Earth Citizens Perspective
13.9K views | +4 today
Follow
Earth Citizens Perspective
Developments affecting the environment worldwide
Curated by Bert Guevara
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

GALLERY: Top 10 sustainability stories in October 2015

GALLERY: Top 10 sustainability stories in October 2015 | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Plastic bag 'chaos' hits England, Waitrose turns grass into egg boxes and Ford mimics a gecko. Take a look back at October's most talked about sustainability news stories in edie's latest gallery round-up. - edie news centre

Meanwhile, the solar sector continued its fight against the Government's punitive subsidy cuts throughout the month, with big businesses, green groups, NGOs and politicians all voicing their concerns. And the automotive industry continued to do all it can to move past the recent emissions scandal as car giants introduced a host of new green initiatives.

October was also the month that England followed in the footsteps of the rest of the UK by introducing a 5p plastic bag tax for large retailers. Was there 'chaos' at the checkouts, as some of the nationals predicted?

Finally, proving that sustainability takes a backseat to no one, edie made sure that the Rugby World Cup was put under the green microscope; extrapolateing 10 sustainability facts that you might not know about the participating nations...

So, take a look through all of the month's most-read news stories in our exclusive gallery, and click the links in the descriptions below to read them for yourself.

Bert Guevara's insight:

1) Majority of UK electricity wasted before reaching households

... the UK currently loses 54% of its electrical energy that is sent to the National grid ...

2) Europe’s largest floating solar farm makes waves in Manchester

3) Ford boosts recycling by mimicking gecko 'stickiness'

4) Environment Agency extends ESOS deadline

5) 5p plastic bag charge launches in England

6) £1 solar rescue plan received cross-party backing

7) Rugby World Cup 2015: Top 10 sustainability facts

8) Nissan's self-driving 'EV of the future'

9) Waitrose turned grass into egg boxes

10) Kingfisher and IKEA poised for business model shake-up

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

28 Most Inspiring Urban Agriculture Projects Around the World ("it sounds good; don't get left behind")

28 Most Inspiring Urban Agriculture Projects Around the World ("it sounds good; don't get left behind") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Urban farms and gardens supply organic produce to residents of cities, cultivate food justice and equity in their communities and revitalize urban land

Around 15 percent of the world’s food is now grown in urban areas. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), urban farms already supply food to about 700 million residents of cities, representing about a quarter of the world’s urban population. By 2030, 60 percent of people in developing countries will likely live in cities.

At Food Tank, we are amazed by the efforts of hundreds of urban farms and gardens to grow organic produce, cultivate food justice and equity in their communities and revitalize urban land. Urban agriculture not only contributes to food security, but also to environmental stewardship and a cultural reconnection with the land through education.

The Urban Food Policy Pact (UFPP), signed on World Food Day, addresses the potential of cities to contribute to food security through urban agriculture. A technical team of 10 members organized physical and virtual workshops with many of the 45 cities participating in the pact, and drafted a framework for action that includes 37 provisions covering the themes of governance, food supply and distribution, sustainable diets and nutrition, poverty alleviation, food production, and food and nutrient recovery.

“The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize the importance of building sustainable cities,” says Maurizio Baruffi, Chief of Staff of the Mayor of Milan, Italy. “The City of Milan is partnering with urban areas around the world to embark on this journey, starting from food.”

Do you want to discover urban agriculture projects in your own city or are you interested in visiting farms during your travels to new urban areas? Check out these inspiring projects, and find even more links to urban agriculture projects below.


Bert Guevara's insight:

This idea will catch more converts sooner than you think. The nature of man will always look for the greens and the soil.


"The Urban Food Policy Pact (UFPP), signed on World Food Day, addresses the potential of cities to contribute to food security through urban agriculture. A technical team of 10 members organized physical and virtual workshops with many of the 45 cities participating in the pact, and drafted a framework for action that includes 37 provisions covering the themes of governance, food supply and distribution, sustainable diets and nutrition, poverty alleviation, food production, and food and nutrient recovery."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

This family produces 6,000 pounds of food per year on 4,000 square feet of land | Inhabitat

This family produces 6,000 pounds of food per year on 4,000 square feet of land | Inhabitat | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The Dervaes family is able to produce about 6,000 pounds of food on their 4,000 square-foot postage stamp of land just outside Los Angeles.

