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Meet the Man Who Spent 30 Years of His Life Planting Trees - will continue for another 30 years!

Meet the Man Who Spent 30 Years of His Life Planting Trees - will continue for another 30 years! | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Jadav Payeng plans to devote the rest of his life to turning a sandbar into another lush forest.

Now, after some much-deserved R&R, Payeng is pledging to devote the rest of his life to planting another forest all by himself.

“It may take another 30 years, but I am optimistic about it,” said Payeng, in an interview with DNA India. “I feel sad when I see people felling trees. We have to save the nature or else we all will perish.”

Payeng’s one-man tree mission began when he was just 16 years old.

Now—we know what you’re thinking: How does a family man provide for children if his singular obsession is seeding an entire hinterland?

Turns out forest planting is a sustainable business. Payeng makes a living in the forest he reared, raising cows and selling milk in town.


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How air conditioning is actually making us hotter ("warming makes AC the opium in warm countries")

How air conditioning is actually making us hotter ("warming makes AC the opium in warm countries") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
More emissions means more global warming, which means more appetite for cooling.

We’re just reaching the hottest part of the summer, but already much ink has been spilled over air conditioning. Recent New York Times articles wondered why the United States is so “over air-conditioned,” with its frigid office buildings andarchaic cooling calculations that make work unbearable for many women, not to mention terrible for the environment. Yet in a series of essays for Slate, writer David Engber has argued that the case against AC is overhyped; Americans still spend more energy heating their houses than cooling them.

But elsewhere in the world — in crowded countries where heating isn’t necessary — air conditioning markets are just warming up. In late April, the Indian subsidiary of the Japanese air conditioning manufacturer Daikin Industriesannounced plans to open its second plant in the subcontinent, double production, and expand its existing stock of 200 showrooms to 350 by the end of 2015. India isn’t the only place where AC is all the rage. As climate change nudges global temperatures upward, incomes are also rising, meaning millions more people can afford to beat the heat. Sales of home and commercial air conditioners have doubled in China over the past five years, with 64 million units sold in 2013 alone.

The advent of AC in those countries will do more than simply make companies like Daikin rich. Here in the U.S., air conditioning has influenced where people settle. Over the past 80 years, hordes of Americans migrated south and west to cities like Miami and Phoenix, where AC made broiling conditions bearable; in turn, the growth of these Sun Belt communities ratcheted up the demand for cooling. These days, almost 90 percent of American households have air conditioning. We spend $11 billion on cooling each year and release roughly 100 million tons of carbon dioxide in the process — the same as 19 million cars.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Air conditioning is not a luxury but too much of it feeds climate change -- what a paradox!!! Our geniuses should have a better way around this.

 

"Still, it’s unrealistic — and unfair — to demand that the world’s rising economies forsake a luxury the more affluent have enjoyed for decades. Not to mention that during heatwaves, lack of air conditioning can kill, with the greatest danger among the elderly, poor, and people of color: A 2013 UC-Berkeley study found that in the United States, Hispanics were 21 percent more likely and African Americans 52 percent more likely than their white counterparts to live in heat islands — urban neighborhoods where, because of abundant concrete and few trees, temperatures soar."

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More bikes, buses and trains, fewer cars: L.A. plans for the future ("closely-knit cities needed")

More bikes, buses and trains, fewer cars: L.A. plans for the future ("closely-knit cities needed") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
To the editor: For too long, Los Angeles has myopically pursued a policy of prioritizing motoring convenience at the expense of anyone outside a car. (" An L.A. transit plan with vision ," editorial, Aug. 11)

This approach has created unsafe conditions that lead to around 200 people — almost half of them walking or bicycling — being killed in traffic collisions every year in Los Angeles. It has punished those whose disabilities or economic circumstances prevent them from owning or driving a car.

I am pleased that Los Angeles' new Mobility Plan seeks to lift us out of this rut through complete streets that provide safer conditions for everyone and dedicate space to the types of travel (buses, bikes) that can move large volumes of people most efficiently. Indeed, as numerous safety studies have shown, the simple act of adding a bike lane where previously people on bikes had to ride in the same lanes as cars, or shortening the distance someone on foot has to travel to cross the street, or making it harder for a driver to whip around a corner into a crosswalk, can prevent accidents and save lives.

In Los Angeles, we are starting to see the possibilities of a multimodal city. It is encouraging to see the City Council commit to taking the steps needed to ensure this progress continues.

Bert Guevara's insight:

How about Metro Manila? Shouldn't we be talking more seriously about how we will tackle traffic and transport? Next year is too late!!!

 

To the editor: It's certainly important for Los Angeles to encourage bicycle trips, walking and taking mass transit by having street designs that make the city safer. Fixing potholes, sidewalks and streets is critically important, but nowhere in the story is there even a hint that public health injury prevention experts have been consulted. There is a whole field devoted to preventing injuries, including those related to transportation.

There is a body of research on testing strategies and evaluating the designs of streets and bike lanes. Yet our city officials have not mentioned injury prevention as they plan and rethink the city road.

