Deforestation

Clive’s Mine will kill the Great Barrier Reef. #auspol #qldpol #ClimateChange #StopAdani #StopPalmer

Clive Palmer’s coalmine plan scrutinised over impact on Great Barrier Reef

Alpha North, which would be bigger than Adani’s Carmichael mine, to be examined under federal environment laws

Anne DaviesLast modified on Tue 22 May 2018 14.00 AEST

A proposal by the millionaire former MP Clive Palmer to develop the biggest open-cut coalmine in the southern hemisphere in Queensland will be scrutinised by the federal environment department, including its impact on the Great Barrier Reef.

The federal government announced late on Monday it intended to fully assess the Alpha North project under federal environmental laws and would require detailed assessments on the impact on the reef, world heritage properties, threatened species, migratory birds and several other matters.

Palmer’s company Waratah Coal has announced plans for the new mine in the Galilee basin, adjoining Adani’s proposed Carmichael project. The footprint of Alpha North would be nearly triple that Adani’s mine. It would be 144,000 hectares and 130km long and would use open-cut and underground methods.

Environment groups had been hoping the department would reject Palmer’s application outright because it failed to include other aspects of the project, including a proposal to build a rail line if Adani does not build one and a possible expansion of the Abbot Point coal loader.

They had also argued that the massive mine would contribute significantly to climate change and exacerbate coral bleaching events that have damaged the reef last year.

The mine would produce 80m tonnes of coal a year and is expected to start operations in 2030.

The project will now go through a full assessment process. Waratah has so far relied on work done by the Adani Group to assess environmental impacts. It had not directly addressed potential impacts on the reef or world heritage areas.

The move to take the project forward opens a new battleground with the environmental movement that has campaigned to block the Adani project.

“In choosing to refer the decision on this massive new coalmine, Minister Frydenberg has missed an opportunity to demonstrate real leadership on protecting our natural world and stopping climate damage,” Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Christian Slattery said.

Slattery said Frydenberg should have rejected Waratah Coal’s application in the first instance.

“It is good that Waratah Coal will be forced to consider the impacts of its project on the Great Barrier Reef. But this massive new mine will clearly cause unacceptable damage to our reef because digging up and burning the coal will accelerate climate change.

“The age of coal is over. It is time that our elected representatives stopped paving the way for new dirty coal mines and embraced clean energy.”

Waratah Coal has been contacted for comment.

Press link for more: The Guardian

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Royal Wedding brings audacity, conviction, compassion and relevance to the Crown #auspol #StopAdani #Qldpol

The Royal Wedding: Suits actress brings audacity, conviction, compassion and relevance to the Crown

By C.C. Ford May 21, 2018

When Bishop Michael Curry, the African American head of the American Episcopal Church, went off script at the wedding of Meghan and Harry and launched into a riveting and chaotic monologue about love, he turned a Royal Wedding into the greatest theatrical moment on live TV so far this century.

All those lefty republicans who studiously avoided the television on Saturday night in outrage at the cost, or what it might infer about their politics or progressiveness, missed a stupendous live-action entertainment that rivalled a great sporting finale or interplanetary rocket launch, but with the additional gravitas of profound cultural change.

Initial shock gradually segued into the thrill of being at the mercy of the moment, relevant protocols and schedules hijacked and made irrelevant.

Royalty, with its precise protocol, has always been done best by the Brits. The horses, the carriages, the military, the extraordinary ecclesiastical architecture and music, the choirs and command of the spoken word, the stately vocal rhythms of the English tongue refusing to embellish the exquisite language of literature or the Bible which need no embellishment. British Royal events have always mastered a perfect balance between extravagance and restraint, each advertising the magnificence of the other.

And then along came an African American preacher invoking Martin Luther King, his booming voice riding the rhythmic waves of evangelism and soul, filling the parapets of St Georges Chapel in Windsor with a vocabulary that included fire, slavery and Instagram, and a slow-combustion momentum that harnessed a rousing and charismatic repetition:

“Someone once said that Jesus began most revolutionary movement in all of human history, a movement grounded in the unconditional love of god for the world. And a movement mandating people to live that love. And in so doing, to change not only their lives but the very life of the world itself. I’m talking about some power, real power, power to change the world.”

It was mind-blowing, extraordinary and moving. From a stage-managerial point of view, it was hard to know if the rave was a response to stage-fright or opportunism. Initial shock gradually segued into the thrill of being at the mercy of the moment, relevant protocols and schedules hijacked and made irrelevant, and then into hilarity as the pompous Royals (and sour, ageing court-jester Elton John) tittered, rolled their eyes or sat with expressions of stunned disbelief.

The Bishop was either not concerned by the chill, or was understandably so high on his own vibe that he did not feel it. And his stoicism in the face of his audience – almost entirely dressed in hideous confections of synthetic peach or violet– turned the address into a conquest.

Ms Markle elegantly exploited the architecture of love to make her mark rather than the traditional enraged weapons of ideological change.

