Daily Archives: March 28, 2014

IPCC AR5 WGII Opening Session (English), Yokohama, Japon – 25 March 2014

http://youtu.be/QB0VQhnrnx4?t=9m57s

IPCCGeneva

Published on Mar 25, 2014

IPCC AR5 WGII Opening Session (English), Yokohama, Japon – 25 March 2014

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

IPCC author brands upcoming climate report ‘alarmist’ | Environment | theguardian.com

Professor Richard Tol withdraws from writing team for UN climate science panel’s report on impacts of global warming

IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri is projected onto a screen as he delivers a speech at the opening session of the 10th plenary of the IPCC Working Group II in Yokohama Photograph: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

One of the 70 authors of a draft UN report on climate change said he had pulled out of the writing team because it was “alarmist” about the threat.

Richard Tol told Reuters he disagreed with some findings of the summary to be issued in Japan on 31 March.

“The drafts became too alarmist,” the Dutch professor of economics at Sussex University in England said by telephone from Yokohama, Japan, where governments and scientists are meeting to edit and approve the report.

But he acknowledged some other authors “strongly disagree with me”.

The final draft says warming will disrupt food supplies, slow economic growth, and may already be causing irreversible damage to coral reefs and the Arctic.

“The report is a product of the scientific community and not of any individual author,” the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a statement. “The report does not comprehensively represent the views of any individual.”

It said Tol notified it in September that he was withdrawing from the team writing the summary. He had been invited to Japan to help the drafting and is also the coordinating lead author of a sub-chapter about economics.

Tol, who has sometimes been at odds with other scientists in the past by pointing to possible benefits from global warming, had not made his pullout widely known until now.

The report will help governments prepare a deal to cut rising greenhouse gas emissions, mainly by shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energies, at a summit in Paris in late 2015.

Richard Tol, professor of economics at the University of Sussex, is also professor of the economics of climate change at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and has collaborated with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Photograph: /AE

Tol said the IPCC emphasised the risks of climate change far more than the opportunities to adapt. A Reuters count shows the final draft has 139 mentions of “risk” and 8 of “opportunity”.

Tol said farmers, for instance, could grow new crops if the climate in their region became hotter, wetter or drier. “They will adapt. Farmers are not stupid,” he said.

He said the report played down possible economic benefits of low levels of warming. Less cold winters may mean fewer deaths among the elderly, and crops may grow better in some regions.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters

Why M&M’s Are Made With Natural Coloring In The EU And Not The U.S.

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If you’ve ever eaten candy from a European Union country, you might notice some unusual ingredients.

For instance, Nestlé’s chocolate “Smarties” contain radish, lemon and red cabbage extracts for coloring, rather than yellow six or red 40. So why is that?

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has a petition calling on the American-based candy manufacturer Mars, Inc., maker of M&M’s chocolate candies, to stop using artificial dyes in their products. They’ve also petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to regulate food dyes more strictly.

The FDA released the following statement:

“For certain susceptible children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and other problem behaviors…the data suggest that their condition may be exacerbated by exposure to a number of substances in food, including, but not limited to, synthetic color additives.
In 2011 an FDA advisory committee conducted meetings on whether there is a link between food dyes and hyperactivity in children. The Committee concluded that (1) there is no causal link between children’s consumption of synthetic color additives and adverse behavioral effects based on the available data, (2) additional labeling information is unnecessary and (3) additional research should be conducted to further investigate potential developmental and behavioral effects in children from exposure to these substances.”

Currently, the FDA is gathering data on amounts of color additives used in food. These data will be used to estimate dietary exposure for the U.S. population and various population subgroups, including children.

Michael Jacobson, executive director of CSPI, joins Here & Now’s Sacha Pfeiffer to discuss the potential dangers of artificial dyes and the organization’s initiative to remove them from American candies.

….(read more).

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters

Elizabeth Kolbert: Field Notes from a Catastrophe


Forum Network

Published on Mar 20, 2014

New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert discusses topics from her new book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe.

Americans have been warned since the late 1970s that the buildup of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere threatens to melt the polar ice sheets and irreversibly change our climate. With little done since then to alter this dangerous path, the world has reached a critical threshold. By the end of the twenty-first century, it will likely be hotter than at any point in the last two million years, and the sweeping consequences of this change will determine the course of life on earth for generations to come.

Acclaimed journalist Elizabeth Kolbert approaches this monumental problem from every angle. She travels to the Arctic, interviews researchers and environmentalists, explains the science and the studies, draws frightening parallels to lost ancient civilizations, unpacks the politics, and presents the personal tales of those who are being affected most: the people who make their homes near the poles and, in an eerie foreshadowing, are watching their worlds disappear. Growing out of a groundbreaking three-part series for the New Yorker, Field Notes from a Catastrophe brings the environment into the consciousness of the American people and asks what, if anything, can be done to save our planet.

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Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

State of the Urban Environment

Forum Network

Published on Mar 26, 2014

Delivering the Urban Ecology annual keynote address, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks about the importance of urban ecosystems in a healthy environment. He explains how the straining effects of suburban sprawl and urban populations threaten the economy, ecology, and public health in cities in New England.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Gar Alperovitz – Schumacher Lecture 2011


EducateKnowledge

Published on Aug 29, 2013

31st Annual E.F. Schumacher Lecture –
November 5, 2011.
New Economics Institute, New York, NY

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Noam Chomsky: Hospitality and Hostility in World Politics


Forum Network

Published on Mar 26, 2014

Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT, is the featured panelist in this event, moderated by Richard Kearney, professor of philosophy, with responses by Ali Banuazizi, professor of political science, and Stephen Pfohl, professor of sociology.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics