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Waiting in line for water at Glastonbury Music Festival Photo: EPA via Evening Standard
Hundreds of thousands of people will attend music festivals all over the world this summer, and some of those events are making a concerted effort to lower their carbon footprint and encourage sustainability by the music fans attending. When a festival comes to town, it brings an entire city of people — Coachella in the California desert has 750,000 attendees, Lollapalooza in Chicago has 450,000, and England’s Glastonbury that just finished yesterday had about a half million people. This year, Glastonbury went single-use plastic free, with the slogan “Love the Farm, Leave No Trace,” but long lines to refill water bottles and not enough water for showers in a scorching heat left attendees feeling parched.
Why This Matters: Festival organizers are on the right track – festivals in previous years have had a huge negative environmental impact so it is important to make these changes, but organizers must be ready to handle the demands for vital supplies like water. The heat must be factored in — this year’s Glastonbury festival saw temperatures soar. But with a captive audience of young people, festivals are the perfect place to help change minds and hearts about the need to eliminate single-use plastics and reduce trash overall. And since attendees travel to the festivals from far and wide, these lessons on sustainability will spread. Heat records will continue to be broken and everyone must be prepared.
500 tons of greenhouse gases emitted by the average festival
Glastonbury Festival in 2017 had 60 tons of paper waste, 40 tons of plastic waste, and 132 tons of food waste, as well as 22,000 abandoned tents to deal with afterward, and over 1 million plastic single-use water bottles were sold there.
Even items like balloons and glitter are problematic with that many people there to have fun
The Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration is having difficulty implementing a policy change it made back in August to allow e-bikes on federal lands — there is confusion regarding whether e-bikes should be allowed on non-motorized trails.
Why This Matters: The Trump Administration argues that it is just following the lead of many states and wanted to allow e-bikes as a way to increase access to parks and recreational lands. But there is a downside — if e-bikes are allowed in the backcountry, it will fundamentally change the experience of these wild and natural places. And for now, the Administration has lifted the restrictions on e-bikes immediately without putting a new policy regarding their use in place, leaving everyone in limbo.
Why This Matters:If the global average temperature rise exceeds 2 degrees Celsius, then Qatar’s average temperature will increase between 4 and 6 degrees, which would make work nearly impossible and the city could be uninhabitable. Qatar may be able to cool certain areas for now, but it cannot cool the entire country indefinitely.
Second only to electric power globally since 2010, sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales have spiked and they are now contributing hugely to the growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In addition, global fuel economy worsened caused in part by the rising SUV demand even as efficiency improvements in smaller cars saved over 2 million barrels a day and electric cars displaced less than 100,000 barrels a day.
Why This Matters: This is a big double whammy on efforts to curb CO2 emissions and decrease the demand for fossil fuels for cars.