Instant Karma Newsletter 9.2.20
  • Making eastern Africa a dumping ground for plastics is no solution for cash-strapped oil and gas companies or the nations pushing for it to happen. 

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The transition to a cleaner and greener economy was never going to be an easy one. But the news that oil and gas companies are eyeing eastern Africa as a place to dump unused plastic takes a difficult situation and makes it worse.

For one thing, it makes pollution a geopolitical issue. China’s decision in 2017 to stop accepting landfill waste from outside the country led to a global buildup that might take years of diplomacy to address. China’s own waste management problems are also indicative of just how difficult it is to manage interim waste even within their own borders. Environmental justice advocates also point to the alignment.

Going cold turkey on plastic is not an option. But marking countries or regions as dumping grounds may be creating more problems than it solves. Investments in recycling and even incineration will have less of a carbon footprint — to say nothing about the physical one. 

In Other News: India GDP Drop, WhatsApp Schools

Are utilities the real roadblock to scaling wind and solar power? One sustainable fashion designer is making garments from upcycled carnival tents. We’re still living in a pandemic economy, and India’s 24% drop is officially the worst. Shale is the MySpace of oil and gas mergers. Are the “WhatsApp schools” emerging in Lebanon the future of education? Yes, there is a robot gender gap

Levity Break

Animal from the Muppets would be an ideal referee for Dave Grohl’s drum battle with 10-year-old prodigy Nandi Bushell.