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Five Ways Ban Ki-moon’s Summit Has Changed International Climate Politics Forever – September 26, 2014

The UN climate summit in New York decided nothing – but it has helped put climate change back on the agenda

By Michael Jacobs

So 120 government leaders each made 4 minute speeches about climate change at the United Nations. Did it make any difference?

Yes, but not in the ways you might think.

The UN climate summit did not conclude in a grand ‘agreement’. But that was not its purpose. This was not a negotiating meeting. Indeed it was barely a ‘meeting’ at all: the assembled leaders simply made speeches one after the other, with most of the real debate occurring in later sessions (on energy, forests, finance and so on) in which the main speakers were environment ministers and representatives from civil society and business.

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by: The Guardian

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Global Warming Denial Rears Its Ugly Head Around the World, in English – August 18, 2014

In Australia, USA, UK, and Canada, politicians are rejecting evidence and expert opinion about climate change

As people’s understanding of climate science grows, among both experts and non-experts alike, we become more accepting of the fact that humans are the driving force behind global warming. That’s because the evidence supporting human-caused global warming is overwhelming; hence rejection of that reality is usually based on an incomplete understanding of the scientific evidence.

global warming denial billboardPhoto by Caelie FramptonA climate change denial billboard in Ontario, Canada.Global warming denial remains a tenable position for politicians in English-speaking countries because voters in those regions don’t yet view the issue as urgent or a high priority.

In Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief… more

by: The Guardian

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It’s Simple. If We Can’t Change Our Economic System, Our Number’s Up – May 29, 2014

It's the great taboo of our age — and the inability to discuss the pursuit of perpetual growth will prove humanity's undoing

Let us imagine that in 3030BC the total possessions of the people of Egypt filled one cubic meter. Let us propose that these possessions grew by 4.5 percent a year. How big would that stash have been by the Battle of Actium in 30BC? This is the calculation performed by the investment banker Jeremy Grantham.

Yasuni national parkPhoto by Joshua BouselOn Friday, a few days after scientists announced that the collapse of the west Antarctic ice sheet is now inevitable, the Ecuadorean government decided to allow oil drilling in the heart of the Yasuni national park.

Go on, take a guess. Ten… more

by: The Guardian

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WWF Staff Receive Death Threats for Opposing Virunga Oil Exploitation – May 13, 2014

Phone calls follow attempted assassination of Congolese national park's chief warden and increased reports of intimidation

World Wildlife Fund staff members have been telephoned with death threats for opposing oil exploitation in Africa’s oldest national park, which is home to one in four of the world's estimated 800 remaining mountain gorillas. It follows the attempted assassination of the Virunga national park's chief warden last month and the death of two Congolese park wardens in the last few months.

Park Rangers on a dirt road Photo by Wildlife DirectTwo Congolese park wardens were killed in the last few months, and park director, Emmanuel De
Merode, was shot in an ambush while driving alone in a park vehicle.

"We are taking… more

by: The Guardian

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Climate Change Making Food Crops Less Nutritious, Research Finds – May 8, 2014

High CO2 levels significantly reduces essential nutrients in wheat, rice, maize and soyabeans, Nature paper reveals

by Damian Carrington

Rising carbon dioxide emissions are set to make the world's staple food crops less nutritious, according to new scientific research, worsening the serious ill health already suffered by billions of malnourished people.

The surprise consequence of fossil fuel burning is linked directly to the rise in CO2 levels which, unlike some of the predicted impacts of climate change, are undisputed. The field trials of wheat, rice, maize and soybeans showed that higher CO2 levels significantly reduced the levels of the essential nutrients iron and zinc, as well as cutting protein levels.

photo of rice paddiesphoto by jankie on FlickrRice being… more

by: The Guardian

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