Yesterday I spent the afternoon at a gathering of the Avoided Deforestation Partners. It was a most diverse and unlikely group of supporters of the bill including Sir Richard Branson, Robert Zoellick president of the World Bank, Hon. Jens Stoltenberg Prime Minister of Norway, Jane Goodall, several heads of state and representatives from Duke Energy, American Electric Power, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund and NRD. Strange bedfellows all in support of REDD.
George Monbiot, a British writer, known for his environmental and political activism stated today that “climate delegates are not dealing with climate change”. He explained that this was do to contradictory policies of supply and demand. On the one hand we are working on policies to provide new non-polluting sources of renewable energy. At the same time we are trying to maximize supplies of fossil fuels thereby undermining the more expensive alternatives.
Like excluding biodiversity, leaving water problems out of the equations and negotiations at COP15 could lead to serious scientific, political and social problems. There are several reasons this. What is not fully appreciated is the hydrological cycle and how overusing water can speed desertification, which in turn increases the impact on the climate.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) sounds like a good idea, but with closer inspection seems to reveal a number of problems. One of the concerns here in Copenhagen, especially amongst indigenous and poorer peoples, is that the strategies could have a disastrous impact on biodiversity and the lives and land of Indigenous Peoples in developing countries.
Bill MicKibben is an American environmentalist, writer and founder of 350.org, an international climate change campaign. Today at Klimaforum09 he shared the history of the organization he founded and why 350 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 is such an important goal to reach. For the past 10,000 years the carbon count was [...]
This Sunday I attended a most beautiful ceremony at The Church of our Lady in Copenhagen. This church, which was originally built in the 12th C., has been burned down or destroyed 5 times in its history. But, the Danes continue to rebuild it as a testament to faith it self. When the English ships [...]
Saturday Climate Demonstrations
An estimated crowd of over 100,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of Copenhagen on Saturday, the largest gathering in this city since the end of WW2. South African Spiritual leader, Desmond Tutu inspired the crowd with a call to the rich nations to pay their debt saying, if you are able to bail [...]
Most people in the US don’t really think about where their food comes. The average distance the food in our super markets travels is 1,500 miles and the stores maintain an inventory of 2-3 days for normal times. During the past decade our food system has grown increasingly fragile due primarily to the affects of [...]
Global warming has had a devastating impact on Tibet which will have huge consequences for the fresh water supply in most of Asia, a representative from the Tibet exile government warns. Tibet has the worlds third largest ice mass in the form of the many glaciers and is the world’s largest fresh water reservoir. Many of the large Asian rivers come from Tibet. Rising temperatures in Tibet will make a huge impact on billions of Asian’s who need access to clean drinking water. The organization “Third Pole” in Copenhagen is pushing forward an agreement to secure the Tibeten plateau. Its not just Tibetan glaciers that climate changes affecting, it is also upsetting the monsoon weather system. The Chinese have begun to tap more water from the Tibetan rivers with massive tunnels redirecting the water to China to compensate for their own diminishing water supply.
Ecological Debt is a huge topic here in Copenhagen. One that may end up derailing the entire process of finding common ground for a comprehensive, global and legally binding agreement. It is a cruel fact that 20% of the world’s population in the industrialized world is responsible for 75% of the pollution, which unfortunately is mostly impacting people from the poorer countries. For instance Africa, with a billion people only puts out 4% of the CO2, but the impact of climate change on the region has been devastating.