Ecology, Climate Change and Related News

Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Category Archive: Of Interest

  1. Global Landscapes Forum

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    Landscapes for a New Climate and Development Agenda

    The Global Landscapes Forum is the world’s largest and only science-led multi-sectoral platform designed to produce and disseminate knowledge and accelerate action to build more resilient, climate friendly, diverse, equitable and productive landscapes. The GLF platforms connects diverse stakeholders; provides learning opportunities; gathers and shares knowledge; and accelerates action to produce positive, sustainable impact.

    Landscape approaches embrace compromise amongst competing social, environmental, political and economic demands to produce multiple benefits from limited resources. The GLF utilizes this approach around five broad themes; Restoration; Financing; Rights; Measuring Progress; and Food and Livelihoods. The science-led Forum convenes diverse stakeholders—civil society, private sector, policy makers, community members, farmers, indigenous groups, international organizations, and more—to share knowledge and best practice to produce collaborative contributions to achieving the 2030 Agenda.

    Global Landscapes Forum Paris. Photo by CIFOR.

    Global Landscapes Forum Paris. Photo by CIFOR.

    Outcome Statement of the 2016 Global Landscapes Forum: Climate Action for Sustainable Development

    More than 5,500 stakeholders from forestry, agriculture, water, energy, law, finance and more came together for the fourth annual Global Landscapes Forum on 16 November, 2016 in Marrakesh. The thematic event, convened by a cross-sectoral consortium of international organizations, encouraged the exchange of the latest climate and sustainable development knowledge and research that will enable the transition from global commitment to local action. The Outcome Statement (pdf) highlights four cross-cutting key messages that sum up some of the most pressing challenges and opportunities for moving towards sustainable landscapes:

    1. Strengthening cross-sectoral collaboration efforts
    2. Increasing engagement with local stakeholders
    3. Pushing to mobilize the private and finance sectors
    4. Implementing new technology and tools to increase transparency and effectively

    Global Landscapes Forum – Peatlands Matter

    When thinking of forests, don’t forget the value of trees

    By Werner L. Kornexl

    Over the past decade, commitments and support for Forest Landscape Restoration have grown significantly. As part of the Bonn Challenge, for instance, some 40 countries, sub-national jurisdictions, and non-governmental entities have now pledged to restore forest landscapes across 148 million hectares. Although the environmental benefits in terms of ecosystem services, soil restoration, water, biodiversity and climate resilience are evident, the tremendous economic arguments and the value proposition for poor people living in, or nearby, the forests, are not always at the forefront of the efforts to restore landscapes….

  2. Cartoons- EPA

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    http://www.politicalcartoons.com/cartoon/50f1f59c-1b15-4b3c-b83f-4b476f3cc313.html

    RJ Matson - Roll Call - EPA Clean Coal Emissions-COLOR - English - EPA Clean Coal Emissions,EPA,Environment,Environmental,Protection,Agency,Global,Warming,Carbon,CO2,Emissions,Pollution,Clean,Coal

     

    RJ Matson - CagleCartoons.com - EPA Global Warming Alarm Silencer-COLOR - English - EPA Global Warming Alarm Silencer,EPA,Environmental,Protection,Agency,Global,Warming,Alarm,Climate,Change,Science,President,Trump,Administration,Silence,Silencer,Research,Ban,Website,Page,Delete,Erase

     

    EPA Global Warming Alarm Silencer

    Toles Planet Shutdown May 8 2017

     

  3. Farming crickets for humans increases sustainability

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    Six-legged livestock for sustainable food production

    Posted: 11 May 2017 05:37 AM PDT

    Farming crickets for human consumption is less of a burden on the environment than other livestock production systems according to a new study. Results suggest that insect farming systems can be improved to become even more environmentally sustainable in the future….

    A. Halloran, Y. Hanboonsong, N. Roos, S. Bruun. Life cycle assessment of cricket farming in north-eastern Thailand. Journal of Cleaner Production, 2017; 156: 83 DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.04.017

  4. Saying goodbye to glaciers

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    Twila Moon is pictured during field work to study ice-ocean interaction at the LeConte Glacier, Alaska. Credit: Twila Moon/NSIDC

    Glaciers around the world are disappearing before our eyes, and the implications for people are wide-ranging and troubling, Twila Moon, a glacier expert at the University of Colorado Boulder, concludes in a Perspectives piece in the journal Science today.

    The melting of glacial ice contributes to sea-level rise, which threatens to “displace millions of people within the lifetime of many of today’s children,” Moon writes. Glaciers also serve up fresh water to communities around the world, are integral to the planet’s weather and climate systems, and they are “unique landscapes for contemplation or exploration.”

    And they’re shrinking, fast, writes Moon, who returned to the National Snow and Ice Data Center this month after two years away. Her analysis, “Saying goodbye to glaciers,” is published in the May 12 issue of Science….

    Twila Moon. Saying goodbye to glaciers. Science, 2017; 356 (6338): 580 DOI: 10.1126/science.aam9625

  5. Perspective: It’s Not a War on Science

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    Issues in Science and Technology Volume XXXIII Issue 3, Spring 2017
    by

    …Science is, for today’s conservatives, an instrument of federal power. They attack science’s forms of truth-making, its databases, and its budgets not out of a rejection of either science or truth, but as part of a coherent strategy to weaken the power of the federal agencies that rely on them….Over the course of the twentieth century, the prominence of experts in legitimizing federal government power have persisted and deepened. ..

    …Given this history, it should hardly surprise us that the major environmental controversy of the past quarter-century has largely played out as a battle over science. Climate change is a phenomenon knowable only through science…

    …It is not an accident that “experts” have become the enemy of those who feel left behind in the United States and Europe. The twentieth century’s most powerful forms of government have been built on the backs of experts. When that trend began, experts provided a powerful service for democratic publics, helping to create new government agencies that could balance the power of the massive new business organizations created by industrialization. Science and expertise created the appearance of taking issues out of the realms of politics and onto more neutral terrain. The recognition that this was largely illusion—and that politics remained central to the exercise of science-based government—took a while to register. Today is a different world. Authorized and powered by science, data, and expertise, the US federal government is now arguably the most powerful institution on the planet….

    …Science, business, and government have together made the modern world what it is. All three must step up to ensure that future societies are worth inhabiting—and they must do so in concert with global publics. None of the three can any longer pretend that they stand outside politics. Democracy depends on it. So does the future our children will inherit.

     

     

  6. Will The Third Industrial Revolution Create An Economic Boom That Saves The Planet?

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    Jeremy Rifkin’s thinking about how to build a clean-energy powered, automation-filled future is inspiring major infrastructure plans in Europe and China…

    By Jeff Beer

    First, the bad news: GDP is slowing all over the world because productivity has been in decline for two decades. The result has been higher unemployment (especially among young people) and economists talking about 20 more years of slow growth. According to new numbers from Oxfam, just eight people are as rich as half the globe. In addition to this unprecedented inequality, we face climate change that’s taken us into the sixth extinction wave in the history of the planet, and the last time that happened was 65 million years ago.

    To turn things around before it’s too late, we need a plan that’s both compelling and doable. Economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin thinks he has just that plan: creating what he calls the third industrial revolution, which will be sparked by harnessing renewable energy and enabling automation and the internet of things to result in a prosperous new economy powered by clean energy.

    The good news is that people are listening. On February 7, the European Union unveiled its “Smart Europe” plan influenced by Rifkin’s work, which outlines how the 350 regions of Europe will start building out the road maps to transition into a new infrastructure of 5G internet, renewable energy, and automated driverless transport internet, all riding on top of an internet of things platform. Regions in the north of France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands have already begun their transition over the last few years. There’s a similar plan taking place in China: After Premier Li Keqiang read Rifkin’s seminal book, The Third Industrial Revolution, he made Rifkin’s strategies core to the country’s 13th Five-Year plan that was announced last March, and includes billions in renewable energy investment by 2020….

    …There have been, according to Rifkin, at least seven major economic paradigm shifts in history, and they all share a common denominator–at a moment in time, three defining technologies emerge and then converge to create an infrastructure that fundamentally changes how we manage, power, and move economic activity across the value chains.