Six thousand pounds of food from one tenth of an acre of land just 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles; if you try to do the math, it just doesn’t seem to compute. But somehow the numbers work out because the Dervaes family is able to produce about 4,300 pounds of vegetables, 900 chicken and 1,000 duck eggs, 25 pounds of honey, and further poundage of seasonal fruits on their 4,000 square-foot postage stamp of land just outside the southern California’s sprawling megalopolis. Beyond providing food for themselves, the family makes about $20,000 per year by selling their produce from their front porch.

Every member of the family pitches on to make sure every square inch of their land produces as much as possible. In addition, beyond simply producing their own organic food, the Dervaes family is living almost totally off the grid. Many of the gadgets they use are hand-powered, and what isn’t hand powered gets energy from solar panels, which leads to power bills that max out at about $12 per month. They also don’t burn any fossil fuels, as their car is powered by biodiesel produced from used cooking fat—which restaurants deliver to their doorstep.


Bert Guevara's insight:

A fantastic model....


"Every member of the family pitches on to make sure every square inch of their land produces as much as possible. In addition, beyond simply producing their own organic food, the Dervaes family is living almost totally off the grid. Many of the gadgets they use are hand-powered, and what isn’t hand powered gets energy from solar panels, which leads to power bills that max out at about $12 per month. They also don’t burn any fossil fuels, as their car is powered by biodiesel produced from used cooking fat—which restaurants deliver to their doorstep."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Over 900 freshwater turtles rescued in Palawan ("human predators are on the loose again")

Over 900 freshwater turtles rescued in Palawan ("human predators are on the loose again") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

At least 979 freshwater turtles were rescued in Taytay, Palawan on Sunday evening.

Authorities seized the turtles from suspects Joel Sulayaw, Gerald Favila and Benjie Dimasupil in Barangay Old Guinlo at around 8:30 p.m. by members of the Provincial Law Enforcement Task Force, Bantay Palawan Task Force, and Palawan Council for Sustainable Development.

The rescued turtles will be brought to Puerto Princesa City where they will be turned over to the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center. They will then be released into the wild.

The suspects are facing charges for violating Republic Act 9147 or the "Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act."

Bert Guevara's insight:

How much more were not caught? The Palawan wildlife is being poached by human predators.

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by ReelAdventureFishing
Scoop.it!

Fish Farming: Do the Pros Outweigh the Cons? ("improvements are needed to ensure consumers")

Fish Farming: Do the Pros Outweigh the Cons? ("improvements are needed to ensure consumers") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Fish farming is not something new to mankind. It dates back to ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire. But are modern farm raised fish good for us and the

The Pros: There is no argument over the fact that farmed fish has a number of benefits to offer. Many argue that, not only does it potentially provide us with a large and readily available source of food, but it may also save our wild fish populations as our oceans and freshwater bodies may not be able to support commercial fishing in its current form much longer. One of the greatest benefit that fish farming has to offer is that of its convenience. Be it an artificial pond or an enclosure of reasonable size within a natural setting, fish farms can be established and sustained almost anywhere. Last but not the least, it ensures that seafood as a source of protein and nutrition is always plentiful, and that scarcity does not contribute towards steep increases in seafood prices in the future.

The Cons: The above mentioned benefits do not come without a price though. There are a number of cons associated with fish farming as well. To begin with, it has environmental implications since the natural ecosystems could be negatively impacted by the proliferation of fish farms. Water contamination may as well be a major concern associated with the fish farm. All sorts of waste products, feces, increase of fish parasites or even bacteria could find their way into our water supply as well as into surrounding waters and impact wild fish  populations, many of whom are already under environmental stress. The use of pesticides and drugs to sustain a fish farm may as well be hazardous for human health. Their increased use could lead to more antibiotic resistance diseases.

Bert Guevara's insight:

In a world of declining fish populations and deteriorating ocean habitats, the need to continually improve aquaculture is there. It is part of the food security equation.


"There are concerns, however. As evident from the information mentioned above, while fish farming offers benefits on one hand, it does have considerable cons associated to it as well. So far, it has not been possible to estimate whether or not the pros outweigh the cons. For the future for farm raised fish to be favorable, the cons highlighted here will need to be taken into consideration and are dealt with appropriately through careful planning and the use of improved methodologies."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Climate Change: Why Cities Are Next Global Warming Frontier ("source of 70% emissions manageable")

Climate Change: Why Cities Are Next Global Warming Frontier ("source of 70% emissions manageable") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
A number of the world's largest cities, states and other sub-national authorities have suggested they're ready to focus on climate change

Throughout the past year, countries around the world have announced individual commitments to cutting carbon dioxide emissions in hopes these cuts will keep global temperatures from rising more than 3.6°F (2°C) by 2100. With research showing the pledged emission cuts aren’t anywhere near enough to avoid dangerous climate change, experts say cities and other sub-national governments will be responsible for making up the difference.

The good news is that emissions from cities represent more than 70% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, and local leaders often have more autonomy to enact regulations—autonomy they are willing to exercise. Earlier this month, cities across the U.S. and China announced commitments to curtail their own emissions by a total of 1.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide annually. (For perspective, the entire U.S. emits between 5 and 6 gigatons each year.) And last week, states, provinces and other regions from Quebec to South Australia announced voluntary commitments to cut carbon emissions leading to a 7.9-gigaton reduction by 2030.

“Cities have a capability to execute,” said Jules Kortenhorst, the CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute, an energy think tank. “Mayors are both powerful and grounded in reality.”

Indeed, many climate and energy experts have turned to cities precisely because mayors can often take action in ways that national governments cannot. In the U.S. President Barack Obama has seen efforts to institute a cap-and-trade system thwarted and regulations on power plants challenged in court. But at the state level, California enacted a cap-and-trade system in 2006, cut greenhouse gas emissions and still managed to grow the economy.


Bert Guevara's insight:

City dwellers are expected to carry a heavier burden in the climate change mitigation efforts. What have you done so far?


"“Even without national legislation, countries can make great progress if leadership comes from other places,” former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in an address during the city’s Climate Week. On Monday, Bloomberg announced the creation of an umbrella organization to combine the efforts of the Compact of Mayors and the Compact of States and Regions, two previously separate organizations aimed at cutting emissions at the sub-national level. Earlier this week, Bloomberg said the Compact of Mayors had obtained commitments from more than 175 cities that are collectively home to more than 250 million people."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Institutions worth $2.6 trillion have now pulled investments out of fossil fuels | The Guardian

Institutions worth $2.6 trillion have now pulled investments out of fossil fuels | The Guardian | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Coalition of 2,000 individuals and 400 institutions are shifting assets from coal, oil and gas companies to tackle climate change

Leonardo DiCaprio and over 2,000 individuals and 400 institutions are now committed to pulling their money from fossil fuel companies, together representing a remarkable $2.6tn of investments, it was revealed on Tuesday.

A new analysis shows the value of the funds committed to selling off their investments in coal, oil and gas companies has rocketed in the last year, rising 50-fold. Major pension funds and insurance companies have joined the universities and churches that founded the divestment movement, all of whom fear the impact of climate change on both the world and the value of their investment portfolios.

Among the biggest divesters are the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, held by Norway, and two of the world’s biggest pension funds, in California. The campaign, now active in 43 countries, was backed on Tuesday by the UN’s climate chief, who will lead negotiations for a global climate deal at a crunch summit in Paris in December.

Christiana Figueres called for the shift of investment from fossil fuels to meet the $1tn-a-year need for clean investment and to create momentum ahead of Paris. “Investing at scale in clean, efficient power offers one of the clearest, no regret choices ever presented to human progress,” she said at the launch of the report in New York.

DiCaprio, who on Tuesday revealed the divestment of his personal wealth and his charitable foundation’s funds, said: “Climate change is severely impacting the health of our planet and all of its inhabitants, and we must transition to a clean energy economy that does not rely on fossil fuels. Now is the time to divest and invest to let our world leaders know that we, as individuals and institutions, are taking action to address climate change, and we expect them to do their part in Paris.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

Divestment is the new name of the game for climate mitigation, and its starting to hurt the fossil fuel industry.


"Connie Hedegaard, former EU commissioner for climate action, said that divestment from fossil fuels not only helped tackle climate change but was also “sound economics”. She said the KR Foundation which she now chairs would divest it own funds, to “put our money where our mouth is”."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

NEDA forum to focus on climate change, agriculture policy ("smart agriculture needs to be localized")

NEDA forum to focus on climate change, agriculture policy ("smart agriculture needs to be localized") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
We need careful empirical assessment on the effects of climate change on the agriculture sector so that we can recommend the appropriate and evidence-based policies and reforms, says Arsenio Balisacan of NEDA

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) will hold a policy discussion on the effects of climate change on the country’s agriculture sector and its impact on economic growth. (READ: How can the Philippines have a booming agricultural sector)

The high-level policy form and research symposium will be held on September 18-19, 2015 at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Mandaluyong City in partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

“Through these avenues, we would like to address the country’s need for careful empirical assessment on the effects of climate change on the agriculture sector. In this way, we can recommend the appropriate and evidence-based policies and reforms and seek support for their proper implementation,” said Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan.

The key findings and recommendations of the collaborative research project on “Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change in the Philippine Agriculture Sector” will also be presented at the event.

The results of the component studies will then be compiled in a book titled The Future of Philippine Agriculture: Scenarios, Policies, Investments under Climate Change.

The event will kickoff with a high-level policy forum in the morning of September 18, 2015 featuring senior officials from the Office of Presidential Adviser on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, Department of Agriculture, Climate Change Commission, Department of Science and Technology, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources

The forum will be followed by a research symposium that will take place September 19.

The symposium will showcase the results of the component studies. Officials of other government agencies and development partners working on agriculture and climate change are invited to participate.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The changes in our climate that affect agriculture are happening so fast that science-based facts are being overtaken by the changes. I believe that farmers on the ground have to do their own local assessment, at least on a regional level, to apply smart agriculture fast enough.


"We need careful empirical assessment on the effects of climate change on the agriculture sector so that we can recommend the appropriate and evidence-based policies and reforms, says Arsenio Balisacan of NEDA."

more...
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Learning From Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change ("we're not that smart if we can't see our mistakes")

Learning From Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change ("we're not that smart if we can't see our mistakes") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

Many of the people likely to be on the front lines of a changing climate are indigenous. Already assaulted by centuries of colonialism and exploitation, many indigenous people must also now adapt to rising seas, warming temperatures, and other disruptions to natural systems.

Conservation biologist Gleb Raygorodetsky has been traveling the world to document stories of resilience among indigenous people in the face of these challenges, from the Arctic to the Amazon. He is compiling the stories into a book, Archipelago of Hope: Encounters at the Edge of the Changing World.

We should look at such environmental issues as climate change through the prism of indigenous people’s knowledge because they view the world in a holistic/multidimensional way, based on a view of the Earth, air, mountains, seas (and all their creatures) as living conscious beings. It is imbued with spirit. Our conventional approaches, on the other hand, are all two-dimensional and fail to grasp the true nature of life and living, and therefore adapting.

We forget that we inherited the Earth from people who looked after it for millennia. They were not just passive hunter-gatherers, they actively managed the land.

As an example, one of their tools was fire management. In North America today we see increased frequency and intensity of fires, in large part because we have suppressed small fires and traditional burns. But in parts of Australia, land management has been turned back over to traditional people who have used fire as a tool for thousands of years. The land has gotten healthier as a result, with higher biodiversity.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Learn from the people who are close to nature how NOT to mess up the planet. We are not as smart as we think we are in managing our planet.


"My hope is to share what I have learned from the people who have a proven track record for living on the land without messing it up. We don’t have that track record. Indigenous people look after 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity in their traditional territories and they want to continue to look after that land, from the coast to the tundra. We’re all in this together but we don’t often hear the voices of our indigenous brothers and sisters."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Global forest loss reached 46 million acres in 2014 ("decline of 20% vis-a-vis 2012; 9% less 2013")

Global forest loss reached 46 million acres in 2014 ("decline of 20% vis-a-vis 2012; 9% less 2013") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Global forest loss amounted to 18.7 million hectares (46 million acres) in 2014, a decline of about 9 percent relative to 2013 and 20 percent compared to 2012, according to data released today by a team of researchers from the University of Maryland and Google.

Global forest loss amounted to 18.7 million hectares (46 million acres) in 2014, a decline of about 9 percent relative to 2013 and 20 percent compared to 2012, according to data released today by a team of researchers from the University of Maryland and Google.

The much-anticipated data, published this morning on Global Forest Watch, a platform for mapping ‘big data’ related to forests, reflects changes in tree cover, including deforestation, harvesting of tree plantations, fire damage, and forest die-off from disease and pests. It will be used by analysts, policymakers, conservationists, and others to track progress — or lack there of — on efforts to conserve forests ahead of November climate talks in Paris, where forests are expected to play a major role in the development of an emissions mitigation framework.

The data, which does not include forest gain including reforestation and forest recovery, reveals some interesting trends including persistently high forest loss in boreal regions — where most forest loss is linked to logging, fires, and beetle outbreaks — and the tropics, which is dominated by outright deforestation, typically for pasture, agriculture, or plantations. Among the planet’s biomes, the tropics accounted for the largest share of loss at 10 million hectares in 2014.

The usual suspects topped the 2014 list: Russia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia and the United States. But coming in at number six was the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which surpassed a million hectares of forest loss for the only time in the 14-year data set. Annual forest loss in the Central African nation has roughly doubled since the early 2000s, according to the data.

