MCP Session 4: Human Impacts (cont)

(edited 02/21/2023)

Return to Key Questions 1-2

Key Question 3. What is consumption and how does it impact global warming and climate change?


Oregon’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions through 2015: An assessment of Oregon’s sector-based and consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions (May 2018) A report by Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality.

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (2017) – The UN website for Consumption goals which includes dozens of reports, meetings, global partnerships, news.

Overshoot day – Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.

The Story of Stuff Short 2:35 minute version  OR The Story of Stuff Full length 21:16  – This animated look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns, made in 2009 it is still a timely watch. Created by Annie Leonard. It has now become The Story of Stuff Project.

Local Waste-not Guide – In honor of past member Louise Shawkat who was the original creator/teacher of this MCP session on consumption, here is a link she shared to an extensive recycling guide from socks to electronics compiled by Ashland resident, Debi Smith. Although created in mind for Ashland residents, it includes many resources and drop of locations throughout the Rogue Valley and by mail.


Food systems account for more than one third of global greenhouse gas emissions (March 2021) Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations

“Energy Smart” Food for People and Climate (2011) A 78-page comprehensive Issue Paper by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations

UN Food Loss and Waste Database – The database contains data and information from openly accessible reports and studies measuring food loss and waste across food products, stages of the value chain, and geographical areas.

Cool Food Pledge – A movement for food institutions that helps organizations commit to and achieve a science-based target to reduce the climate impact of the food they serve. Members are guided through a three-step approach: PledgePlan, and Promote.

Project Drawdown on food waste

Animal Agriculture Responsible for 57% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Food Production, Study Finds (Sep 15, 2021) EcoWatch by Brett Wilkins – Discusses results from Nature Food study showing Global food production accounts for more than a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, with meat and dairy responsible for twice as much planet-heating carbon pollution as plant-based foods.

Climate-Friendly Food Is Easier Than We Think (March 27, 2021)  Edwina Hughes, Richard Waite and Gerard Pozzi, World Resources Institute.

Yes, plant-based meat is better for the planet: The environmental debate over meatless meat, explained. (Nov 18, 2021) Vox, by Matthew Hayek and Jan Dutkiewicz – In-depth investigative article covering all aspects of the argument for alternative meats.

Beyond Meat uses climate change to market fake meat substitutes. Scientists are cautious (Sept 2019) CNBC – “Beyond and Impossible go somewhere towards reducing your carbon footprint, but saying it’s the most climate friendly thing to do — that’s a false promise,” said Marco Springmann, a senior environmental researcher at the University of Oxford.

Grass-Fed Beef Will Not Help Tackle Climate Change. (Oct. 03, 2017) EcoWatch

Your Questions About Food and Climate Change, Answered (April 15, 2022) New York Times by Julia Moskin et al. – An in-depth, hyperlinked article about all aspects of how your diet affects climate change and what you need to know about eating meat, diary, seafood and produce, and preventing food waste. (NYT has a limited number of freely accessed articles, after which you hit a paywall.)

Video (5:39) The diet that helps fight climate change  (2017) – Climate Lab is produced by the University of California in partnership with Vox. Hosted by conservation scientist Dr. M. Sanjayan, the videos explore the surprising elements of our lives that contribute to climate change and the groundbreaking work being done to fight back.

Eating Seafood Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, But Some Fish Are Better Than Others (Feb 2018) Ecowatch by Oceana

Brazil’s Cattle Sector Played Large Role in Fires During 2020 Moratorium (Nov 2021) Frontiers in Forests and Global Change by I.H. Schelly et al – the cattle sector contributed disproportionately to the fires in 2020, in terms of both the number of properties involved and the area burned. Improvements in both supply chain policies and overall environmental governance in the Amazon are likely needed to avoid recurrences of the catastrophic scale of fires during the 2020 season.

World’s largest meat company, JBS, increases emissions by 51% in five years despite 2040 net zero climate target, continues to greenwash its huge climate footprint (April 21, 2022) Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy, by DeSmog

Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe. (Nov 2018) New York Times Magazine, by Abraham Lustgarten – A decade ago, the U.S. mandated the use of vegetable oil in biofuels, leading to industrial-scale deforestation — and a huge spike in carbon emissions. [This link is good, however, The New York Times limits monthly access if you don’t have an account.]

The Chocolate Scorecard – A scorecard rating chocolate manufacturers based on criteria such as Deforestation and Climate, Child Labour, Agroforestry, among others.


How plastics contribute to climate change (August 20, 2019) Yale Climate Connections by Brooke Bauman

Plastics and Climate: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet (May 2019) report by CIEL – Center for International Environmental Law

Yes! Magazine “The Solving Plastic” Issue. (Summer 2021) See especially the feature story by Erica Cirino “Plastic World or Plastic-Free World?” and Small Works graphic story by Sarah Lazarovic “How to Get Rid of Throwaway Culture”

Synthetic Polymer Contamination in Bottled Water  (Sept 11, 2018) Frontiers in Chemistry by Mason SA, Welch VG, Neratko J.

