In an ideal world, what would you ask at the UN meetings to happen in terms of mitigation and adaptation, if you could implement absolutely anything?
A question by Anonymous
You’re referring to the annual UN Framework Convention on Climate Change “Conference of the Parties.” This year will mark the 19th COP, this one to be held in Poland in November. If I recall, the “Parties” comprise of 192 countries (of the world’s 194), and each voluntarily signed on to meet every year to discuss solutions to climate change impacts.
So, at these COP meetings, countries negotiate what to do about climate change. The Kyoto Protocol - a voluntary treaty to lower emissions - is one example of a collective solution.
I think at the COP19, the “Parties” will vote to either continue or alter the Kyoto Protocol.
Ideally I’d like for decision at future COPs to be legally enforceable. As it stands, decisions and actions are voluntary. If a country pledges to lower emissions or invest in adaptation projects, they have no actual, legally enforceable obligation to carry out their promises.
This happens all the time. For example, at the COP15 held in Copenhagen in 2009, countries agreed to a laundry list of provisions, called the Copenhagen Accord. One major pledge was for countries to donate $100 billion USD per year to the Adaptation Fund, which would help poor countries with natural disaster planning.
It didn’t happen.
So, a legally enforceable mechanism would be a significant improvement over volunteering. Penalties, enforcement, and the governing body of law would be hashed out by the parties.
This is a sweet moment between mom and son. I think a lot of parents have this same conversation, when their child connects their food to viable creatures. An old friend of mine has 5(!) kids, and I was there when one of them discovered that the chicken on her plate was from a “real chicken.” O’ the horror that ensued… This kid’s mom is quite level-headed, but other parents, unfortunately, have a more forceful “eat your food!” response. Well worth your time, especially if you’ve hung out with kids and witnessed their incredible perceptions.
EnviroPop is the first game application from WWF-Philippines. The app aims to educate people about sea creatures, and the need to address the marine pollutants that harm them.
EnviroPop is a puzzle game that allows users to clear marine threats such as PET plastic bottles, fish trawl nets, cyanide bottles, and oil drums.
The objective of the game is for players to eliminate these hazards and save the WWF marine characters like Clara the clownfish, Pattie the Green Sea Turtle, Bobby the whale shark, and Gary the grouper.
The app serves as one of WWF-Philippines’ alruist weapon to arm people with the knowledge of their marine programs and and their aim to fortify the marine biodiversity.
The full version of the app costs $0.99. For every download of the app, proceeds will go directly to WWF-Philippines’ marine conservation program.
As WWF-Philippines Individual Donor Program Officer Honey Carmona explains, Philippines is nestled at the apex of the Coral Triangle making the island the geographic point of marine life. This concludes the call to prioritize marine conservation as most Filipinos depend on the sea for sustenance and ecotourism.
Cateura, Paraguay’s residents live on top of a landfill that gets 1,500 tons of solid waste each day, exposing the impoverished communities to unhealthy conditions. Most of the town works in the dump as recyclers, including many of the young people.
When local teacher Favio Chavez decided to teach the town’s children to play music using his own instruments, he soon had more students than instruments. The solution? He started teaching the students on instruments upcycled from trash and the Recycled Orchestra was born.
"10 Ways the Sequester Will Expose Americans to Greater Health Risks and Other Perils". That link-baity headline is the intro to a slew of alarmist clap-trap from the: Center for American Progress (CAP).
The truth is, it is not known which programs or projects will be cut as a result of sequestration. Ezra Klein of the Washington Post has a much more reasonable take on Congress’s inaction (unlike CAP, Klein seems to have read and comprehended the Budget Control Bill):
The sequester is set to cut spending across the board. But how? We know an awful lot about what the sequester can’t do. It can’t cut Social Security, Medicaid, military salaries or any number of of exempt programs. It can’t mess with federal pay scales. It can’t favor certain programs over others. But the actual process by which cuts are to be determined, and who is involved in that process, is more obscure.
The problem, budget experts say, is that the Budget Control Act was simultaneously very strict in its dictates and not specific about what those dictates mean. “The law states that the ‘same percentage sequestration shall apply to all programs, projects, and activities within a budget account,’ ” former OMB director Peter Orszag says. “That’s pretty restrictive, giving little room for creativity.”
What room there is comes from defining exactly what is meant by “programs,” “projects” and “activities.” “There is not a standard definition,” Stan Collender, a longtime Congressional budget hand currently at the PR firm Qorvis, explains. “It’s not something that exists anywhere else in nature.”
How To Save A Public Library: Make It A Seed Bank. A small town library is ‘saved’ with a clever, resident runseed bank. NPR presents this as a clever solution to the problem of one shrinking library.
There about 120,000 libraries in the US. I agree that diversifying services (to an extent) is always good for any system (diversity is the essence of adaptation). What really needs to happen is for libraries to analyze who they serve and consolidate or close systems where necessary.
Still, it’s a nice little story that warms hearts on a cold winters day.
Here’s how it works: A library card gets you a packet of seeds. You then grow the fruits and vegetables, harvest the new seeds from the biggest and best, and return those seeds so the library can lend them out to others.
Syson says tending a garden in Western Colorado can be frustrating. The dry climate, alkaline soils and short growing season keep many novices from starting. She’ll take seeds from the plants that withstand pests and persevere through drought.
"If you save seed from those plants, already, in one generation, you will now be able to grow a plant that has those traits," Syson says.
