Archive for the ‘#environment’ Tag

A Kenyan Woman Stands Up Against Massive Dam Project by Christina M. Russo: Yale Environment 360   Leave a comment

 

“Ikal Angelei is helping lead a campaign to stop construction of a major dam in Ethiopia that threatens the water supply and way of life of tens of thousands of indigenous people. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she explains what she believes is at stake in the fight against the Gibe III dam.”

via A Kenyan Woman Stands Up Against Massive Dam Project by Christina M. Russo: Yale Environment 360.

Posted August 9, 2012 by arnoneumann in Conservation, Dam, Energy, Environment

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Bill Clinton: cutting use of natural resources would help US economy | World news | guardian.co.uk   Leave a comment

“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.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/13/bill-clinton-natural-resources-us?newsfeed=true

What Bhutan Can Teach Everyone at Rio+20 About Ecological Economics   Leave a comment

“It was the last day of the International Society for Ecological Economics 2012 conference taking place in parallel to the UNCSD Rio+20 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and many of the big names of this relatively young and vibrant academic discipline were lined up to talk in the final plenary sessions.

First, we heard from the dual winners of the 2012 Kenneth E. Boulding Award, the world’s top honor in the field of ecological economics, Dr. Mathis Wackernagel and Dr. William Rees. Together, they formed, in the early 1990s, the idea of the ecological footprint. That simple conceptualization of the amount of resources we consume and the waste and pollution we emit as compared to the carrying capacity of the earth, has been so effective in conveying the conundrum of modern consumerist paradigm that it became one of the most popular indices to describe and evaluate sustainability.

In their talks they described a crystal clear picture of the deep mess we are in. Wackernagel talked about our resource overshot, or how many planets would be required in order to sustain the amount of resources we consume. Rees discussed the evolutionary, genetic, environmental and social conditions that make us predisposed to such self-destructive behavior as a human species. While lucid and fascinating, the message and outlook ended up being pretty gloomy.

In stark contrast, next on the stage was Robert Costanza, another founder of the discipline, with a very short but important message. For the most part, we know the gravity of the situation, however, explaining how bad things are has not been working too well as a method of affecting change. To affect change we need to create positive cycles of action and reflection. And with that, he gave the stage to prime minister of Bhutan.

His Excellency, Jigmi Y. Thinley, offered a speech that might have been the most positive message coming out of this entire frustrating, and for the most part, fruitless (if not destructive) process that Rio+20 has become. He said his country has decided some three decades ago to get rid of neoliberal economics that focus on maximizing short term economic gains measured by growth in GDP in favor of enhancing a more holistic framework of human well being.

The catch phrase is, of course, their Gross Happiness Index, but the approach is much more than that. To measure progress, they look at indicators such as education, access to health, employment rates, well being in rural setting and the list is much longer. And yes, he replied to a question, they do have a voluntary policy encouraging responsibility in reproduction rates, and no, they don’t think they necessarily need economic growth per se to do well for their people. Wow. While there is much room for improvement, Bhutan is doing well on many of these indices.

The caveat is, that if the rest of the world keeps measuring success in terms of GDP growth, these great achievements are lost in the all-encompassing picture of economic growth. His entire speech is well worth reading. So, why should we care about Bhutan? It is after all a tiny country at the Eastern Himalayas of about 700,000 people. We should care because Bhutan is a great example of a catalytic positive cycle Dr. Costanza and many others suggest is our way forward. It teaches us that when we make the good choices like balancing material development with cultural, ecological and spiritual values, positive change happens fairly quickly.

Bhutan’s approach is pretty simple, don’t consume more than what you have (in economic and environmental terms), and make sure your people have what they really need (food, education, health, freedom of speech, religion etc.). How hard can this be?”

via What Bhutan Can Teach Everyone at Rio+20 About Ecological Economics.

Posted June 25, 2012 by arnoneumann in Rio+20

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Interview: it’s time to drop consensus | Environment | DW.DE | 27.03.2012   Leave a comment

“In an interview with DW, the head of an effort to reform the way the UN deals with environmental problems outlines his suggestions for how the world could move from countless talk shops to action.

Frank Biermann is the chair of the Earth System Governance Project and a professor at Amsterdam’s Free University. He is leading an effort to radically overhaul international institutions like the UN, to make them more effective in their response to global environmental problems like climate change, species loss and pollution.

DW spoke to him at this week’s Planet under Pressure conference in London, where he presented his team’s proposals to be considered at the Rio Earth Summit later this year.

DW: ……. ” ( click the link

for the interview)

via Interview: it’s time to drop consensus | Environment | DW.DE | 27.03.2012.

