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Good morning curious.friends,

Today is World Plant Milk Day, which was launched by our friends at Plant Based News. If you haven't tried plant milk, give it a go in your tea or coffee today and celebrate.

This week we talk about how a 4 day week would be beneficial to the planet and take a look at how farmers are getting involved to help combat climate change, plus find out more about the rising star of American politics and the Green New Deal, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC).

Also, for the past couple of weeks fires have been raging across the Amazon for the past 16 days with little to no media coverage. The smoke has turned São Paulo's skies dark during the day. The Amazon is the largest rainforest on the planet and is responsible for creating 20% of the worlds oxygen. So why does no one seem to care? Are fires normal in the Amazon? Read on below to find out more.

Reading time is 3:47 minutes.
Enjoyyy


p.s. Image for the week...
Food & Drink

Farmers and climate change: what’s the beef?

by Will Roderick

What's Going On Here?

Farmers are at the forefront of climate change. The industry is one of the most susceptible to changes in our climate (temperature, rainfall, extreme weather etc), but also has the potential to shape our societies resilience in the future (see last week's curious.earth article). 
 
In the week where we learn our beloved cauliflower is in short supply due to the extreme June weather, we take a look at some of the innovative ways farmers are adapting to our ever-changing climate. 

What Does This Mean?

Ever thought you’d see WALL-E tending to the fields? That’s right - robots are being developed to replace heavy diesel polluting tractors, with the hope of reducing the energy consumption in cultivation by ~90%. Drones can identify where nitrogen fertiliser is actually needed, which reduces the production of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 200-300x more potent than carbon dioxide!
 
Simple practices such as planting more trees can prevent soil erosion, improve biodiversity and store carbon in the ground, all whilst improving profitability for farmers. In the US farmers are subsidised for planting ‘cover crops’, which are basically crops that never see your dinner plate but help suck in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere! 
 
Lastly but most definitely not least, selective breeding and genetics are being trialled to reduce methane emissions, such as in Scotland, where beef cattle are bred based on the amount of methane produced in their digestive system!

Why Should We Care?

Because ultimately farming is what keeps us alive - we’ve all gotta eat right?
 
It is vital that we recognise the importance of farming not just as a contributor to climate change, but as a key tool in reversing the effects of climate change through transitioning to a sustainable agricultural system. 
 
The National Farmers Union (NFU) has set a target of net-zero emissions from UK farming by 2040, which currently accounts for 9% of the UK’s total emissions - that’s no walk in the park! It is encouraging to see some of the methods being advanced to achieve this, and it is important for recent calls for the government to reward farmers for environmental protection be acted upon. 

Be Curious!

Farmers will be critical in mitigating against climate change - why not show them some support? 
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Food and Drink

The 4 day week - Good for people and the planet

by Martyn Lowder

What's Going On Here?

Experts are reporting that a 4 day week will benefit society, the economy, our health and would massively reduce our carbon footprint (by almost a third). Oh and we'd have another day to chillax...


What Does This Mean?

The 4 day week campaign aims for a society where health and well-being come first. Taking more time to complete activities that strengthen communities, promote better mental and physical health, redistribute workloads and move away from a convenience-led consumption that is damaging our environment.
 
It might come as no surprise then that a recent UK poll found that 74% of people supported a 4 day week.

Why Should We Care?

Studies have found that if we spent 10% less time working, our carbon footprint would be reduced by 15%. If we cut the hours we work by 25% – or a day and a quarter each week – our carbon footprint would decline by 37%
 
Aidan Harper, 4 day week campaigner says: “There is a tight relationship between working time and carbon emissions. Time poor economies tend to be particularly bad for their ecological footprint and their carbon emissions.”
 
Alternatively, a life with more time is less rushed and allows us to complete activities that might take a little longer e.g. we could opt for cycling over driving, or use fresh locally sourced ingredients over those intensive frozen ready meals.
 
Studies have shown that our productivity actually increases when our working hours are reduced to a 4 day (32 hour) week. whilst, the most up to date modelling suggests that people won't fill their time with carbon intensive activities but instead want the time back to do the important things.

Be Curious!

To find out more visit www.4dayweek.co.uk or listen to Adrian and our friends Dave and Ollie at Sustainababble as they deep dive into the world of working less
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From the blog...

15 of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's best quotes about the climate emergency and the Green New Deal - curious.earth

Other news we found curious...

Amazon fires: Record number burning in Brazil rainforest; space agency - BBC
Plastic collected by The Ocean Cleanup will be burned to generate electricity - Deezen
Iceland holds funeral for giant glacier that melted after record heatwave - Independent
Scorched Portugal Turns to the Goat as a Low-Cost Firefighter - NYTimes
Stripe will pay $1 million a year to take carbon out of the air - but will it work? - The Verge
10 things you can’t put in your household recycling - BBC
Morgan Freeman converted his 124-acre Ranch into a giant honeybee sanctuary to save the bees - Forbes
Will Roderick
NEWS WRITER
Martyn Lowder
NEWS WRITER
THANKS FOR READING

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