Daily Archives: June 27, 2022

2022 UN Ocean Conference | United Nations

The ocean covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, is the planet’s largest biosphere, and is home to up to 80 percent of all life in the world. It generates 50 percent of the oxygen we need, absorbs 25 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions and captures 90 percent of the additional heat generated from those emissions. It is not just ‘the lungs of the planet’ but also its largest carbon sink – a vital buffer against the impacts of climate change.

It nurtures unimaginable biodiversity and produces food, jobs, mineral and energy resources needed for life on the planet to survive and thrive. There is a great deal we still do not know about the ocean but there are many reasons why we need to manage it sustainably – as set out in the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water.

The science is clear – the ocean is facing unprecedented threats as a result of human activities. Its health and ability to sustain life will only get worse as the world population grows and human activities increase. If we want to address some of the most defining issues of our time such as climate change, food insecurity, diseases and pandemics, diminishing biodiversity, economic inequality and even conflicts and strife, we must act now to protect the state of our ocean.

Implementation of Goal 14: Stocktaking, Partnerships and Solutions

The Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, comes at a critical time as the world is seeking to address the many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and which will require major structural transformations and common shared solutions that are anchored in the SDGs. To mobilize action, the Conference will seek to propel much needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.

Solutions for a sustainably managed ocean involve green technology and innovative uses of marine resources. They also include addressing the threats to health, ecology, economy and governance of the ocean – acidification, marine litter and pollution, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and the loss of habitats and biodiversity.


The Governments of Kenya and Portugal will co-host the Ocean Conference.

Liu Zhenmin, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, will serve as the Secretary-General of the Conference, and Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, will serve as the Special Adviser to the Presidents of the Ocean Conference on the ocean and legal matters.

In 2017, the United Nations Secretary-General Guterres appointed Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji as his Special Envoy for the Ocean, aiming at galvanizing concerted efforts to follow up on the outcomes of the 2017 United Nations Ocean Conference, maintaining the momentum for action to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water

Adopted in 2015 as an integral aspect of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its set of 17 transformative goals, Goal 14 stresses the need to conserve and sustainably use the world’s oceans, seas and marine resources.

Advancement of Goal 14 is guided by specific targets that focus on an array of ocean issues, including reducing marine pollution, protecting marine and coastal ecosystems, minimizing acidification, ending illegal and over-fishing, increasing investment in scientific knowledge and marine technology, and respecting international law that calls for the safe and sustainable use of the ocean and its resources.

UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021 – 2030

A vast majority of the ocean remains unmapped, unobserved and unexplored. Our understanding of the ocean and its contribution to sustainability largely depends on our capacity to conduct effective ocean science – through research and sustained observations, supported by adequate infrastructures and investments.

The Decade provides a common framework to ensure that ocean science can fully support countries’ actions to sustainably manage the ocean and more particularly to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – through the creation of a new foundation, across the science-policy interface, to strengthen the management of the ocean and coasts for the benefit of humanity.

See related:

UN head declares ‘ocean emergency’ as global leaders gather in Lisbon | Oceans | The Guardian

Seascape: the state of our oceansOceans

Karen McVeigh in Lisbon

@karenmcveigh1 Mon 27 Jun 2022 10.35 EDT

António Guterres says the world must turn the tide of rising sea levels, ocean heating, acidification and plastics pollution

The UN secretary general has declared that the world is in the middle of an “ocean emergency”, and urged governments to do more to restore ocean health.

Speaking at the opening of the UN ocean conference in Lisbon, Portugal, attended by global leaders and heads of state from 20 countries, António Guterres said: “Sadly, we have taken the ocean for granted and today we face what I would call an ocean emergency. We must turn the tide.”

Guterres said the “egoism” of some nations was hampering efforts to agree a long-awaited treaty to protect the world’s oceans.

In March, UN member states were criticised by scientists and environmentalists for failing to agree on a blueprint for protecting the high seas against exploitation. Of the 64% of the high seas that lie beyond territorial limits, only 1.2% is currently protected.

…(read more).

See related:

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu Address | Harvard Class Day 2022

Harvard University – Jun 27, 2022

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu ’07 addressed the Harvard College Class of 2022 at the school’s Class Day ceremony.

CIA Officer Exposes Secret Wars: “The CIA Is Running 50 Covert Actions and 13 Big Ones” (1986)

The Film Archives

Premieres Jun 30, 2022

His unpublished memoir: https://thememoryhole.substack.com/p/… John R. Stockwell (born 1937) is a former CIA officer who became a critic of United States government policies after serving seven tours of duty over thirteen years. Having managed American involvement in the Angolan Civil War as Chief of the Angola Task Force during its 1975 covert operations, he resigned and wrote In Search of Enemies.

