Daily Archives: March 31, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Idea of reparations in ‘elements’ of Sander’s platform – Danny Glover

E120, e145,

Agroecology Now

Frances Moore Lappé – April 2016

The primary obstacle to sustainable food security is an economic model and thought system, embodied in industrial agriculture, that views life in disassociated parts, obscuring the destructive impact this approach has on humans, natural resources, and the environment. Industrial agriculture is characterized by waste, pollution, and inefficiency, and is a significant contributor to climate change. Within so-called free market economics, enterprise is driven by the central goal of bringing the highest return to existing wealth. This logic leads inexorably to the concentration of wealth and power, making hunger and ecosystem disruption inevitable. The industrial system does not and cannot meet our food needs. An alternative, relational approach—agroecology—is emerging and has already shown promising success on the ground. By dispersing power and building on farmers’ own knowledge, it offers a viable path to healthy, accessible food; environmental protection; and enhanced human dignity.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Climate Model Predicts West Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Melt Rapidly

A view from a NASA airplane of large icebergs that have broken from the calving side of Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica in November 2014. A disaster scenario of West Antarctic ice sheet disintegration could occur much sooner than previously thought, new research suggests. Credit Jim Yungel/NASA

For half a century, climate scientists have seen the West Antarctic ice sheet, a remnant of the last ice age, as a sword of Damocles hanging over human civilization.

The great ice sheet, larger than Mexico, is thought to be potentially vulnerable to disintegration from a relatively small amount of global warming, and capable of raising the sea level by 12 feet or more should it break up. But researchers long assumed the worst effects would take hundreds — if not thousands — of years to occur.

Now, new research suggests the disaster scenario could play out much sooner.

Continued high emissions of heat-trapping gases could launch a disintegration of the ice sheet within decades, according to a study published Wednesday, heaving enough water into the ocean to raise the sea level as much as three feet by the end of this century.

…(read more).

See:

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Pursuing Sustainability: A Guide to the Science and Practice: Pamela Matson, William C. Clark, Krister Andersson

Sustainability is a global imperative and a scientific challenge like no other. This concise guide provides students and practitioners with a strategic framework for linking knowledge with action in the pursuit of sustainable development, and serves as an invaluable companion to more narrowly focused courses dealing with sustainability in particular sectors such as energy, food, water, and housing, or in particular regions of the world.

Written by leading experts, Pursuing Sustainability shows how more inclusive and interdisciplinary approaches and systems perspectives can help you achieve your sustainability objectives. It stresses the need for understanding how capital assets are linked to sustainability goals through the complex adaptive dynamics of social-environmental systems, how committed people can use governance processes to alter those dynamics, and how successful interventions can be shaped through collaborations among researchers and practitioners on the ground.

The ideal textbook for undergraduate and graduate students and an invaluable resource for anyone working in this fast-growing field, Pursuing Sustainability also features case studies, a glossary, and suggestions for further reading.

  • Provides a strategic framework for linking knowledge with action
  • Draws on the latest cutting-edge science and practices
  • Serves as the ideal companion text to more narrowly focused courses
  • Utilizes interdisciplinary approaches and systems perspectives
  • Illustrates concepts with a core set of case studies used throughout the book
  • Written by world authorities on sustainability
  • An online illustration package is available to professors

See:

 

 

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Pursuing Sustainability: How Do We Make Progress?


Belfer Center

Published on Mar 31, 2016

William C. Clark discusses how to make progress on sustainability. He co-authored “Pursuing Sustainability: A Guide to the Science and Practice” with Pamela Matson and Krister Andersson.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

See:

 

Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life: Edward O. Wilson

Half-Earth proposes an achievable plan to save our imperiled biosphere: devote half the surface of the Earth to nature.

In order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet, says Edward O. Wilson in his most impassioned book to date. Half-Earth argues that the situation facing us is too large to be solved piecemeal and proposes a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: dedicate fully half the surface of the Earth to nature.

If we are to undertake such an ambitious endeavor, we first must understand just what the biosphere is, why it’s essential to our survival, and the manifold threats now facing it. In doing so, Wilson describes how our species, in only a mere blink of geological time, became the architects and rulers of this epoch and outlines the consequences of this that will affect all of life, both ours and the natural world, far into the future.

Half-Earth provides an enormously moving and naturalistic portrait of just what is being lost when we clip “twigs and eventually whole braches of life’s family tree.” In elegiac prose, Wilson documents the many ongoing extinctions that are imminent, paying tribute to creatures great and small, not the least of them the two Sumatran rhinos whom he encounters in captivity. Uniquely, Half-Earth considers not only the large animals and star species of plants but also the millions of invertebrate animals and microorganisms that, despite being overlooked, form the foundations of Earth’s ecosystems.

In stinging language, he avers that the biosphere does not belong to us and addresses many fallacious notions such as the idea that ongoing extinctions can be balanced out by the introduction of alien species into new ecosystems or that extinct species might be brought back through cloning. This includes a critique of the “anthropocenists,” a fashionable collection of revisionist environmentalists who believe that the human species alone can be saved through engineering and technology.

Despite the Earth’s parlous condition, Wilson is no doomsayer, resigned to fatalism. Defying prevailing conventional wisdom, he suggests that we still have time to put aside half the Earth and identifies actual spots where Earth’s biodiversity can still be reclaimed. Suffused with a profound Darwinian understanding of our planet’s fragility, Half-Earth reverberates with an urgency like few other books, but it offers an attainable goal that we can strive for on behalf of all life.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Women Farmers of Bangladesh


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Published on Mar 29, 2016

This video focuses on the achievements of three female farmers – Ms Eliza (dairy farmer from Sirajganj), Ms Monawara (shrimp farmer from Satkira), and Ms Shipra (landless farmer from Sherpur) selected for their achievements on FAO projects in different parts of the country. The video was shown during the International Women’s Day 2016 event, jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Economic Relations Division (ERD), on Wednesday 09 March 2016.

The video shows the ongoing struggle of women at different stages of the agriculture sector of Bangladesh – how success is achieved despite the limited access to modern inputs and resources at time, playing a fundamental role in changing their own livelihoods as well as their communities.

The video illustrates the examples on three different farmer women coming from different social strata and their story of changing lives of others through hard working, trainings, and technical support from the FAO and the Government of Bangladesh.

Food-Matters
Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice