Archive for the 'global climate change and politics' Category

Published by Rosalind on 11 Oct 2010

Global Work Party Successful!

With participants from all over the world, 350.org celebrated  10/10/10 with a climate work day — involving tree planting, lightbulb changing and solar panel installation. Read more about plans to follow up with political actions: What’s Next.

Published by Rosalind on 27 Jul 2010

Plastiki Arrives!

After 130 days at sea (and 8300 miles) the Plastiki arrived yesterday in Australia. The boat, made of more than 12,000 plastic bottles, sailed across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco. The voyage was partly inspired by Thor Heyerdahl’s epic voyage on the raft Kon Tiki, when Heyerdahl tried to prove that ancient mariners could have traveled long distances without motors. Read about Plastiki’s arrival and visit the Plastiki site: The Plastiki.

Arriving in Sydney, Australia on July 26.

Published by Rosalind on 26 Dec 2009

UN Climate Summit a “disappointment” – but still a “beginning”

So what happened at the Copenhagen Climate Summit? Read what US President Obama thinks here: Obama agrees that Copenhagen was a disappointment.

Why was it a disappointment? The main reason was that no global treaty was agreed on. The progress that was made came as 5 nations agreed on climate  goals. As United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, the accord marks an “essential beginning” in which some important countries, including Brazil and China, pledged to limit the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius.

Published by Rosalind on 15 Dec 2009

Copenhagen Climate Summit continues

As of December 15, it looks like talks in Copenhagen are nearing a deal to help countries be compensated for preserving forests, swamps and other natural areas that help absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. So far, this looks like one of the few agreements likely to come out of the negotiations. Read about it here: Possible Forest and Landscape Preservation Agreement.

On December 14, UN leader Ban Ki-moon addressed the conference and tried to remind participants of its importance. “We do not have another year to deliberate,” he said. “Nature does not negotiate.”

The Will Steger Foundation and its youth delegates have twitter feeds, blog entries, photos and videos live from Copenhagen. Find out what’s going on each day during the conference at Expedition Copenhagen.

Published by Rosalind on 08 Dec 2009

Breathing may not be good for you – but the Climate Summit may lead to new approaches to the problem

The United States has declared that greenhouse gases may be threatening to human health — as well as to planetary health.

The announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency has been welcome for many climate activists, and also for world leaders gathered at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. 192 countries including the US are represented in Copenhagen.

The Summit will continue until December 18, and hopefully will result in a strong world agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions.  For more on the Climate Summit, you can check out BBC coverage:Copenhagen.

You can also read Tweets from Copenhagen by New York Times environmental reporter Andy Revkin here:Revkin Tweets.

Published by Rosalind on 03 Oct 2009

Not just the polar bears…

Scientists  working in the Arctic have found evidence that climate changes – particularly ice coverage – are having effects on the walrus populations there. The retreat of the sea ice, and the fact that fewer ice floes are available as nurseries for walrus pups, are causing difficulties for walruses. Biologists are beginning to consider whether the Pacific walrus should be named an endangered species. This article details some of what the researchers report: Walrus .

Published by Diana on 18 Jul 2009

Lightbulbs

In the never-ending quest to reduce our electricity bill and our overall carbon footprint, my husband and I have used compact fluorescent bulbs and high-output halogen bulbs for quite some time. We like the natural color of the halogen bulbs, and since most of the time we use dimmer switches, they last a very long time. A 50 watt bulb has a life expectancy of about 3500 hours of light.

But household lighting uses 12% of our electricity bill (according to this source: Wikipedia: Energy use in the US), so imagine my delight when I discovered this new lightbulb: Ushio’s New LED bulbwhich uses 4 watts to produce the same light at a 50 watt bulb. It even has a life expectancy of 50000 hours. It costs five times as much, lasts more than ten times as long (meaning fewer trips up and down ladders), and uses one-tenth of the electricity. I’ve been trying to calculate how much money you’d save over the course of the bulb’s life, and it’s a lot. First off, there’s half the cost of the bulbs (so, $30), and then one-tenth the electricity use. 50,000 hours at 50 watts (2500 kW) would cost another $30 or so (average US cost is $11/kW hour), so one tenth of that is $3. So each bulb would save you $60.

Imagine if EVERYONE switched to these bulbs! One-tenth the bulbs in landfills, one-tenth the electricity use. And $60 more in your pocket for every single bulb you replaced.

Published by Diana on 27 May 2009

Food that doesn’t come from far away uses less fuel…

I’ve spent the last few days working with my daughter to get the vegetable garden in. She talked me into planting beets and butternut squash, and of course I planted tomatoes. Tomatoes you grow yourself taste way better than tomatoes that you buy.

I grow my own garden for purely selfish reasons–I really prefer the taste of home-grown food–but my daughter cares a lot about reducing her carbon footprint. She points out that organic garden recycles nutrients back into the soil and doesn’t require fuel to make or deliver fertilizer. The food I grow doesn’t have to be trucked anywhere. I don’t think it’s possible to use less fuel than it takes to walk into the back yard to pick tomatoes. And I’m certainly not going to use fuel to refrigerate it before I eat it–although my daughter plans to can the extra tomatoes this year, which would require some fuel.

Of course, if you really want to impact the carbon dioxide level, you need to grow trees, because trees store carbon for many years (the wood of a tree represents stored carbon). According to this article: Planting Trees to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint all you have to do is plant seven trees a year to neutralize your carbon footprint. I may be a few trees behind.

Published by Rosalind on 21 May 2009

Good News on US Carbon Emissions?

According to an estimate by the Energy Information Administration CO2 emissions fell 2.8% in 2008, the most that such emissions have fallen since 1982. Unfortunately, it’s sort of like a good news, bad news joke. The decline was probably caused by the nationwide economic problems, the high price of oil, and various other factors. That means it was unplanned – just a byproduct of the economic climate. The big challenge facing the US is to make a plan to reduce CO2 emissions – and other greenhouse gases – and stick to that plan! 

To find out more about the dip in CO2 emissions, read this article: CO2 Emissions. To read the Natural Resources Defense Council’s list of proposed laws and policies that would help us bring down greenhouse gas emissions and help prevent additional climate change, check out their recommendations and policy briefs: NRDC.

Published by Rosalind on 27 Mar 2009

Earth Hour to be observed March 28th

VOTE EARTH — YOUR LIGHT SWITCH IS YOUR VOTE

This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming.

For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.

This meeting will determine official government policies to take action against global warming, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol. It is the chance for the people of the world to make their voice heard.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.

In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday.

We all have a vote, and every single vote counts. Together we can take control of the future of our planet, for future generations.

VOTE EARTH by simply switching off your lights for one hour, and join the world for Earth Hour.

Saturday, March 28, 8:30-9:30pm.

For more information, go to Earth Hour.

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