Read his books: https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=U… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_St…)

CIA activities in Nicaragua have been ongoing since the 1980s. The increasing influence gained by the Sandinista National Liberation Front, a left-wing and anti-imperialist political party in Nicaragua, led to a sharp decrease in Nicaragua–United States relations, particularly after the Nicaraguan Revolution. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to support the Contras, a right-wing Nicaraguan political group to combat the influence held by the Sandinistas in the Nicaraguan government. Various anti-government rebels in Nicaragua were organized into the Nicaraguan Democratic Force, the first Contra group, at the behest of the CIA. The CIA also supplied the Contras with training and equipment, including materials related to torture and assassination. There have also been allegations that the CIA engaged in drug trafficking in Nicaragua.


The Central Intelligence Agency have performed multiple surveillance activities in Libya, particularly following the 1969 Libyan coup d’état. These surveillance activities had a particular focus on US oil interests in the region, but quickly focused on the governance of Muammar Gaddafi and his hostility toward the United States. During the First Libyan Civil War, the CIA’s focus turned to the Libyan Rebels, of whom would eventually overthrow Gaddafi. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_act…

As background to the reports of Cuban action, “[Fidel] Castro decided to send troops to Angola on November 4, 1975, in response to the South African invasion of that country, rather than vice versa as the Ford administration persistently claimed. The United States knew about South Africa’s covert invasion plans, and collaborated militarily with its troops, contrary to what Secretary of State Henry Kissinger testified before Congress and wrote in his memoirs. Cuba made the decision to send troops without informing the Soviet Union and deployed them, contrary to what has been widely alleged, without any Soviet assistance for the first two months. “In a meeting including President Ford, Secretary of State Kissinger, Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, and CIA Director William Colby among others, U.S. intervention in Angola’s civil war is discussed. In response to evidence of Soviet aid to the MPLA, Secretary Schlesinger says, “we might wish to encourage the disintegration of Angola.” Kissinger describes two meetings of the 40 Committee oversight group for clandestine operations in which covert operations were authorized: “The first meeting involved only money, but the second included some arms package.”[2] Beginning in 1975, the CIA participated in the Angolan Civil War, hiring and training American, British, French and Portuguese private military contractors, as well as training National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) rebels under Jonas Savimbi, to fight against the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) led by Agostinho Neto.[citation needed] John Stockwell commanded the CIA’s Angola effort in 1975 to 1976.

In a meeting including President Richard Nixon and Chinese Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping, Teng referred to an early conversation between Nixon and Mao Zedong regarding Angola. “We hope that through the work of both sides we can achieve a better situation there. The relatively complex problem is the involvement of South Africa. And I believe you are aware of the feelings of the black Africans toward South Africa.” No CIA personnel were present, but this is mentioned in the context of setting US policy toward Angola, where CIA did have covert operations. United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger replied, “We are prepared to push South Africa as soon as an alternative military force can be created.”
Nixon added “We hope your Ambassador in Zaire can keep us fully informed.

It would be helpful.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_act…

We are Zama Zama – BBC Africa Eye documentary

Jun 24, 2022

Every day they go to work, they have no idea whether they will return home alive. They are Zama Zamas – men who risk everything to go deep underground in South Africa’s dangerous disused gold mines to scratch a living.

Poverty forces them beneath the earth to search for gold. Some will be arrested for illegal mining. Some will die. In “We are Zama Zama”, BBC Africa Eye tells their stories.

The events in this film were captured by an independent filmmaker and acquired by the BBC. The film has been re-edited from a longer version.

Sierra Club’s 2030 Strategic Vision

World faces ‘ocean emergency’, UN warns, as activists urge action

Jun 27, 2022

The world is facing an “ocean emergency”, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has warned, as thousands of activists, scientists and leaders gathered at the UN Ocean Conference in Portugal’s capital to call for strengthening sea-protection measures. “We have taken the ocean for granted,” Guterres told policymakers, experts and advocates at Monday’s opening plenary in Lisbon, describing how seas have been hammered by climate change and pollution. Drawing attendees from more than 120 countries, the five-day Ocean Conference is focused on restoring the health of the oceans, which cover 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and provide food and livelihoods for billions of people. Al Jazeera’s Malcolm Webb reports.

Russia’s war in Ukraine: A chance or a setback for the climate? | DW Interview

Jun 27, 2022

Jennifer Lee Morgan is the first special envoy for international climate action from the German government. In an interview with DW’s Washington Bureau Chief Ines Pohl, she emphasized that fighting the climate crisis is a top priority for Germany, as it presides over the G7 summit. She says the war in Ukraine has taught us how dangerous it is to depend on fossil fuels and how Germany is not only looking to phase out Russian fossil fuels, but all fossil fuels. To do that, the German government is trying to move to renewable energy and become more energy efficient, and it’s working around the world to get others to do the same.

