Climate Anxiety Remedies and Fighting Fast Fashion in This Week’s Earth Optimism

These stories celebrate success, uncover a spark of hope, share a new idea, or might just make you feel good about Planet Earth.


Recognizing creative solutions to challenging conservation problems is a pillar of Earth Optimism. This story takes a deep dive into the idea of assisted migration as a solution for trees in the face of rapidly growing climate threats. It's a long read, but if you've ever been called a treehugger, you'll want to set aside some time to soak up this one. This particular statement from the author, "tending to any kind of future is a gesture of optimism," will be on replay in the back of my mind as I'm finding myself fishing for hope in a sea of gloomy headlines (there's more out there than meets the eye). Explore assisted migration with Lauren Markham in Mother Jones as she answers the question: Can We Move Our Forests in Time to Save Them?


The fashion industry's footprint is quite startling, particularly thanks to fast fashion and throw-away culture. This piece in Vogue Business considers how fashion brands should go beyond sustainability and climate efforts to focus on building biodiversity-conscious supply chains. A few examples seem like promising approaches, such as using organic cotton and other fibers produced through soil- and wildlife-friendly cooperatives. These solutions need to be scaled throughout the entire industry to lessen its impact and truly benefit wildlife and ecosystems. Climate and conservation organizations are working to help make that happen. Read World Leaders Gear Up to Tackle Biodiversity Loss. Fashion Should Pay Attention from Rachel Cernansky in Vogue Business to learn more about these biodiversity solutions for the fashion industry. 


A good metaphor for misinformation is invasive plants. Think about it this way: someone doesn't realize the harm a plant species could cause to the surrounding environment, displays it unknowingly or even well-intentioned, and it spreads like mad. Before long, those invasive plants can take over and strangle out the native plants (or factual information in this analogy). To tackle the spread of climate change misinformation ads, Google has decided that it will no longer allow them to invade its platforms. Read more about the decision in Google Bans Ads on Content, Including YouTube Videos, With False Claims About Climate Change from Daisuke Wakabayashi and Tiffany Hsu in The New York Times. 


These tips from a group of climate scientists, including Earth Optimism 2020 Summit speaker Dr. Jonathan Foley, can help remedy any looming climate anxiety. From putting down your phone and rolling up your sleeves to journaling and finding a like-minded community, there are a few good ideas worth trying to incorporate into your life. I'll add one more to their list: join the Earth Optimism movement! Read What Climate Scientists Can Teach Us About Dealing With Climate Change Doom from Joe Whitwell in BBC News.


On the topic of climate anxiety, here's another way to improve your mental health – nature! A recent study showed that actively participating in conservation efforts or other outdoor activities like gardening and forest bathing can reduce stress and boost your mood. Find a local park to walk through, do some backyard birding, or head out on a journey to find your inner Thoreau – no matter where you are or how much time you have, getting out in nature is a valuable practice in self-care. Use this article, Nature-Based Activities Can Improve Mood and Reduce Anxiety in Science Daily, as inspiration for your weekend plans.  


Who doesn't love a heartwarming baby animal story? Here's one straight from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and its cheetah conservation breeding program. A male cheetah cub was abandoned by its mother and needed to be hand-raised by researchers at SCBI until they could make arrangements for the cub. A foster cheetah family at Wildlife Safari in Oregon, a fellow member of the Cheetah Breeding Center Coalition with SCBI, has now adopted the cute little cub. Click through to follow its story and see the adorable photos: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Cheetah Cub Successfully Transferred to Foster Cheetah Family in Oregon from the Smithsonian National Zoo.

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A post shared by Smithsonian's National Zoo (@smithsonianzoo)


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