Posted March 27, 2012 by arnoneumann in Environment, UN

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Rethinking Carbon Dioxide: From a Pollutant to an Asset by Marc Gunther: Yale Environment 360   Leave a comment

“Carbon dioxide removal, or CDR, is sometimes seen as a subset of geoengineering — deliberate, planetary-scale actions to cool the Earth — but it’s actually quite different. Geoengineering strategies are risky, imperfect, Carbon dioxide removal is more akin to recycling waste than to playing God with nature. controversial, and difficult to govern. The most-discussed geoengineering technology, solar radiation management, alleviates a symptom of the climate problem (warmer temperatures) but does nothing to address the cause (rising atmospheric concentrations of CO2). What’s more, geoengineering as a climate response is stuck because governments have declined to provide more than token funds for research, and there’s no business model to support it.

 

Carbon dioxide removal, by contrast, targets the root cause of global warming. It doesn’t create global risks. It’s being financed by the private market, and it’s more akin to recycling waste than to playing God with the weather.

Despite widespread skepticism in the scientific community, three startup companies are betting that they can make money by recycling CO2, and thereby cool an overheating planet.”

via Rethinking Carbon Dioxide: From a Pollutant to an Asset by Marc Gunther: Yale Environment 360.

Posted February 29, 2012 by arnoneumann in Carbon, Entrepreneurship, Environment

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NextBillion.net | Scaling up Environmental Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies – Framing the Discussion   Leave a comment

“Although environmental investing and entrepreneurship in emerging markets has undergone a transformation from a nascent concept to a burgeoning market over the past decade, clear challenges to greater growth remain. How do institutions collectively move from a retail approach – each institution supporting companies one by one – to a wholesale approach – truly developing an ecosystem of support for environmental SMEs in emerging economies? In other words, how do we get to scale so that these enterprises collectively are having real positive environmental impacts at a large scale?

We still need to examine the bottom line and address models that demonstrate savings, increase profits, and increase market access, but many believe that the case has been made for whether “environmental” companies have economic viability. “The conversation is not whether or not these companies are viable, as was the case ten years ago. We’ve seen that they generate profits, can grow, and are a good business investment. Now the question is: how can we multiply them?” Ros said.

Investment into environmental and social businesses is growing – many investors are pouring capital into emerging markets, and GDP growth rates of NV countries continue to grow. However, for environmental entrepreneurship to get to scale, there must be three conditions fulfilled, as in all other markets: there must be robust demand from investors for a pipeline of environmental enterprises, a promising supply of enterprises ready for investment, and solid transactional infrastructure to enable these investments.

In order to highlight the development of these three necessary conditions, NextBillion will be featuring a series of articles over the next twelve months, in addition to this introductory piece, to stimulate discussion around environmental entrepreneurship, with a focus on SMEs and emerging markets. Several authors will post monthly articles about growing the market conditions for environmental SMEs around these three main topics: supply (of companies), demand (with regards to investment capital) and infrastructure (i.e. exchange platforms and metrics).”

via NextBillion.net | Scaling up Environmental Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies – Framing the Discussion.

Thirty ideas from people under 30: The Environmentalists – Gregg Treinish: Modern explorer – CSMonitor.com   Leave a comment

“Gregg Treinish: Modern explorer

As a young modern explorer, Gregg Treinish already boasts an impressive résumé. He has hiked the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail, became the first man ever to trek the Andes Mountains (covering 7,800 miles), and in 2008 was named “Adventurer of the Year” by the National Geographic Society.

Still, Mr. Treinish says, he felt unfulfilled. The 29-year-old, who lives in Bozeman, Mont., is well aware that some in society look upon him and other members of Generation X as being self-centered and civically apathetic. So this year he founded an or-ganization that offers his Merrell-wearing contemporaries a way to make a difference in the world.

Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation combines the passion of exploration with citizen science and the research needs of cash-strapped government agencies and environmental groups.

He has backcountry skiers, for example, assisting with efforts to expand a database on elusive wolverines, and alpinists documenting how global warming affects species in high elevations – the rafters of the earth.

He has backcountry skiers, for example, assisting with efforts to expand a database on elusive wolverines, and alpinists documenting how global warming affects species in high elevations – the rafters of the earth.

“We live in a time when young people are struggling to cope with traditional notions of what ‘success’ means that have been imposed upon them, and, at the same time, they are told to have lower expectations of what they can achieve,” Treinish says. “We reject that. Having an enriching life doesn’t have to be based on money.”

He is concerned, too, about the phenomenon called “nature deficit disorder,” coined by writer Richard Louv, that negatively affects children who are detached from natural environments. His group hooks up kids in different cultures, directly or digitally, with world-class explorers to ignite their interest in the outdoors and potentially to pursue careers in such things as wildlife biology, geology, and climate change.

“We want to make science cool,” he says.”

via Thirty ideas from people under 30: The Environmentalists – Gregg Treinish: Modern explorer – CSMonitor.com.

