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The Population Bomb Revisited – by Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich

July 13, 2009 - ...of The Bomb moved from a somewhat heterodox view to a nearly consensus view of the scientific community. Consider the following two 1993 statements. The first was the World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity, released by the Union of Concerned Scientists (1993) and signed by more than 1500 of the world’s leading scientists, including more than half of all living Nobel Laureates in science. The second was the joint statement by 58 of academies participating in the Population Summit of the World’s Scientific Academies, including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and the Third World Academy (National...

Forget Bush for the moment, let’s worry about China!

December 9, 2007 - Forget Bush for the moment, let’s worry about China! The frustrations with George Bush’s obstructionism on climate change have tended to dominate thinking in recent years. We have overlooked his main competitor, China. Perhaps the only positive news on this problem is that Mr Rudd speaks Mandarin and some news reports might indicate that his acceptance by Chinese leaders may facilitate dialogue. China has huge environmental problems. China requested a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development The report says that unless pollution is controlled by 2020, it will cause 600,000 premature deaths in urban areas and 20...

The impact of global crises on health: money, weather and microbes

March 28, 2009 - ...in danger, and the implications will be long-term. The likelihood of achieving the Millennium Developing Goals, and benefitting from their corrective strategy, is now in jeopardy. What happens if the financial crisis kills our best chance ever to transform this world towards greater social justice? The world desperately needs a corrective strategy. The current huge gaps, in income levels, opportunities, and health outcomes, are a precursor for social breakdown. A world that is greatly out of balance in matters of health is neither stable nor secure. Let me be clear. I am not against free trade. I am not in...

How Peak Oil will affect Health Care

July 6, 2008 - ...reform plan’, The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/jul/11/health.medicineandhealth(accessed 30/1/08). BBC News (2005a) ‘Cuba plans to double minimum wage’. Available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4472357.stm (accessed 27/1/08). BBC News (2005b) ‘Are GPs worth £100,000?’ Available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4373519.stm (accessed 27/1/08). Bednarz D and Bradford K (2008) ‘Medicine at the crossroads of energy and climate change’. Available at http://www.energybulletin.net/38642.html (accessed 5/4/08). Bernal S,(2007) ‘Women’s Healthcare in Cuba: Observation of Medical Facilities’, in Cerro, Havana: California State University. Available at http://ii.csusb.edu/journal/cuba/women.html (accessed 9/12/07). Best Foot Forward Ltd (2004) Material Health: A mass balance and ecological footprint analysis of the NHS in England and Wales. Carroll R (2007) in The Guardian....

Carbon Neutral Conference, Perth WA 12-13th September 2007

September 22, 2007 - ...in. The ‘voluntary carbon market’ in Australia, generates and sells ‘carbon offset credits’. Businesses and individuals, who have undertaken first to reduce emissions to as low a level as possible, are able to pay another organisation to reduce remaining greenhouse gas emissions on their behalf – to zero if they wish. This is called ‘offsetting’ emissions and if 100% of emissions are offset, then ‘carbon neutral’ status is achieved. AUSTRALIA’S VOLUNTARY CARBON MARKET Jessica Lerch from the ‘Greenhouse Friendly’ program run by the Australian Greenhouse Office discussed the process of becoming carbon neutral. The ‘Greenhouse Friendly’ program is the ‘carbon...

The Great Barrier Reef at a crossroads- UNESCO Report

June 6, 2012 - ...submission on one of the coal mines and an article on the DEA site. Interestingly Minister Burke in his intervention on the approval of the alpha coal mine has cited lack of assessment of run-off. Read details of our letter to UNESCO and to Minister Burke Last Friday the World Heritage Centre and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) released a report on the state of the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest World Heritage Property. It warns Australia that the reef will be placed on the List of World Heritage in danger unless the reef is...

A green economy for a cleaner, fairer world by Tim Jackson

May 11, 2011 - ...for Environment Policy”. We acknowledge the Source: ‘Science for Environment Policy‘, 4 May 2011, A green economy for a fairer world, European Commission DG Environment News Alert Service. To access articles and to subscribe, please follow the link above. This May issue has several supporting articles listed below. One can download the full article by going to the Science for Environment Policy. A green economy for a cleaner, fairer world by Tim Jackson The global economy is almost five times the size it was half a century ago. This rapid economic growth has delivered financial benefits, but it has not...

Shell breaks its 10 year promise not to develop World Heritage Sites

January 31, 2013 - ...extractive industry is the 2003 biodiversity commitment of Shell, which states that ‘We will not explore for, or develop, oil and gas resources in natural World Heritage Sites.’ As the leading industry practice this provides a policy benchmark that does not on first analysis appear to be met by the Curtis Island location having been selected. ” The Great Barrier Reef is a tourism icon, a world wonder and part of Australia’s identity and Shell by breaking its promise at this time when the world is watching is embarrassing the whole industry. It should either say to the other companies...

Climate change and health: preparing for unprecedented challenges

December 14, 2007 - ...4 billion to fund the immunization, by 2015, of 500 million children. In another innovation, Advance Market Commitments are being used as an incentive to encourage industry to develop new vaccines for diseases of the poor. By securing legally-binding financial pledges in advance, this mechanism tells industry that, when a new product is brought to market, the money to purchase the product will be there. In short, it is circumventing a hard reality. Market forces drive R&D, and these forces will not foster product development for markets that cannot pay. Last year also saw the launch of UNITAID, a drug...

Climate Change and the Financial Crisis; a new opportunity for DEA to redouble its effectiveness.

January 8, 2009 - ...of the self-regulation of the unfettered market has gone quiet. For those of us concerned about it, the pre-crash economic system guaranteed environmental catastrophe; with global bio-capacity already over-exceeded and the atmosphere polluted with greenhouse gases, everyone was being exhorted to consume even more. Climate change from this atmospheric contamination was the greatest demonstration of the failure of an unregulated market in which polluters were not required to pay the price of their pollution. It was always going to be a race to see which imploded first, the unsustainability of the environment or of the market. The unsustainable market collapsed...

Copenhagen COP-OUT

January 2, 2010 - ...compact and Europe fell into line apparently with reluctance. India and China are low emitters per capita but large emitters in total. The efforts of China to reduce emissions are already considerable; but they are not going to share the bill till their poor are fed. India says the same but its position is more ambiguous. It is a country of rampant capitalism with many more billionaires than the USA who coexist with teeming poverty at the behest of weak government. The second group of countries, the developing countries of Asia Africa and South America, largely the G77 countries, who...

Polluted by profit: Johann Hari on the real Climategate

May 22, 2010 - ...employed by a leading green group and has seen firsthand how this works told me: “They will generate a lot of revenue this way. If there are national targets, the money runs through national governments. If there are subnational targets, the money runs through the people who control those forests – and that means TNC, Conservation International and the rest. Suddenly, these forests they run become assets, and they are worth billions in a carbon market as offsets. So they have a vested financial interest in offsetting and in subnational targets – even though they are much more environmentally damaging...

Assessment and acceptance of risk is essential in acting on climate change

May 19, 2012 - ...the world’s foremost challenge is to master this complexity. A very short while ago, “globalisation” was the key to economic success for society. It predicted a world of increased wealth, consumer choice and confidence aided by globally distributed workforces, along with “just in time” manufacturing, hyper-connectivity of markets and stock exchanges, and the death of the command economy. The linkages across a range of fiscal, demographic and societal risks lead the authors to describe the world of 2012 and beyond as “dystopian” (the opposite of “utopian”), a place full of hardship and devoid of hope. Moreover, since the start of...

REDD: An introduction

March 10, 2010 - ...industry to continue polluting. While there has not yet been any agreement on how REDD is to be financed, a look at some of the main actors involved suggests that there is a serious danger that it will be financed through carbon trading. The role of the World Bank is of particularly concern, given its fondness for carbon trading. Back in 2004, Ken Newcombe, then Senior Manager of the World Bank’s Carbon Finance Business, explained to journalists at the Carbon Expo in Cologne that “The World Bank is reducing the risk for private investors.” (Newcombe has now left the World...

