Extinction Rebellion activists stage die-in protests across globe

Extinction Rebellion vows to hold protests until local and central governments commit to zero greenhouse gas emissions within 11 years and the established climate citizens assemblies to oversee the changes.

Environmental protesters lie on ground at transport hubs, venues and shopping centres


About 300 people join a protest beneath Dippy the dinosaur at Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow. Photograph: Extinction Rebellion/PA

Extinction Rebellion supporters around the world have held a series of mass die-ins to highlight the risk of the human race becoming extinct as a result of climate change.

Protesters in France, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Italy, The Netherlands, the UK and other countries lay across the ground on Saturday at transport hubs, cultural centres and shopping centres to demand drastic action to avert environmental collapse.

At the Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow, about 300 activists lay down beneath Dippy, the famous copy of a diplodocus skeleton which is currently touring the UK, for 20 minutes on the sound of a violin.

Many held handwritten signs with the question “Are we next?”, while children held pictures they had drawn of their favourite at-risk animals as part of the event organised by Wee Rebellion, a climate-change protest group for young people in Glasgow associated with Extinction Rebellion.

Twelve-year-old Lida said: “We want to raise awareness about climate change. If we keep carrying on the way we are humans may become extinct, like Dippy.” Aoibhìn, 7, said: “Lots of animals are dying out because of climate change.”

Organisers of the die-in said Wee Rebellion would continue to hold protests until local and central governments committed to zero greenhouse gas emissions within 11 years and established climate citizens assemblies to oversee the changes. MORE

Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies

A trend of planting wildflowers on solar sites could maintain habitat for disappearing bees and butterflies

Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies
NREL scientist Jordan Macknick and Jake Janski, from Minnesota Native Landscapes survey a pollinator test plot planted underneath the photovoltaic array at the Chisago Solar Site, part of the Aurora Solar Project in Minnesota. Credit: Dennis Schroeder National Renewable Energy Lab Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The tidy rows of gleaming solar panels at Pine Gate Renewables facility in southwestern Oregon originally sat amid the squat grasses of a former cattle pasture. But in 2017 the company started sowing the 41-acre site with a colorful riot of native wildflowers.

The shift was not merely aesthetic; similar projects at a growing number of solar farms around the country aim to help reverse the worrying declines in bees, butterflies and other key pollinating species observed in recent years.

Up to $577 billion in annual global food production relies on pollination by insects and other animals such as hummingbirds and bats, according to the United Nations. But more than half of native bee species (pdf) in the U.S. have seen their numbers drop sharply since 2005, with almost 25 percent now at risk of extinction. Meanwhile the North American monarch butterfly population has declined 68 percent over the past two decades, the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity says. Suspected factors include climate change, pesticide use and parasites—along with shrinking habitat, largely blamed on natural landscapes (such as scrublands or wetlands) being converted for agricultural use. MORE

A Swiss philanthropist has donated $1 billion to save the Earth’s wild lands and waters from destruction. Here’s where the money is going.

Andes mountains
The Vallunaraju mountain stands high in the Andes, early morning in Huaraz, Peru, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. The Wyss Foundation is donating $8.5 million to the Andes Amazon Fund, which protects forests in the headwaters of the Amazon River basin. Rodrigo Abd/AP

Hansjörg Wyss, a Swiss philanthropist, has pledged $1 billion to land and ocean conservation. The Wyss Foundation wants to help preserve 30% of the planet’s wild lands and oceans by 2030. An increase in conservation can help prevent animal and plant species from going extinct, and it can expand the availability of clean air and drinking water.

Wyss, a billionaire and conservationist, wrote in a New York Times op-ed that his eponymous foundation will donate the money over the next 10 years to conservation projects led by indigenous people, local leaders, and conservation groups. He wants to help conserve 30% of the planet by 2030, adding that lands and waters are best protected when they are turned into public national parks, marine reserves, and wildlife refuges. MORE

Read more: So many animals will go extinct in the next 50 years that it will take Earth at least 3 million years to recover, a study has found