London’s Covid-safe commute idea: Open-air buses

by Feargus O’Sullivan, Bloomberg


  • With the pandemic still raging and people still fearing public transportation, London is considering using their open-air double-decker tour buses as a means of everyday transport
  • This comes as 70% of Londoners polled say that they no longer feel comfortable commuting by public transit
  • Few tourists are in the city and these tour buses are mostly unused and parked, waiting for the moment when tourism and travel resurges 
  • An on-demand bus company named Snap is heading this venture and has already deployed test runs of the service
  • Snap CEO Thomas Ableman doesn’t want to see more cars on the road as the city begins to reopen:

“The Tube in London is currently at 30% of its usage before the pandemic, while car use is at about 80% of where it was pre-pandemic…We really don’t want a car-based recovery to this crisis, so we need to find solutions that people are comfortable with — and you can’t get a more Covid-secure means of transport than an open-topped bus.”

Increased air pollution from fossil fuel emissions makes all of us more vulnerable to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform includes solutions for clean mobility to cut greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

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Scientists unveil a plan to prevent the next pandemic (and save nature at the same time)

by Shannon Osaka, Grist


  • Preventing forest destruction, ending wildlife trading, and surveillance measures on emerging diseases before they spread are the tactics scientists are hoping will prevent the next pandemic, as published in the nature journal Science
  • Forest destruction, particularly in tropical areas, causes animals to venture into human-populated areas in search of a new habitat to call home, increasing the risk of human to animal disease transfer
  • Wildlife is sometimes sold near livestock, creating an environment where species to species diseases can be spread
  • Many policies are being passed to keep high-risk animals that are likely to carry diseases out of food markets
  • Aaron Bernstein, a contributing author of the paper, recommends governments monitor disease “hot spots” and administer tests on people who regularly work with livestock
  • The total costs for these prevention efforts could be between $22 and $31 billion a year
    • Comparatively, government spending on the pandemic worldwide has cost over $9 trillion
  • These prevention efforts would also yield environmental benefits such as the preservation of tropical forests that help sequester carbon from the atmosphere

Preserving and managing wildlands for carbon sequestration and resilience is a key strategy in The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform.

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In pandemic recovery efforts, polluting industries are winning big

by Beth Gardiner, Yale Environment 360


Polluting industries such as airlines and fossil fuel companies have been lobbying for bailout funds and loosening of environmental regulations during the COVID-19 crisis

  • Bailouts and lack of environmental regulations will create a  high-carbon legacy that will last much longer than the current pandemic
  • Since the pandemic, U.S. officials have finalized or advanced proposals to ease restrictions on logging, grazing, pipeline safety, and the disposal of radioactive waste
  • Changes to the Clean Water Act, Endangered species Act, and other environmental review processes have allowed the Trump administration to advance its anti-regulatory agenda
  • Chinese and South Korean Governments are also giving their coal industries a boost during this time
  • In Brazil, illegal loggers, miners, and ranchers continue their exploitation of the Amazon rainforest as the government does nothing to prevent these crimes
  • The CARES Act pandemic relief package allowed big polluters to obtain more deductions and bailout money

Fossil fuel divestment and the transition to 100% clean energy is critical to achieving The Climate Center’s goals under the Climate-Safe California Platform.

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Fact check: The coronavirus pandemic isn’t slowing climate change

by Matthew Brown, USA Today


  • The shelter in place measures spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a drop of emissions, but this drop was not significant enough to significantly slow climate change
  • Although The International Energy Agency projects global carbon emissions will fall by 8%, this year is set to be the hottest year ever on record
  • Alex Hall, a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at UCLA, explains that the environmental effects of the pandemic will not have lasting effects:

“Because changes in the climate are the result of decades of accumulating greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, one year of slightly falling emissions will not counter long-term effects.”

  • Carbon sequestration is important because the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has been building up for years and will take longer to return to normal levels
  • Emissions reductions due to the pandemic are not sustainable because they are the result of an economic disaster and will ultimately rise again once the economy stabilizes

Increased air pollution from fires and fossil fuel emissions makes all of us more vulnerable to the current COVID-19 pandemic. For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.

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