The silenced: meet the climate whistleblowers muzzled by Trump

Six whistleblowers and ex-government scientists describe how the Trump administration made them bury climate science and why they wont stay quiet From weakening vehicle emissions to blocking warnings about how coastal parks could flood or the impact on the Arctic, the

Four wheels bad, but three sehr gut. Germans climb aboard cargo bikes

As Berlin tries to switch to greener transport, people are choosing the bike, not the electric car and its becoming a status symbol In a fashionable corner of the capital of Germany, Europes car nation, parents picking up or dropping off their offspring have lined the edge of a popular playground with luxury vehicles. There are summery convertibles, wood-panelled multi-seaters and slim racers but none of them has four wheels. Jan Edler, an architect, has picked up his son Laszlo from daycare with a Bullitt, a Danish-built cargo bike with a platform spacious enough to fit the one-year-old and the daily grocery shopping. The family car, he says, has been gathering rust ever since he invested in the aluminium-framed two-wheeler, …

Greta effect leads to boom in childrens environmental books

The 16-year-old climate change activist has galvanised young people to read more about saving the planet Some seek to convey the wonder of endangered animals while others give tips on how to tackle waste or tell tales of inspirational environmental activists. All are part of what childrens publishers are calling the Greta Thunberg effect: a boom in books aimed at empowering young people to save the planet. The number of new childrens books looking at the climate crisis, global heating and the natural world has more than doubled over the past 12 months, according to data from Nielsen Book Research shared with the Observer. Sales have also doubled. Whether its beautifully illustrated factual books like Where the River Runs Gold …

Why the 1975’s collaboration with Greta Thunberg matters

Why have a band who hate guest stars teamed up with the worlds most famous environmental activist? As viral stunts go, getting the weather onside for your collaboration with the worlds most famous environmental activist is quite the coup. But, unlike newsagents hawking two-for-one lollies and tabloid front pages extolling fun in the sun, the 1975 and Greta Thunberg arent pretending theres any silver lining to this heatwave. Unless we recognise the overall failures of our current systems, we most probably dont stand a chance, says Thunberg has pointed out that Steves and Marys identifying themselves as Brexiteers have been united in their dismissal of the track. The BBC has told the Guardian that they couldnt fix touring overnight, but …

Greta Thunberg: They see us as a threat because were having an impact

The climate activist answers questions from famous supporters and Observer readers, with an introduction by Ali Smith Greta Thunberg. This time last year she was unimaginable. Then, pretty much from nowhere, there she was: small and slight, a girl just turned 16, the way-too-young odd person out on a panel of adults sitting in front of the worlds economic powers at Davos last January. the greatest threat to the fossil fuel industry. Thunberg This is a communal voice and Thunberg is its lightning conductor, and no wonder: when you hear her speak or you read her speeches you know youre in the presence of the opposite of cynicism of a spirit, in fact, that rebuffs cynicism and knows that the …

Critics seek to stop Great Lakes pipeline run by company with poor safety habits

Environmental groups say Line 5 poses a major threat and is run by Canadas Enbridge which has a long record of mismanagement A coalition of environmental groups and newly elected Democrats in Michigan are seeking to shut a controversial pipeline through the Great Lakes they say represents a major environmental threat and is being run by a company with a long record of mismanagement, poor safety habits and deception. Canadian oil giant Enbridge wants to replace an ageing pipeline called Line 5 that pervasive organizational failure. One incident in particular occurred in 2010 when a pipeline belonging to Enbridge ruptured and began pumping heavy crude into Michigans Kalamazoo River. A warning system alerted operators, but the employees misread the signals, …

Rebecca Solnit: ‘Every protest shifts the world’s balance’

Two hundred years after the Peterloo massacre, which led to the founding of the Manchester Guardian, protest is shaping our political moment. Where do we go from here? Scale it up and its revolution; scale it down and its individual non-cooperation that may be seen as nothing more than obstinacy or malingering or not seen at all. What we call protest identifies one aspect of popular power and resistance, a force so woven into history and everyday life that you miss a lot of its impact if you focus only on groups of people taking stands in public places. But people taking such stands have changed the world over and over, toppled regimes, won rights, terrified tyrants, stopped pipelines and …

How do you write a play about the climate crisis?

As part of a new initiative, playwright Bess Wohl was tasked with writing a play about climate crisis, a daunting proposition thats morphed into the off-Broadway drama Continuity Time. Comedic timing. The freezing of time. How much time humanity has left before certain catastrophe. In Continuity, the new off-Broadway play from the award-winning playwright Bess Wohl and Tony-nominated director Rachel Chavkin, time is the central theme, affecting each character in different ways. Told through the frame of a Hollywood film set, the play tackles how humans are supposed to deal with the magnitude of climate crisis, even as their lives become weighed down with personal drama. Someone get this asshole out of my shot! yells Maria, the harangued film director …

A Blazing Hot Coal Seam Shows How Microbes Can Spring to Life

Just past the intersection of Centre and Locust in Centralia, Pennsylvania, the microbiologist Tammy Tobin turned the wheel of her aging Prius sharply to the right. As the windshield wipers whipped furiously back and forth to fend off the driving sleet—a reminder that winter had yet to bid farewell—Tobin announced, “We’re here.” We were at the base of a grassy slope nestled behind the SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery. It looked like any of the other countless knolls tucked in the anthracite hills of eastern Pennsylvania. But almost 50 meters beneath our feet lurked a hidden menace. Centralia was burning. Or rather, the coal seam under what used to be the town of Centralia was burning. The coal has burned …

30 Of The Best Responses To #Trashtag Challenge

1.3 billion tonnes of household waste is generated per year and only 258 -368 million tons of it ends up in the 50 largest dumpsites, and million tons of it ends up in the ocean, 80% of which comes from mainland waste. Well, the new hashtag #trashtag wants everyone to chip in to chip away at this trash problem. People are challenged to take a before photo of an area that is in need of intense trash clean-up, followed by an after photo of the beautified area. Even when waste is put into dump sites it finds other ways of getting out into the world. As trash decomposes it can release toxins and harmful chemicals that leak into the soil, …

Stella McCartney leverages star power to save the rainforests

Oprah Winfrey and Drew Barrymore among famous names supporting eco-friendly project at Paris fashion week The catwalk for Stella McCartneys latest collection ran through the Paris Opera on Monday morning, below a majestic canopy of chandeliers. But McCartneys focus this season is on a beautiful environment of a very different nature: the ancient and endangered at-risk Sumatran orangutan, as well as to vegetation, which is an important source of oxygen. McCartney is leveraging her star power to kickstart a campaign encouraging social media users to dedicate trees, and to donate to the nonprofit organisation Canopy. From left: Oprah Winfrey, Stella McCartney, Lewis Hamilton and Edward Enninful, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue. Photograph: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty The actors Drew Barrymore and …