There is no planet B is a popular catchphrase of one of our sister sites, Teach Climate Change. With that being said, there are four extraordinary women who are raising awareness of global environmental issues and are making a difference and impacting policy changes across the globe.
Founder of BLOOM
Nouvian was the winner of the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize. A former journalist, she became involved in activism after seeing the devastation of deep-sea bottom trawling and forming the nonprofit conservation organization BLOOM in 2005. Her main goal is to protect the deep blue sea by understanding the connection between shark consumption habits and deep-sea fisheries.
Co-founder of Detroit Dirt
Murray’s environmentalism is all about waste reduction, recycling and the reuse of materials. She began her adventure by starting a compost by collecting waste from plant-eating animals at the Detroit Zoo and food waste from local restaurants and General Motor’s headquarters. Her goal is to raise awareness about Detroit’s overall carbon footprint. She also wants to find solutions for everyday waste and lower trips to the landfill by bringing composting into neighborhoods.
Nguy Thi Khanh
Director of the Green Innovation and Development Centre Vietnam
After witnessing her friends and family develop cancer by growing up next to a coal plant in Northern Vietnam, she began promoting sustainable energy development in her country. In 2011, she founded the Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) to do just that. She also helped establish the Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance which helps communities reduce pollution into local rivers, turn waste into energy, and change to more sustainable energy like solar. She is also a winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize.
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There are those who are willing to fight for environmental protections at great personal cost, and Daryl Hannah is one such individual. She is an actress who has been arrested on more than one occasion in order to prevent activities by those who may have a harmful impact on our world and its fragile ecosystems. She is best known as the character “Elle” (the deadly one-eyed nurse) from Kill Bill. Hannah’s exploration into ways to prevent man-made climate change is noteworthy for several contributions.
She records her own video blog “DHLoveLife” in order to help promote potential solutions for a better, more sustainable society moving away from the burning of fossil fuels. Viewers will recognize that she had her home built “green” and it is directly powered by solar energy, a solution which more and more people are getting on board with each year. On top of that, she is vegan and drives a vehicle that uses biodiesel.
Thankfully, solar advancement doubles every two years thanks to activism such as hers. Futurist Ray Kurzweil even predicts worldwide solar domination by 2028. Solar had just a half percent market share in 2012, one percent in 2014, and two percent in 2016. Do the math:
4% in 2018.
8% in 2020.
16% in 2022.
32% in 2024.
64% in 2026.
Total coverage by 2028.
Although this seems impossible, the principle is found in almost every aspect of information technology (consider the very similar Moore’s Law, for example). Many of these technologies double about once every eighteen months. Many of Kurzweil’s “crazy” predictions have come true in the past.
Hannah has done her part by promoting several programs devoted to clean energy alternatives. She participated in the iMatter March in 2011 and the Ride For Renewables project, then executively produced the documentary Greedy Lying Bastards to showcase the corporate connection to climate change denial. She also wrote letters to former President Barack Obama to ask that he cut his support for the Keystone XL pipeline. She was eventually arrested for blocking construction equipment for that same pipeline, and then again in front of the White House for protesting its construction (notably with Robert F. Kennedy).
She continues to participate in the World Future Council, a Hamburg organization dedicated to push forward policy that benefits those who will grow up in future generations–especially when it comes to environmental protections.
Although most of Hannah’s contributions to activism are environmental in nature, she is also a key player in the fight against sex trafficking and sexual slavery that still occurs worldwide. She travels the globe in order to document this terrible atrocity. If there were more people that devoted themselves to such causes, we might be living in a totally different world.
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For a long time now, Al Gore’s name has been synonymous with that of environmental activism, albeit usually in a comical context (for good reason). The former Vice President of the United States probably became more famous after he left that job for greener pastures. Just kidding. Those pastures are now devoid of life and desertification has expanded exponentially. Al Gore would like nothing more than to prevent our world’s journey towards a barren wasteland.
His contributions to environmental activism were always abundantly obvious because he’s fought so hard to make global climate change a hot topic of discussion for the media, politicians, and society at large on a world stage. In 2007, Gore and Richard Branson teamed up to create the Virgin Earth Challenge. Any individual or organization can participate in the competition which provides a $25 million prize for anyone who can figure out how to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (and yes, that stuff really does up the planet). To date, no one has claimed the prize.
Perhaps more shocking is Gore’s insinuation that it may be time to resort to more drastic measures in order to help prevent more carbon from being poured into the atmosphere. He has suggested the possibility of “civil disobedience” in order to prevent companies from engaging in activity that could harm the environment. Sure, he’s not exactly suggesting outright anarchy, but he is strongly implying that we should be willing to break the law to help protect our planet from eventual destruction, something surprising to hear from a former VP–even if it is common for acting presidents, these days.
Veganism is probably one of the most controversial decisions you can make for yourself in 2017. If you come out as gay, then you’re more likely to be accepted by society than you are for making dietary choices for moral and ethical reasons. Whether or not that’s a welcome change is for you to decide. Gore decided to become a vegan in 2013 because he knows that our cattle production is a big part of the environmental crisis. Cattle require a lot of lands to raise, and they leave that land devoid of plant life. Desertification is a result of this process.
Gore recently lobbied for the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina to end construction of a coal power plant that would endanger a nearby forest. He has also in the past been involved with a Climate Reality Project for an expedition to the Antarctic, a Repower America initiative focusing on green, renewable energy, and hundreds of lectures on the subject of manmade climate change. For the foreseeable future, we can count on Al Gore to continue to use the spotlight for the advantage of environmental activists everywhere.
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