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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Earthshots 2022

Earthshots 2022

Earthshot logo (credit: The Earthshot Prize)

In 2020, William, the Prince of Wales, established The Earthshot Prize to become the global award for the restoring the Earth's environment. It is intended to turn pessimism into optimism by declaring a decade of concerted action combining critical environmental issues with funders, businesses, and individuals to maximize impact and to scale their solutions. The Prize identifies and celebrates the people driving these positive changes to help repair the planet.

The Prince took inspiration from President Kennedy’s Moonshot program with its goal to land a man on the moon within the 1960's decade. His program catalyzed the development of new technologies that continues today. Five Earthshot categories have been established with ambitious 10 year goals. If achieved by 2030, they will have improved life for everyone and generations to come. The five grand objectives include:

  • to protect and restore nature
  • to clean our air
  • to repair the oceans
  • to build a waste-free world
  • to enact solutions for the climate

At its inception, the Prince explained his vision for 10 Years To Repair Our Planet in a conversation with Sir Richard Attenborough. Attenborough has worked his entire career in the service of nature conservation with BBC programming that has been viewed by millions of people around the world.

The 2022 Earthshots included entrepreneurs and innovators creating ground-breaking solutions for repairing, restoring, and regenerating the planet. Here are two of the announced recipients:

  • Reviving and restoring the oceans: the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia is under constant threat. The region’s indigenous rangers are vital in its defense. The Indigenous Women Rangers Network is building the next generation of women rangers by combining ancient knowledge, passed down thru generations, with modern tools like aerial drones which are being used to monitor changes to the corals and their degradation. Their data has provide critical insight into one of the most important ecosystems on Earth. Members of the network have gone on to become rangers in Queensland and in conservation efforts elsewhere. Expanding the work of indigenous women rangers could span the globe and help to repair ecosystems from from Hawai'i to Nepal.
  • Building a waste-free world:

    Plastic pollution has reached record levels and the search for truly sustainable alternatives is imperative. The London-based start-up Notpla believes seaweed is the answer. Only 9% of all the plastic produced has been recycled and 12% incinerated with the rest clogging landfills or is just dumped into the oceans. The Company has developed an alternative to plastic made from seaweed and green plants. It is totally natural, biodegradable, and can be used in a range of packaging materials: a bubble to hold liquids; a coating for food containers; a paper for the cosmetics industry. Notpla has produced over 1 million takeaway food boxes already and they have the future potential to replace over 100 million plastic containers in Europe. Farmed Farmed seaweed captures CO2 twenty-times faster than trees also addresses the climate crisis. The Company is just beginning its journey but the materials in development could replace single-use plastic packaging across industries and at a global scale.

The full list of 2022 awardees and finalists is available here. We should congratulate all these exceptional efforts, hope for their continued success, and that others might follow with their own attempts at reaching the lofty Earthshot environmental restoration goals. WHB

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