Bert Guevara's insight:

If we think that trees and forests are vital to human survival, then why are forest cover data showing a decline? This means that the agents of forest destruction are more aggressive than the protectors.

 

“As the world of forest information gets richer, everyone from government officials to researchers to everyday citizens can get more involved helping monitor and manage our forest resources.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

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."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

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.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

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.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Aquaponic Farming with FarmedHere - YouTube ("harvest every 30 days and deliver the same day - wow!")

Medill Reports features an in-depth look at Aquaponic Farming methods of FarmedHere. FarmedHere has revolutionized the farming industry by creating a fully-s...

FarmedHere, a 90,000-square-foot space in Bedford Park that opened in 2013, is not only the first organically-certified indoor vertical aquaponic farm in Illinois, it’s also the largest indoor farm in North America.

A variety of plants grow on racks that are stacked on top of each other in a vertical farmingsystem, as well as an aquaponics system, which combines tilapia (and the fish’s waste) and plants (which filter the waste) to grow food.

FarmedHere’s produce is grown in a sustainable environment where 97 percent of fresh water is reused and plants are grown without the use of herbicides or pesticides. The farm’s LED lighting system mimics outdoor conditions, meaning plants don’t need natural sunlight to grow.

According to PSFK, the company boasts “up to 15 times as many crop cycles a year compared to traditional farming” and supplies its harvest for approximately 80 retailers in Chicago.

The company says that total growing time is about 30 days, which is half the time of traditional farms.

“Our vertical growing technology and local distribution methods reduce energy use, travel time and costs tremendously, making this model one of the most sustainable ways to guarantee access to fresh, healthy produce in city centers, in any season,” the company, which launched in 2010, advertises on its website.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Fantastically organic aquaponic farming! Instead of turning old factories to condos, this is a better option for development.

 

"The company says that total growing time is about 30 days, which is half the time of traditional farms.

“Our vertical growing technology and local distribution methods reduce energy use, travel time and costs tremendously, making this model one of the most sustainable ways to guarantee access to fresh, healthy produce in city centers, in any season,” the company, which launched in 2010, advertises on its website."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Environmentalists win ‘landmark’ case vs biofuel project ("biodiversity wins over mono-culture")

Environmentalists win ‘landmark’ case vs biofuel project ("biodiversity wins over mono-culture") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has ruled in favor of environmental groups that had taken on a biofuel company establishing a plantation in the buffer zone of a national park.

Yala National Park, on the southern coastline of Sri Lanka, is one of the nation’s most popular parks, home to dense populations of both Asian elephants and leopards, as well as nearly 100 types of waterbirds and thousands of other species. The park, one of the oldest on the island, is also now the site of what could become a landmark case in protecting Sri Lanka’s dwindling wildlife habitat. Recently, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of three local environmental groups that had taken on a biofuel company establishing a monoculture plantation in Yala’s buffer zone, imperiling both migrating elephants as well as local farmers and ranchers.

“This is a landmark decision taken in terms of how lands are utilized for development [in Sri Lanka,],” Gayani Hewawasan, an attorney with Environmental Foundation Limited (EFL), told Mongabay.

She added the decision was especially important because it involved scrub forest and traditional shifting agriculture or a mosaic ecosystem that “is usually considered marginal with little conservation protection status legally, yet are viable wildlife habitats [and provide] vital buffers to the declared protected areas.”

Dubbed locally as Amerawewa Forest, the zone is known habitat for Asian elephants.

“Previous studies of radio-collared elephants show that elephants use this area during the dry months,” said Hewawasan. ” Moreover, this area acts as a buffer between [local] settlements and the National Park,” thereby mitigating human-wildlife conflict in the region.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Biodiversity wins over monoculture. This is a situation where development has to take a back seat over nature's concerns. 

 

"But while the protection Amerawewa Forest is good for the park’s elephants, it’s also good for local herders and farmers, according to Hewawasan. The court’s decision means locals will continue to have access to the area, whereas the monoculture plantations “would have excluded…access.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Trove: Oslo just declared that it will become the first major city to ban cars ("setting a new trend")

Trove: Oslo just declared that it will become the first major city to ban cars ("setting a new trend") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
[Business Insider] Oslo will ban cars from its city center by 2019.

Cars are no longer welcome in downtown Oslo.

Oslo plans to ban all cars from its city center by 2019, Reuters reports.

It will also build more than 35 miles of bike lanes by 2019 and invest heavily in public transport. 

The permanent ban will affect the 350,000 or so car owners in the Norwegian capital.

