News + What You Can Do About It | April 2021

Mainstream news in The Netherlands is depressing. It has to be shocking, sensational and topical. Because of this news gets negative and people who only follow this news feel like the world around them is changing in a bad way. They lose trust in people and companies and they lose hope. Besides that, it makes people feel powerless. Yet, it has been scientifically proved that the world gets better every single day for humans. And so, I share 7 news-article once a month in these posts. A mix of positive and bad news, but mostly positive, to make sure that positive news has the upper-hand. Along, I share a practical tip on what you can do to change that news. This could be a lifestyle change, a petition to sign or a social media campaign to support, anything. To make you feel in power, because we are! This way you’ll know about the positive news, how to keep it that way, the negative news and how to change that!

We Need Solar Panels On Land 4-4

This week an interesting article appeared online, this one. It’s about solar panels. I invest in solar panels, but up until I read this article I only invested in solar panels on roofstops, not on land. I used to think that we should use land for other challenges we have, housing to name one. This article that I mentioned changed my opinion. It really showed that rooftops alone won’t cut it. We simply don’t have enough roofs. If we want to do something about the climate crisis we need solar panels on land too and we need them fast. We’re already a few decades late with combating the climate crisis, so we need all hands on deck. The article I mentioned is written in Dutch, but I would really recommend you to read it. I can’t really say wether this is good news or bad. For me it’s bad, because I have been misinformed for a long time.

Personal practical tip: from now on, I will also invest in solar panels on land and no longer be picky. My personal practical tip is that you do so too. A good way to invest in solar panels is via ZonnepanelenDelen.

Coal-Fired Power Station in Rotterdam is Re-opened 6-4

Since the beginning of 2020 a coal-fired power station in Rotterdam had been closed due to technical difficulties. This was a great chance for the Dutch government to close it down forever. It’s a huge polluter. The power station alone accounts for 2% of all the emissions in The Netherlands. Right now, it’s being re-opened. There are still 4 of these coal-fired power stations in The Netherlands. It’s ridiculous, we’re in the middle of a climate crisis. And besides that, it’s also a big bummer for the local people in Rotterdam. They deserve cleaner air and better health.

Personal practical tip: check your energy provider. Is it a company that provides clean energy? If not, then switch to a provider which delivers renewable energy. Greenpeace produced this list of providers in The Netherlands about which is best to choose. Or even better: produce your own energy! Get solar panels, thermal energy or a wind mill.

Record Amount of Bees Counted 18-4

In The Netherlands there is a national bee counting day each year since four years now. The bees aren’t doing so well today due to pesticides, land-use change and climate change. Half of the bee species in The Netherlands are facing extinction. There is some good news this year: this year the highest number of bees have been counted. 170.000 bees in one day! This is good news because the data is used for research. And this research is vital. If lose the bee, we’ll lose 80% of our food supply.

Personal practical tip: you’ll need to wait till next year for the next bee counting day but there’s a lot you can do today. The first thing is to buy organic food. Pesticides are a big reason bees die off. Second is to have as little concrete in your garden (if you have one) and as many flowers as possible. A lack of food is also a big threat for the bees. There are specific flowers and plants which are bee-friendly, check this site. Don’t forget to buy those plants and flowers organic too!

Dolfinarium Will No Longer Confine Sea-lions, Walruses and Bottle Nose Dolphins 19-4

Dolfinarium is a marine park in The Netherlands. It’s the only one left. It’s a horrible place to be for animals. I’ve written before about why zoos are unethical. A sea park is just another zoo. Animals are confined for life in a small tank, whereas they should live freely in the ocean. I have a lot to say about the Dolfinarium, but I want to stick to the news that was announced today. Dolfinarium will stop the confinement of a few animals, the sea-lions, walruses and bottle nose dolphins. They will be moved to another sea park in China (where I think their lives will be just as miserable). But the good thing is, Dolfinarium is getting smaller. They will increase the cages of the other animals, which is a really small relief. The shows with the animals will be a little bit different, ‘more educational’ they say. No show with animals can ever be educational so that’s bullshit. However, Dolfinarium had also invested in a waterpark with slides and all, not in animals. I see this as a small win. It shows that people are finally beginning to see that confining animals is not okay. Dolfinarium is shifting its focus to activities without the suffering of animals. It’s horrible for the animals which will be moved to China, but it is good news for this park. Dolfinarium is getting smaller and smaller and it was also declared bankrupt a few years ago. It’s finally happening: Dolfinarium as we know it is slowly dying.

Personal practical tip: never, ever, visit a marine park like Dolfinarium. You’re directly financing the suffering of animals. Want to know more about it? Watch The Cove or Blackfish. You’ll never, ever want to step a foot in that hell again. Want to do more? Become an activist! BiteBack is a great organization which regularly demonstrates at Dolfinarium.

The Dutch Government Announces Easing of The Lockdown 22-4

The Dutch government announced that on the 28th of April the lockdown is eased a bit. The curfew will be cancelled, you can have two guests over instead of one, applied universities and universities will open for students one day a week, terraces will be open outside and you no longer need to make an appointment for visiting shops. I think this is good news since it looks like we’re heading into the right direction. More and more people are getting vaccinated now and the number of deaths also seems to be dropping. I also think it’s a good thing that more will be possible so that people won’t do those things illegally anymore (like having too many people over). Instead you can go to the terrace for example, at 1,5 meter distance. I do feel a bit conflicted about this news, since the COVID-19 situation in other parts of the world is horrible, like India or Brazil. Let’s just hope this pandemic will be over soon.

Personal practical tip: everybody knows the rules so I don’t have to tell you those rules. Keeping distance etc. But I do want to appoint you to this post I wrote about COVID-19. It’s about what we as individuals can learn from COVID-19 and how to adjust our lifestyle so that we won’t be facing another pandemic right after COVID-19.

DDT* is Still Killing Birds 29-4

Research has shown that the pesticide DDT is still very present in The Netherlands. It was found in birds and it probably the reason why specific groups of birds are decreasing in The Netherlands. This shows how some pesticides are still harmful decades after they have been banned. DDT was banned in 1963 in The Netherlands. Researchers say that there is still a lot of research to be done about DDT. We don’t even know all the negative effects yet.

* DDT is the Dutch name for this pesticide, the English one could be different.

Personal practical tip: choose organic food. No pesticides are used when organic food is grown.

Tobacco Factory Niemeyer is Closing 29-4

In Groningen, the city in The Netherlands where I currently live, a tobacco factory is closing down. This is amazing news! The demand for tobacco keeps decreasing and that is a good thing. I can’t wait for the world to be sigaret-free. It only causes harm, pollution and sickness. I am happy the factory is closing down. This is not the kind of industry I would want in The Netherlands. But I think it’s also good for the air quality. Groningen frequently stinks like tobacco. I figured that can’t be good for us, but that’s my own assumption. The best news is: the demand for tobacco is falling. I do feel bad for the 180 people working in the factory, but I hope they will get job which will benefit society, not harm it.

Personal practical tip: the first thing is obvious: don’t smoke. The second tip is: if you invest, don’t invest in tobacco. Choose sustainable funds or shares. If you invest in funds then look for SRI funds. If you invest in shares, look into the companies you invest in.

Yours sincerely,

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