Indian Slave Trade in the Colonial South (2014)

Jun 27, 2022

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Native Americans living in the American Southeast were enslaved through warfare and purchased by European colonists in North America throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, as well as held in captivity through Spanish-organized forced labor systems in Florida. Emerging British colonies in Virginia, Carolina (later, North and South Carolina), and Georgia imported Native Americans and incorporated them into chattel slavery systems, where they intermixed with slaves of African descent, who would eventually come to outnumber them. The settlers’ demand for slaves affected communities as far west as present-day Illinois and the Mississippi River and as far south as the Gulf Coast. European settlers exported tens of thousands of enslaved Native Americans outside the region to New England and the Caribbean.

Natives were sometimes used as labor on plantations or as servants to wealthy colonist families, other times they were used as interpreters for European traders. The policies on the treatment and slavery of Native Americans varied from colony to colony in the Southeast. The Native American slave trade in the southeast relied on Native Americans trapping and selling other Natives into slavery; this trade between the colonists and the Native Americans had a profound effect on the shaping and nature of slavery in the Southeast.[1] While Natives enslaved other Natives prior to the contact with the European settlers, such Native slaves were held as personal servants or to perform other tasks, not as chattel slaves. Slaves were of little or no economic significance for Native societies.[2] Following British settlement, a number of Native societies, armed with European firearms, oriented themselves around waging war to capture other Native people, selling them into chattel slavery. The Southeastern plantations that European settlers established greatly relied on the exploitation of enslaved human beings, with slaves comprising a key component of their workforce. The slave trade and warfare that facilitated it diminished the numbers of Native peoples in the region and drove many other Native societies to flee their homelands, breaking apart existing communities and eventually leading to a new map of peoples and ethnic groups in the region. Slavery existed in all societies worldwide from prehistory, see History of slavery for a global perspective and Slavery among the indigenous peoples of the Americas for information specific to that region. Slavery practices continued and evolved as Europeans came to North America in large numbers starting in the 1600s.

In many cases the European colonists would trade with Native Americans: giving them goods and weapons, such as the flintlock musket, in exchange for beaver pelts and native people to be sold into slavery. One of the first groups to set up such agreements was the Westos, or Richehecrians, who originally came from the north into Virginia and are said to be descendants of the Erie. After an attempt to end the agreements the Savannah people filled the role previously held by the Westos; and eventually the role fell to the Yamasee and the Creek.

The captured Native Americans were brought to the Carolina colony to be sold, and were often then resold to the Caribbean, where they would be less likely to escape, or were resold to one of the other thirteen British colonies of North America.[3][4][5] This trade of slaves was not a very self-sustaining venture. Either the native population was being wiped out and those who were not being killed or captured became the captors; and as the population of natives available for capture dwindled then the captors began to fall into debt with the colonists whom they were trading with. This debt and frustration that began the Yamasee War of 1715, which would ultimately be one of the factors that lead to the demise of the trade system in the Carolinas.[6]

The Florida peninsula was under the control of the Spanish Empire until 1763, when for 20 years it was a British colony, the Spanish taking over again in 1783. Prior to the British Florida interval, there was a period in the early 1700s during which Spanish Florida was a hotbed for the raiding natives from the northern Carolina and Georgia areas. Though they were left alone for the most part by one of the original raiding groups, the Westos—who are said to be descendants of the Erie People, Spanish Florida was heavily targeted by the later raiding groups the Yamasee and Creek. These raids in which villages were destroyed and natives captured or killed drove the natives to the hands of the Spaniards, who protected them as best they could. However, the strength of the Spanish dwindled and as the raids continued, the Spanish and the natives were forced to retreat further down the peninsula.


Ukraine war’s latest victim? The fight against climate change. – The Boston Globe

By Katrin Bennhold and Jim Tankersley New York Times,Updated June 26, 2022, 6:26 p.m.

BERLIN — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine seemed like an unexpected opportunity for environmentalists, who had struggled to focus the world’s attention on the kind of energy independence that renewable resources can offer. With the West trying to wean itself from Russian oil and gas, the argument for solar and wind power seemed stronger than ever.

But four months into the war, the scramble to replace Russian fossil fuels has triggered the exact opposite. As the heads of the Group of 7 industrialized nations gather in the Bavarian Alps for a meeting that was supposed to cement their commitment to the fight against climate change, fossil fuels are having a wartime resurgence, with the leaders more focused on bringing down the price of oil and gas than immediately reducing their emissions.

…(read more).