Oslo's car ban is the largest of its kind, says Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, an organization that helped install New York's Citi Bikes and advocates for car-free cities.

"The fact that Oslo is moving forward so rapidly is encouraging, and I think it will be inspiring if they are successful," he tells Tech Insider.

The car ban in Oslo will reduce pollution and make it a safer city for those on foot. 

"We want to make it better for pedestrians, cyclists. It will be better for shops and everyone," Lan Marie Nguyen Berg, lead negotiator for the Green Party in Oslo, tells Reuters.

Madrid set a similar precedent last year, when the city announced an ambitious planto kick cars out by 2020. Madrid's ban, larger than Oslo's, will cover 500 acres of the city. Other European cities have worked toward similar objectives, but not to this scale and speed. 

Paris banned cars from its major landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral, last month. If commuters in Milan leave their cars at home, the government will reward them with public transit vouchers. Copenhagen introduced pedestrian zones in the 1960s, and car-free zones slowly followed over the last half-century.

Bert Guevara's insight:

From car-free days, to car-free zones; now a city car ban! Radical but welcome development for particular cities. 

 

Oslo's auto ban may mark a shift in our thinking around cars, White says. When cities move away from private transportation, they can rededicate that space to public parks, sidewalks, and cafés.

The problems created by cars are many.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Why some companies are becoming environmental activists ("they discover the wisdom in being green")

Why some companies are becoming environmental activists ("they discover the wisdom in being green") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
It used to be outside actors like NGOs and governments that forced companies to be environmentally friendly. But some are building their brand on their CSR.

So, why do companies like Lush, Ecotricity and others take such an activist stance for environmental issues? Here are three main reasons:

1. Companies have always been activists

Business has always been about convincing customers, policymakers, employees and the like that companies can be trusted to provide goods and services that contribute to the wider good of society. Henry Ford could be seen as an activist; he wanted to bring automobility to the masses – and he even paid his employees a decent wage so that they could afford his Model T car. So, when Dale Vince founded Ecotricity in the mid-1990s to bring renewable energy to the people of Britain, he, in some ways, is today’s Henry Ford.

2. Capitalism is about competition

Activism is also implanted into the doctrine of capitalism because of competition in the market. Shareholder activism has been around for a long time; it’s a concept used to depict the attempts by some shareholders to get the most out of their investment, making companies more profitable and competitive.

What is new is that environmental issues are used to increase competitive advantage. So, when Ecotricity campaigns against fracking, then it also campaigns against its competitor, British Gas, which has invested significantly in fracking. It’s about engaging customers and making them choose one company and business model over another.

3. Motivating employees

Environmental issues can also be a good motivating factor for employees. Human resource managers constantly think about new ways to keep employees engaged, motivated and loyal.

So when Lush encourages its employees to campaign against fracking, the managers will have at least one eye on the motivation, retention and performance of staff.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Some companies are discovering the wisdom behind being authentically green. Check out the 3 reasons why.

 

"Clothing brand Patagonia gives 1% of its sales “to support environmental organisations around the world”. Carpet-maker Interface takes an “aggressive approach” to reach its goal to source 100% of its “energy needs from renewable sources by 2020”. Nudie Jeansmeanwhile, repairs, reuses and recycles its denim products, as well as using organic cotton to produce them in the first place. So, what’s going on? After decades of activists campaigning against companies’ poor environmental records, are companies suddenly becoming environmental activists themselves?"

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

In Mexico City, A 10-Lane Highway Is Turning Into A Park | ideas + impact ("a sight for sore eyes")

In Mexico City, A 10-Lane Highway Is Turning Into A Park | ideas + impact ("a sight for sore eyes") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Flipping the priorities of who owns the street and reconnecting divided neighborhoods.

"Today, the street is a turmoil of sidewalks in terrible shape, filled with commercial and food stalls, broken floors, garage ramps, etc.," says Fernando Romero, founder of FR-EE, the lead architecture firm for the redesign. "The food stalls throw waste on the ground, so it stinks and is dirty. It is pretty much an adventure for the thousands of people who walk daily there. Pedestrians use the bike lane, which is more open, and so cyclists have a hard time as well."

The new promenade will bring together Zona Rosa and Condesa-Roma, two neighborhoods that are disconnected by the current highway. "The avenue works today as a barrier between both sides," Romero says. "Our project will trigger an interaction between them by means of establishing secure and appealing crossovers." That new connection will also make it more likely that neighbors can walk—or easily make it to public transportation—if they need to make it to another part of the city.