He was not giving up, backing off or shying away from the moment, or his role in defining it. His mesmeric use of the word love – “the energy of love”, “the mighty hands of love”, “the dynamic power of love”, came to persuade us that Hallelejuh! – love is indeed “the only way” and this young couple, despite being saddled by love’s nemeses –privilege and celebrity – were indeed its exemplars.

There sat Harry, the red-headed misfit, the little boy who lost his mother, the charmer, the scamp and his fabulous twinkly-eyed biracial lover, a feisty beauty who clearly insisted on making the ceremony (and presumably the marriage) a genuine merging of two souls and their collective cultural history. A gospel choir sang an exquisite Stand By Me and brilliant black musicians shared the soaring acoustical heights of the church.

This was a one-time heretical hit parade finding a thoroughly modern benediction: American, divorced, Black, fearless and non-traditional embraced within the cocoon of British nobility. In having her own heritage so clearly embedded in the service, Ms Markle was elegantly exploiting the architecture of love to make her mark rather than the traditional enraged weapons of ideological change. The self-declared feminist was wearing her white gown and borrowed tiara, curtseying to the monarch, while all around her centuries of racism, tradition and anachronism trembled. How modern and how joyful.

Curry’s flouting of technical etiquette was the moment that history will note as the unlikely rescue of the Windsors from death by irrelevance.

The Queen, unlike the lesser Royals, did not reveal any scepticism with regards Curry’s oration. She is too well-mannered and too wise, wise enough to understand that women like Markle are the future of the survival of the Royals. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Queen understood very well that the silly tag-alongs like Beatrice and Eugenie and Zara Phillips are the irrelevant, pedestrian gate-crashers who somehow lucked out despite no discernible purpose, while the biracial Suits actress and one-time game-show hostess was bringing audacity, conviction, compassion and relevance to the crown.

Curry’s flouting of technical etiquette – his lack of concern regarding time allowances, or mimicking the controlled cadences of the British clergy – were cause enough for surprise and perhaps displeasure (we can only speculate). But the intemperate lyrical poetry of his oration was, more than the kiss on the steps between a white British soldier and prince and a divorced Black American actress, the moment that history will note as the unlikely rescue of the Windsors from death by irrelevance.

Press link for more: Daily Review

Only 1% of Japan’s biggest coral reef is healthy due to climate change #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Only ‘one per cent’ of Japan’s biggest coral reef is in a healthy condition due to climate change

Danielle Demetriou, Tokyo

The survival of Sekisei Lagoon – Japan’s largest coral reef – is in question  Credit: Alamy/NASA

It has long been famed as a subtropical paradise, with more than 400 different types of coral living beneath crystal clear waters in a far-flung corner of southern Japan.

Today, however, the future of Sekisei Lagoon – Japan’s largest coral reef – is in question after a new government report found that only one per cent of its coral is in a healthy condition due to global warming.

The decline of Sekisei Lagoon, which stretches over an expanse of more than 26 square miles in a remote area of southernmost Okinawa, is attributed to bleaching due to rising water temperatures and coral-eating starfish.

It is a process that has been evolving for decades, with the overall volume of coral in Sekisei Lagoon reportedly dropping by as much as 80 per cent since the late 1980s, after being badly hit by a string of mass bleaching incidents.

Bleaching occurs when unusually warm water causes coral to expel algae, leading to the coral turning completely white.

The ratio of healthy coral had dropped from 14.6 per cent in 1991 to 1.4 per cent in Sekisei Lagoon Credit:  AFP

The full extent of the current situation has come to light in a new government report, which analysed satellite photography and information from around 1,000 regional monitoring sites for the first time in 10 years.

The study found that the ratio of healthy coral had dropped from 14.6 per cent in 1991 to 1.4 per cent in Sekisei Lagoon today, with two other coral reefs surrounding nearby Ishigaki and Iriomote islands suffering from a similar decline.

“If coral reefs don’t recover, it means a loss of rich fauna for a variety of creatures and would have grave impact on the ecosystem in the region,” Chihiro Kondo, a ministry official, said.

Coral reefs are a vital component of marine life, acting as a buffer for coastlines during tropical storms as well as providing habit for countless organisms. Despite accounting for less than one per cent of the planet’s seas, corals are reportedly home to 25 per cent of marine life.

Incidents of bleaching have risen in recent years, triggered by abnormal environmental conditions such as rising sea temperatures causing corals to expel tiny photosynthetic algae, draining them of their colour.

Corals can regain their health if the water temperature drops, however, recovery has been slow in Sekisei Lagoon due several mass bleaching incidents, the most recent taking place in 2016.

Press Link for more: Telegraph.co.uk

Flat Earthers vs #climatechange sceptics: why conspiracy theorists keep contradicting each other #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Flat Earthers vs climate change sceptics: why conspiracy theorists keep contradicting each other

Gareth Dorrian May 21, 2018 8.29pm AEST

Would a flat Earth suffer from climate change? Shutterstock

Flat Earthism and the idea that human activity is not responsible for climate change are two of the most prevalent conspiracy theories today. Both have been increasing in popularity since the late 20th century. Currently, 16% of the US population say they doubt the scientifically established shape of the Earth, while 40% think that human-induced climate change is a hoax. But proponents of one of these theories are not necessarily proponents of the other, even though both are often motivated by a common mistrust of authority. In fact, they regularly contradict one another.

