Monday, December 10, 2018

#COP24 :: Tackle climate or face financial crash, say world's biggest investors

UN summit urged to end all coal burning and introduce substantial taxes on emissions

Global investors managing $32tn issued a stark warning to governments at the UN climate summit on Monday, demanding urgent cuts in carbon emissions and the phasing out of all coal burning. Without these, the world faces a financial crash several times worse than the 2008 crisis, they said.
The investors include some of the world’s biggest pension funds, insurers and asset managers and marks the largest such intervention to date. They say fossil fuel subsidies must end and substantial taxes on carbon be introduced.

Ministers arrive at the UN climate summit in Katowice, Poland, on Monday for its crucial second week, when the negotiations on turning the vision of the Paris agreement into reality reach a critical point, with finance for fighting global warming a key area of dispute.
“The long-term nature of the challenge has, in our view, met a zombie-like response by many,” said Chris Newton, of IFM Investors which manages $80bn and is one of the 415 groups that has signed the Global Investor Statement. “This is a recipe for disaster as the impacts of climate change can be sudden, severe and catastrophic…”

more: Tackle climate or face financial crash, say world's biggest investors | Environment | The Guardian

#COP24 :: Largest ever group of global investors call for more action to meet Paris targets

The group of 414 institutional investors with $31 trillion under management say governments must take serious steps to cut emissions

The 414 global investors - which represent US$31 trillion of assets-under-management - say they are deeply concerned about the “ambition gap” that exists between governments’ commitments and what is needed to limit the global temperature increase to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels.
They say that gap is increasing the physical risks from climate change and hampering investors’ ability to properly allocate trillions of dollars needed to support the much-needed transition to a low carbon economy.
They have signed a “Global Investor Statement” to be handed to world leaders this week at the COP24 - the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poland…

more: Largest ever group of global investors call for more action to meet Paris targets | Environment | The Guardian

Monday, December 3, 2018

Native Knowledge: What Ecologists Are Learning from Indigenous People - Yale E360

From Alaska to Australia, scientists are turning to the knowledge of traditional people for a deeper understanding of the natural world. What they are learning is helping them discover more about everything from melting Arctic ice, to protecting fish stocks, to controlling wildfires.

While he was interviewing Inuit elders in Alaska to find out more about their knowledge of beluga whales and how the mammals might respond to the changing Arctic, researcher Henry Huntington lost track of the conversation as the hunters suddenly switched from the subject of belugas to beavers. 
It turned out though, that the hunters were still really talking about whales. There had been an increase in beaver populations, they explained, which had reduced spawning habitat for salmon and other fish, which meant less prey for the belugas and so fewer whales.
“It was a more holistic view of the ecosystem,” said Huntington. And an important tip for whale researchers. “It would be pretty rare for someone studying belugas to be thinking about freshwater ecology.”
Around the globe, researchers are turning to what is known as Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to fill out an understanding of the natural world. TEK is deep knowledge of a place that has been painstakingly discovered by those who have adapted to it over thousands of years. “People have relied on this detailed knowledge for their survival,” Huntington and a colleague wrote in an article on the subject. “They have literally staked their lives on its accuracy and repeatability…”

more: Native Knowledge: What Ecologists Are Learning from Indigenous People - Yale E360

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Maps Give Detailed Look at Dramatic Land Use Change Over Two Decades - Yale E360

Landscape change between 1992 and 2015. White reflects little change. Darker shades reflect the greatest rate of change in each category. CREDIT: TOMASZ STEPINSKI/UC

A new map that stitches together 24 years of satellite observations provides a detailed look at striking changes in land use and widespread environmental degradation. According to the map, 22 percent of Earth’s habitable surface has been significantly altered since 1992, primarily from agricultural-driven deforestation.

“We already knew about deforestation or wetland loss or increasing urbanization,” said Tomasz Stepinski, a geographer at the University of Cincinnati and a co-author of the new map. “But now we can see exactly where all of that is happening… What makes this so depressing is that it’s examining a timescale that is shorter than our lifetime.”

The map illustrates widespread losses of wetlands in the Southeastern United States; the rapid disappearance of the Aral Sea, which “dried up in the 1990s after farmers in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan diverted its tributaries for cotton fields,” a press release explained; deforestation in the tropics; and the expansion of the Sahara Desert…

more: Maps Give Detailed Look at Dramatic Land Use Change Over Two Decades - Yale E360

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

climate ::: #COP24 articles at EcoWatch

UN: Nations Must Triple Action to Avoid Disastrous Climate Change

The United Nations issued a wake-up call to world leaders on Tuesday for urgent climate action.
Despite national pledges to curb planet-warming emissions, the current pace of government action is "insufficient" to limit global warming to well below 2 C this century, much less the more ambitious 1.5 C target, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) determined in its 2018 Emissions Gap Report.

5 Things to Know Before Next Week's Critical UN Climate Talks

Next week, heads of state and representatives from roughly 200 countries will descend in Katowice, Poland for the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, informally known as COP24.

Trump Team Plans 'Sideshow on Coal' at UN Climate Talks

No one really expects the coal-friendly Trump administration to take significant action on climate change, but this is just trolling.
A new exclusive from Reuters claims that the president's team will "set up a side-event promoting fossil fuels" at the global climate summit this December, aka COP 24, in Katowice, Poland.

MORE: COP 24 tag at EcoWatch

How You Can Help Those Affected by #CaliforniaWildfires! LINKS

You can donate to these orgs, hand-picked by Union of Concerned Scientists

#NorCal #CampFire

North Valley Community Foundation

Wildcats Rise Recovery Fund (at Chico State)

#SoCal #WoolseyFire

Ventura County Community Fund

California Community Foundations Wildfire Relief Fund

- details from their email - -
For the Camp Fire in Butte County
  • The North Valley Community Foundation is a trusted local philanthropy that funds local nonprofit organizations and has expertise in knowing where the greatest need is and who can address it in the community.
  • The Wildcats Rise Recovery Fund was created for the California State University at Chico community, where many students and others in the community are now homeless. We were alerted to the fund by CSU scientists who recommended it as an effective and reputable local organization helping the campus community and beyond.
For the Southern California Fires
  • The Ventura County Community Fund is a well-regarded fund for services in much of the area that was hardest hit by the Woolsey and Hill fires, as well as the Thousand Oaks shooting.
  • The California Community Foundations Wildfire Relief Fund opened in 2003 and has raised more than $5 million for relief and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the wildfires. The organization helps those who have lost their homes to wildfires to rebuild, while providing financial, medical, and mental health assistance.

How You Can Help Those Affected by #CaliforniaWildfires! LINKS [post on Facebook]

#CaliforniaWildfires #FireStorm #California #wildfires #fires