The seed packets are a novelty within the library’s more mainstream collection of books, CDs and DVDs.
The library’s director, Barbara Milnor, says in the age of digital, downloadable books and magazines, the tangible seed packets are another way to draw people in.
More than 400,000 children work in American fields to harvest the food we all eat
Children working in agriculture endure lives of extreme poverty
The average farmworker family makes less than $17,500 a year, well below the poverty level for a family of four.
Poverty among farmworkers is two times that of workers in other occupations
Farmworkers can be paid hourly, daily, by the piece or receive a salary, but they are always legally exempt from receiving overtime and often from receiving even minimum wage.
Families often cannot afford childcare and so have no choice but to bring their children out into the fields.
Increasing the incomes of migrant farmworkers by 40% would add just $15 to what the average US household spends every year on fruits and vegetables, according to a researcher at University of California Davis.
Children who work as farm laborers do not have access to proper education
Working hours outside of school are unlimited in agriculture.
On average, children in agriculture work 30 hours a week, often migrating from May – November, making it exceedingly difficult to succeed in school.
Almost 40% of farm workers migrate and their children suffer the instability of a nomadic lifestyle, potentially working in multiple states in a given season and attending multiple schools each with a different curriculum and standards.
Migrant children drop out of school at 4 times the national rate.
Children face health hazards and fatalities in the fields
According to the USDA, agriculture is the most hazardous occupation for child workers in the US
The risk of fatal injuries for children working in agriculture is 4 times that of other young workers.
Child farm workers are especially vulnerable to repetitive-motion injury
Farmworkers labor in extreme temperatures and die from heat exposure at a rate 20 times that of other US workers and children are significantly more susceptible to heat stress than adults. Heat illness can lead to temporary illness, brain damage, and death.
Farmworkers are provided with substandard housing and sanitation facilities. As many as 15%-20% of farms lack toilets and drinking water for workers, even though they are required to provide them. Farms with 10 or fewer workers are not required to provide them at all.
EPA pesticide regulations are set using a 154-pound adult male as a model. They do not take children or pregnant women into consideration.
Research indicates that child farmworkers have a much higher rate of acute occupational pesticide-related illness than children in other industries and that there is a strong link between pesticide exposure and developmental disabilities. Long-term exposure in adults is associated with chronic health problems such as cancer, neurologic problems, and reproductive problems.
64% of farmworkers do not get healthcare because it is “too expensive”
School children use an inflated tire tube to cross a river to go to a public school in Rizal province east of Manila, Philippines, on Oct. 12, 2012. Access to education is a problem in the Philippines, especially in rural areas, but enrollment rates remain relatively high. According to UNICEF, 85% of Filipino children are enrolled in elementary school, though only 62 percent finish high school.
I hesitated reblogging this because 1) the sound quality is terrible 2) the presenter is difficult to understand (beyond the sound issues) and 3) she comes from the corporate-greenwashing-side of the resilience/adaptation side of the table, which to my very critical ear means she’s just peddling another widget.
But, her company’s maps help identify environmental and health impacts from regular distribution and resource extraction (e.g., supply chain management). There are a lot of sexy visuals - charts, graphs, maps, and videos - but no people, no case studies, no proof of product.
She doesn’t show how her business helps people, she only states that she does help. Nice try though. Most business people (in my experience) don’t have a basic understanding of their company’s health/enviro impacts beyond the fact that labeling something green increases their bottom line.
“We can really start telling a story in terms of predicting risk in the future…We are actually able to engage in policy change to be able to shape the future growth environment and prevent disaster.”
Watch now:Alyson Warhurst is CEO and founder of the risk analysis and mapping company Maplecroft, the leading source of extra-financial risk intelligence for the world’s largest multinational corporations, asset managers and governments.
Exxon Mobil announced a new oil spill in the Niger Delta today. There’s nothing beyond the announcement now—no word on how much is spilled, if people are hurt, etc. But with the US oil presence in Nigeria in the news for moment, it’s a good time to flag this documentary.
Sweet Crude is the well told story of Big Oil in the Niger Delta (only a 50-year old phenomena), and the local resistance to it. If you’ve ever wanted to know how protest struggles evolve to include guns, and how we see the side we come to see, here’s one way.
Beyond 7 billion: After remaining stable for most of human history, the world’s population has exploded over the last two centuries. The boom is not over: The biggest generation in history is just entering its childbearing years. The coming wave will reshape the planet, and the impact will be greatest in the poorest, most unstable countries.
This is one of the biggest projects coming out of The Times this year. Read the stories, watch the videos, look through the photos — the collection is a beast. And let us know what you think.
"Soon after the (cap and trade) bill was left for dead in the Senate, 350.org’s Bill McKibben declared, “So now we know what we didn’t before: making nice doesn’t work. It was worth a try, and I’m completely serious when I say I’m grateful they made the effort, but it didn’t even come close to working. So we better try something else … we’re going to need a movement, the one thing we haven’t had.”
Since then, McKibben has moved the environmental community to focus on blocking fossil-fuel projects like the Keystone XL oil pipeline instead of building broad coalitions, which has left out previously supportive unions as well as corporations. And Naomi Klein, in a cover piece for The Nation, took McKibben’s logic several steps further and argued that the environmental movement should merge with the Occupy movement and declare capitalism itself the enemy of the climate.
But not only does their logic fail to account for the reforms President Obama did enact by working with corporations, it also fails to recognize the real reason why the climate bill failed.”