UNITED NATIONS (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – It’s time to go “from climate change to climate action” in efforts to save the planet, U.S. pop star Pharrell Williams said at the United Nations on Friday.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim gave a lecture at Georgetown University on March 18, 2015, about the development challenges created by climate change and actions that can be taken now to reduce the drivers of climate change and the impact.
We need to reduce emissions to keep our planet safe for future generations – the science is clear. However, it can be quite hard to get your head around how to do that. Here’s a very simple idea from writer and climate campaigner, Bill McKibben: keep fossil fuels in the ground. If we were to burn all the fossil fuel reserves we currently know about, experts forecast the Earth’s temperature would warm by more than 2C and have catastrophic effects. Guardian journalists explain the ‘keep it in the ground’ theory in easy to understand terms.
Press link to watch video: theguardian.com
Climate change is the biggest threat to humanity. Yet journalism has struggled for two decades to tell a story that doesn’t leave the public feeling disheartened and disengaged.
This podcast series lets you behind the scenes as the Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, and team set out to find a new narrative. Recording as we go, you’ll hear what works, as well as our mistakes. Is there a new way to make the world care?
Press link for more: Aleks Krotosky | theguardian.com
1. Divestment from fossil fuels will result in the end of modern civilisation
It is true that most of today’s energy, and many useful things such as plastics and fertilisers, come from fossil fuels. But the divestment campaign is not arguing for an end of all fossil fuel use starting tomorrow, with everyone heading back to caves to light a campfire. Instead it is arguing that the burning of fossil fuels at increasing rates is driving global warming, which is the actual threat to modern civilisation. Despite already having at least three times more proven reserves than the world’s governments agree can be safely burned, fossil fuel companies are spending huge sums exploring for more. Looked at in that way, pulling investments from companies committed to throwing more fuel on the climate change fire makes sense.
2. We all use fossil fuels everyday, so divestment is hypocritical
Again, no-one is arguing for an overnight end of all fossil fuel use. Instead, the 350.org group which is leading the divestment campaign calls for investors to commit to selling off their coal, oil and gas investments over five years. Fossil fuel burning will continue after that too, but the point is to reverse today’s upward trend of ever more carbon emissions into a downward trend of ever less carbon emissions. Furthermore, some of those backing a “divest-invest” strategy move money into the clean energy and energy efficiency sectors which have already begun driving the transition to a low-carbon world.
Press link for more: Damian Carrington | theguardian.com
The good news is, that pressure is growing. In fact, that relentless climate movement is starting to win big, unprecedented victories around the world, victories which are quickly reshaping the consensus view – including among investors – about how fast a clean energy future could come. It’s a movement grounded in the streets and reaching for the photovoltaic rooftops, and its thinking can be easily summarised in a mantra: Fossil freeze. Solar thaw. Keep it in the ground.
Triumph is not certain – in fact, as the steadily rising toll of floods and droughts and melting glaciers makes clear, major losses are guaranteed. But for the first time in the quarter-century since global warming became a major public issue the advantage in this struggle has begun to tilt away from the Exxons and the BPs and towards the ragtag and spread-out fossil fuel resistance, which is led by indigenous people, young people, people breathing the impossible air in front-line communities. The fight won’t wait for Paris – the fight is on every day, and on every continent.
Press link for more: Bill McKibben | theguardian.com
A Swiss pilot has begun the first ever attempt to fly around the world in a plane propelled only by the sun.
André Borschberg and his compatriot Bertrand Piccard will take turns piloting the single seater Solar Impulse 2 for 21,747 miles (35,000km) over 12 legs, including gruelling five- to six-day stints across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The entire journey will take five months.
Borschberg took the controls for the takeoff at Al-Bateen executive airport in Abu Dhabi early on Monday. Its first destination is Muscat in Oman.
The pilots will endure roughly 250 hours each inside a narrow cockpit with no oxygen or temperature control. Temperatures outside will range between -40C to 40C.
“To fly with the sun, day and night, we had to build an aircraft that is extremely energy efficient. These technologies that provide energy efficiency can be used in your home, in your car, in the appliances that you buy,” he said.
The four motors that power the aircraft generate about half the power of a motorcross bike. But unlike conventional engines they lose only 3% of their energy through heat. The standard loss, says Borschberg, an engineer, is around 70%. According to the International Energy Agency, energy efficiency is the single cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions across the world.
“With these technologies we can cope with a major part of the challenge we are facing today in terms of energy, environment, pollution, natural resources and so on,” says Borschberg.
Press link for more: Karl Mathiesen | theguardian.com
Women around the world do incredible things every day – but today, on International Women’s Day, we’re making a special effort to celebrate and applaud the tireless work of women to overcome injustice and work towards a green and peaceful future.
The theme of International Women’s Day this year is ‘Make it Happen’ – so we’re reflecting on the incredible women who inspire the movement to protect the planet.
Take a look through the wise words of the women below today and think about what you can do this year to ‘Make it Happen’!
Happy International Women’s Day.
Press link for quotes: International Women’s Day