Discovery and quantification of plastic particle pollution in human blood (May 2022) Environment International, by H.A. Leslie et al – the first known study to detect and quantify polymers from plastics in human blood

The Story of Plastic (2020) Full feature documentary (1:23) produced by The Story of Stuff Project, on Amazon for $1.99 SD version. Also, a free animated short version (4:16)

Plastic Pollution Our World in Data (2018) by Hannah Ritchie and Max. A creative commons site. This report focuses on plastics pollution. This report includes a FAQs on plastics and a slide deck summary of global plastics.

Countries Tried to Curb Trade in Plastic Waste. The U.S. Is Shipping More. (March 12, 2021) New York Times by Hiroko Tabuchi and Michael Corkery – Data shows that American exporters continue to ship plastic waste overseas, often to poorer countries, even though most of the world has agreed to not accept it. [This link is good, however, The New York Times limits monthly access if you don’t have an account.]

Infographic: Seven common types of plastics, with symbols and applications, (2021) European Environment Agency

Recycling Modernization Act (Senate Bill 582) Oregon. The new law became effective Jan. 1, 2022 and recycling program changes will start in July 2025. This system-wide update will make recycling easier for the public to use, expand access to recycling services, upgrade the facilities that sort recyclables, and create environmental benefits while reducing social and environmental harms, such as plastic pollution. Producers and manufacturers of packaged items, paper products and food serviceware will pay for many of these necessary improvements and help ensure recycling is successful in Oregon.

UN Environmental Programme Resolution 5/14 “End plastic pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument” (June 2022) At the resumed fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly a historic resolution (5/14) was adopted and will be overseen by an intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) on plastic pollution.

World’s nations start to hammer out first global treaty on plastic pollution (Feb 23, 2022) Science by Erik Stokstad – Negotiators from 193 countries are setting out to create a negotiating committee that will try to hammer out, within 2 years, a new global treaty intended to curb plastic pollution.

 CLOTHING – This market accountability foundation out of The Netherlands publishes in-depth 50+page reports on various environmental issues, with 3 recent studies (2022) on fashion: Synthetics Anonymous: Fashion’s persistent plastic problem, Licence to Greenwash: How Certification Schemes and Voluntary Initiatives are Fuelling Fossil Fashion, and Dressed to Kill: Fashion brands’ hidden links to Russian oil in a time of war

Pros and Cons of 6 Natural Fabrics (2019) by Lydia Noyes in Mother Earth Living

Are These Trends Green or Greenwashed? (Winter 2019) by Eleanor Greene in Green We fact-checked the claims of trendy companies advertising green options.

Unraveling the Fashion Industry (Winter 2019) Eleanor Greene, editor, Green It’s easy to ignore the huge influence garments have on workers and the planet. Luckily, activists and businesses are working to make the fashion industry better. If you wear clothes, you can too.

Unpacking Toxic Textiles (Winter 2019) by Asher Weinstein, Green Business as usual in the garment industry is bad for people and the planet, from agriculture to factories, from stores to our closets.

Helping governments and stakeholders make The SDGS a reality

Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas

The Story of Microfibers (video: 2:47)

All birds How much did your outfit cost the planet? Now any brand can use our Carbon Footprint tools to label their emissions.

Key Question 4. How do we change our consumption habits?

 Greenhouse 100 Polluters Index (2021 report based on 2019 data) by U of Mass Amhert’s Poltical Economy Research Institute (PERI)

The Fallacy of Our Carbon Footprint (April 2021) Yes! Magazine by Emma Pattee – Big Oil deflects the responsibility by saying citizens should do more to stop climate change

Transforming Waste Tool: How communities have defined zero waste EPA webpage on what US communities are doing about Zero Waste, featuring a 2015 Resolution by US Mayors.

Made-by Environmental Benchmark for Fibres – by Common Objective provides a global tech solution for sustainable fashion business. This is a ranking of the most sustainable (organic hemp) to the least sustainable (wool) fibers for clothing.

Accelerating Circularity – A US textile NPO whose mission is to establish systems that will use the embedded value and resources in existing textiles for new products, reducing the millions of tons of textile waste annually going into landfills and thereby supporting the reduction of the industry’s GHG emissions.

What Retailers Like Amazon Do With Unsold Inventory (Dec 19, 2019) CNBC feature story. 13:36 Youtube video

Meatless meat is becoming mainstream — and it’s sparking a backlash (Oct 7, 2019) By Kelsey Piper, Vox. The growing pushback against Impossible and Beyond burgers in fast-food chains, explained.

Alternative Meats Are Having a Moment—We Break Down the Different Types to Cut Through the Confusion (updated September 18, 2019) by Kelly Vaughn, Real Simple. To infinity and beyond (burger).

Eating Seafood Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, But Some Fish Are Better Than Others

To Shrink Your Carbon Footprint, Ease Up on the Dairy

Is This the End of Recycling? The Atlantic, March 5, 2019

Bokashi cycle

FoodKeeper App – This US government App helps you understand the best storage for food and beverages to help maximize the freshness and quality of items.

