World Environment Day 2022

The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is “Only One Earth“. Over the past year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, a United Nations organization) has released three key climate reports, that have one single, resounding message: We are in crisis. Or in the words of the UN Secretary General: this is “Code Red for humanity”.

As one of the IPCC support staff, I have read and re-read several drafts of these reports, as well as the Special Reports released in 2018 and 2019. “Every year matters!” the first one said. But a year ticked by. And another. And another. And another. The crisis is upon us, and still we are dilly dallying, carrying on as before. It scares me how much is known, and how little is being done. It is surreal.

This year Durban got flooded – one of the worst floods on record. But… we mopped up the mess, made (or started to make) repairs, and carried on. Six weeks later it happened again! Disasters like this will keep getting worse and happen more often.

Today, on World Environment Day, EASTER Action would like to thank and congratulate the hundreds of scientists who contributed towards the IPCC reports, who spent so much of their time and energy, often under extremely difficult situations, to bring together, assess and summarize the latest, up-to-date information on climate change, and to map out the options. Thank you, thank you, all you dear people! And well done! Thanks to you we know what to do next.

May the world listen to your warning, and do what needs to be done, to save this one and only earth, our home, and all its children.

We highly recommend these brief 2-3min trailers. They are beautifully made and give a fantastic overview of the current state of climate science.

The latest reports (2021/2022):
The Physical Science Basis
Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
Mitigation of Climate Change
The Special Reports (2018/2019):
Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C
Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere
Special Report on Land
About the IPCC and the current assessment cycle.

See the IPCC channel for more videos on the various press conferences etc.

Also see the channels of other related UN organizations: UNEP, UNFCCC and WMO.

Exhibition at Durban Natural Science Museum

It was a bitter-sweet experience, seeing (yesterday, for the first time!) the temporary insect exhibition at the Durban Natural Science Museum. Charles (aka Andrew) Carter and I had spent so much time working on this back in 2018 and 2019. In January 2020 he was still putting the finishing touches on it… when Covid-19 struck.

Entitled Insects: the silent extinction. Do we know what we are losing?

It will still be up for a week or two. For directions click here.

One of the world’s largest insect: the Goliath beetle.
Content from the book What Insect Are You? and specimens from the museum’s insect collection.
Covid-19 restrictions prevent group events

The information came to a large extent from the book What Insect Are You? and from follow-up educational events offered under its banner. The specimens came from the museums’ amazing insect collection. (It so happens that the curator of this collection used to be Kirstin Williams, one of the experts who reviewed the book.)

T. rex wonders “Why did those things survive and I didn’t?”

The exhibition went up without warning or fanfare in 2020. It was mentioned briefly in Thola magazine Volume 21 (page 23), but due to Covid-19, visits to the museum by school groups slowed to a trickle. It would have been great to run educational events there, for school children and the public. But alas!

Marlies Craig (of EASTER Action) and Charles Carter (of Durban Natural Science Museum)

By the end of this month (August 2021) the exhibition will be removed, to make space for the next. Perhaps we can find a new home for it? Thanks again Charles for your hard work bringing it to life. And thanks to Durban Natural Science Museum for spreading the word that insects are our life support!

World Environment Day 2020

The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is: It is the Time for Nature. This coronavirus pandemic is in many ways a result of humanity’s unsustainable relationship with nature. But it is also an opportunity to think carefully about where we are going.

On this day we would have loved to invite folks to a live event at one of our beautiful nature reserves, but here we all are, in lock-down! Instead we decided to release a 40 min video on “how all living things on Earth are connected in the web of life“, by looking more closely at the biggest cog in this complex clockwork: insects.

After a brief introduction on species population trends, biodiversity and biomass, the presentation goes through some of the major roles that insects play in the food web and in nature generally, which then clearly points to what we can do to help and “how we can act for nature“.

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