Flat Earthers, for example, tend to disbelieve organisations such as NASA on the shape of Antarctica – or indeed, that there is a southern hemisphere at all. Yet the president of the Flat Earth Society, Daniel Shenton, is quite convinced – presumably at least in part thanks to information from NASA – that climate change is happening and espouses a fairly conventional view on the subject.

Former White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci (dismissed by president Trump after ten days in office), meanwhile, believes that the Earth is in fact round, but does not believe in anthropogenic climate change, as he made clear in an interview with CNN.

Such selective reasoning is common among conspiracy theorists who often lack consistency with one other. Despite this, the media, celebrities and even politicians regularly make broad comparisons between climate change scepticism, Flat Earthism and other conspiracy theories.

Fabricated data?

In the field of global climate change, scientific bodies often are accused, even by those in power, of fabricating data. But such criticism is often deeply flawed. Take those sceptics, for example, who believe that climate change is occurring, but because of natural – rather than man-made – causes. If one argues that data has been fabricated to show warming where there is none, one cannot then also imply that warming is occurring after all, but naturally. Either there is warming or there is not. Similarly, Flat Earthers who state that images showing Earth’s curvature are due to the shape of a camera lens, themselves believe in a disc which by definition has a curved edge.

Indeed, one of the few commonalities which exist between all major conspiracy theories is that somehow scientists and governments are involved in a grand conspiracy for reasons unknown.

A major part of the scientific anthropogenic climate change argument is that there is an increase in temperature extremes in both summer and winter. Evidently, a Flat Earth model cannot support this; in fact, the most accepted Flat Earth model, which maintains that the sun rotates in a non-variable circular orbit over the flat disk, implies that there should be no seasons at all, let alone multi-decadal seasonal extremes due to climate change. Nevertheless, to quote Shenton:

Climate change is a process which has been ongoing since (the) beginning of detectable history, but there seems to be a definite correlation between the recent increase in worldwide temperatures and man’s entry into the industrial age.

In this instance, the president of the Flat Earth Society is correct. Anthropogenic climate change sceptics, on the other hand, are often willing to accept the science behind the Earth’s natural cycles, which they blame – instead of human activity – for the world’s weather woes. Clearly, we again find an implicit difference of opinion between a Flat Earth model, and a non-anthropogenic climate change one.

Climate change: a ‘global’ problem. Shutterstock

It is also clear that many climate change sceptics believe in the (approximately) spherical Earth, even if only subconsciously, by their use of scientifically accepted global maps when discussing data – not to mention when calling it “global” warming.

And what about aliens?

If governments and scientists are so untrustworthy and steeped in corruption, then why would one believe them on any issue? Where does the line of trust actually fall? Why would a person who mistrusts governments and scientists on the shape of the Earth, not hold the same politicians and scientific organisations similarly bogus on the issue of climate change? Or alien abductions, chem trails, or anything else?

Read more: I watched an entire Flat Earth Convention for my research – here’s what I learnt

But the problem isn’t likely to go away any time soon. The US has the highest number of believers in both flat-Earthism and anthropogenic climate change scepticism, and the UK is not far behind. The US also has a high number (more than 50%) of senior political figures who deny man-made climate change, not to mention a democratically elected leader vocally believing the same. There are also numerous well-known celebrities who question the established shape of our planet.

While of course scientists can play the blame game, it could be that the scientific method itself is a major limiting factor in communicating results with the public. Science is not just a body of knowledge, but a method of critical thinking.

Scientists, by necessity, have to communicate their findings in a certain rigid way focusing on probabilities, certainty values and confidence intervals. These can appear dry or baffling to the public. But by providing more easily understandable narratives we can make scientific discussions with the public more productive.

In today’s complex world of social media narratives, the engagement of scientists with the public is more crucial than ever. Thankfully, current funding for public engagement training and activities is accessible to scientists with a passion for communication and conversation, enabling them to communicate facts rather than “fake news”.

Press link for more: The Conversation

UN: Progress on Emission Reduction Too Slow #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani #ClimateChange

Global Economy Improving, but Progress on Emission Reductions too Slow – UN | UNFCCC

UN Climate Change News, 18 May 2018 – A new UN report shows that whilst short-term prospects for the world economy are improving, with the world gross product expected to expand by 3.2 per cent in both 2018 and 2019, a lot more needs to be done to avert a major economic downturn linked to unchecked climate change.

The study by the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs points towards a 1.4 percent increase of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2017 due to a combination of accelerated economic growth, relatively cheap fossil fuels and weak energy efficiency efforts.

“While recent evidence points to progress in decoupling emissions growth from GDP growth in some developed economies, it is still manifestly insufficient. The rate of global energy efficiency gains has been slowing since 2015, reaching 1.7 percent in 2017—half the rate required to remain on track with the Paris Agreement”, say the authors of the report ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2018.’