For the designers, it's a way to bring the street back to its original status as a lab for urban experimentation—Aztecs built a historic aqueduct along the road to bring water to Mexico City in the 1400s, the first electric streetcar in Mexico was built on the street in 1900, and the first subway in the 1960s.

The new park is designed to run on solar power, the decks and made from recycled plastic, and the local, native plants will be watered with recycled rainwater. The plants and shading are also designed to cut the urban heat island effect.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is street justice! 


"The design will also flip priorities on the street: Today, cars get almost 90% of the road space. After the road is redeveloped, cars will have 30% of the space, and pedestrians 70%."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Pope calls for peace, environmental justice at UN - NewsHub ("the message of climate action urgency")

Pope calls for peace, environmental justice at UN - NewsHub ("the message of climate action urgency") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
RAPTUROUS WELCOME Pope Francis waves at well-wishers raising their cell phone cameras to record his historic six-day visit to the United States, where he addressed a joint session of US Congress in Washington and the UN General Assembly in New York.

Making his first address to the UN General Assembly, the Pope on Friday made a sweeping call for peace and environmental justice.

A day after making history as the first Pontiff to address the US Congress, Francis placed blame for the exploitation of natural resources on “a selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity.”

Standing before the General Assembly in his first speech here, Francis endorsed United Nations efforts to reach a global compact to fight poverty and climate change.

He also chided world powers for putting political interests ahead of human suffering in the Middle East.

Francis repeated his concern over persecuted Christians and, foremost, demanded that action be taken on behalf of the global poor.

“They are cast off by society, forced to live off what is discarded and suffer unjustly from the consequences of abuse of the environment,” Francis said. “These phenomena are part of today’s widespread and quietly growing ’culture of waste.”

Francis’ global agenda on poverty and the environment is already well known but the rostrum of the United Nations gave him a global stage to articulate an agenda that mostly dovetails with the body’s Sustainable Development Goals, and with the program of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Just as President Barack Obama earlier this week basked in the presence of the popular Argentine Pope, Ban benefited, too.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The Pope reiterates his climate agenda before the UN.


"Francis spoke just before the formal opening of a special summit meeting to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals, a broad range of development objectives that echo many of his own priorities: uplifting the poor, saving the earth’s forests and seas, and combating climate change."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Norway pays Brazil $1B to fulfill pledge for curbing deforestation ("getting paid for keeping still")

Norway pays Brazil $1B to fulfill pledge for curbing deforestation ("getting paid for keeping still") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Norway ponies up $1 billion to fulfill pledge to Brazil for success in reducing deforestation. The money has been paid in the Brazilian Amazon Fund.

The Norwegian government has fulfilled its billion dollar commitment to Brazil for the South American country’s success in reducing deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Norway announced it would complete payment to Brazil’s Amazon Fund by the end of the year. Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Tine Sundtoft commended Brazil’s progress and said it has become a model for efforts to combat climate change.

“Brazil’s achievements in reducing deforestation in the Amazon are truly impressive. The benefits for the global climate, for biodiversity and vital ecosystem services, as well as for the people living in and off the Amazon, are immeasurable,” Sundtoft said in a statement. “Through the Amazon Fund, Brazil has established what has become a model for other national climate change funds. We are proud to be partnering with Brazil in this effort.”

Norway’s pledge, signed in 2008, was the largest of several similar commitments made by the Nordic country. It was later matched by a billion dollar agreement with Indonesia, which has struggled to keep pace with Brazil in terms of reducing deforestation.

Annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon plunged more than 75 percent over the past decade. Better monitoring and law enforcement, coupled with private sector initiatives under pressure from civil society groups, have been credited for much of the decline.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Don't cut and get paid!

 

“The partnership between Brazil and Norway through the Amazon Fund shows intensified support for one of most impressive climate change mitigation actions of the past decades,” the Secretary General said. “This is an outstanding example of the kind of international collaboration we need to ensure the future sustainability of our planet.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

UN News - Watch the historic moment when UN adopts ‘charter for people and planet’ – UN official

UN News - Watch the historic moment when UN adopts ‘charter for people and planet’ – UN official | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The top United Nations official who oversaw the negotiations that whittled down more than 500 proposals into 17 goals to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and tackle climate change says it will be a “historic moment” when world leaders formally commit to the Sustainable Development Goals later this month.

The top United Nations official who oversaw the negotiations that whittled down more than 500 proposals into 17 goals to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and tackle climate change says it will be a “historic moment” when world leaders formally commit to the Sustainable Development Goals later this month.

“If you have the time, just follow closely the United Nations webcast on the forthcoming summit in September,” Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said in an interview with the UN News Centre. “We hope you will be an eyewitness to this historic moment.”

