It's the 'biggest story in the world.' A direct appeal to one of the world's most generous givers.

If you could ask Bill Gates for anything, what would you ask?

He calls it the "biggest story in the world."

Newspaper editors aren't known for taking to the streets to campaign for things they're personally passionate about. But that's exactly what The Guardian's editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, is doing.

In 2015, Rusbridger launched Keep It in the Ground, a climate-change campaign aimed at minimizing the future extraction of fossil fuels.

But how?


Image by Marc St. Gil/EPA.

The campaign specifically targets the world's two largest philanthropic organizations: the Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, asking them to move their money out of fossil fuel companies.

The goal? For the two mega-funders to divest their investments from the top 200 fossil fuel companies within five years and to immediately freeze any new investments in those companies.

The Wellcome Trust is one of the world's largest funders of medical research. And the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has a doing-good list that's a mile long. It's dedicated to closing the health gap between rich and poorer countries, taking on issues like ridding the world of malaria and polio, and controlling the spread of tuberculosis and HIV.


GIF via Giphy.

These groups don't fall easily into a "bad guy" category. They actually do a world of good. So why target them?

Because between the two of them, these two foundations own some $1.4 billion in oil, coal, and gas stocks.

So far about 202,000 people have signed on to the campaign, including a number of very influential people:

“People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change" — Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus

What do the two heavy-weight charitable organizations think about the campaign?

The Wellcome Trust responded that the goal ought to be working with coal and oil companies, engaging them to develop alternative energy technologies. After all, aren't these companies the best positioned to invest in new forms of energy production?

To that Rusbridger says, nope. Oil and gas companies have had their chance, they're dragging their feet, and action just can't wait.

And what about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation? What have they said? *crickets* Nothing. They've actually been conspicuously quiet.

So the Keep It in the Ground campaign sent a message to Bill Gates personally. Here is what they said:

What do you think? Is the Guardian asking foundations to put their money where their mouth is, or are they on the wrong track? Check out more videos, campaign updates, a behind-the-scenes podcast series, and more at the Keep It in the Ground website. If you agree, here's the link to sign a petition to let these foundations know!

Heroes

I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

Policing women's bodies — and by consequence their clothes — is nothing new to women across the globe. But this mother's "legging problem" is particularly ridiculous.

What someone wears, regardless of gender, is a personal choice. Sadly, many folks like Maryann White, mother of four sons, think women's attire — particularly women's leggings are a threat to men.

While sitting in mass at the University of Notre Dame, White was aghast by the spandex attire the young women in front of her were sporting.

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Men are sharing examples of how they step up and step in when they see problematic behaviors in their peers, and people are here for it.

Twitter user "feminist next door" posed an inquiry to her followers, asking "good guys" to share times they saw misogyny or predatory behavior and did something about it. "What did you say," she asked. "What are your suggestions for the other other men in this situation?" She added a perfectly fitting hashtag: #NotCoolMan.

Not only did the good guys show up for the thread, but their stories show how men can interrupt situations when they see women being mistreated and help put a stop to it.

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