Daily Archives: October 11, 2018

U.N. Report: Extreme Weather Cost $2.9 Trillion over Last 2 Decades

Oct 11, 2018

A new United Nations report says the damages caused by extreme weather events and other so-called natural disasters have cost $2.9 trillion in economic losses over the last 20 years. This is professor Debarati Guha, who contributed to the report.

Debarati Guha: “We really need to have some disaster risk reduction and disaster risk mitigation, that is adaptation for the short term, for a 5-to-10-year period. Poor people in poor countries do not have 20 years, 30 years, 40 years. Most of those children will be dead. This is what is going to happen. Either they will be dead because of the catastrophe itself, or they will be dead because of the prevailing, persistent effect of malnutrition that comes along with these catastrophes, with the droughts and the floods.”

This follows Monday’s report by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which found humanity has only a dozen years to mitigate global warming and limit the scope of global catastrophe. We’ll have more on climate change and Hurricane Michael after headlines.


The Right to Food Is a Basic Human Right – WHES – World Hunger News

(February 8, 2009) This is a special Hunger Notes report on the right to food. Why shouldn’t people have enough food, earned in the usual case by working, to keep themselves alive and alert? A very reasonable goal, but one which is far from being met, though there has been significant progress in the past 10 years. This report examines both the progress and the frustrations.

It is divided into the following sections.

The Human Right to Food

Ellen Messer and Marc Cohen in the first section of their article US Approaches to Food and Nutrition Rights, 1976-2008 provide a succinct introduction to the development of the human right to food in the United Nations system. This is a fascinating history.

The human right to food has its contemporary origin within the U.N. Universal Human Rights framework. The main reference point is located within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (U.N. 1948), Article 25, which states, “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food.” It provided a reference point for human rights legislation that followed but is not itself a binding international legal instrument.1

The modern human rights framework for a specific right essentially consists of a legal framework in a country that establishes something as a right, including an effective procedure for enforcing the right, a process for adjudicating individual rights cases (which can involve different interpretations of the legal framework), and resources provided to address the outcome of rights decisions. In the United States two good examples would be the right to bear arms or the right to asylum. There is a legal code that defines the right, has the ability to actually influence outcomes, a procedure for adjudicating different definitions, and money provided to facilitate the process and outcomes. In the case of asylum for example, United States has provided various legal reasons permitting asylum in the United States for various groups, a process for adjudicating disputes, and billions of dollars to permit and facilitate this asylum.

What has evolved has been progressive implementation of the right to food.

…(read more).

MET ML 720 SB1 Food Policy & Food  Systems

Support Independent Climate Journalism

DeSmog UK
Published on Oct 1, 2018

Fossil Fuel Companies Knew How Hard Keeping to IPCC’s ‘Unprecedented’ 1.5C Limit Would Be — And Did Nothing | DeSmog UK

By Mat Hope • Sunday, October 7, 2018 – 18:00

The scientists are clear: “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are needed if the humans are going to prevent the world warming by more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

This news — emanating from the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) mammoth new special report — comes as a surprise to almost no-one. Least of all the fossil fuel industry, which has known for decades that the carbon budget that keeps that goal within reach has been rapidly depleting thanks to its products.

So how did we get here, to a place where plotting a path to keep planetary warming within this highly desirable limit requires changes on a scale for which “there is no documented historic precedent”?

Exxon Knew, Shell Knew

Fossil fuel companies have known for decades that their products would lead us to this point.

Back in 1982, Exxon published this graph, which shows a probable temperature rise of 1.5°C some time between 2030 and 2040:

…(read more).

DeSmog UK
Published on Oct 1, 2018

For College Towns, Having a World-Famous University Is a Mixed Blessing

by J. Brian Charles | October 2018

The sun hadn’t yet risen in New Haven one day this summer when a line started forming outside the new L.L. Bean store on Elm Street. People were queuing up to get first crack at the gift certificates advertised as part of a grand opening weekend, a three-day gala with music, food, a block party and a free yoga class.

Yale University is the landlord for the new store, which is the latest addition to the Shops at Yale at Broadway, a 9,000-square-foot retail triangle just a block north of the main campus. The exact university boundary is hard to identify because Yale’s presence is stitched throughout New Haven. It comprises not only academic and research buildings and dormitories, but also the hundreds of homes Yale has bought for faculty and staff, and equally important, commercial land holdings valued at more than $100 million. The university has reshaped a city where the Ivy League campus once felt like a world of its own, separate from the factory town where thousands of workers assembled bolt-action rifles.

When the new L.L. Bean opened in August, it wallpapered a nearby column with pictures of its signature duck boot. The boot’s color matched Yale’s blue. It was not a coincidence. Yale is New Haven’s biggest player in commercial retail development. The Shops at Yale, the Chapel Street Historic District and the Whitney-Audubon Arts and Retail District are almost entirely under university control. In many of the commercial corridors, quirky local businesses have been displaced by high-end national retail chains. Where Cutler’s Records used to sell used and new vinyl albums, the British clothing brand Barbour now offers a line of trendy cotton jackets. Patagonia, Lou Lou and J. Crew are all part of the Shops at Yale, and coffee shops and bistros, all Yale tenants, line up along adjacent Chapel Street. Lauren Zucker, the university’s associate vice president for New Haven affairs and university properties, admits she often has to think like a mall operator. Yale isn’t in the retail business to lose money. Still, she insists, the university places aesthetics ahead of pure profit in selecting commercial tenants. “If you wanted to make a quick buck in retail,” she says, “you’d lease it to a fast food restaurant or a bank.”

…(read more).

FEMA gives update on Hurricane Michael

PBS NewsHour

Published on Oct 10, 2018

What’s on your citrus fruit? Trump’s EPA fights to keep controversial inse cticide in use

PBS NewsHour

Published on Oct 10, 2018

Citrus growers hope to fend off fruit-munching katydids, but one weapon is under scrutiny. Researchers found that children growing up near fields where the insecticide chlorpyrifos was deployed exhibited autism-like symptoms. A court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the insecticide’s use, but Trump’s EPA is fighting back. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports.


Reporter details ‘ridiculous’ Trump meeting


Published on Oct 10, 2018

Olivia Nuzzi, a reporter for New York Magazine, describes her interview with President Donald Trump and other top officials in the White House.

Watch the US stall on climate change for 12 years


Published on Oct 10, 2018

It was once a bipartisan issue, but now one of America’s major parties acts like climate science doesn’t exist. This is an updated version of a video we published in 2016.

Trump’s ethanol moves: good policy or corn country politics?

PBS NewsHour

Published on Oct 10, 2018

At a Tuesday campaign rally in Iowa, President Trump announced plans to lift the ban on summer sales of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol, known as E15. This move is opposed by oil companies and environmental groups but supported by the agricultural sector. John Yang speaks to Grant Gerlock from Harvest Public Media, who explains the changes and how they could impact the midterm elections.