Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gore urges action on economy, global warming

WASHINGTON (AP) January 28 2009 — Former Vice President Al Gore presented lawmakers on Wednesday with a new inconvenient truth: Action on global warming cannot wait until the economy recovers.

In three hours of testimony that at times looked like a sequel to the Oscar-winning documentary based on his book "An Inconvenient Truth," Gore pressed Congress to pass President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan as a first step to bringing greenhouse gases under control.
He also pushed for decisive action on a bill this year to limit emissions of heat-trapping gases, saying the legislation is needed for the U.S. to take a leading role in negotiations on a new international climate treaty later this year.
To underscore his point, Gore flipped through more than four dozen new slides showing melting ice caps, western wildfires, deforestation and oxygen-depleted seas in a hearing room where the lights were dimmed. More >>>

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ecologists warn the planet is running short of water

January 22, 2009: A swelling global population, changing diets and mankind's expanding “water footprint” could be bringing an end to the era of cheap water.

The warnings, in an annual report by the Pacific Institute in California, come as ecologists have begun adopting the term “peak ecological water” — the point where, like the concept of “peak oil”, the world has to confront a natural limit on something once considered virtually infinite.
The world is in danger of running out of “sustainably managed water”, according to Peter Gleick, the president of the Pacific Institute and a leading authority on global freshwater resources.
Humans — via agriculture, industry and other demands - use about half of the world's renewable and accessible fresh water. But even at those levels, billions of people live without the most basic water services, Dr Gleick said. More >>>

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Protecting Seychelles environment tough challenge

VICTORIA (Reuters) Jan 10, 2009 - Getting the right balance between development and protecting the environment presents small island states with a tough challenge which cannot be ignored, the Seychelles' president said.

A rising population and the growing demands of the tourism industry are putting a strain on the Indian Ocean islands' environment which is home to scores of birds, reptiles and plants native to the Seychelles.
"It's not an easy balance to maintain. There is always a lot of pressure from developers who want to go big, who want to maximise their revenue and make a lot of profit," President James Michel told Reuters late Friday. More >>>

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Global Warming Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

January 4, 2009; The Cold War shaped world politics for half a century. But global warming may shape the patterns of global conflict for much longer than that -- and help spark clashes that will be, in every sense of the word, hot wars.

We're used to thinking of climate change as an environmental problem, not a military one, but it's long past time to alter that mindset. Climate change may mean changes in Western lifestyles, but in some parts of the world, it will mean far more. Living in Washington, I may respond to global warming by buying a Prius, planting a tree or lowering my thermostat. But elsewhere, people will respond to climate change by building bomb shelters and buying guns.

"There is every reason to believe that as the 21st century unfolds, the security story will be bound together with climate change," warns John Ashton, a veteran diplomat who is now the United Kingdom's first special envoy on climate change. "The last time the world faced a challenge this complex was during the Cold War. Yet the stakes this time are even higher because the enemy now is ourselves, the choices we make." More >>>

[See also “Innovation and Technology Transfer: Framework for a Global Climate Deal”.]