Climate change: Top 10 tips to reduce carbon footprint revealed - BBC News
A report lists some of the best ways people can tackle their own contribution to climate change.
Image copyrightGetty ImagesImage caption Switching to a vegan diet can help but doesn't quite have the impact of other measures Climate change can still be tackled but only if people are willing to embrace major shifts in the way we live, a report says. The authors have put together a list of the best ways for people to reduce their carbon footprints. The response to the Covid-19 crisis has shown that the public is willing to accept radical change if they consider it necessary, they explain. And the report adds that government priorities must be re-ordered. Protecting the planet must become the first duty of all decision-makers, the researchers argue. The authors urge the public to contribute by adopting the carbon-cutting measures in the report, which is based on an analysis of 7,000 other studies. Top of the list is living car-free, which saves an average of 2.04 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per person annually. This is followed by driving a battery electric car - 1.95 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per person annually - and taking one less long-haul flight each year - 1.68 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per person. Switching to a vegan diet will help - but less than tackling transport, the research shows. It says popular activities such as recycling are worthwhile, but dont cut emissions by as much. Change of mindset The lead author, Dr Diana Ivanova from Leeds University, told BBC News: We need a complete change of mindset. We have to agree how much carbon we can each emit within the limits of what the planet can bear then make good lives within those boundaries. The top 10 options are available to us now, without the need for controversial and expensive new technologies. Dr Ivanova said the coronavirus lockdown has shown that many people could live without cars if public transport, walking and cycling were improved. Her research highlights rich people who typically take more flights, drive bigger cars and consume the most. A 'moral issue' She said: All the world suffers from climate change, but its not the average person who flies regularly its a small group, yet aviation is under-taxed. Its a moral issue. In her league table, buying renewable power and using public transport rank fourth and fifth. Sixth is insulating your home well, which saves 0.895 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Seventh is switching to a vegan diet, which saves 0.8 tonnes. Image copyrightPA MediaImage caption Effectively insulating your home is an important step Other top actions are using heat pumps; switching from polluting cookstoves (in developing countries) to better methods of cooking, and heating buildings with renewable energy. Dr Ivanova said that if people implemented the measures, it would save around nine tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per person per year. Current annual household emissions are around 10 tonnes in the UK, and 17 in the US. 'Valuable' study The study, out soon in the journal Environmental Research Letters, says the following are worthwhile, but of lesser benefit to the climate: green roofs; using less paper; buying more durable items; turning down the thermostat - and recycling, which saves 0.01 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year, according to Dr Ivanova. Image copyrightReutersImage caption Outside of lockdown, taking fewer flights can make a major contribution to cutting carbon Some of the findings will be questioned. Polls suggest some people think climate is as important as the virus, for instance, but some dont. Professor Tommy Wiedmann from the University of New South Wales in Australia, said: This is a valuable study. But it only looks at the carbon footprint and not at other impacts like water scarcity because of lithium mining for electric car batteries. Libby Peake, from the Green Alliance think tank, told BBC News: People shouldnt stop good habits like recycling, which saves some carbon while preventing waste and conserving resources. Better design allows people to buy fewer but higher-quality things and to live in buildings with lower carbon footprints. These savings arent necessarily covered by this study. Follow Roger on Twitter.
Coronavirus: Top NYC doctor takes her own life - BBC News
The father of 49-year-old Dr Lorna Breen says: "She tried to do her job and it killed her."
Image copyrightChris Leary Photography A top New York City doctor who was on the front line of the US fight against coronavirus has taken her own life. Dr Lorna Breen, who was medical director of the emergency department at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital in Manhattan, died of self-inflicted injuries on Sunday, police said. The 49-year-old's father, Dr Philip Breen, told the New York Times: "She tried to do her job and it killed her." New York accounts for 17,500 out of America's coronavirus 56,000 deaths. The elder Dr Breen said his daughter had had no history of mental illness. She died in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she had been staying with her family. Image copyrightDr Lorna Breen / Facebook Lorna Breen herself had fallen ill with the coronavirus during the course of her work and returned to the job after about a week-and-a-half of recuperating, said her father. The hospital had sent her home again, before her family "intervened" to bring her to Charlottesville, said her father. He said that when they last spoke, his daughter had seemed "detached" and told him how Covid-19 patients were dying before they could even be removed from ambulances. Dozens of patients have succumbed to coronavirus at the 200-bed hospital in Manhattan. "She was truly in the trenches on the front line,'' her father told the Times. "Make sure she's praised as a hero. She's a casualty just as much as anyone else who has died." According to the newspaper, Dr Lorna Breen was a devout Christian who was very close to her family. She was an avid skiier who also enjoyed salsa dancing. She volunteered once a week at a home for old people. New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital said in a statement: "Dr Breen is a hero who brought the highest ideals of medicine to the challenging front lines of the emergency department." In a press release confirming her death, the Charlottesville Police Department also described Dr Breen as a "hero". The police department said that after a call for help on 26 April, Dr Breen was taken to a local hospital for treatment "where she later succumbed to self-inflicted injuries". Image copyrightDr Lorna Breen / Facebook Police chief RaShall Brackney said in a statement: "Frontline healthcare professionals and first responders are not immune to the mental or physical effects of the current pandemic. "On a daily basis," she added, "these professionals operate under the most stressful of circumstances, and the coronavirus has introduced additional stressors." New York state has recorded almost a third of the country's nearly one million confirmed Covid-19 cases. On Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said random antibody tests indicated that a quarter of New York City (24.7%) - America's most populous city with 8.3 million people - had been infected with coronavirus. If you want to talk to someone about the issues raised in this piece, you can call the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. You can call the UK Samaritans Helpline on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org.