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House panel approves ‘Green Jobs’ bill ("this is a correct shift in fiscal incentives")

House panel approves ‘Green Jobs’ bill ("this is a correct shift in fiscal incentives") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

THE chairman of the House Committee on Labor over the weekend said the panel has approved and endorsed for second reading a measure seeking to open job opportunities in the field of green technology and environment conservation.

The panel chairman, Liberal Party Rep. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles of Davao City, author of the bill, said House Bill 4969, otherwise known as the Philippine Green Jobs Act (PGJA), has also passed the scrutiny of the House Committees on Appropriations and Ways and Means to determine the viability  of the proposal in terms of funding.

The “Green Jobs” bill seeks to promote work that produces goods and services that will benefit and preserve the environment. These particularly involve business enterprises that use fewer natural resources in their production processes.

The measure is also pushing for fiscal incentives and tax perks to encourage individuals and enterprises to participate in the creation of green jobs, practice the use of environment-friendly techonologies and produce green goods and services.

Under the bill, the so-called green companies or business enterprises that are involved in the production of environment-friendly products and those that offer services to promote environmental protection and conservation are  entitled to fiscal incentives that may include additional deduction of labor expense and duty-free importation of capital equipment.

With this bill, Nograles  said that he hopes to see the establishment of many “green investments” in the Philippines, such as those that are involved in the production of electronic vehicles, solar panels and even power companies that use renewable resources.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is a way of shifting incentives to eco-friendly industries, and thereby creating more "green" jobs. We should have more of this kind of legislation.


“This is the future. I think that in the next 10 to 20 years, we will already see a lot of homes equipped with their own solar panels and homes that have their own water-recycling facilities. What we need now is to encourage more investments on green technology. This is like in the early 1990s, where mobile phones were only for the rich, whereas today, every Filipino has their own cellular phone,” he said.

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The top 7 reasons businesses should fear climate change ("costs go higher as actions are postponed")

The top 7 reasons businesses should fear climate change ("costs go higher as actions are postponed") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
A recent report from the Economist lays out the global cost of inaction on climate issues.

Climate change poses a serious, potentially "catastrophic" risk to the world's economy, according to a report released late last month by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Sponsored by insurance giant Aviva, the report set out in the starkest terms how much inaction on climate change is likely to cost the world economy.

The numbers are eye-wateringly huge, and echo the findings of recent reports from Lord Stern,the Grantham Institute and the London Assembly, which all highlight the economic imperative for tackling climate change.

BusinessGreen highlights the key conclusions from the EIU study:

1. The private sector will be hit hard2. But public sector investors will be hit even harder3. The tail risks are far more serious4. Climate change will affect all sectors5. The damage will be permanent6. Limiting warming to 2 C vastly reduces the risk 7. The solution? Regulation, transparency and a strong carbon price — all of which will affect businesses

Bert Guevara's insight:

What's the real score on climate change for businesses?

1. The private sector will be hit hard

2. But public sector investors will be hit even harder

3. The tail risks are far more serious

4. Climate change will affect all sectors

5. The damage will be permanent

6. Limiting warming to 2 C vastly reduces the risk 

7. The solution? Regulation, transparency and a strong carbon price — all of which will affect businesses

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7 Rules for Designing Safer Cities ("with human & car populations rising, our cities become dangerous")

7 Rules for Designing Safer Cities ("with human & car populations rising, our cities become dangerous") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
As a part of its EMBARQ Sustainable Urban Mobility initiative, the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities has created...

Causing over 1.24 million deaths annually, traffic fatalities are currently estimated to be the eighth leading cause of death worldwide, a ranking that is expected to rise to the fifth leading cause of death by 2030. 

With these staggering numbers in mind, the Cities Safer by Design guide discusses ways to make cities less dangerous, particularly with its section entitled, “7 Proven Principles for Designing a Safer City.”  Learn what the 7 concepts are, after the break. 

1) Avoid Urban Sprawl

2) Slow down road traffic

3) Ensure main streets are safe for everyone, not just cars.

4) Create dedicated spaces for pedestrians.

5) Provide a safe, connected network for cyclists.

6)  Ensure safe access to high-quality public transport.

7)  Use data to detect problem areas.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Is there hope for Metro Manila to be safe again?

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Human Civilization at Risk of Ending, Scientists, Governors, and Pope Agree ("can they be all wrong")

Human Civilization at Risk of Ending, Scientists, Governors, and Pope Agree ("can they be all wrong") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
"We're talking about extinction."

“We don’t even know how far we’ve gone, or if we’ve gone over the edge,” saidCalifornia gov Jerry Brown, at an international meeting of mayors convened at the Vatican, in the wake of the Pope’s recent encyclical on the environment. “There are tipping points, feedback loops. This is not some linear set of problems that we can predict. We have to take measures against an uncertain future which may well be something no one ever wants. We are talking about extinction. We are talking about climate regimes that have not been seen for tens of millions of years. We’re not there yet, but we’re on our way.”

Dire! An exaggeration, perhaps? Politicians stand to profit from the specter of doom, sure, if they can cast themselves as saviors. But here’s James Hansen, once NASA’s preeminent climatologist, summarizing the findings of his most recent (though not-yet-peer-reviewed) paper, co-authored by 16 other top scientists:

“We conclude that continued high emissions will make multi-meter sea level rise practically unavoidable and likely to occur this century. Social disruption and economic consequences of such large sea level rise could be devastating. It is not difficult to imagine that conflicts arising from forced migrations and economic collapse might make the planet ungovernable, threatening the fabric of civilization.”

Which sounds suspiciously like the plot of a disaster movie, so just let us escape into this fiction, a mere possibility, an alternate reality, unless there is of course some certified expert on action filmography who might be able to serve as an authority on the matter.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

The state of the planet "alarm bells" continue to be sounded in unison by prominent world leaders. Can they be all wrong, or are we all missing the signs of the times?


“The Earth, our home,” goes one of the encyclical’s most famous lines, “is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

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Vertical Farm Takes Food Production to New Heights ("you can take advantage of so many elements")

Vertical Farm Takes Food Production to New Heights ("you can take advantage of so many elements") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
In Newark, New Jersey, Aero Farms will build a new $30 million corporate headquarters in an abandoned steel mill, which will include a vertical farm.

Goldman Sachs and Prudential Financial are partners in the project. When complete, the 69,000-square-foot facility will grow roughly 2 million pounds of baby greens and herbs, creating 78 new jobs in an area with an unemployment rate that is twice the national average. Aero Farms claims that its sustainable farming model, which uses no pesticides, grows 75 times more food per square foot and consumes 95 percent less water than traditional methods.

This facility will be the world’s largest indoor vertical farm. The crops will be grown in what are called “growing rooms,” which look like giant warehouse racks. The soil-free farm will utilize so-called “aeroponic farming,” where seeds are sprouted atop a cloth medium, fed by misters below and illuminated by proprietary LED lighting from above.

Aero Farms was established in 2004, in upstate New York. Its innovative, patented growing technology was developed by former Cornell Cooperative Extension director, Ed Harwood (now chief science officer). The company’s mission is to “build and operate responsible farms throughout the world enabling local production at scale to grow safe, nutritious and delicious food.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

The idea of urban gardening is catching up, but vertical farming is becoming a cooler idea.

 

"With this classic case of disruptive innovation, the company eliminated the need for all of the classic requirements for farming: land, sun and water, and substituted completely controllable elements in their place. This opens the possibility of food being grown in places where it could never have been grown before. It will certainly be interesting to see if this model can succeed and if it can be replicated at other locations around the world."

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Farming ferns, protecting the forest ("providing alternative livelihood sources diverts destruction")

Farming ferns, protecting the forest ("providing alternative livelihood sources diverts destruction") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

Today, members of the association have high hopes on farming the lowly fern, locally called pakô, for food and medicine, on top of keeping their jobs as tourist guides and producers of abaca fiber.

Mier speaks of the forest in the Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park (BTLNP), an 8,000-hectare park established in 2000 by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 414. 

The forest is inhabited by a large number of wild animals, including flora and fauna, such as endemic Tarictic Hornbills and Visayan Wart Pig. The four mountains surround the Balinsasayao Lake and Danao Lake, two crater lakes formed more than 10,000 years ago.

Like most healthy forest and watershed, the BTLNP’s surrounding forests and the lakes have been threatened by destructive human activities, threatening its rich biodiversity. “Before we were organized, we were the ones hunting animals and cutting trees for firewood and to make charcoal,” he said.  Like most upland dwellers, he said people heavily rely on the forests’ bounty before.

With the help of the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) the group was organized in 2006 to help protect the forests, by enhancing the capacity of the people to find sustainable source of income and livelihood.

FPE provides funding support to local non-governmental organizations and people’s organizations for various projects for the protection of the environment. For Negros Oriental’s famed twin lake, FPE helped establish the fern farm within the park in partnership with Siliman University Angelo King Center for Environmental Management, which is conducting research and development on the pharmaceutical value of ferns grown in the farm.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Forest protection needs alternative livelihood programs for people who are living in the mountains. Here is one such program.


"According to Mier, unlike before, members of their association are now contented in protecting the forest, providing tourism service, planting abaca and helping nurture their small fern farm.

"But the threats and challenge to save the park remains. “The forest is vast and wide. We can’t stop them all unless they have alternative sources of income,” he said. He said farmers who live near the lake work as tourist guides but not all may work in the tourism center in the park because of the cost."

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CBCP pushes community-based stewardship of environment in wake of Laudato Si ("rely on people power")

CBCP pushes community-based stewardship of environment in wake of Laudato Si ("rely on people power") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines on Monday pushed for community-based stewardship of the environment in line with Pope Francis' environmental encyclical Laudato Si'.

"(M)ore direct and immediate action can and should also be taken. Our parishes and Basic Ecclesial Communities can make, as the theme of their collective discernment, situations in the locality that scientists have found to be contributory to deleterious changes in the environment as well as to the disruption of the ecosystem," it said in the statement signed by CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan archbishop Socrates Villegas. "Mining, incineration and landfills are among the local concerns that immediately come to mind. Here, advocacy of Church communities in behalf of the common good should influence policy makers and translate itself into community action as well," it added. The CBCP also welcomed the holding of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December. During this gathering, state-parties will endeavor to arrive at legally binding measures addressing the challenge of climate change. "From a broader perspective, the Paris Negotiations will be a welcome attempt to reach a consensus on responsibility for the future of the Earth and for generations yet to come. It is not some futuristic matter with which state representatives and negotiators will be concerned, but with nothing less than social justice," it said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

With the unclear prospect of a Paris agreement on climate action in December, the Church brings its case directly to the people.We cannot underestimate the power of the people when it comes to their survival. 

Calling on all Christian communities! The time for faith and love to be put into action is now.

 

"The CBCP also stressed that the climate change issue is an intergenerational responsibility, with no less than the Supreme Court having characterized concerns of this category as matters of “intergenerational responsibility.”"We are not owners of the Earth. We are its stewards, to keep and cherish and nurture its resources not only for ourselves but for future generations," it said."

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Why equality matters in Southeast Asia's climate change fight ("also an economy booster strategy")

Why equality matters in Southeast Asia's climate change fight ("also an economy booster strategy") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Mary Ann Lucille Sering says leaders in developing Southeast Asia need to recognise that, in addition to developed countries, they too must act on global warming, for the good of their poor and economies

A central goal of developing countries over the past decade has been to spread the gains of our economic growth to reduce inequality. By hurting the poor most, climate change now threatens to unravel those efforts. A report last month for the Asian Development Bank, "To Foster Inclusive Growth, Tackle Inequality and Climate Change", found that the poor were hit first and hardest when natural disasters strike.

However, we must also be climate leaders. Southeast Asia must seize its chance for a strong Paris agreement on climate change, for two reasons. First, as we have seen, our countries lie in harm's way, now from typhoons, and increasingly from crop failures, sea level rise, damage to coral reefs and acidifying oceans. Second, economists, investors and engineers are ever more convinced that a low-carbon economy can also be more prosperous.

Like many Asian economies, the Philippines still depends on fossil fuels. This is changing, however. Last year, we more than doubled our installed wind capacity, and ranked third in all Asia for new wind power projects, behind China and India. An even greater revolution beckons in solar power.

The fight against climate change is a fight for human justice, innovation and, most of all, cooperation. Yes, developed countries bear more responsibility, but this is also our fight, for our people. As President Benigno Aquino said last year in New York: "Together, we must face these challenges and surmount them, or together we will suffer the consequences of inaction."

Bert Guevara's insight:

The strategy of helping climate disaster victims, especially the poor, is a good economy booster. There is a prevailing belief that by investing in nationwide climate action, this will result in economic gains across the economic classes.


"The fight against climate change is a fight for human justice, innovation and, most of all, cooperation. Yes, developed countries bear more responsibility, but this is also our fight, for our people. As President Benigno Aquino said last year in New York: "Together, we must face these challenges and surmount them, or together we will suffer the consequences of inaction.""

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To sustain its forests, Asia needs to invest in local people: experts - Yahoo News - Yahoo News

To sustain its forests, Asia needs to invest in local people: experts - Yahoo News - Yahoo News | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Asia has a unique opportunity to fight climate change and lift many more people out of poverty if it invests more in the communities living in its forests, experts said.

More than 450 million people in the region rely on forests for income and food, but forest dwellers often struggle to make a living as rural poverty, deforestation and climate change threaten their livelihoods.

"If we truly want to sustain Asia's forests, we need to address inequality and poverty by investing in people living in the forests," said Tint Lwin Thaung, executive director of RECOFTC, which promotes community forestry in Asia.

The Asia-Pacific region's forests, which account for almost 20 percent of the world's forested area, play a big role in fighting climate change because of trees' ability to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2).

Studies have shown that strengthening community forest rights can cut CO2 emissions by reducing deforestation, and improve forest health.

Trevor Abrahams, secretary general of the World Forestry Congress, said Asia had a unique opportunity to ensure that its forests were managed in a more sustainable way, as attention focuses on global leaders' adoption of new development goals in September.

"But the question is not just how do we manage forests in a sustainable way, but how do we make sure that the people living in them are at the center of decision making," Abrahams said.

The World Forestry Congress, the largest global gathering of the forestry sector, will take place in Durban, South Africa, in September.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

A new paradigm in the economy of ecology.

 

"If we truly want to sustain Asia's forests, we need to address inequality and poverty by investing in people living in the forests," ...

"Studies have shown that strengthening community forest rights can cut CO2 emissions by reducing deforestation, and improve forest health."

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Adapting Landscape Architecture to the Anthropocene ("should include climate subject in curriculum")

Adapting Landscape Architecture to the Anthropocene ("should include climate subject in curriculum") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
As the effects of humans accelerate the changes occurring on the planet, landscape architects and planners alike will need to take into account ways that civilization can adapt to a lack of stability.

Brent Milligan writes a refreshingly accessible academic exploration of landscape migration—the process by which environments shift and change. Landscape migration is accelerated by the impacts of human civilization (as evidence of theAnthropoceneera) and landscape architects are beginning to "focus their practice on designing for adaption to change," as Milligan describes it.

Milligan opens the essay up by acknowledging that the commonly accepted definition of the word migration is too small—pertaining only to the movement of humans and animals.

