Archive for the ‘#climate_change’ Tag
Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Vitruvian Man sketch has been reproduced by an artist in the Arctic to draw attention to climate change. John Quigley, an artist specializing in aerial art, travelled on a Greenpeace icebreaker to create the copper artwork in the Fram Strait, about 500 miles from the North Pole. The piece, entitled “Melting Vitruvian Man”, measures the equivalent of four Olympic-size swimming pools. The man’s two arms and one leg have been cut off, symbolically melting into the sea to illustrate the disappearing ice.
“We created the Melting Vitruvian Man because climate change is literally eating into the body of our civilisation,” Quigley said in a video statement.
This September could mark the lowest sea ice minimum on record.
via SHFT | Da Vinci Work Recreated on Melting Arctic Ice.
“He said that despite the failures of successive governments – including his own 1992-2000 administration in the US – to forge working treaties on climate change, and to cut greenhouse gas emissions, people should take the initiative by working together and individually to reduce their own impact on the environment. He pointed to the work of the biologist EO Wilson, whose most recent work suggests that human beings and other complex natural societies prosper through co-operation. “I believe that in a complex world … these creative networks of co-operation have to triumph over conflict-driven models,” said Clinton.”
via Bill Clinton: cutting use of natural resources would help US economy | World news | guardian.co.uk.
A study published last August by the UN Environment Programme found that current agricultural trends are destroying the world’s natural resources, particularly its water supplies. Reversing this trend would require integrated land-use planning that coordinates decision-making for farming, biodiversity, water management and air pollution, according to the study.
Another report from the UN – its latest World Economic and Social Survey, found that to stop deteriorating land conditions and depleting natural resources, the world would have to move away from large-scale, intensive agricultural systems as they exist today. Instead, smaller scale farms in developing countries should be improved and expanded using ‘green’ technology that minimised the use of water, energy and chemicals, noted the report.
Scientists urge countries to adopt ‘climate-smart’ agriculture | Eco-Business.com.
The sceptics aren’t the block to action on climate change.They just wish they were.
When you write about climate change, you get even more angry emails than when you write about Muslims. Last time I tried, one reader berated me for mentioning “fictional pompous Al Gore’s enriching scheme of global warming” in my “ridiculous article”. This man ended with a quote from Einstein: “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Another reader, whose sign-off cited his PhD, explained to me that all the international summits weren’t “about man-made climate change ‘science’ … but really about a larger ‘global wealth distribution scheme’.”
It’s tempting to blame “climate sceptics” for the world’s inaction on man-made climate change. (The United Nations’ latest summit, starting in Durban on Monday, won’t save the planet either.) Greens often talk as if the enemy were not climate change itself, but a self-taught band of freelance sceptics. No wonder, because fighting culture wars is the fun bit of politics. However, this fight is pointless. The sceptics aren’t the block to action on climate change. They just wish they were. Instead, they are an irrelevant sideshow.
Sceptics and believers quarrel about the science because they both start from a mistaken premise: that science will determine what we do about climate change. The idea is that once we agree what the science says, policy will automatically follow. That’s why the Nobel committee gave Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change a peace prize.
Mysteriously, though, the policy still hasn’t followed the science. Almost all scientists already agree on the science. An article in the PNAS, journal of the US National Academy of Sciences, last year found that 97 per cent of actively publishing climate scientists believe man-made climate change is happening. Nonetheless, the world hasn’t acted.
Clearly then, science doesn’t determine policy, concludes Daniel Sarewitz of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes in Washington. Yet the pointless quarrel about science continues.
It’s pointless first of all because what most people believe about climate change has little to do with science. After all, hardly any layperson understands it. Rather, people’s beliefs about climate change follow from their beliefs about the world. “We disagree about climate change because we have different belief systems,” writes Mike Hulme, professor of climate change at the UK’s University of East Anglia.
American sceptics, for instance, are disproportionately likely to be conservative white males, say the sociologists Aaron McCright and Riley Dunlap. Conservative white males don’t like governments interfering with business. They don’t like global co-operation. Nothing will convince them that we need global co-operation to interfere with business and tackle climate change, especially not if Al Gore says so.
Conversely, liberals who do like global co-operation and interfering with business are going to believe in climate change, even though hardly any of them understand the science either. “Climate change has joined gun control, taxes and abortion as a form of social identity marker,” writes Matthew Nisbet, social scientist at American University in Washington. In this debate, and not just in the US, almost nobody is open to persuasion.
Beating the sceptics around the head with the science just gives them attention. It also allows them to roar in triumph whenever the believers get any bit of science wrong, as when the IPCC exaggerated the melting of Himalayan glaciers. The squabble also creates a one-dimensional argument about climate change: do you believe it’s real or not? I’ve found to my cost that many people can only read articles about climate change as statements of either belief or scepticism. This obscures better questions, such as what exactly we should do about climate change.
The quarrel with the sceptics is additionally pointless because they are a small minority – under a fifth of the 35 million Americans who actively engage in this issue, estimates Jon Krosnick, social psychologist at Stanford University. In a poll sponsored by the World Bank in 15 countries in 2009, “in each country the public believed climate change to be a serious problem,” writes Roger Pielke Jr, political scientist at the University of Colorado. He adds: “The battle for public opinion has essentially been won.” Admittedly, he cautions, most people who believe that climate change exists feel only lukewarm concern. However, trying to convince them with even more science is probably pointless too.
