Daily Archives: January 30, 2014

Snowden Docs: U.S. Spied On Negotiators At 2009 Climate Summit

Kate Sheppard
Ryan Grim

Posted: 01/29/2014 9:17 pm EST | Updated: 01/30/2014 12:59 pm EST

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency monitored the communications of other governments ahead of and during the 2009 United Nations climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to the latest document from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The document, with portions marked “top secret,” indicates that the NSA was monitoring the communications of other countries ahead of the conference, and intended to continue doing so throughout the meeting. Posted on an internal NSA website on Dec. 7, 2009, the first day of the Copenhagen summit, it states that “analysts here at NSA, as well as our Second Party partners, will continue to provide policymakers with unique, timely, and valuable insights into key countries’ preparations and goals for the conference, as well as the deliberations within countries on climate change policies and negotiation strategies.”

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

AIDF Food Security Summit Asia 2013 – Highlights


Published on Jan 30, 2014

Highlights from the AIDF Food Security Summit: Asia 2013 held at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok on November 26th and 27th 2013.


Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

United Nations News Centre – Human cause of global warming is near certainty, UN reports


Human cause of global warming is near certainty, UN reports

By absorbing much of the added heat trapped by atmospheric greenhouse gases, the oceans are delaying some of the impacts of climate change. Photo: WMO/Olga Khoroshunova

30 January 2014 – Global warming is unequivocal, human influence has been the dominant cause since the mid-20th century, and atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, already at levels not seen in at least 800,000 years, will persist for many centuries, the final version of the latest United Nations report on climate change warned today.

“Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system,” according to the report, which finalizes a summary of findings by the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued in September, outlining a litany of threats from the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to rising oceans to extreme weather events such as cyclones and heat waves.

“Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions,” it stresses, using the term “extremely likely” for human causality since the mid-20th century, meaning there is a 95 to 100 per cent probability that humankind, and not naturally occurring phenomena, are to blame, a 5 percent increase from the 90 to 100 per cent “very likely” probability of if the IPCC’s last report in 2007.

Even if emissions of global warming carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are stopped, most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries. “This represents a substantial multi-century climate change commitment created by past, present and future emissions of CO2,” the report warns.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation

We are an Athabascan-speaking people who call ourselves K’ai Taile Dene, meaning “people of the land of the willow”, a reference to the delta of the Peace and Athabasca Rivers. We have used and occupied our Traditional Lands in the Athabasca region for thousands of years, hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering to sustain ourselves from the lands, to carry out our livelihood and to practice and to pass down our culture.

Ancestors of the present-day ACFN, then known as the Athabasca Chipewyan Band, signed Treaty 8 at Fort Chipewyan in 1899. Members of ACFN continue to hold the rights guaranteed by Treaty 8, including hunting, trapping, gathering and fishing rights. ACFN members actively exercise our Treaty rights on our Traditional Lands and carry out our traditional activities, as our ancestors have for generations. Maintaining our identity as K’ai Taile by living from our Traditional Lands, and supporting our people and our culture through the exercise of the traditional activities, remains central to our way of life. Our hunters, trappers, gatherers and fishers are keeping alive our community’s connection to our Traditional Lands, and they are passing it along to the next generation.

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN)

The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) recently partnered with legendary musical icon Neil Young to host the “Honor the Treaties” concert series to fundraise for the ACFN legal defense fund.

The ACFN are challenging out of control and irresponsible development in Alberta’s tar sands by DRAWING A LINE IN THE SAND. By utilizing their treaty rights the ACFN are opposing projects that threaten traditional lands and ecosystems north of the Firebag River in Northern Alberta. Despite this line, new mines have been approved and government & industry are running headfirst to triple current production within ACFN traditional territory.

An Elders Declaration signed in 2010 has guided leadership to continue to protect and preserve these lands for future generations. As such, the ACFN are actively engaged in a multi-prong legal strategy to challenge public policy, individual tar sands projects and inadequate environmental protection in Alberta’s Athabasca tar sands region in order to preserve and protect this region from further development.