The problem with that definition, according to Milligan: "We know that environmental conditions are always changing, but we allow ourselves the fiction of background stability. When we limit our thinking in this way, our political and design responses are circumscribed. (Allot water rights. Designate a wildlife refuge. Build a wall.) Not surprisingly, they often fail."

Bert Guevara's insight:

Landscape Architecture has a new design mission in the light of climate change issues. The profession has become an important player in the climate mitigation and adaptation measures.


"With a new definition of migration in place (i.e., " patterned movement across space and time"), Milligan examines several case studies for the implication of this to landscape architecture practice. Case studies include the Klamath River in Oregon and California and the salmon habitat destroyed by engineering of the river for water supply, the "Sand Engine" in Buckhorn City in the Rotterdam-Hague region of the Netherlands, the migration of the Mississippi River throughout the Mississippi Basin, and shrinking cities such as Detroit."

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1st environment friendly bio-toilet commissioned - Economic Times ("someone's got to do something")

1st environment friendly bio-toilet commissioned - Economic Times ("someone's got to do something") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Tamil Nadu's first environment friendly bio-toilet has been commissioned at Kappalur Panchayat in the district.

The bio-toilet was introduced under a state government scheme to eradicate open defecation. Kappalur was chosen as the first village to have the facility, an official release said. 

Rural Development Agency Director Rohini Ramdoss said the facility, designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, would have six toilets, three for men and three for women. Bacteria is used to convert human waste into vapour and gas, which can be easily disposed. There would be no foul smell and the septic tank would last much longer, she said. 

Bio-gas from the tank could be used for various purposes. Depending on the success of the bio-toilet, the facility would be extended to other areas, she said. 

She said one panchayat in every district would have a bio-toilet, which would cost around Rs 4.5 lakh. The director said integrated sanitary complexes were set up at village level throughout the state. Besides 1.71 lakh individual toilets had been planned, she added.

Bert Guevara's insight:

A very basic requirement such as a toilet is not common in many countries. Humans can't just do IT anywhere.

In Metro Manila, the Pasig River and creeks become large open toilets. We need sanitary solutions like this set up in many parts of the city to save our rivers and waterways.

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Drought Stalks Europe Says European Research Centre ("California, India, Africa; now it's Europe")

Drought Stalks Europe Says European Research Centre ("California, India, Africa; now it's Europe") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

Much of the European continent has been affected by severe drought in June and July 2015, one of the worst since the drought and heat wave of summer of 2003, according to the latest report by the European commission's Joint research Centre's European Drought Observatory (EDO). The drought, which particularly affects France, Benelux, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, northern Italy and northern Spain, is caused by a combination of prolonged rain shortages and exceptionally high temperatures.

Satellite imagery and modelling revealed that the drought, caused by prolonged rainfall shortage since April, had already affected soil moisture content and vegetation conditions in June. Furthermore, the areas with the largest rainfall deficits also recorded exceptionally high maximum daily temperatures: in some cases these reached record values.

Another characteristic of this period was the persistence of the thermal anomalies: in the entire Mediterranean region, and particularly in Spain, the heat wave was even longer than that of 2003, with maximum daily temperatures consistently above 30°C for durations of 30 to 35 days (even more than 40 days in Spain).

While sectors such as tourism, viticulture and solar energy benefited from the unusual drought conditions, many environmental and production sectors suffered due to water restrictions, agricultural losses, disruptions to inland water transport, increased wildfires, and threats to forestry, energy production, and human health.

Rainfall is urgently needed in the coming months to offset the negative impacts of the 2015 drought situation. The current seasonal weather forecast envisages more abundant rains for the Mediterranean region in September, but no effective improvement is yet foreseen for parts of western, central and eastern Europe.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Where is the rain?


"Rainfall is urgently needed in the coming months to offset the negative impacts of the 2015 drought situation. The current seasonal weather forecast envisages more abundant rains for the Mediterranean region in September, but no effective improvement is yet foreseen for parts of western, central and eastern Europe."

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Report: Extreme Weather Puts Food, Civil Order at Risk ("the warning is already happening in some")

Report: Extreme Weather Puts Food, Civil Order at Risk ("the warning is already happening in some") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
A U.S.-British task force warns that global food shortages will become more likely as a result of climate change.

Rather than being a once-a-century event, severe production shocks, including food shortages, price spikes and market volatility, are likely to occur every 30 years by 2040, said the Taskforce on Extreme Weather and Global Food System Resilience.

With the world's population set to rise to 9 billion by 2050 from 7.3 billion today, food production will need to increase by more than 60 percent and climate-linked market disruptions could lead to civil unrest, said the report, which was released on Friday.

"The climate is changing and weather records are being broken all the time," said David King, the UK foreign minister's Special Representative for Climate Change, in the report. "The risks of an event are growing, and it could be unprecedented in scale and extent."

Globalization and new technologies have made the world's food system more efficient but it has also become less resilient to risks, said King.

Some of the major risks include a rapid rise in oil prices fuelling food costs, reduced export capacity in Brazil, the United States or the Black Sea region due to infrastructure weakness, and the possible depreciation of the U.S. dollar causing prices for dollar-listed commodities to spike.

Global food production is likely to be most impacted by extreme weather events in North and South America and Asia which produce most of the world's four major crops - maize, soybean, wheat and rice.