Posted January 8, 2012 by arnoneumann in Environment, Youth

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Maurice F. Strong on Rio + 20   Leave a comment

(Excerpts from a statement by Maurice F. Strong, delivered to theSpecial United Nations General Assembly Event on Rio+20, New York, October 25th, 2011)


Time precludes my elaborating on the various actions that could be taken at Rio+20 which would make it a major milestone on the pathway to sustainability. As most of these have already been raised at the High-level Symposium in Beijing and the Delhi Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi, I will note them only briefly here.

Objective evaluation by civil society organizations in each country of their performance in implementing their commitments at the Earth Summit and other fora;

Establishment of a process of continuing assessment of the performance of each country in its implementation of past commitments and accountability for them. This should lead to a system in which countries which fail to meet their commitments are subject to penalties and sanctions.

Establishment of an investment instrument in the form of “Earth Bonds” to be purchased by private sector foundations, funds and individuals, for investment in sustainable development projects, principally in developing countries; The World Bank’s initiative in issuing Green Bonds to finance climate change projects provides a useful precedent. The World Bank and/or its private sector affiliate the International Finance Corporation could also be the issuers of the Earth Bonds. They and the regional development banks could initiate and manage projects funded by the Earth Bonds. A high level group of experts is now developing the proposal.

Agreement to establish a system based on Principles 21 and 22 agreed at the Stockholm Conference in 1972 through which victims of environmental damage in one country resulting from development in another country can seek legal recourse and compensation for the damages they have suffered.

Under today’s conditions, this and other measures that I am raising will be deemed unrealistic. But denial cannot change the reality, only increase its dangers. What seems unrealistic today will become inevitable tomorrow, too late to change. The need for such actions is real and urgent. Rio+20 cannot do it all but it can and must set these processes in motion and give them the support and impetus they require.”

via Maurice F. Strong.

Posted November 19, 2011 by arnoneumann in Rio +20, UN

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Invest 2% of GDP in 10 Sectors Result: A Green Global Economy | CleanTechnica   Leave a comment

International policies that would direct “just 2 percent of global GDP into 10 key sectors would kick-start” the global transition to a more sustainable, ‘Green Economy,’ according to a UN Environmental Program report.

All the elements to enact a transition to a “low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive global economic model” are here now, and businesses and governments are already promoting and fostering greater investments in 10 key sectors UNEP has singled out: agriculture, energy, buildings, water, forestry, fisheries, manufacturing, waste, tourism and transport.

Investing 2 percent of global GDP in these sectors would not only “shift the global economy on to a more sustainable growth trajectory, but it would maintain or increase growth over time compared to the current business models,” according to UNEP’s “Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication.”

Investing $100 billion to $300 billion per year in sustainable agriculture between now and 2050, according to UNEP, “could lead to better soil quality and better yields for major crops, representing a 10% increase over the current strategies.”

“The elements of a transition to a Green Economy are clearly emerging across developing and developed countries alike,” UNEP executive director Achim Steiner stated. “There are now some nations going further and faster than others, which is in many ways generating a ‘pull factor’ that, if maintained, may bring others along over the coming months and years.”

Time is Ripe

The time is ripe, the UN points out, as UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiators, stakeholders and participating observers prepare to convene in Durban, South Africa at the end of the month to try and negotiate an extension or a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

“With the world looking ahead to the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, the UNEP Green Economy report challenges the myth that there is a trade-off between the economy and the environment,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement issued on the release of the report.

“With smart public policies, governments can grow their economies, generate decent employment and accelerate social progress in a way that keeps humanity’s ecological footprint within the planet’s carrying capacity.”

via Invest 2% of GDP in 10 Sectors Result: A Green Global Economy | CleanTechnica.

Posted November 18, 2011 by arnoneumann in Environment, Green

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An Investment in Recycling Will Create Millions of New Green Jobs | GreenBiz.com   Leave a comment

More Jobs, Less Pollution report….need to think different ly about our waste and ways of dealing with it…

 

“There is increasing pressure to combust the materials in our waste stream for one time energy benefit. But this is not only a waste a resources, it is a jobs killer: The new report More Jobs, Less Pollution shows that recycling produces between 10 to 20 times more jobs per ton of material processed than does combustion or landfilling.However, the United States lacks the policies to recover higher levels of materials from our wastes and we lack the policies to get the materials that we do recover recycled at manufacturing facilities in the USA. As a result, the recycling system in the USA is underachieving, and it is supporting jobs abroad. The promise of recycling remains unfulfilled.We need to change that.”

via An Investment in Recycling Will Create Millions of New Green Jobs | GreenBiz.com.

Posted November 15, 2011 by arnoneumann in Economic, Environment, Recycling

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