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Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Links is all about climate change

I may run a few pieces down the road explaining the science behind Climate Change, but at this point I will just assume that if you're reading these posts you don't need to be convinced of the reality of Climate Change. Here are some links about stuff people are doing around the world to combat its effects.

+But, to start: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just issued its latest report on how much we're screwing ourselves the state of man-made Climate Change, and unsurprisingly things are looking really really really really bad.

+This one's for the Ladies! Ban issued a message to the IWECI Summit stressing the "central" role of women in combatting climate change and underscoring that the pursuit of gender equity and women's empowerment "is a powerful tool in the race to combat climate change" and key to improving land productivity, improving the availability of clean water, reducing energy poverty, and promoting climate-smart agriculture and low-carbon growth. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki- Moon makes the case that women can take the lead on Climate Change policy.

+Environmental rag, Mongabay, argues that Climate Change mitigation is actually makes economic sense. This article mostly focuses on the costs of Climate Change, which is really just the tip of the iceberg, Retrofitting our homes, businesses, transportation, electric grid, power suppliers, and every other darn thing would be the economic equivalent of 3 World War II's and would give us the required boost to be able to settle into the post-capitalism, steady state economy that nature demands. Climate Change mitigation makes sense on practically every level, for the vast majority of people.

+Climate change is a collective responsibility that reaches far beyond the mandate of any one government. Perhaps it is the reality of this disempowerment that inhibits governments from acting on it. Combating climate change, however, can happen at the individual level, unlike many other areas such as health and education which rely on governance to exist. Action on climate change can exist both without government help and beyond it. This is not to excuse government from action, but rather to circumvent it – to act when government cannot or refuses to. This article from the Guardian basically sums up the whole reason I've changed the focus of this blog. Hopefully governments will turn around on these systemic issues and start to help, but the important thing is: we do not need to wait for them to act. We can act on our own, regardless of the policies or beliefs of our governments. In fact, I would argue we have an ethical duty to act on behalf of future generations, in spite of our governments' dragging feet. I'm glad to see this view expressed in a major news source.
Policymakers saw economic and environmental stability as mutually exclusive—you can only have one or the other. However, we are starting to see and feel that these two things are intrinsically connected. As a nation, the United States simply cannot afford to wait any longer to make a big change.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0925-reynolds-climate-policy-economics.html#JO8fV8gGOWFtST1B.99
Policymakers saw economic and environmental stability as mutually exclusive—you can only have one or the other. However, we are starting to see and feel that these two things are intrinsically connected. As a nation, the United States simply cannot afford to wait any longer to make a big change.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0925-reynolds-climate-policy-economics.html#JO8fV8gGOWFtST1B.99
Policymakers saw economic and environmental stability as mutually exclusive—you can only have one or the other. However, we are starting to see and feel that these two things are intrinsically connected. As a nation, the United States simply cannot afford to wait any longer to make a big change.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0925-reynolds-climate-policy-economics.html#JO8fV8gGOWFtST1B.99
Policymakers saw economic and environmental stability as mutually exclusive—you can only have one or the other. However, we are starting to see and feel that these two things are intrinsically connected. As a nation, the United States simply cannot afford to wait any longer to make a big change.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0925-reynolds-climate-policy-economics.html#JO8fV8gGOWFtST1B.99
Policymakers saw economic and environmental stability as mutually exclusive—you can only have one or the other. However, we are starting to see and feel that these two things are intrinsically connected. As a nation, the United States simply cannot afford to wait any longer to make a big change.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0925-reynolds-climate-policy-economics.html#JO8fV8gGOWFtST1B.99
Policymakers saw economic and environmental stability as mutually exclusive—you can only have one or the other. However, we are starting to see and feel that these two things are intrinsically connected. As a nation, the United States simply cannot afford to wait any longer to make a big change.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0925-reynolds-climate-policy-economics.html#JO8fV8gGOWFtST1B.99
Policymakers saw economic and environmental stability as mutually exclusive—you can only have one or the other. However, we are starting to see and feel that these two things are intrinsically connected. As a nation, the United States simply cannot afford to wait any longer to make a big change.
Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0925-reynolds-climate-policy-economics.html#JO8fV8gGOWFtST1B.99

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday Links is investing in sheep

+“Planners must adjust their development options to minimise the potential future adverse impacts of climate change and to take advantage of opportunities that may arise,” he added. Town planners in Nigeria work to ensure Nigerians are prepared for climate change. Our global issues can have local solutions, and this article from the Nigerian website Business Day shows one of th ekey ways to affect change locally, through urban planning and development.

+“Sheep offer a low-impact solution for controlling invasive plants on sites,” said Trees Atlanta Forest Restoration Coordinator, Brian Williams. “As long as the sites do not contain sensitive or endangered plants that we want to keep safe, sheep can graze and help us eliminate invasive plants until they are gone.” Trees Atlanta is putting 75 sheep to work getting rid of kudzu in the Decatur cemetery. This reminds me of another article I read a while ago about three creative entrepreneurs who were bracing for the new economy. One of the funniest was an Ohio man who was starting a lawn care company with a truck a couple of sheep. You heard it here first, folks, sheep are the future!

+And forgive me a little bit o' snark: The Atlanta Business Chronicle solves parking for everyone. Whew! One of life's greatest problems, finally solved. If only there was another way to think about parking and transportation.

+“One of the arguments in favour of using the language of risk,” Painter writes, “is that it shifts public debate away from the idea that decisions should be delayed until conclusive proof or absolute certainty is obtained (a criterion that may never be satisfied), towards timely action informed by an analysis of the comparative costs and risks of different choices and options (including doing nothing).” Thinkprogress has an interesting idea about how to move the needle on public perception of climate change.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Christening of Sorts

A few weeks ago I wondered aloud in which direction I should take this blog now that I feel quite differently about writing and my purpose in this world. I think I may have had a little clarity about this subject in the last few days as my mind has circled around different topics to write about and a common theme has started to develop.

I have been keenly interested in global issues for quite some time (climate change, resource scarcity, population overshoot, urban development, rising corporatism, etc.), and these interests have found their way into my fiction and occasionally onto the "pages" of this blog. But privately I've been frustrated by my own unwillingness to commit to any real course of public action. On the one hand I am in no position to be sitting in a public park somewhere protesting the actions of our government, or strapping myself to the KXL pipeline. Yet, on the other I feel increasingly guilty about seeing so clearly the destructive path in front of us and still doing close to nothing about it.

In this way, I am beginning to understand that I am thoroughly typical of my generational cohort. While the Boomers have all the money and the power, it's pretty clear that they are close to clueless about the damage that they've done and are unikely to help in any useful way. The Millennials get a lot of slack for being naive and unreasonable technologists won't engage with reality long enough to put their weight behind anything, but I think that's unfair, since half of them are still too young to have a truly adult reaction to their predicament and the rest have graduated college directly into the teeth of one of the most ridiculous, grinding job markets in history. Let's give them a few years to throw a well-deserved tantrum before we expect them to grow up and start lobbing molotov cocktails.