But such shocks in production or price hikes are likely to hit some of the world's poorest nations hardest such as import dependent countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the report said. 

"In fragile political contexts where household food insecurity is high, civil unrest might spill over into violence or conflict," the report said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Without being alarmist, it pays to listen to advise that makes economic and political sense.

Is there a country not hit by climate change? (i am not talking to climate deniers.)

 

"The researchers said agriculture itself needs to change to respond to global warming as international demand is already growing faster than agricultural yields and climate change will put further pressure on production.

"Increases in productivity, sustainability and resilience to climate change are required. This will require significant investment from the public and private sectors, as well as new cross-sector collaborations," the report said.

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It’s Unanimous: Every Country in the UN Signs Agreement to Protect Wildlife ("that being really human")

It’s Unanimous: Every Country in the UN Signs Agreement to Protect Wildlife ("that being really human") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
All 193 members of the United Nations have finally found something they all can agree on: protecting the world's wildlife. A new pledge will enforce it.

The resolution calls on countries to beef up courts and law enforcement to protect wildlife, and encourage communities to join the fight against poaching, trafficking, and selling illicit goods taken or made from threatened animals.

“The resolution sends a message that wildlife crime, and the global criminal syndicates profiting from it, will not be tolerated,” Leigh Henry, of the World Wildlife Fund, told ABC News.

Starting next year, the UN Secretary General will have to file an annual report on the state of the world’s wildlife and progress countries have made toward fulfilling the requirements of the resolution. The General Assembly is also looking into the idea of creating a special envoy to help keep pressure on countries to live up to their promises.

It’s rare for all the member countries to agree to any one thing, but animals have an appeal that reaches across borders, and attracts tourists.

Gabon and Germany proposed the original initiative, and 84 other nations joined as co-sponsors of the resolution.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is the essence of man's stewardship of creation. Let's get down to work.

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A price tag on the environment? That will be $125 trillion a year ("this is good in winning debates")

A price tag on the environment? That will be $125 trillion a year ("this is good in winning debates") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Although not a particularly romantic idea, attempting to put a price tag on the natural world is something conservation scientists have sought to do for decades. The latest of these environmental audits has put the net worth of ecological services — be they carbon sequestration, regulation of the water cycle, or protecting biodiversity, among countless others — at $125 trillion a year. And working with the logic of these attempts at valuation, payment for ecosystem services (PES) is one model by which the protection of these “assets” is financially incentivized.

Based on his findings, Pirard is skeptical about efficacy of PES and the conservation results that may be yielded, particularly on a macro-level.

But he does not believe that PES is harmful, and notes that it can even entail unintended positive effects.

“Perhaps ironically it seems that the scheme actually managed to foster the dialogue that was needed to educate local people about the benefit of forests, which has been acted on, independent of any financial incentive,” Pirard says.

According to the study, 81 percent of participants said they would keep the trees even if the program came to an end, with 88 percent saying they would use the forests for fruits and timber, and 51 percent recognizing that trees were a good long-term investment.

“So, in spite of the ‘hard’ economic theory, the scheme actually worked as a vehicle for education — even though this was incidental to the PES concept,” Pirard says.

Bert Guevara's insight:

You may or may not agree, but this is one way of winning the argument on the side of conservation.

When decision-makers are misinformed about the value of natural resources, they will just treat them as expendables that can be discarded in the name of development. This kind of mindset is what brings chaos, instead of development.


“Too much emphasis has been placed on hard economic transactions in understanding human behavior in this regard. The forces of the market are over emphasized,” says Romain Pirard, a CIFOR scientist and one of the authors of the study."

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SustainOurEarth's curator insight, August 5, 8:13 PM

You may or may not agree, but this is one way of winning the argument on the side of conservation.

When decision-makers are misinformed about the value of natural resources, they will just treat them as expendables that can be discarded in the name of development. This kind of mindset is what brings chaos, instead of development.

 

“Too much emphasis has been placed on hard economic transactions in understanding human behavior in this regard. The forces of the market are over emphasized,” says Romain Pirard, a CIFOR scientist and one of the authors of the study."

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Crisis: life saving apps | Philippine News ("try these apps if you think they can help in disasters")

Crisis: life saving apps | Philippine News ("try these apps if you think they can help in disasters") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Manila Bulletin, the nation's leading newspaper, brings you the latest news and current events in the Philippines and abroad daily, since 1900.

History has fascinating stories of how archaeologists have discovered lost cities or those that have been buried under water. These cities were once upon a time rich in culture, architecture and were populated with people; but all those were gone because of natural calamities and disasters such as flood and earthquake that were out of their control. Looking back, if they had been informed, educated and prepared, their cities would have still been wiped out but the people could have managed to stay alive.

 With the advent of the disaster and calamity preparedness that is being done in the local and national level, here are six apps that are helpful in times of disasters and calamities:
Bert Guevara's insight:

History has fascinating stories of how archaeologists have discovered lost cities or those that have been buried under water. These cities were once upon a time rich in culture, architecture and were populated with people; but all those were gone because of natural calamities and disasters such as flood and earthquake that were out of their control. Looking back, if they had been informed, educated and prepared, their cities would have still been wiped out but the people could have managed to stay alive.

With the advent of the disaster and calamity preparedness that is being done in the local and national level, here are six apps that are helpful in times of disasters and calamities:

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Nepal Festival Bans Sacrifice, Saving Half a Million Animals ("let's revisit our traditions")

Nepal Festival Bans Sacrifice, Saving Half a Million Animals ("let's revisit our traditions") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Gadhimai festival sees some 500,000 animals sacrificed every five years.

The announcement comes on the heels of an international movement against the event, which led the Indian Supreme Court to prohibit animals from being shipped or shepherded across the border to be killed as offerings.

“With your help, we can ensure the festival in 2019 is free from bloodshed,” chairman of the temple trust Ram Chandra Shah said in a statement announcing the ban. “Moreover, we can ensure Gadhimai 2019 is a momentous celebration of life.”

Gauri Maulekhi, consultant for Humane Society International/India (HSI) and trustee for People for Animals Uttarakhand, who was among the petitioners in the Supreme Court case, called the move a “tremendous victory for compassion” but acknowledged that the hardest task is still to come. Maulekhi said the HSI would spend the three and a half years until the next festival in 2019 educating would-be celebrants in the Indian states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal about the temple’s decision.

HSI estimates that more than 500,000 goats, chickens and buffalos, along with other animals, were decapitated at Gadhimai in 2009. The festival, which dates back about 265 years and which some say has even more ancient roots, is based on a dream founder Bhagwan Chowdhary had featuring Gadhimai, the Hindu goddess of power. In the dream, Gadhimai demanded a sacrifice after freeing Chowdhary from prison, promising power and prosperity in return. Chowdhary prepared an animal offering, establishing a legacy of tradition and blood that would last nearly three centuries.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Where did this religious tradition come from? Can't we apply more compassion in the name of religion?

 

"The festival, which dates back about 265 years and which some say has even more ancient roots, is based on a dream founder Bhagwan Chowdhary had featuring Gadhimai, the Hindu goddess of power. In the dream, Gadhimai demanded a sacrifice after freeing Chowdhary from prison, promising power and prosperity in return. Chowdhary prepared an animal offering, establishing a legacy of tradition and blood that would last nearly three centuries."

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WATCH: ‘Amazing saging’ trees in Pangasinan attracting passersby ("1000+ fruits per strand")

WATCH: ‘Amazing saging’ trees in Pangasinan attracting passersby ("1000+ fruits per strand") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Four banana trees bearing an extraordinary number of bananas are attracting passersby in Santa Barbara town in Pangasinan province.

Their unusual number of fruits have earned the trees the nickname "Amazing Saging," GMA Dagupan's Jette Arcellana reported.

The Aguilar family, on whose lot the four trees are growing, decided to transfer the trees near the road so passersby can see them.
"May dumadaan nga nagpapa-picture. Ang joke namin sana kasama rin kami kasi kami may-ari at makilala rin kami," said Marlyn Aguilar.
She said they tried to count the number of fruits per tree but stopped when their count exceeded 1,000.
"Ito hanggang lupa naman, pinutol na namin kasi sagabal sa daan na namin," neighbor Sheryl Flores said.
As for the bananas' taste, Aguilar said they tasted like latundan bananas. "Hinihingi na nga ng iba, binibigay na lang namin. Tanim nila, ang lasa parang latundan," she said.
But local agriculturists cautioned residents against eating the fruit.
"May mga dikit-dikit din yung bunga, kaya kung minsan yung saging may abnormalities sa variety," said municipal agriculturist Cirila Capua.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Fantastic!

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BusinessWorld | Resort islands near Iloilo try container gardening own food ("sustainability upstart")

BusinessWorld | Resort islands near Iloilo try container gardening own food ("sustainability upstart") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
ILOILO CITY -- Households in the province’s coastal islands are being assisted by the local government to go into container gardening for food supply, additional livelihood and help in environmental conservation.

The Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) introduced the container gardening project last year to the islands of Gigantes and Tambaliza, both popular beach destinations. 

“Bottles scattered in the area can be used to plant vegetables. 

Through urban gardening, we teach them to plant vegetables for their consumption, and they could also make it as their business and sell them in resorts,” Dr. Ildefonso T. Toledo, PAO chief.

The island resorts source their vegetables mostly from the Iloilo mainland.

Mr. Toledo said the gardening program has also been expanded to involve local and foreign tourists, allowing them to visit the sites and help the communities by making organic fertilizer.

“Gigantes Island is a tourism spot… if not properly managed, its beauty will be destroyed,” he said.

A non-government organization also started last year a rehabilitation project for the areas coral reefs, which were destroyed by super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in December 2013.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Urban container gardening of edible food, for resorts consumption, supported through waste recovery and composting, is a laudable program which should be further developed.

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EU Climate Chief Says “No Plan B” for Paris Climate Talks ("warning signals raised; what are chances?")

EU Climate Chief Says “No Plan B” for Paris Climate Talks ("warning signals raised; what are chances?") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
EU Climate Chief Miguel Cañete urges world leaders to force their ministers to agree a deal.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Miguel Cañete, commissioner for climate action, said he was very concerned about the lack of negotiating time remaining before the conference.

