms.

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Officials in the state of Michoacán said they were unsure if the two deaths were linked – or related to the men’s work in the butterfly reserve. The state has seen a rising tide of violence in recent years, and the region around the monarch butterfly reserve has been rife with illegal logging, despite a ban imposed to protect the monarchs, which winter in the pine- and fir-covered hills.

Some illegal clearcutting is also carried out to allow for the planting of avocado orchards – one of Mexico’s most lucrative crops and an important part of Michoacán’s economy.

The deaths again called attention to the disturbing trend in Mexico of environmental defenders being killed as they come into conflict with developers or local crime groups, who often have political and police protection.