One last stand for future earth: A retiring newsman is dropping facts and naming names.

A global newspaper's editor-in-chief is facing his biggest regret after 20 years on the job.

What's the story the top editor at one of the world's largest newspapers says is most hidden from you?

In his final weeks as leader of the Guardian's newsroom, Alan Rusbridger is doing what he and other news leaders should have done long ago by putting climate change front and center. And as you'll see, it's brought them to an interesting crossroads with a powerful funder.

<span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>

Climate change hasn't been the stuff of front pages, and Rusbridger believes that must change.

He sees climate change as "the biggest story of our lives." But the "news" is a glimpse at what's already happened, not what's to come. And when it comes to reporting, according to Rusbridger:


"We favour what is exceptional and in full view over what is ordinary and hidden. ... If it is not yet news — if it is in the realm of prediction, speculation and uncertainty — it is difficult for a news editor to cope with. ... For these, and other, reasons changes to the Earth's climate rarely make it to the top of the news list. The changes may be happening too fast for human comfort, but they happen too slowly for the newsmakers — and, to be fair, for most readers."

The Guardian has taken a stance on climate change, and it can be summed up in five words: #KeepItInTheGround.

GIF via The Guardian.

Fossil fuels, that is. Because burning them is warming the atmosphere and accelerating events like this:

Antarctica's Larsen B ice shelf has existed for 10,000 years. In 2002, two-thirds of the shelf collapsed into the ocean over the span of six weeks. Researchers estimate the remaining portion will hold for only a few more years. GIF via NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

They've launched a new section with stories and information about climate change and an eye-opening interactive feature.

With their carbon ticker, you can learn how much oil and gas humans have used in your lifetime and how long we have at our current usage rate until we've gone too far.

According to The Guardian, I will be 50 by the time we "blow the carbon budget." Image via The Guardian.

Climate policymakers' rough goal is to create rules to keep the earth's average surface temperature from rising 2ºC above pre-industrial levels. Because that's when sh*t gets real, says retired NASA climate scientist James Hansen:

"At that level, the world risked initiating feedbacks in the climate system, such as the melting of ice sheet area, that could trigger irreversible warming out of humanity's control."

But some scientists say the 2ºC target isn't enough — that it's unavoidable, even, if we only focus pressure on policymakers, which brings us to another feature of the #KeepItInTheGround campaign.

They're calling people out.

The Guardian and 350.org launched a petition challenging the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust to put their money where their missions are by divesting from oil and gas.

Bill and Melinda Gates. Image by Kjetil Ree/Wikimedia Commons.

"Both have contributed hugely to progress in medicine and both are mindful of the grave dangers of climate change for public health. Yet both continue to invest in the companies driving the problem. Both spend millions each year on research and healthcare, but sink a chunk of their billions in capital into energy systems that will undo the work."
The Guardian

The two foundations' financial stakes in oil and gas, large as they may be, are just a drop in the bucket for the multitrillion-dollar industry. But the message their divestment would send could, according to The Guardian, "dent the standing of the companies involved, and curb their vast lobbying power."

Fossil fuel divestment sends a powerful message to both oil and gas companies and lawmakers.

More than 200 institutions, including the Guardian Media Group, Syracuse University, and the Church of England — plus over 200,000 individuals — have pledged to fully divest from oil and gas. Even the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which was built on oil profits, is withdrawing its fossil fuel investments.

Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf of Mexico, 2010. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Want to help #KeepItInTheGround?

Sign this petition urging the Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust to divest from fossil fuels, and invite your network to join you. And if you have funds invested in fossil fuels, consider finding a better place for your money.

Heroes


Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature

As a child, Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia's parents didn't ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Instead, her father would ask, "Are you going to be a doctor? Are you going to be an engineer? Or are you going to be an entrepreneur?"

Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

Bhatia holds an M.D. from Harvard University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT. Bhatia, a Wilson professor of engineering at MIT, is currently serving as director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, where she's working on nanotechnology targeting enzymes in cancer cells. This would allow cancer screenings to be done with a simple urine test.

Bhatia owes much of her impressive career to her family. Her parents were refugees who met in graduate school in India; in fact, she says her mom was the first woman to earn an MBA in the country. The couple immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, started a family, and worked hard to give their two daughters the best opportunities.

"They made enormous sacrifices to pick a town with great public schools and really push us to excel the whole way," Bhatia says. "They really believed in us, but they expected excellence. The story I like to tell about my dad is like, if you brought home a 96 on a math test, the response would be, 'What'd you get wrong?'"

Keep Reading Show less
Packard Foundation
True

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Amy Johnson

The first day of school can be both exciting and scary at the same time — especially if it's your first day ever, as was the case for a nervous four-year-old in Wisconsin. But with a little help from a kind bus driver, he was able to get over his fear.

Axel was "super excited" waiting for the bus in Augusta with his mom, Amy Johnson, until it came time to actually get on.

"He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner and I started to slow down and that's when you could see his face start to change," his bus driver, Isabel "Izzy" Lane, told WEAU.

The scared boy wouldn't get on the bus without help from his mom, so she picked him up and carried him aboard, trying to give him a pep talk.

"He started to cling to me and I told him, 'Buddy, you got this and will have so much fun!'" Johnson told Fox 7.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared