Archive

Posts Tagged ‘climate’

Community Leaders Meet to Discuss Relocation in the Face of Climate Change

September 11, 2012 Leave a comment

By Alyssa Johl and John Crump*

Alaska PNG

Two different parts of the world, one common problem

This week, community leaders from two small villages in very different parts of the world will meet on Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to discuss a common problem:  their need to relocate as a result of climate change.  The communities of Newtok, Alaska, and the Carteret Islands, Papua New Guinea, are among the first in the world to choose relocation as the best means of adapting to the effects of a changing climate and ensuring their cultural survival. Read more…

Advertisements

Rio+20 Outcome: The Anthropocene Challenge

September 10, 2012 Leave a comment

By Marcos Orellana, Rio de Janeiro (originally posted 22 June 2012)

Marcos, Alyssa and Andrea, part of CIEL’s delegation

On June 20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) officially started in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The Conference opened with a documentary, Welcome to the Anthropocene, which was introduced by the UN’s Secretary-General.  The documentary visually portrays the alteration in Earth’s natural cycles induced by human activities.
Welcome to the Anthropocene echoes the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) 5th edition of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5), published on June 6, 2012.  The report concludes that the “scientific evidence shows that Earth systems are being pushed towards their biophysical limits.” Also it “cautions that if humanity does not urgently change its ways, several critical thresholds may be exceeded, beyond which abrupt and generally irreversible changes to the life-support functions of the planet could occur.” Read more…

Great Rainforest or the Greatest Rainforest?

February 22, 2012 1 comment

By Amanda Kistler

On Thursday, January 12th, 2012 CIEL scientist Matt Finer presented as part of Amazon Watch’s GreenBag Lunch series with this auspicious title, riffing off Stephen Colbert’s rhetorical question he poses to anyone that might not agree with his hyperbolic categorization. However, even Colbert would find few, if any, who would call the region of Loreto, Peru, anything but great

According to Matt, Loreto is a huge land area but not unmanageable. It is primarily flat except for the western areas that are the last bit of lowland forest before the Andes Mountains. Endemic species, or species that cannot be found anywhere else, live in these elevation gradients. Loreto is also home to the start of the Amazon River. Read more…

It’s time to admit there is no future in fossils.

December 5, 2011 2 comments

By Niranjali Amerasinghe

Niranjali Amerasinghe, Staff Attorney

Following the UN climate talks in Durban can be a tedious business. Even for a conference junkie like me.  There are times when the discussions get so mired in petty political bargaining that it’s hard to keep the bigger picture in mind.  People seem to forget why they’re actually there: to find a solution to the biggest environmental threat ever faced by humanity.  This involves making significant changes to the status quo, like transitioning away from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy.  There is no way we will limit global warming to 1.5oC degrees Celsius (a level above which impacts from climate change are expected to be radically more extreme) if governments continue to pander to the special interests of the fossil fuels industry. Read more…

What’s at stake at Durban? We are.

November 23, 2011 1 comment

By Kristen Hite, Interim Director, Climate Change Program

In recent years we’ve seen global predictions on climate change becoming increasingly dire.  In recent weeks it’s gone from bad to worse:  The International Energy Association, often criticized for how its future projections of energy production rely too heavily on fossil fuels and nuclear energy just issued a report that says our current energy patterns will lead us to a global rise in temperature of 4 degrees Celsius or worse, leading to “irreversible and potentially catastrophic climate change.”  This comes on the heels of a new analysis by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which tells us that impacts are worse than expected and that climate change is increasingly responsible for natural disaster damages to the tune of billions of dollars annually.  Put simply: we can’t avoid climate impacts—we’re already experiencing them and they are getting worse.  But we can avoid locking in an unsustainable future that guarantees widespread destruction to communities and ecosystems across the globe—that is, if diplomats representing 190+ countries agree on how to act. Read more…

MESSAGE TO OBAMA: FREE AMERICA from the tyranny of oil

August 26, 2011 Leave a comment

After six days and 322 arrests (and counting), the Tar Sands Action is in full effect.  This two-week long protest is being staged on the sidewalk in front of the White House in Washington, DC, plainly visible to government employees, diplomats and tourists alike.  Concerned citizens have travelled from all 50 states and Canada to send a direct message to President Obama and the U.S. State Department:  Stop the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries.  The tar sands extraction process requires massive amounts of energy and water, and results in about three times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions as conventional oil.  In his Washington Post op-ed, Bill McKibben provides more information on the pipeline and its environmental impacts, and describes why this act of civil disobedience is so critical.  Read more…

The “New Normal”: Food in the 21st Century

August 4, 2011 Leave a comment

By Baskut Tuncak

The global food system is broken.  Worldwide, 925 million are undernourished.  The Asia-Pacific region ranks highest in terms of number of people that are hungry and sub-Saharan Africa leads on a percentage basis.  In Niger, for example, one in two children suffers from malnutrition and one in six dies before the age of five.  In July of 2011, the UN declared Somalia’s food crisis a famine, triggered by the country’s worst drought in 60 years, killing tens of thousands of Somalis from malnutrition-related causes and forcing mass exodus to neighboring Kenya.  Aid agencies estimate that 3.7 million people in Somalia and millions more in neighboring Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya are close to starvation.

Read more…