Improving energy efficiency and a radical shift to low carbon for the world’s markets is integral to meeting the objectives set forth by the Paris Agreement, which aims to respond to climate change by keeping a global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees C.

The authors of the report say that several steps can be taken to notably align the rate of energy efficiency gains with the goals of the Paris Agreement. These include the reform of fossil fuel subsidies and taxes, deploying renewable energy technology, and decreasing the cost of renewable energy generation.

Warnings of Climate Impacts Setting In

Man-made greenhouse gas emissions account for 2016 and 2017 being the two hottest years on record.

Evidence from the report states that a rising global average temperature could translate into a slower growth of per capita output in countries with a high average temperature, most of which are low-income countries.

The sectors of agricultural production, labor productivity, weather dependent industry, capital accumulation and human health are most at risk for disruption from an unpredictable climate.

Warmer climates create shifting rainfall patterns, rising sea levels, and an increased frequency of extreme weather events. Respectively, these events can move the locations of farmlands, endanger Small Island Developing States, and threaten large population centers.

Policy Reform Crucial to Meeting Paris Agreement Goals

The report says that a reform of fossil fuel policy could increase the rate of energy efficiency gains.

Additionally, the use of new technologies such as wind, solar, electric vehicles and battery storage is critical.

In 2017, renewables accounted for 61 percent of all newly installed net power capacity in 2017 with solar alone encompassing 38 percent.

Falling costs for solar and wind power supported the economic viability for several renewable energy projects.

But even with the newly-installed capacity, renewable energy today only accounts for 19 percent of power capacity and 12.1 percent of power generation around the globe.

At the current rate of change, the pace of power transition would take approximately 55 years for the share of renewables to reach 50 percent of earth’s total energy capacity – too late to ensure the Paris Agreement’s goals can be met.

Read the full report here

Earth Experiences 400th Consecutive Warmer-than-Average Month #auspol #ClimateChange #StopAdani

The last time the world saw a cooler-than-average month was in 1984, according to new reports from NOAA.

The Earth has now had 33 years of rising and above-average temperatures.

According to recent reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s monthly global climate report, this marks the 400th consecutive month of warmer-than-usual monthly averages.

The last time the Earth had a cooler-than-average month was in 1984 when US President Ronald Reagan was in office for his second term, and the Apple Macintosh personal computer had just gone on sale.

The NOAA report also said that the month of April had the third-highest temperatures of any April in NOAA’s recorded history. NOAA started gathering climate data in 1880.

Researchers from around the world have no problem with pointing to specific causes — namely that of human impact on global climate change.

“It’s mainly due to anthropogenic (human-caused) warming,” NOAA climatologist Ahira Sanchez told CNN. “Climate change is real, and we will continue to see global temperatures increase in the future.”

While there have been efforts to reduce overall CO2 emissions, there still remains pushback from supporters of fossil fuels. There’s also a growing reliance on fossil fuels coming from developing nations with rapidly expanding populations, economies, and technologies. However, those developing nations still don’t use as much fossil fuels when compared to global powers like the U.S.

“We live in and share a world that is unequivocally, appreciably and consequentially warmer than just a few decades ago, and our world continues to warm,” said NOAA climate scientist Deke Arndt. “Speeding by a ‘400’ sign only underscores that, but it does not prove anything new.”

Climatologists have used the 20th-century average as a benchmark for their measurements. That allows them to ‘goal post’ when they look through climate data. This type of benchmarking also gives them the opportunity to account for climate variability.

“The thing that really matters is that, by whatever metric, we’ve spent every month for several decades on the warm side of any reasonable baseline,” Arndt said.

These rising global temperatures have hit certain areas harder than others, the report detailed. The heat was most unusually concentrated in Europe. The continent had its warmest April in recorded history. The heat wave also affected Australia and gave it its second-warmest month ever recorded.

There were even particular portions of Asia that saw extreme heat. One particular case was in southern Pakistan. The town of Nawabshah hit an incredibly high 122.4 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 50.5 Celsius) on April 30. Climatologists are currently trying to determine if this is the hottest April temperature on record for the entire planet.

There was also another milestone detailed in the NOAA monthly report. Carbon dioxide readings — the gas most closely linked to global warming — hit its highest levels in recorded history. Carbon dioxide now has over 410 parts per million. NOAA’s numbers aren’t the only ones being leveraged against this new data. According to Scripps Institute of Oceanography, this high amount of carbon dioxide is the highest amount its been in the past 800,000 years — comparing modern numbers with those found through extensive climatological research.

Press link for more: Interesting Engineering

Transformation of consciousness #StopAdani #auspol #empathy #ClimateChange

Transformation of consciousness

Excerpt from the Worldview Dimension of Gaia Education’s online course in Design for Sustainability

Daniel Christian WahlMay 18

Educator, speaker, strategic advisor — PhD Design for Sustainability, MSc Holistic Science, BSc Biol. Sciences; author of ‘Designing Regenerative Cultures’

“The materialistic consciousness of our culture … is the root cause of the global crisis; it is not our business ethics, our politics or even our personal lifestyles.