Environmental and Development Challenges: the Imperative to Act

February 23, 2012 - ...and growth among the poor, coupled with environmental and social sustainability, and the imperative of action now. The paper does not claim to comprehensively address all environment and development issues, but a sub-set that are deemed to be of particular importance. Key Messages • We have a dream – a world without poverty – a world that is equitable – a world that respects human rights – a world with increased and improved ethical behavior regarding poverty and natural resources – a world that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable, where the challenges such as climate change, loss of biodiversity...

Climate change; ethics and human rights

January 1, 2009 - ...not human beings but consumers. Under Capitalism mother earth does not exist, instead there are raw materials. Capitalism is the source of the asymmetries and imbalances in the world. It generates luxury, ostentation and waste for a few, while millions in the world die from hunger in the world. In the hands of Capitalism everything becomes a commodity: the water, the soil, the human genome, the ancestral cultures, justice, ethics, death … and life itself. Everything, absolutely everything, can be bought and sold and under Capitalism. And even “climate change” itself has become a business. “Climate change” has placed all...

Europe’s Uprising Against GMOs and Patents on Life

May 27, 2009 - ...food and democracy. Science in Society 43 (to appear). 2. Euro News online poll on GM food and farming 17 April 2009, http://www.euronews.net/news/you/ 3. “EU to ‘reflect’ on Germany’s GM maize ban”, EU Business, 15 April 2009, http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/1239807722.48 4. “The world from Berlin: ‘There was no reason to accept the risks of GM corn’” Spiegel Online 15 April 2009, http://www.congoo.com/news/2009April15/World-Berlin-Reason-Accept-Risks 5. “Monsanto sues Germany over GM corn ban”, DW-World.DE, 22 April 2009, http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4196705,00.html?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf 6. “German court rejects Monsanto plea to end GMO maize ban” Reuters, May 5 2009 http://uk.reuters.com/article/governmentFilingsNews/idUKL558166220090505?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0 7. “Brussels makes a sixth warning over environment” FOCUS News Agency,...

Global warming to worsen malnutrition: report

December 18, 2007 - Courtesy FAO and World Science staff, World Science http://www.world-science.net Expressing their “deepest concern,” three U.N. agencies are warning that climate change will increase global hunger and malnutrition unless immediate action is taken. The alarm was sounded as scientists warned that global warming may have passed a tipping point, with the Arctic Ocean melting much faster than projected. “The Arctic is screaming,” Mark Serreze of the U.S. government’s snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colorado, told news agencies this week; NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally added that the Arctic might be nearly icefree in five years. The three Rome-based agencies—the...

Climate Change at World Health Assembly 2008: Coming of Age as a Global Health Issue

May 26, 2008 - by Tony McMichael The Australian National University Observer at 2008 World Health Assembly, for the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology The 61st World Health Assembly, held in Geneva during this past week and attended by national delegations from 193 Member States, has underscored the urgency of tackling global climate change and its diverse risks to health around the world. Those risks will press particularly on vulnerable regions and poorly-resourced populations. On Saturday May 24, the Assembly passed unanimously a strongly worded resolution, seeking to engage the health sector, at international and national levels, in responding to climate change. A key...

An Analysis of our Predicament on Climate Change

January 3, 2010 - ...economics and the market rule our lives. To the scientific mind economics is a boring and irrational topic, but it is too enmeshed in the potential solutions to climate change to be ignored. We face the problem that the proponents of free market liberalism have such a powerful hold on Western governments that solutions such as an ETS (CPRS) can be eviscerated even before becoming law. The fundamentals are that government has to pass laws to ensure that emissions are reduced. Two methods have been debated, an emissions trading scheme, the form of which is subject to all the persuasive...