you’re rubber and I’m moo

by Vivian Diep in January 20th, 2023
green plants and trees near water falls

Bouncing Back From Deforestation

Thu Jan 19

A Manhattan-sized chunk of the Amazon has been destroyed under Bolsonaro’s administration, but the new administration wants to undo that. The new environment minister, activist Marina Silva, even promised “zero deforestation” by 2030. But there’s no money in forest product exports (such as rubber) compared to cattle, leaving many residents of the Amazon to loudly oppose Silva, who was born in the Amazon and used to work as a rubber tapper herself.

So how can the Amazon be saved when so many of its own residents can’t make good wages from sustainable forest products? Veja, a French sneaker company, and Cooperacre, a local cooperative, are leading the way. Veja buys directly from rubber tappers and cooperatives, ensuring that their rubber is fair trade and contributes to good working and living conditions. In fact, Veja pays four times the market rate with bonuses for sustainable harvests. The company even has its own satellite monitoring system to watch for deforestation.

Officials are now looking at Veja as an example for turning the tide, but rubber is still less than 1% of economic output while cattle is 57% in the state of Acre. Yet, even if the shift is swift and “zero deforestation” is met, Silva notes that other countries’ emissions will still destroy the Amazon if not curbed as well. To meet that goal, at minimum, the $100B promised by richer nations to help poorer ones mitigate and cope with climate change would need to actually show up.


Farmers Win Right to Repair

Right-to-repair has been a hot topic over the years. It’s a no-brainer with bicycles or consumer technology, especially when repairs can be done by a professional at independent shops. But what about high-tech tractors? Farmers have largely fixed their tractors on their own in the past but the newer ones come with proprietary software that require the manufacturer’s repair services. This adds to costs for farmers who have requested more access to the software. Deere has finally agreed to give farmers access to resources needed to repair their own equipment, in the hopes that the issue can be fully resolved in the private sector rather than through regulation or legislation.

>> Read More

Bad Moods Affect How We Read

Feeling down can sometimes make it hard to see what's going well, making it harder to undo our mood. But if you’re into efficiency, these bad moods could be the perfect time to proofread important emails and documents. Researchers have found that study participants who watched a sad movie then listened to a story with an ambiguous sentence showed brain activity associated with re-analysis. Meaning, they were more analytical and careful following the sad movie. In this state, one would scrutinize rather than fall back on default knowledge. So if you’re feeling down, maybe do more detail oriented tasks.

>> Read More

🎬 Action of the Week

Besides prompting your leaders to make decisions that help preserve our world, check out WWF-UK’s 3 ways to to help the Amazon rainforest.


  • AP News: Veja’s Sustainable Brazilian Rubber 6 minutes long | 1 day ago
  • Reuters: Brazil Calls for Aid at WEF 2 minute long | 3 days ago
  • Residents Oppose Conservation 5 minutes long | 28 days ago
  • AP News: $100B Pledged Still Delayed 4 minutes long | 10 months ago



Busting out the old hammer? What are you fixing today?

Oh, this isn’t for fixing. This is for making noise at the protests for right-to-repair.

Art Credit: Ritta Rasimus,

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