Environment in Review // Volume 1, Issue 8

Our bi-weekly Environment in Review (EiR) is loaded with inspirations and solutions for social and ecological well-being, ranging from national initiatives to community projects.

Stairs through the forest at Bukhan National Park in Seoul, South Korea | photo by P.M.Lydon
Stairs through the forest at Bukhan National Park in Seoul, South Korea | photo by P.M.Lydon

World Religious Leaders: Let’s Be Friends
Last week, Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, and other world religious leaders representing Sikhism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity met with each other in the spirit of interfaith understanding and friendship. Pope Francis commented on his long time relationship with Rabbi Abraham Skorka, saying that “My religious life became richer with his explanations, so much richer … and I guess the same happened for him” reports Huff Post. Together, the religious leaders made an extraordinary collective call to the world, not just to make friends with people of all faiths, but to engage in understanding and appreciating eachother’s views, calling it the “antidote to negativity and divisions in society.” It’s a welcome reminder to extend our compassion toward people from all backgrounds, whether we agree with them or not. Each of us are bound to find common ground in envisioning the kind of world we want, and from these commonalities, together we can deepen our understanding of how to get there. This is the kind of story that can help the world heal and move forward together.

South Korean President Calls for End to Nuclear Power
Newly elected South Korean president, Jae-in Moon is quickly making good on many of his social and environmental campaign promises, most recently beginning the process of making South Korea a nuclear free country. “Permanently shutting down operations at Kori-1 is the beginning of a journey toward a nuclear-free country; it is the turning point toward a safe country. I will soon be preparing a roadmap for the nuclear power phase-out.” The move will not come without its challenges, which include a need for rapid increase in sustainable power generation options, and most importantly – here and globally – a general move towards greatly reduced energy consumption.

Volvo, France Announce the End of Gasoline and Diesel Cars
After more than a century, the internal combustion engine seems to be headed to history books. In two groundbreaking announcements this week, Volvo said that by 2019, it will only sell hybrid or electric vehicles, and days later, France’s Ecology Minister, Nicholas Hulot, announced that the country will halt sales of gasoline or diesel vehicles by 2040.

Concert for Family Farms Rocking in the United States
Eighty four year-old country musician Willie Nelson is not slowing down in his dedication to small, family farms. For nearly half his life, he’s been at the helm of the Farm Aid organization, working to support family farms, defending them against unfair legislation, offering grants and resources to help new family farmers, and building local markets. Willie himself puts it best, “Folks are are educating themselves about where and how food is grown – they’re hungry for the truth. Family farmers bring us good food, protect our soil and water, and strengthen our country. The Farm Aid concert is a day for us to honor that truth and keep working for family farmers.”

Volunteers in India Plant Over 60 Million Trees in One Day
A dedicated volunteer force of 1.5 million people spent an entire day planting over 60 million trees in the Narmada River Basin in India, part of widespread efforts to rehabilitate their country’s ecosystem. Speaking at a press conference recently, the country’s Prime Minister says that “The protection of the environment and the mother planet is an article of faith.”

Thank you for reading this issue of Environment in Review. See you again in a few weeks time, and until then, don’t forget to send your tips and thoughts to director@sociecity.org on what’s happening in your area of the world so we can feature them in the next issue!

Yours in Nature,
Patrick M. Lydon and Suhee Kang

SocieCity | www.sociecity.org
Final Straw | www.finalstraw.org

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