These are symptoms of a deeper underlying problem.

Our whole civilization is unsustainable. And the reason that it is unsustainable is that our value system, the consciousness with which we approach the world, is an unsustainable mode of consciousness.”

— Peter Russell (Lazlo, Grof, & Russell, 1999, p.5)

Many people who have lived relatively conventional and successful lives within the Westernized industrial growth society, that has spread across the planet in the wake of economic globalization and the neoliberal “free”-market agenda, have recently woken up to a feeling of having raced at full tilt aiming for success and getting ahead, only to find out that the goals they were perusing, once reached, seemed shallow, meaningless, and forced them into a life-style or into keeping up a persona that they really felt unhappy with.

Why does this irrational behavior pattern prevail throughout the consumer society? (image)

The last of the economic shock waves that have rippled through the global system in 2008 as a result of the so-called sub-prime mortgage lending put in question whether this experience is in fact an isolated experience of some people, or much rather, the realization that our entire society and its guiding aims has been steaming all engines ahead into an altogether undesirable direction.

Both individuals and the western ‘financial success driven’ society as a whole seem to find themselves in a situation described by Joseph Campbell as “getting to the top of the ladder and finding that it stands against the wrong wall.”

“The dominant worldview of the Western industrial civilization does not serve either the collective or the individual.

Its major credo is a fallacy.

It promotes a way of being and a strategy of life that is ultimately ineffective, destructive, and unfulfilling.

It wants us to believe that winning the competition for money, possessions, social position, power, and fame is enough to make us happy. … that is not the true.”

Stanislav Grof (Lazlo, Grof, & Russell, 1999, p.65)

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago, suggests in his book The Evolving Self (Csikszentmihalyi, 1993): “To know ourselves is the greatest achievement of our species.”

He argues that in order to understand ourselves “ what we are made of, what motivates and drives us, and what goals we dream of — involves, first of all an understanding of our evolutionary past;” we need to reflect “on the network of relationships that bind us to each other and to the natural environment” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1993, p.xvii).

He acknowledges the importance of the emergence of self-reflective consciousness and its role in freeing us from genetic and cult.

The Evolving Self by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi suggest that commitment to conscious evolution gives people deep meaning an personal satisfaction.

He is noted for his work in the study of happiness and creativity and for his notion of flow with years of research and writing on the topic. (image left; image right)

Csikszentmihalyi believes that the next big evolutionary change in human consciousness may simultaneously acknowledge the self as separate from and fundamentally interconnected with the complexity from which it emerges.

The individual, its culture, and the natural environment are simultaneously differentiated from each other and united into a larger complexity.

“If it is true that at this point in history the emergence of complexity is the best ‘story’ we can tell about the past and the future, and if it is true that without it our half-formed self runs the risk of destroying the planet and our budding consciousness along with it, then how can we help to realize the potential inherent in the cosmos?

When the self consciously accepts its role in the process of evolution, life acquires a transcendent meaning.

Whatever happens to our individual existences, we will become one with the power that is the universe.”

— Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, 1993

Jeremey Rifkin suggest in The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis that human nature is fundamentally empathic rather than selfish and competitive.

He reviews recent evidence from brain science and child development studies that show how selfishness, competition and aggression are not innate parts of human behaviour but learned and culturally conditioned responses.

Our very nature is far more caring, loving, and empathic than we have been educated to believe.

While being empathic may have initially extended primarily to our family and tribe, our ability to empathize has continued to expand to include the whole of humanity, other species and life as a whole. Rifkin suggest that we are witnessing the evolutionary emergence of Homo empathicus:

“We are at the cusp, I believe, of an epic shift into a climax global economy and a fundamental repositioning of human life on the planet. The ‘Age of Reason’ is being eclipsed by the ‘Age of Empathy’.

The most important question facing humanity is this: Can we reach global empathy in time to avoid the collapse of civilization and save the Earth?”

— Jeremy Rifkin (2010, p.3)

The change that Rifkin speaks about resonates with Albert Einsteins’ conviction that our task must be to “widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature.”

While this change is needed at a global scale of the human family, the first step lies in the awakening and transformation of consciousness of each and every one of us.

This section will explore both the personal and the collective dimension of this transformation. …

‘The Empathic Civilisation’, by Jeremy Rifkin. In this ambitious book, bestselling social critic Jeremy Rifkin shows that the disconnect between our vision for the world and our ability to realize that vision lies in the current state of human consciousness.

The very way our brains are structured disposes us to a way of feeling, thinking, and acting in the world that is no longer entirely relevant to the new environments we have created for ourselves.

Note: This is an excerpt from the Worldview Dimension of Gaia Education’s online course in Design for Sustainability. In 2012 I was asked to rewrite this dimension as part of a collaboration between Gaia Education and the Open University of Catalunya (UOC) and in 2016 I revised it again into this current version. The next opportunity to join the course is with the start of the Worldview Dimension on May 21st, 2018. You might also enjoy my book ‘Designing Regenerative Cultures’.

