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Posts tagged "Al Jazeera"

Nice Al Jazeera op-ed covers Obama’s climate resilient cities competition.

Thought provoking piece by Al Jazeera guest writer questions the limits of perpetual economic growth. What do you think?

Aggressive growth is impossible ecologically and implausible economically. We need economic strategies at the local, state and national levels that prioritize community benefit over corporate gain, and which presume a need for local resiliency instead of depending on uncontrolled growth. We also need to develop new strategies to democratize wealth in the face of extreme inequality.

Like the programs developed in “the state and local laboratories of democracy” that led to the New Deal, numerous experiments percolating across the country in the “new economy” — building cooperative and community-owned businesses, developing locally focused supply chains at a municipal and regional level, building new forms for public ownership of essential services like banking and power generation — may just point the way.

The end of growth poses a long-term systemic challenge, and such explorations suggest that a new direction may be quietly being explored in the midst of economic and ecological degradation. It is a direction that is likely to accelerate as economic and social pain of the decaying economic system continues to force Americans to explore solutions that take us beyond the tired nostrums of the past.”

Gar Alperovitz is a professor of political economy at the University of Maryland and a founder of the Democracy Collaborative. He is the author of “What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk about the Next American Revolution.”


I am seriously considering stringing for Al Jazeera after my USAID adaptation contract is up. They are, by far in my opinion, leading the world in media, journalism, investigations, and “tone.”

A train hauling crude oil caught fire in Canada sparking debate about reliability.

Rail safety has become a central issue in Canada since the July disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, when a runaway train carrying crude oil exploded in the center of the lakeside town, killing 47 people.

But in contrast to Lac-Megantic, where the explosions razed dozens of buildings in the center of town, pictures from near Gainford showed Saturday’s fire was burning alongside a road in open country, with fields and forests on either side.

Still, Gainford residents were asked to leave their homes because of the risk of another explosion, and Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) said the evacuation would continue for as long as needed – up to 72 hours. The main east-west highway traversing central Alberta was also closed.

In other words - pipelines really are the safer bet… Via Al Jazeera America

Legalized Rhino horn? Should the world create a controlled Rhino horn market? The animal is ‘renewable’ and funds could be used to protect habitat, breed healthy populations, debunk health myths, and generally lower the illicit trading of Rhino parts.

Read more about this interesting proposal, here.

A surprise headline. The piece is in praise of Al Jazeera America’s coverage of climate change. Why? The new channel didn’t take the low road.

Bottom line: this was a great start. But just as encouraging as what Al Jazeera America discussed last night — climate change — is the list of things it didn’t do:

1. Provide False Balance.

Perhaps most significantly, Inside Story explored public opinion on climate science, and even presented differing views on climate policy, without once offering marginal contrarian viewpoints as a “counterbalance.” Ehab Al Shihabi, Al Jazeera America’s acting chief executive, has cited PBS as a model, and it showed. Other cable news channels have sometimes run afoul of this standard.

2. Focus On Politics.

Al Jazeera America focused on the impacts of climate change, with a complementary discussion of some possible ways of mitigating them through political action. Notably, no politicians were interviewed, as few politicians are credible sources of information on, say, sea level rise. Instead, the guests — Michael Mann, Heidi Cullen and Klaus Jacob — were all scientists familiar with the topic at hand. Television news outlets don’t always do this well: in 2012, 89 percent and 12 percent of Sunday and nightly news coverage of climate change, respectively, was driven by politics.

3. Show Weird Charts.

Discussing public opinion on climate change, Inside Story displayed two graphs showing recent polling. Both had proper vertical axes (starting at zero), showed accurate statistics and cited their sources. Previously, peer network Fox News has had some trouble with charts, maps and the like. They might want to compare notes.

Al Jazeera

4. Obscure The Cause.

Some attempts at climate coverage muddy the waters, but Al Jazeera America left no doubt that the phenomenon it was referring to is man-made. The segment treated the science as a “given,” and host Libby Casey made a point of mentioning the fact that a significant majority of scientists agree about it, as is continually re-affirmed by high-level research.

Via Media Matters

Asker cazalis Asks:
Professor Richard Lindzen was on Al Jazeera's Head to Head recently. Did you see it? And what were your thoughts on the debate and his position?
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Hey Cazalis, 

Thanks for following me all this time. Lindzen is a researcher of atmospheric physics at MIT. He basically applies complex mathematical equations (via computer modelling [vs direct observation]) and makes inferences about the earth’s atmosphere

His focus is atmospheric tides, which are similar to oceanic tides. Pretty interesting for about 5 minutes. 

Lindzen is often portrayed as a climate denier, but this is not true. He regularly states that humans do affect long term temperatures by emitting carbon.

The main reason he’s called a denier is because he disagrees with the projected impacts from the well known science, models, and consensus. He thinks the impacts are overstated. He provides no evidence for this. His argument is strange, and journalists do not know how to parse his position. This is why Lindzen gets so much play - he has an obtuse argument sandwiched between big words.

He basically argues that since scientists cannot predict the future of climate with 100% accuracy, he will not predict the future ever, and therefore no one else should either. Sort of like saying we know snake venom is dangerous. But since we cannot predict what it will do to you with 100% certainty, we should not worry about it. It’s a very strange argument to make.  

As far as I can tell, he has not explained or published his evidence for his argument. So, no one in the field of climate change takes him seriously. He’s great at PR though (thus his appearance on Head-to-Head). Also, journalists are (generally) very stupid when it comes to math and scienceSo, he takes advantage of this.


New climate report has grim predictions

A new report says that much of the world’s plant and animal life could be decimated by the effects of climate change over the next century. Worldwide levels of carbon dioxide are the highest they’ve been in almost two million years.

Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, Amazonia and Australia would lose the most species of plants and animals. And a major loss of plant species is projected in North Africa, Central Asia and South-eastern Europe.



The Tanzanian government has ordered thousands of Masai to abandon traditional grazing lands to make way for a conservation site.

But the Maasai are refusing to leave their ancestral land. They say the real reason they are being forced out is to give a Dubai-based hunting company exclusive access.

Wildlife Instead, the hunting company, says that it will bring clients in for a six-month season and the Maasai can graze their cattle out of season. However, researchers say that the livestock are a part of the area’s ecosystem.

Al Jazeera’s Peter Greste reports from Lolyondo in northern Tanzania.

30,000 Maasai being pushed off their land in part by an exclusive Dubai trophy hunting/tourism company. Government says it’s conserve the land, and the company has nothing to do with it.


Ireland is so broke, they’re talking about selling off their forests, which they’re famous for. Seriously. (via Hacker News)

Selling 80 years of forest harvest rights will equal 3 weeks of the country’s loan interest.

My open letter to the New York Times to dedicate more resources to environmental coverage.

Read More


Clean-up from US coal-ash disaster continues

Four years ago, the most serious US environmental disaster of its kind displaced hundreds of residents. 

A giant wave of coal-ash sludge spilled from a waste containment area and caused extensive environmental damage. 

Tom Ackerman visits the scene in Kingston, Tennessee, where the clean-up operation is still in progress.