    • First, new communication technology more efficiently manages economic activity.
    • Second, new sources of energy more efficiently power economic activity.
    • And third, new transportation and logistics more efficiently move economic activity….
  7. Most global investors recognise financial risk of climate change, report finds

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    Global index reveals 60% of asset owners are now taking some action, but warns there is still ‘enormous resistance’ to managing climate risk

    April 26, 2017 Guardian UK  Full story here

    For the first time a majority of global investor heavyweights recognise the financial risks of climate change, according to the results of a major global index rating how investors manage such risks. But despite the advances, the Asset Owner Disclosure Project chairman, John Hewson, has warned there is still an “enormous resistance” to managing climate risk.

    The AODP releases its fifth global index on Wednesday, ranking the world’s largest 500 asset owners and, for the first time, the 50 largest asset managers on their performance managing financial risks associated with climate change….

    …The report concluded that “the scales have tipped”, as 60% of asset owners are now taking some action.

    Of the 500 asset owners, there are now 34 leaders, 34 challengers, 44 learners and 187 bystanders, an increase in all categories since the last year compared with laggards, which fell from 246 to 201 in number.

    Australia and New Zealand were among the 10 best-performing countries, which were all in Oceania and Europe.

  8. Nearly half of Fortune 500 have carbon reductions goals

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    With Government in Retreat, Companies Step Up Emissions Reductions Efforts

    By HIROKO TABUCHIAPRIL 25, 2017 Continue reading the main story

    Nearly half of the Fortune 500 biggest companies in the United States have now set targets to shrink their carbon footprints, according to a report published Tuesday by environmental organizations that monitor corporate emissions pledges. Twenty-five more companies adopted climate targets over the last two years, the groups said.

    Almost two dozen companies, including Google, Walmart and Bank of America, have pledged to power their operations with 100 percent renewable energy, with varying deadlines, compared with just a handful in 2015. Google’s data centers worldwide will run entirely on renewable energy by the end of this year, the technology giant announced in December.

    “We believe that climate change is real, and it’s a severe crisis,” said Gary Demasi, who directs Google’s energy strategy. “We’re not deviating from our goals.”…

    …The laggards, by far, are energy companies. Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Phillips 66 — the largest emitters of the pack — all have no specific public targets to reduce greenhouse gases, improve energy efficiency or shift to renewable energy. Neither did nine out of 10 other companies in the energy sector.

  9. Four big reasons why deniers started believing in climate change

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    Quartz April 24 2017  Full article here

    It began, like many things on Reddit, with a simple question: “Former climate change deniers, what changed your mind?” More than 600 posts later, AskReddit was able to not only offer insights into that question, but also shed some light on why people initially rejected the consensus view held by 97% of climate scientists that the Earth is rapidly warming because of human activity.

    Yale Climate Connections analyzed 66 answers describing the motivation behind the conversion. The biggest reason was a slow acceptance of clear scientific evidence [then risk of environmental damage, erratic weather and climate deniers’ lack of credibility]…..4 reasons deniers

    Seeing graphs of atmospheric carbon dioxde and overwhelming data supporting the conclusion that humans are rapidly, catastrophically warming the planet was convincing for many.…The desire to safeguard the Earth, evidence of extreme weather, and dubious sources among climate change deniers sealed the deal for most of the rest.

    But why did people reject climate change in the first place? Family was the most common reason. “Mostly because my family rigorously shot it down whenever it was remotely mentioned,” one person wrote… But personal politics and identity were a close second (and are cited as top reasons in other studies)…

    …people tend to reject the validity of scientific evidence when it conflicts with their deeply held world-views. Instead, suggests Kahan in Mother Jones, present information in ways that already align with people’s beliefs without triggering emotional, defensive responses.

    Kahan tested this concept by showing people of various viewpoints two fake newspaper articles: “Scientific Panel Recommends Anti-Pollution Solution to Global Warming” and “Scientific Panel Recommends Nuclear Solution to Global Warming.” For conservative individuals (” hierarchical individualists” in the study) who doubted climate change, the second article was far more effective at convincing them that humans caused global warming. Kahan suspects this is because the science was presented in an existing pro-industry narrative.

    How do you change peoples’ minds? Lead with values. That gives facts a chance.