Mr. Wu was referring to the Sustainable Development Summit, to be held from 25 to 27 September at UN Headquarters in New York, at which world leaders will formally adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which he described as “a charter for the people and planet in the 21st century.”

He said that, unlike the previous set of UN targets, the Millennium Development Goals, Member States have had “ownership” of the agenda from the start of the process three years ago.

“Now they have the ownership and I am confident that these 17 goals and 169 associated targets will be implemented worldwide,” he said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Our dreams keep us alive and living for something higher than ourselves.

Check out these 17 goals for Sustainable Development. How I wish that even 25% of these goals would be realized within my lifetime.

 

"The agenda and its adoption later this month is among several watershed events in 2015, including the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Addis Ababa in July and the upcoming UN climate change conference that will be held in Paris in December."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Climate Change and Earth Health | The Energy Collective ("the planet is becoming a large dust bowl")

Climate Change and Earth Health | The Energy Collective ("the planet is becoming a large dust bowl") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
This expansion of the world’s dry zones is a basic prediction of climate science. The fact it is so broadly observable now means we must take seriously the current projections of widespread global Dust-Bowlification in the coming decades on our current CO2 emissions pathway.

A landmark study in the journal Nature documents an expansion of the world’s dry and semi-arid climate regions since 1950 — and attributes it to human-caused global warming.

This expansion of the world’s dry zones is a basic prediction of climate science. The fact it is so broadly observable now means we must take seriously the current projections of widespread global Dust-Bowlification in the coming decades on our current CO2 emissions pathway — including the U.S.’s own breadbasket.

The new study, “Significant anthropogenic-induced changes of climate classes since 1950,” looks at multiple datasets of monthly temperature and precipitation over time. The main finding:

About 5.7% of the global total land area has shifted toward warmer and drier climate types from 1950–2010, and significant changes include expansion of arid and high-latitude continental climate zones, shrinkage in polar and midlatitude continental climates….

As for the cause, “we find that these changes of climate types since 1950 cannot be explained as natural variations but are driven by anthropogenic factors.”

In short, humans are causing the world’s arid and semi-arid climate zones to expand into the highly populated mid-latitude continental climates (where, for instance, most Americans live) — and causing the high-latitude climates to expand into the polar zones. Of course, the polar zones are precisely where the carbon-rich frozen tundra is and the land-locked ice of the world’s biggest ice sheets and glaciers.

Bert Guevara's insight:

2 words that we have to get used to: "desertification" and dust-bowlification". 


"In particular, the researchers found that “rising temperature and decreasing precipitation are about equally important in causing the expansion of semiarid climate in Asia and western North America, while the contribution of decreasing precipitation to the increasing semiarid climate is much larger than that of temperature over North Africa, South Africa and South America.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Local control of forestry could significantly slow man-made forest loss

Local control of forestry could significantly slow man-made forest loss | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Putting control of forest land into democratic local businesses could significantly slow or even halt man-made forest loss, according to new research to be released on Monday, 7 September at the 15th World Forestry Congress, held this year in Durban, South Africa

The new publication – Democratising forest business: a compendium of successful locally controlled forest business models – and linked briefing paper, reviewed and edited by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) for the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), brings together 19 case studies from across Africa, Asia and South America.  

The case studies show that in almost all contexts, countries and regions, locally controlled forestry (LCF) business models can not only exist, but work well, delivering greater social benefit and environmental protection than current standard multinational business models that solely use profit as a marker of success. 

Duncan MacQueen, IIED principal researcher and forests team leader said: "These businesses are capable of supplying produce to their own immediate local and national markets, as evidenced in the case studies. They also have the ability to feed upwards into the global supply chain. Crucially they accrue profits locally and are also better at maintaining flows of all the multiple other forest benefits that their member owners need – such as food, fuel, construction materials, clean water and so on."

In developed countries the evidence for this model as a successful business approach is even stronger. Sweden for example maintains 50 pere cent of its forest under local control (by cooperative businesses) and has among the highest forest cover in the world at 70 per cent and the lowest social inequity as a result. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Since Multinationals are not country-based, they are most likely to exploit forest resources beyond sustainable levels. The new approach is to allow locally-controlled enterprises to take over to ensure sustainability.


"The researchers believe that unless locally controlled democratic business models become the new norm, the future of forests remain in jeopardy. Supply chains and infrastructure required by multinationals will be compromised as competition for resources grow, as will our collective survival."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

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."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

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.

more...
No comment yet.