The sceptics and the apathetic will always be with us. There’ll never be full consensus on climate change. But if governments could only act when there was unanimity, no law on anything would ever be passed. The US invaded Iraq, bailed out banks and passed universal healthcare with much less consensus than exists over climate change. In short, the sceptics are not the block to action.
Rather, the block is that the believers – including virtually all governments on earth – aren’t sufficiently willing to act. We could do something. But shouting at sceptics is easier.
via Squabbling while the world burns – FT.com.
“Later this month, the countries of the world will gather in Durban, South Africa, to discuss climate change. The omens for progress are poor; the forecast for global warming is worse.So says the International Energy Agency, hardly a left-wing pinko organization but, rather, one that collects and analyzes information for energy-importing industrialized countries.
The IEA minced no words. “On planned policies, rising fossil-fuel energy use will lead to irreversible and potentially catastrophic climate change.”
“Irreversible and potentially catastrophic” are words not written lightly. They don’t come from the United Nations, the favourite target of the climate-change deniers and skeptics. They don’t pour forth from the David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace or the Sierra Club. Rather, they come from the blue chip of energy analysts, relied on by government and industry alike around the world.
The IEA, charged with tracking energy use, reported that, in 2010, emissions of carbon dioxide – the principal greenhouse gas – rose by 5.3 per cent. Little is being done, says the IEA, to “quench the world’s increasing thirst for energy in the long term.” Demand for oil, natural gas and coal continues to rise.
If these trends continue, the world will blow past the target most scientists – and the world’s governments – have said must be achieved if climate change is not to produce negative consequences. That target is a rise of 2 degrees Celsius. Ideally, greenhouse-gas emissions should be reduced sharply so warming doesn’t occur. But anything above that increase, say scientists, would bring on a series of very undesirable events. “
via Amid dire warming warnings, Canada is MIA – The Globe and Mail.
“Right now, 10 countries — including the U.S., China and Russia — are responsible for 80 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. The United States is the world’s second largest emitter (China ranks no. 1), sending around 5.8 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere a year. That’s the equivalent to a year’s worth of greenhouse gas emissions from 1.1 billion average passenger vehicles. Below, a look at today’s big CO2 emitters — and projected emissions giants in 2030.”
via Climate Change Trends: Carbon Emissions Giants : NPR.
Implications of the decision by Germany to shut down its nuclear energy reactors in the light of the nuclear disaster in Fukashima Japan .
“With a total of 133 gigawatts of installed generating capacity in place at the start of this year, “there was really a huge amount of space to shut off nuclear plants,” Harry Lehmann, a director general of the German Federal Environment Agency and one of Germany’s leading policy makers on energy and environment, said of the road map he helped develop. The country needs about 90.5 gigawatts of generating capacity on hand to fill a typical national demand of about 80 gigawatts a day. So the 25 gigawatts that nuclear power contributed would not be missed — at least within its borders.
To be prudent, the plan calls for the creation of 23 gigawatts of gas- and coal-powered plants by 2020. Why? Because renewable plants don’t produce nearly to capacity if the air is calm or the sky is cloudy, and there is currently limited capacity to store or transport electricity, energy experts say.”
via Germany Dims Nuclear Plants, but Hopes to Keep Lights On – NYTimes.com.
“Top climate negotiators have descended on Bonn’s Hotel Maritim for the latest two-week installment of the international climate negotiations.
They last met In Bangkok in April, emerging from the talks battered and bruised but ultimately pleased with having compromised their way out from between the proverbial rock and a hard place. You can read a detailed account of where the climate negotiations stand, and what happened in Bangkok.
But suffice it to say, we are still a long way from where we need to be to effectively address the growing climate crisis.
Whether negotiators will make significant progress in Bonn remains to be seen, but never before has both the opportunity and the threat been as stark as it is right now. Just since Bangkok three new potential game changers have emerged, for better or worse, which should spur negotiators to put aside their differences and find cooperative solutions…”
via Kelly Rigg: Will Bonn Climate Talks Reflect a Dramatically Changed World?.
Urgency required !
The dangers of bone-headed beliefs.
There are opinions and different sides to any argument. This column deals with the positions and beliefs surrounding climate change and generational responsibilities.
I love words . The importance of words is that they are to convey descriptions, thoughts and concepts. Many words, bundled together comprise an argument.
But sometimes words have problems… they do not convey the concepts, thoughts , or ideas that the mind drawing them mean. Hence leading to misunderstanding.
This is where “argument” comes in. The current English useage and understanding slides over to the connotation of a divisive nature, a division of opinion with polarised positions and entrenchment on different sides.
Well, the actual Latin root word and meaning to our ” argument ” is from arguere .. to make clear ” !
This author makes an argument , ironically by stating the polarised concepts and sides around this topic of Climate change and helps blow away the smoke so that we gain clarity.
If we can return to and maintain the original intent of argument then it can result in healthy discussion because we seek to be clear about the facts of an issue and the need to act on the truth we receive as a result of the subsequent clarity.