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Press link for more: Medium.com

Urgent Climate Action Required to Protect Tens of Thousands of Species Worldwide #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

Urgent Climate Action Required to Protect Tens of Thousands of Species Worldwide, New Research Shows | InsideClimate News

By Jack Cushman

Jack Cushman is an editor and reporter for InsideClimate News. Before joining ICN, he worked for 35 years as a writer and editor in Washington, D.C., principally with the Washington bureau of The New York Times. Cushman has written extensively about energy, the environment, industry and military affairs, also covering financial and transportation beats, and editing articles across the full spectrum of national and international policy. He served on the board of governors of the National Press Club and was its president in the year 2000. He is the author of “Keystone and Beyond: Tar Sands and the National Interest in the Era of Climate Change.”

And Neela Banerjee

Neela Banerjee is a Washington-based reporter for Inside Climate News. She led the investigation into Exxon’s early climate research, which was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service reporting and the recipient of nearly a dozen other journalism awards. Before joining ICN, she spent four years as the energy and environmental reporter for the Los Angeles Times’ Washington bureau. Banerjee covered global energy, the Iraq War and other issues with The New York Times. She also served as a Moscow correspondent with The Wall Street Journal. Banerjee grew up in southeast Louisiana and graduated from Yale University.

A mere half degree of extra global warming could mean profound risks for tens of thousands of the planet’s species, scientists have found. Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Humanity can powerfully improve the survival odds of tens of thousands of species, but only if nations dramatically raise their ambitions in the fight against climate change, according to new research published on Thursday in the journal Science.

One key to salvaging plant and vertebrate habitat and protecting the world’s biodiversity is to limit warming to the most challenging benchmark established under the 2015 Paris treaty—1.5 degrees Celsius of warming—not to the treaty’s less stringent 2 degree guardrail, the study found.

The study assessed, in more detail than ever before, a key measure of extinction risk: the shrinking size of each species’ current geographical range, or natural habitat. It projected that for an alarming number of species, their range size would shrink by at least half as temperatures rise past the Paris goals.

If nations do no more than they have pledged so far to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions—and warming consequently shoots past 3 degrees by the end of this century—6 percent of all vertebrates would be at risk. So would 44 percent of plants and a whopping 49 percent of insects.

But the dangers would be greatly reduced if warming can be limited to 1.5 degrees. That might protect the overwhelming majority of the 115,000 species assessed by the researchers. Just 4 percent of vertebrates would lose more than half of their current range. Only 8 percent of plants and 6 percent of insects would face that risk.

Keeping warming to 2 degrees is not nearly as effective, they found. The additional half degree of warming would double the impact on plants and vertebrate species, and triple the impact on insects.

First-of-Its-Kind Biodiversity Study

Conducted by researchers from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom and James Cook University in Australia, the study builds on their earlier work. For the first time, it examines insects and explores how effectively the extinction risks can be addressed by increasing ambition.

“If warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100, then more species can keep up or even gain in range,” said Rachel Warren, the study’s lead researcher, “whereas if warming reached 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, many species cannot keep up and far more species lose large parts of their range.”

The new research adds a compelling layer of evidence to the mounting risks of rising temperatures. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is currently revising a comprehensive draft report on the science behind the 1.5 degree target. This new report on endangered species was written in time to be reflected in the IPCC review, to be published in the fall.

A leaked copy of the latest IPCC draft, circulated for expert comment in the winter, noted in its summary that “local extinction (extirpation) risks are higher in a 2 degrees Celsius warmer world, compared to  1.5 degrees Celsius.”

Race to Bolster Paris Treaty’s Call for Action

At Paris, everyone recognized that the pledges to cut emissions would fall short of meeting the 2 degree target. Even so, the world’s nations decided to shoot for 1.5 degrees, where the dangers become pronounced for small island states and other highly vulnerable people. Since then, talks about increasing ambition have made relatively little headway, and President Donald Trump has renounced the pledges of the Obama administration.

Whether the goal is 2 degrees or 1.5 degrees, scientists say it can only be met by bringing net emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels to zero later in this century. The main difference is that with the more ambitious goal, emissions must be reduced much faster; some say it’s already too late.

This urgency has been highlighted by one peer-reviewed study after another, as scientists explore the consequences of falling short. Hundreds of scientists have filed thousands of comments to the IPCC as it races to bolster the treaty’s call for rapid action.

115,000 Species Studied; Insects Particularly Vulnerable

Since lost species never come back, and since many species perform vital ecosystem services, the growing risks of extinction are an especially profound aspect of climate change.

Until now, these problems have been studied in relatively few species, notably tropical coral reefs, which are already dying off under the approximately 1 degree of warming that’s been observed so far. They may be partly saved if emissions are reduced aggressively enough to stay below 1.5 degrees.

This time, the researchers examined 115,000 species, including 34,000 insects and other invertebrates that previously have not been included in global studies of climate and biodiversity. (Roughly a million species of insects have been named, and there may be many more.)

Insects, it turned out, are particularly sensitive to temperature increases, and these findings are particularly alarming.

They focus attention on pollinators essential to agriculture and insects that serve as food for birds and animals. The researchers found that three groups of pollinators are especially vulnerable to climate risks—true flies, beetles, and moths and butterflies.

The study’s authors concluded that meeting the most aggressive temperature target would most benefit species in Europe, Australia, the Amazon and southern Africa.

The study also looked at the ability of different species to migrate outside their normal ranges.

Birds, mammals and butterflies have better chances of relocating than other species as temperatures rise, the researchers found

Press link for more: Inside Climate News

End extreme poverty, inequality, injustice & Change Change #GlobalGoals #auspol #StopAdani

End extreme poverty.

Fight inequality and injustice.

Fix climate change.

Whoa. The Sustainable Development Goals are important, world-changing objectives that will require cooperation among governments, international organizations and world leaders.

It seems impossible that the average person can make an impact.

Should you just give up?

No!

Change starts with you. Seriously.

Every human on earth—even the most indifferent, laziest person among us—is part of the solution. Fortunately, there are some super easy things we can adopt into our routines that, if we all do it, will make a big difference.

Have a look at just a few of the many things you can do to make an impact!

Things you can do from your couch

• Save electricity by plugging appliances into a power strip and turning them off completely when not in use, including your computer.

• Stop paper bank statements and pay your bills online or via mobile. No paper, no need for forest destruction.

• Share, don’t just like. If you see an interesting social media post about women’s rights or climate change, share it so folks in your network see it too.

• Speak up! Ask your local and national authorities to engage in initiatives that don’t harm people or the planet. You can also voice your support for the Paris Agreement and ask your country to ratify it or sign it if it hasn’t yet.

• Don’t print. See something online you need to remember? Jot it down in a notebook or better yet a digital post-it note and spare the paper.

• Turn off the lights. Your TV or computer screen provides a cosy glow, so turn off other lights if you don’t need them.

• Do a bit of online research and buy only from companies that you know have sustainable practices and don’t harm the environment.

• Report online bullies. If you notice harassment on a message board or in a chat room, flag that person.

• Stay informed. Follow your local news and stay in touch with the Global Goals online or on social media at @GlobalGoalsUN.

• Tell us about your actions to achieve the global goals by using the hashtag #globalgoals on social networks.

• In addition to the above, offset your remaining carbon emissions! You can calculate your carbon footprint and purchase climate credits from Climate Neutral Now. In this way, you help reduce global emissions faster!”

Things you can do at home

• Air dry. Let your hair and clothes dry naturally instead of running a machine. If you do wash your clothes, make sure the load is full.

• Take short showers. Bathtubs require gallons more water than a 5-10 minute shower.

• Eat less meat, poultry, and fish. More resources are used to provide meat than plants

• Freeze fresh produce and leftovers if you don’t have the chance to eat them before they go bad. You can also do this with take-away or delivered food, if you know you will not feel like eating it the next day. You will save food and money.

• Compost—composting food scraps can reduce climate impact while also recycling nutrients.

• Recycling paper, plastic, glass & aluminium keeps landfills from growing.

• Buy minimally packaged goods.

• Avoid pre-heating the oven. Unless you need a precise baking temperature, start heating your food right when you turn on the oven.

• Plug air leaks in windows and doors to increase energy efficiency

• Adjust your thermostat, lower in winter, higher in summer

• Replace old appliances with energy efficient models and light bulbs

• If you have the option, install solar panels in your house. This will also reduce your electricity bill!

• Get a rug. Carpets and rugs keep your house warm and your thermostat low.

• Don’t rinse. If you use a dishwasher, stop rinsing your plates before you run the machine.

• Choose a better diaper option. Swaddle your baby in cloth diapers or a new, environmentally responsible disposable brand.

• Shovel snow manually. Avoid the noisy, exhaust-churning snow blower and get some exercise.

• Use cardboard matches. They don’t require any petroleum, unlike plastic gas-filled lighters.

Things you can do outside your house

• Shop local. Supporting neighbourhood businesses keeps people employed and helps prevent trucks from driving far distances.

• Shop Smart—plan meals, use shopping lists and avoid impulse buys. Don’t succumb to marketing tricks that lead you to buy more food than you need, particularly for perishable items. Though these may be less expensive per ounce, they can be more expensive overall if much of that food is discarded.

• Buy Funny Fruit—many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or color are not “right”. Buying these perfectly good funny fruit, at the farmer’s market or elsewhere, utilizes food that might otherwise go to waste.

• When you go to a restaurant and are ordering seafood always ask: “Do you serve sustainable seafood?” Let your favourite businesses know that ocean-friendly seafood is on your shopping list.

• Shop only for sustainable seafood. There are now many apps like this one that will tell you what is safe to consume.

• Bike, walk or take public transport. Save the car trips for when you’ve got a big group.

• Use a refillable water bottle and coffee cup. Cut down on waste and maybe even save money at the coffee shop.

• Bring your own bag when you shop. Pass on the plastic bag and start carrying your own reusable totes.

