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.
Our sense of time spans two generations back in the past and two generations forward into the future. That’s it. Most people cannot name a single great-grandparent. Few parents can conceive of the possibility of their child someday becoming a grandparent. It’s our historical and future-looking myopia that makes it pretty much impossible to for us to even imagine the distant future.
‘‘Current Media was built based on a few key goals: To give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling,’’ Gore and Hyatt said.
‘‘Al-Jazeera has the same goals and, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us.’’
The acquisition could extend Al-Jazeera’s reach beyond a few large U.S. metropolitan areas, where some people can watch Al-Jazeera English.
Now, Al Jazeera reports that engineers are in the final assembly stages of building a gigantic sea-wall.
The Italian city of Venice has become almost as famous for its flood problems as for its gondolas in recent years. A combination of subsidence and rising sea levels have seen St Mark’s Square submerged on an alarmingly regular basis. But an answer could be on the horizon as a multi-billion-dollar flood defence system is nearing completion. Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan reports from Venice.
Venice is located in a lagoon protected by a thin island peninsula. The peninsula has three openings that allow the ocean tides to come in and out. When the seas rose from a big storm, the sea would push more water into the lagoon than usual, flooding the city with no streets. The sea-wall is built at each of these three openings.
Thus, the sea-wall is expected to prevent flooding in Venice. It’s to be left open for much of the year, allowing the tides to operate normally. When the weather turns for the worst and the seas get too high the wall will close off the lagoon.
This is one way cities can adapt to sea-level rise and changing weather patterns. Cities can fund custom built engineering solutions tailored to their particular geographies, assets, and environmental/climate issues.
The problem with the Venice sea-wall is that engineers did not think the sea would rise 4x the predicted amount. The walls were built with 20cm rise in mind. Climate scientists now predict an 80cm rise in sea levels, making the wall (eventually) unusable. In other words, sea-level rise is occurring faster than expected, making this $7 billion engineering project a short-term fix. A fix that only delays inevitable doom for Venice…
Breaking: World leaders agree to extend Kyoto Protocol at COP18. U.S. and China skip talks. Environmentalists are super pissed. Click to watch Al Jazeera’s superior reporting. Full story with link, below. I’ll have more on the adaptation portions of the negotiations throughout the upcoming week.
Deal reached in Doha to extend Kyoto protocol
Delegates end conference with agreement to keep alive legally binding plan limiting greenhouse-gas emissions until 2020.
UN climate talks in Doha have come to a point of agreement on the extension of the Kyoto protocol, despite an objection from the Russian Federation.
After 36 hours of non-stop negotiation, delegates from nearly 200 nations in the Qatari capital agreed on Saturday to extend the protocol limiting greenhouse gas emissions until 2020.
Almost immediately after Qatar’s energy minister announced an agreement, Russia stated its objection.
Al Jazeera’s Nick Clark, reporting from the conference venue, said Russia’s objection showed that despite the agreement, “not everybody is totally happy” with the outcome of the two-week-long conference.
The extension of the 1997 UN-backed Kyoto Protocol will keep it alive as the only legally binding plan for combating global warming even though it will cover developed nations whose share of world greenhouse-gas emissions is less than 15 per cent.
The 27-member European Union, Australia, Switzerland and eight other industrialised nations agreed to the binding emission cuts by 2020. Each signatory had already legislated individual targets.
The United States has refused to ratify Kyoto. The Protocol also excludes major developing polluters like China, the nation with the higest rate of pollution, and India.
“It is a modest but essential step forward”, Connie Hedegaard, European climate commissioner, said at the conclusion of Doha Climate Gateway.
The world’s wealthy countries often criticise African nations for corruption - especially that perpetrated by those among the continent’s government and business leaders who abuse their positions by looting tens of billions of dollars in national assets or the profits from state-owned enterprises that could otherwise be used to relieve the plight of some of the world’s poorest peoples.
Yet the West is culpable too in that it often looks the other way when that same dirty money is channelled into bank accounts in Europe and the US.”
Al Jazeera is killing it this year with in-depth reporting. Comparatively, their reporting exposes the U.S. media as an embarrassment of insular, sensationalist clownery.
China’s demand for illegal wood is devastating rare forests and killing rare species across Asia. Al Jazeera does not hold back in this in-depth look at China’s blatant ignorance of environmental destruction.
China’s skyrocketing demand for timber to fuel its economic boom is driving illegal logging and contributing to the destruction of forests in Asia and Africa, needed now more than ever to halt climate change, a new environmental report says.
China is now the biggest international consumer of illegal timber, according to the report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), which adds that the trade is causing the destruction of vast tracts of forest in developing countries.
Globally, the trade in illegal timber is worth between $30 billion and $100 billion a year, according to an Interpol and United Nations Environment Programme report.
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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