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Global warming continues and won’t be stopped by wishful thinking | Dana Nuccitelli

Global warming is mainly being manifested in ocean warming, consistent with the global energy imbalance and sea level rise

Thursday 30 January 2014 09.00 EST195comments

Ocean sun
Global warming has mainly been absorbed by the oceans in recent years, but has continued rapidly. Photograph: Alamy

Dana Nuccitelli

Global warming has continued rapidly in recent years, mostly accumulating in the oceans. Yet there remains a pervasive myth that it has somehow magically stopped.

Most recently displaying this confusion was Georgia Tech climate scientist Judith Curry, who testified about climate change before a US Senate committee. Curry’s testimony wasriddled with mistakes and misleading arguments, the worst of which involved disputing that climate scientists are more confident in human-caused global warming than they were six years ago.

Curry based this argument in large part on the supposed global warming ‘pause’, which is itself a fictional creation. While the warming of average global surface temperatures has slowed (though not nearly as much as previously believed), the overall amount of heat accumulated by the global climate has not, with over 90 percent being absorbed by the oceans, and 30 percent of that in the deep oceans (below 700 meters) over the past 15 years.

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Climate change is cause of poverty in Ghana – Minister


Climate change is cause of poverty in Ghana – Minister
180..1.1679547.jpgThe Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Ms. Babara Serwah Asamoah has attributed Ghana’s poverty to climate change.

According to her, the effect of climate change is evident in the rapid change in rainfall patterns, long dry seasons, drying up of major streams and rivers, heavy erosion, loss of soil fertility, loss of biodiversity , drastic decline in none timber forest product among other things.

…(read more).

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Moving Day for Ivory Coast Elephants

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NSA spied on international conference to gain an advantage

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Harvard and Brown Fail on Climate – Divest Harvard

Harvard-FailJames Lawrence Powell January 28, 2014 | This article appeared in the February 17, 2014 edition of The Nation.

(Reuters/China Daily)
Why university presidents Drew Gilpin Faust and Christian Paxson were wrong to reject calls to divest from fossil fuel companies.

University presidents once spoke their conscience on matters of great public importance. In the early 1950s, many protested the loyalty oaths that required faculty members to forswear membership in the Communist Party. One of the most courageous critics of McCarthyism was Nathan Pusey, first as president of Lawrence College in Senator Joseph McCarthy’s hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin, then as president of Harvard. In the 1960s, some university presidents openly opposed the war in Vietnam. Even at the cost of donor support, Yale president Kingman Brewster Jr. publicly contested the war and decried the inequities in the draft. He permitted protest demonstrations and skillfully kept the Yale campus open and relatively calm.

In the 1980s, a protest movement arose on American campuses as students—and some campus presidents—argued that it was immoral for universities to own stock in companies doing business in apartheid South Africa. Although Harvard president Derek Bok refused to support divestment over apartheid, Harvard eventually did sell most of its South Africa–related stock—and Bok did endorse the sale of stock in tobacco companies.

Today, university presidents and the institutions they lead confront a moral choice over a crisis that threatens human health and society on a far greater scale than either tobacco or apartheid: climate change. As Elizabeth Kolbert wrote in Field Notes From a Catastrophe, “It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.” In the last few years, students have begun urging their colleges and universities to divest from fossil fuel companies (FFCs), whose products are driving climate change. Two of the first university presidents to respond, Drew Gilpin Faust of Harvard and Christina Paxson of Brown, this fall placed themselves and their institutions on the wrong side of science and of history by rejecting divestment.

I believe that presidents Faust and Paxson were wrong, gravely wrong, not only in the broadest sense—because their choice harms humanity—but because they failed in their narrow duty to protect their institutions and their present and future students.

Full article:

or http://www.thenation.com/article/178138/harvard-and-brown-fail-climate

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