Today’s the official International Day of Happiness, say the Angry Birds. Around the world on March 20 every year, the International Day of Happiness acknowledges that happiness and well-being are universal goals and aspirations in the lives of all people. It thus underlines the importance of recognizing these goals in public policy throughout the world.
Never let it be said that the doomsaying, treehugging, pointy-headed nerds of the climate change adaptation movement lack a fundamental sense of humor. The dark amusements of the UN’s COP20 conference in Lima—as at prior venues—surface daily in the presentation of an award for [Climate] Fossil of the Day. During United Nations climate change talks
In Bonn, Germany, the last round of formal negotiations before December’s key climate convention in Lima, Peru, is under way. From October 20 to 25, national governments of the worldwide UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will continue working together at the Bonn UN Climate talks on a new draft climate agreement. The elements developed
It’s still Climate Week, though the marches and summit conference are over. If you’d like to spend some time doing a brief climate watch this weekend, here are a few suggestions. These short takes are the result of surveying over 500 free and publicly available videos. Each takes around three minutes or less to watch.
Years ago, countries of the world committed to lock in a new international climate agreement at the 2015 U.N. Climate Change conference in Paris, informally called COP 21. It’s coming up fast, considering that for the past 50 years, scientists have been expressing their sense of an impending showdown between the people of earth and
Or do you? It’s time to pay attention to climate change now—as if it wasn’t back in 1800, when our current problems started. We all need to acknowledge that stunning industrial achievements can carry with them enormous unforeseen risks and challenges. Americans should take particular note, because on the whole we are wa-a-a-y behind on this.
(All figures are from the 2014 National Climate Assessment draft.) Later today (Tuesday, May 6), at 8 a.m. EDT, the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee of experts meets by conference call to approve the final version of the Third National Climate Assessment. The gist of their message, as Suzanne Goldenberg of The Guardian
On his blog “I see a change,” Nigerian Youth Development Expert Olumide Idowu presents the elements of sustainable development (source: olumideidowu.blog.com). Not all online courses provide all they promise you, but here’s one that should answer all your questions about environmentally sustainable, socially inclusive economic development. It will also challenge you to find out more.
At the United Nations’ upcoming COP 19 event in Warsaw, the REN Alliance is scheduled to “introduce the theme of a 100% renewable energy future, and introduce case studies on how to attain this vision.” The side event is supposed to touch on technical integration of renewable energy resources, policies, financing, and more. Speakers will include
One of the most unique large-scale international climate change projects is underway in Africa. A 4,000 mile “wall of trees” is being constructed across the east-west axis of the continent as a defense against rapid, expanding desertification of the Sahara. 11 nations — Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti
Howard Steven Friedman is a statistician and health economist for the United Nations and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He also has a new book out called The Measure of a Nation: How to Regain America’s Competitive Edge and Boost Our Global Standing, which is sure to provoke
The economic toll of natural disasters cost the world a record amount in 2011, it was reported this week. The total cost was around $380 billion, according to the United Nations. The costliest disasters were earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand. However, floods in Thailand (the most costly floods in Thailand’s history) and elsewhere, fires,
NYC’s mayor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, is not the 99%’s favorite politician. However, he has done more to push science-denying Republicans (members of a party he used to belong to) to wake up to the threats of global warming and climate change and take action. The latest news is that he is pushing all mayors
Not only have we settled in disaster prone areas, but when things get bad because of Climate Change, we move to even worse areas. Last year, according to the United Nations, 210 million people – about three per cent of the global population – migrated between countries, and in 2009 about 740 million people moved within countries.
Heavy monsoon rains over the course of August 2011 have caused widespread flood damage in Pakistan. The southern province of Sindh was hit especially hard. The horrendous flooding has effected close to 5 million people, destroyed millions of homes, killed at least 361 people and displaced 600,000 who are currently living in refugee camps because of the continually rising waters.
Climate Change poses a major threat to future peace and security, a senior UN official has warned. Achim Steiner from the UN Environment Program said Climate Change would also “exponentially” increase the scale of natural disasters.
The World Meteorological Organisation, the weather agency of the United Nations, has announced that the current La Niña episode looks to be coming to an end.
• The last five years have been the warmest since 1880 when monitoring began
• Tree ring data suggest that the summer temperatures over the past few decades have been the highest in 2000 years
• Snow cover in May and June has decrease by close to 20%
• The winter season in the Arctic has been shortened by almost two weeks
• There is worry about the decrease in snow and ice cover in the Arctic that will decrease the amount of solar radiation reflected back out into the atmosphere
• Warming is only expected to continue
• Sea level rise by 2100 is expected to be between 0.9 and 1.6 metres, approximately twice what was predicted by the UN panel on climate change
The Topic: Radiation Exposure.
The Question: How do scientists know what kind of (and how much) radiation exposure we do or do not face?
Worldwide, high crude oil prices, increasing extreme weather events, population growth and economic development of poorer countries, crop-based biofuels, political conflict and unrest in the Middle East, and slowing crop yield growth are all factors contributing to rising food prices.
Over 64,000 trees were planted in 15 minutes last Thursday, setting a world record for the largest number of trees being simultaneously planted (who counted the trees, I’m not sure, but the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed that everything was correct and the counting was accurate). The planting occurred in the province of Camrines
Some top global warming and environmental news from the last day or so: Global Warming & Environmental Politics Time to Put People Ahead of Polluters Over on ecopolitology, Sierra Club’s Michael Brune had a good piece on why it’s time to put people ahead of polluters. Senate 2012 Race & Tea Partiers The conservative right
Here’s our weekly roundup of environment and wildlife news. Enjoy.
With the help of conservation groups, the U.S. Office of Surface Mining launched the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative to attempt to rescue the thousands forest acres left barren by mountaintop coal mining. [social_buttons] The volunteer-based initiative, which hopes to eventually plant 38 million trees in Appalachia, received the endorsement of the United Nations Environment Program
The G20 will meet next week in London, and while police are bracing for clamoring anti-globalization and climate change protests, organizers say all the planned events will be peaceful. [social_buttons] While the failures of the banking system will take the forefront (get used to hearing the phrase “Bankers are wankers”), organizers have also planned protests
It is one of the least discussed issues when we discuss solutions to the environmental crisis. It is not whether or not the food is organic or sprayed with synthetic chemicals, or whether or not it is grown locally. The underdiscussed issue is the importance of a vegetarian diet for addressing critical environmental issues. As