Cañete, who will lead the EU’s 28 member states in the talks, said that if governments did not reach agreement, there was “no plan B – nothing to follow. This is not just ongoing U.N. discussions. Paris is final.”

For it to be a success, he said, heads of government – most of whom are not expected to attend the talks in person – must urgently instruct their negotiating ministers to come forward with plans for a deal that would involve cutting emissions, rich countries providing the poor with financial assistance, and putting in place sweeping new measures to help poor nations adapt to the ravages of global warming.

Cañete said the EU would reject any deal he thought was not ambitious enough in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, a key sticking point in the talks. “For us, it’s very important to have a deal – but not any kind of deal.”

The commissioner’s tough talking marks a new line from the EU, which has previously been seen as dovish, trying to smooth over differences among developing and developed countries. Cañete is embarking on an exhausting round of visits to developing country capitals, from Latin America to Papua New Guinea, to try to garner support for a Paris agreement.

Bert Guevara's insight:

There is no more time for "flavored" discussions. There is a limit to negotiations. If there is no serious agreement reached in Paris, the future may become what we are all avoiding to even consider. The alarmists may have the "last laugh".

 

"Cañete said the EU would reject any deal he thought was not ambitious enough in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, a key sticking point in the talks. “For us, it’s very important to have a deal – but not any kind of deal.”

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Seabirds suffering massive population declines ("70% drop since 1950s; marine ecosystems really bad")

Seabirds suffering massive population declines ("70% drop since 1950s; marine ecosystems really bad") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Global seabird numbers have dropped 70 percent since the 1950s due to overfishing, pollution and climate change, study says

A bird that mates for life and flies over 6,000 miles for food, the albatross has seen profound population declines over the past several decades. It appears now as though a harbinger for its own demise.

Or take the Fiji petrel, a black, tube-nosed bird that spends almost its entire life skimming the oceans. The petrel, the albatross and other birds suffer when the oceans are polluted and overfished and a new study in PLOS One suggests they are paying a heavy price. Since the 1950s, the study concludes that seabird numbers have dropped by nearly 70 percent.

"Seabirds are particularly good indicators of the health of marine ecosystems," said University of British Columbia's Michelle Paleczny, a co-author of the study and a researcher with the Sea Around Us project. "When we see this magnitude of seabird decline, we can see there is something wrong with marine ecosystems. It gives us an idea of the overall impact we're having."

For the study, the researchers compiled information on more than 500 seabird populations from around the world, representing 19 percent of the global seabird population. They found overall populations had declined by 69.6 percent or the equivalent to a loss of about 230 million birds in 60 years.

Bert Guevara's insight:

230 million birds lost in 60 years! What is happening to our marine ecosystems? Isn't this a warning to humans?


"Seabirds are particularly good indicators of the health of marine ecosystems," said University of British Columbia's Michelle Paleczny, a co-author of the study and a researcher with the Sea Around Us project. "When we see this magnitude of seabird decline, we can see there is something wrong with marine ecosystems. It gives us an idea of the overall impact we're having."

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Two Maps Show Greenland’s Sudden Melt Season Onset ("30% of global sea level rise is from GL ice melt")

Two Maps Show Greenland’s Sudden Melt Season Onset ("30% of global sea level rise is from GL ice melt") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Greenland's melt season started slow but is suddenly speeding up due to warm weather and dark ice.

This year’s sudden uptick doesn’t necessarily portend a similar monster melt. But rising temperatures and a corresponding increase in wildfire activity could make 2012-level melt happen yearly by 2100. More dust has also been accumulating on the ice in recent years as spring snow recedes early in the Northern Hemisphere.

With 684,000 cubic miles of ice, the complete disappearance of the ice sheet isn’t going to happen anytime soon. But any speed up in the melting could have major global consequences.

The ice sheet’s fate is intimately tied to sea level rise. Its melt is responsible about 30 percent of observed sea level rise since the 1990s. Over the past two decades, Greenland has seen its contribution to sea level rise increase.

That trend is projected to continue as the planet warms and could put coastal cities at risk and cause trillions of dollars in damage.

In addition to sea level rise, the influx of freshwater could also be slowing the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, a crucial ocean current that transfers heat from the tropics poleward. If that pattern stalls out, it could reduce nutrients in the North Atlantic and alter circulation in other parts of the world’s oceans.

Bert Guevara's insight:

So what?

 

"The ice sheet’s fate is intimately tied to sea level rise. Its melt is responsible about 30 percent of observed sea level rise since the 1990s. Over the past two decades, Greenland has seen its contribution to sea level rise increase."

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Environmentalists Attacked for Protecting One of the Ocean's Most Endangered ... - TakePart

Environmentalists Attacked for Protecting One of the Ocean's Most Endangered ... - TakePart | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Poachers threaten a group guarding sea turtle eggs in Costa Rica.
Bert Guevara's insight:

Who is the worse animal?

The dark side of poaching threatens not only wildlife, but also human lives who protect the wild. This is not an isolated case; it is happening in many places in the world.

 

"Costa Rica touts itself as a leading destination for eco-tourism. So why isn’t the government doing more to protect sea turtles and their eggs—and the people who are trying to save them?"

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