• Take fewer napkins. You don’t need a handful of napkins to eat your takeout. Take just what you need.

• Shop vintage. Brand-new isn’t necessarily best. See what you can repurpose from second-hand shops.

• Maintain your car. A well-tuned car will emit fewer toxic fumes.

• Donate what you don’t use. Local charities will give your gently used clothes, books and furniture a new life.

• Vaccinate yourself and your kids. Protecting your family from disease also aids public health.

• Take advantage of your right to elect the leaders in your country and local community.

Things you can do at work

• If you have a fruit or snack that you don’t want, don’t throw it out. Give it away to someone who needs and is asking for help.

• Does everyone at work have access to healthcare? Find out what your rights are to work. Fight against inequality.

• Mentor young people. It’s a thoughtful, inspiring and a powerful way to guide someone towards a better future.

• Women earn 10 to 30 per cent less than men for the same work. Pay inequality persists everywhere. Voice your support for equal pay for equal work.

• 4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services. Lend your voice to talk about the lack of toilets in many communities around the world!

• Make sure your company uses energy efficient heating and cooling technology, and adjust the thermostat, lower in winter, higher in summer.

• Stay informed. Read about workers in other countries and business practices. Talk to your colleagues about these issues.

• Does your company invest in clean and resilient infrastructure? It’s the only way to keep workers safe and protect the environment.

• Raise your voice against any type of discrimination in your office. Everyone is equal regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, social background and physical abilities.

• Bike, walk or take public transport to work. Save the car trips for when you’ve got a big group.

• Organize a No Impact Week at work. Learn to live more sustainably for at least a week: un.org/sustainabledevelopment/be-the-change.

• Speak up! Ask your company and Government to engage in initiatives that will not harm people or the planet. Voice your support for Paris Agreement!

• Much of the waste that we produce on land ends up in the oceans.

• Examine and change everyday decisions. Can you recycle at your workplace? Is your company buying from merchants engaging in harmful ecological practices?

• Know your rights at work. In order to access justice knowing what you are entitled to will go a long way.

• Corporate social responsibility counts! Encourage your company to work with civil society and find ways to help local communities achieve the goals.

These are only a few of the things you can do. Explore this site to find out more about the goals you care most about and other ways to engage more actively.

Press link for more: UN.ORG

#StopAdani Join hands to accelerate the shift to clean renewable energy. #auspol #qldpol

We invite activists to organize hundreds of events and Join Hands creating a powerful image to send to our elected officials.

We invite activists to call for the President to maintain the Paris Climate Accord, reject offshore drilling, the KXL and other tar sands pipelines, hydraulic fracking, siesmic air gun blasting and call on local and state leaders to protect our communities by rejecting projects that expand the extraction and use of fossil fuels — and instead accelerate the shift to clean, renewable energy.

In addition, these events will highlight urgent national and regional issues including:

opposing coastal, offshore and Arctic drilling, and seismic air gun blasting off the East Coast, natural gas fracking, KXL and all oil transporting pipelines

protesting mountaintop removal, tar sands mining, hydraulic fracturing, and  LNG export terminals

And calling attention to the impact of climate disruption such as rising sea levels, super storms, drought, forest fires, flooding and ocean acidification.

Join Hands with us!

It’s easy, visit our resource page for help.

Press link for more Hands Across The Sands

It’s critical that we create this powerful vision of passionate ocean and land activists joining hands to say NO to fossil fuels and YES to clean energy!!! It is a 15 minute event, easy! Please join hands with us!

2017  Our 7th annual Hands event took place May 20th and it was a total success!  We had 112 events in 20 states and 4 country’s, Australia, Egypt, Belize and New Zealand!!! Thousands of people around the globe gathered on their beach, river, park and capitol steps to say NO to fossil fuels and YES to clean energy!  This was truly the year that we had to organize Hands Across the Sand / Land events as grassroots advocates to educate and advocate for our planet. THANK YOU TO ALL MY ORGANIZERS and ALL who joined hands with us around the world.

It is a critical time for our oceans and environment, it is time we end climate change for good! ONE way to do this, is by organizing, joining hands, taking pictures / drone videos of thousands of people around the world standing in silent solidarity to say NO to filthy fuels and YES to clean energy!

Visit and LIKE our FB page at: https://www.facebook.com/HandsAcrossTheSand

Please visit our sponsoring organizations links on the scroll – Sierra Club, Oceana, Surfrider Foundation, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Earth Ethics, Friends of the Earth, Gulf Restoration Network, Chart 411 and Urban Paradise Guild.

Hands Across the Sand / Land, founded in 2010, grew into an international movement after the BP oil disaster in April of that year. People came together to join hands, forming symbolic barriers against spilled oil and to stand against the impacts of other forms of extreme energy.

Seven years later, as millions begin to understand that President Trump’s Climate Action Plan falls short if it fails to address keeping dirty fuels in the ground, there’s a rising tide of grassroots activism demanding that we choose a clean energy future over the dangerous and dirty fuels of the 20th century.

The coalition of organizations, activists and citizens around the world bring the message of clean energy to local and world leaders.