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January's latest and greatest reads on deforestation, global health, and everything in between.
1. "The solution for melting polar ice caps may be hiding in the rainforest" by Dr. Paul Salaman at The Guardian
When it comes to climate change, many of the best solutions require long-term commitments. While this is important, a recent peer-reviewed commentary in Nature Climate Change suggests that protecting and planting trees is a faster solution. This is largely due to the fact that tropical rain forests are carbon sinks - meaning that they can store immense amounts of carbon. When these trees are cut down, that carbon is released into the atmosphere. The science of climate change is complex, and reducing carbon emissions is necessary to tackle it, but in the meantime, protecting tropical rain forests from deforestation can make a huge difference for our planet. Makes a great case for going out and volunteering with your local tree-planting organization!
2. "Can family planning help the world? Lessons from Indonesia" by Howard LaFranchi at Christian Science Monitor
With the International Conference on Family Planning in full swing in Bali, Indonesia itself is facing challenges with family planning efforts. After a 30 year policy that limited families to two children, progress has slowed and unintended pregnancies are on the rise. Since Indonesia is strongly tied to its religious roots, many are suggesting a new approach that integrates Islamic beliefs in the family planning scheme. Indonesia is not the only country dealing with this challenge - there are 250 million married women worldwide who lack access to family planning services. Here's to hoping that after this week's conference, there will be a greater commitment to addressing family planning gaps across the globe!
3. "Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide, and the Secret to Saving the World" by Kevin Bales
Trina, our Senior Development Manager, recently heard about this book on NPR and was so interested that we now have a copy to pass around the office for the staff to read (we also did this with Indonesia, Etc. by Elizabeth Pisani - great book!). Author Kevin Bales, co-founder of Free the Slaves, tells the stories of enslaved people from around the world, and the resulting environmental destruction caused by modern slavery. This isn't a light read, but its important for us as consumers to know what is going on behind the scenes in the production of foodstuffs and materials we use every day.