Lend Me a Plate – Program in Ashland OR for borrowing dishes for large events

Food Label Guide (Green America)

Earth 911 Recycling Resource Guide – On the top of their page you can enter an item that you are trying to recycle and it will tell you the closest location for recycling.

Key Question 5. How does social justice relate to solving the climate crisis?

 What is ‘climate justice’? (July 19, 2020) Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons – An article articulating the idea that the adverse impacts of a warming climate are not felt equitably among people.

What Is Climate Gentrification? (August 2020) National Resources Defense Council by Shelia Hu – An article on what it means to be displaced by climate change and why cities must invest in long-term housing affordability—and a self-sustaining future—for their low-income communities and communities of color.

Tackling climate change includes seeking equitable mental health care (Feb 15, 2022) Yale Climate Connections by Emily Jack-Scott and Michelle Solomon – Climate-related mental health stress is real, and more diverse research must address inequities in both mental health burden and support services.

People of Color Breathe More Hazardous Air. The Sources Are Everywhere (Published April 28, 2021Updated Sept. 7, 2021) New York Times by Hiroko Tabuchi and Nadja Popovich – Researchers uncovered stark disparities between white people and minorities across thousands of categories of pollution, including trucks, industry, agriculture and even restaurants. [This link is good, however, The New York Times limits monthly access if you don’t have an account.]

How Air Pollution Across America Reflects Racist Policy From the 1930s (March 9, 2022) New York Times by Raymond Zhong and Nadja Popovich – A new study shows how redlining, a Depression-era housing policy, contributed to inequalities that persist decades later in U.S. cities. [This link is good, however, The New York Times limits monthly access if you don’t have an account.]

Just Transition Alliance – The Just Transition Alliance (JTA) serves people of color, Indigenous Peoples and low-income communities living under the threat of polluting industries; and workers, in the service, energy, farmworker, and chemical sectors, focusing on community education, awareness and action.

Just Transition Factsheet – Summary of points, goals, models. Compiled by the Sierra Club.

What was decided at Cop27 climate talks in Sharm el-Sheikh? (Nov 20, 2022) Climate Home News, by Chloé Farand, Joe Lo and Megan Darby – In-depth coverage of the outcomes of COP 27, in particular around agreements on “Loss and Damage” for impacted developing countries and the status of “Finance” for adaptations.

Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project – A Bay Area organization that inspires and engages in transformative action towards the liberation and restoration of land, labor and culture. Rooted in vibrant social movements led by low-income communities and communities of color committed to a Just Transition away from profit and pollution towards healthy, resilient and life-affirming local economies

Which racial/ethnic groups care most about climate change? (April 6, 2020) Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, by Matthew Ballew et al. Research has shown that people of color in the U.S., including Hispanics/Latinos, African Americans, and other non-White racial/ethnic groups, are more concerned than Whites about climate change.

Race, Ethnicity and Public Responses to Climate Change (2010) Yale Project on Climate Change and George Mason University, Leiserowitz, A. & Akerlof, K.

Dr. Robert Bullard “Father of Environmental Justice” website – The website to go to on Bullard as well as an extensive list of resources on this topic.

A conversation with Robert Bullard, ‘father of environmental justice’ (Feb 6, 2023) Yale Climate Connections, by Osha Davidson

Climate Justice Alliance  Just transition is our main organizing framework. We envision a world in which fairness, equity and ecological rootedness are core values. We are building local alternatives that center traditional ecological and cultural knowledge and create a pathway for a regenerative future.

On Being podcast interview with Attorney and Climate Activist Colette Pichon Battle who is founder and Co-Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, and she serves on the board of the US Climate Action Network and leads the Red, Black & Green New Deal — the climate initiative of the Movement for Black Lives.

What is Climate Gentrification? (Aug 27, 2020) National Resources Defense Council by Sheila Hu – NRDC senior program advocate Sasha Forbes explains what it means to be displaced by climate change and why cities must invest in long-term housing affordability—and a self-sustaining future—for their low-income communities and communities of color.

Climate change and Indigenous mental health in the Circumpolar North: A systematic review to inform clinical practice (2022) Transcultural Psychiatry by Laurence Lebel et al – a literature review of research on how climate change is affecting the mental health of Indigenous Peoples of the Circumpolar North

As Long As Grass Grows (2019) book by Dina Gilio-Whitaker. Beacon Press – The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock.

Existential Toolkit – A Growing Hub of Resources for Climate Justice EducatorsThis toolkit helps educators and students navigate the long emergency ahead without becoming overwhelmed by despair. The resources in this project have been crowdsourced from an international community of scholars, educators, and climate justice leaders focused on addressing the emotional impact of climate disruption.

Timeline: The struggle over ‘loss and damage’ in UN climate talks (Sept 2022) CarbonBrief, by Josh Gabbatiss and Tom Prater – detailed interactive and pictorial history of the plea for Loss and Damage from its inception in 1990.

Opening Remarks at COP26 by Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados (2022)

Speech by Climate Activist Elizabeth Mathuti (Kenya) at COP26 – and text PDF