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Simon

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  1. Like
    Simon reacted to Green Is Cool for a blog entry, How does a melting arctic change everything?   
    Most probably you know that global warming is a huge problem not only for mankind but for other species as well, right? But how far has it already damaged the world around us? Well, we already write about but this theme is too broad to be understood by one article.
    To start with, our planet's climate is defined by different and distinct climate zones such as Tropics, the Arctic, Antarctic, etc. But in recent years, climate zones are becoming more and more miscellaneous.
    Some scientists say that Global Warming and Climate Change are natural and will happen ultimately, no matter how humankind will affect the Earth. They’re right, but only partially. Because the man's impact is far more dangerous as described by the news. In reality, there are a lot of interesting research works that describe that technological progress is boosting this process in the Arctic. For example, we recommend you to read The Guardian’s article called The Arctic is in a death spiral. How much longer will it exist?
    They made up a very interesting infographic to represent how the Arctic has changed in the recent 40 years (1980-2020). The statistics are shocking! In August 2020 it was the second-lowest extent on record (the first one was in 2012). Unfortunately, scientists say that even if we stop producing greenhouse gases it won’t help.
    Summer sea ice drifting on the surface of the Arctic Ocean may disappear entirely by 2035. Until comparatively recently, scientists didn’t think we would reach this point until 2050 at the earliest.
    And there are a lot of reasons why arctic melting is catastrophic. Here is the article from National Geographic made by Susan Goldberg in 2019. She describes her feelings and thoughts about her and her husband's expedition in 2018.
    Also, WWF wrote about 10 reasons why humanity should fight Global Warming. It’s recommended to use renewable energy, fight with this problem on an international level, planning and managing to help reduce global warming effects.
    If you want to read more about this problem you can visit the mentioned articles and go through our article about The Arctic Heats up 2 TIMES FASTER than the rest of the planet. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share your thoughts with us!
  2. Like
    Simon reacted to Solly Assa for a blog entry, Solly Assa on Climate Change Effects   
    Every generation has its own defining issue, and unfortunately, ours is climate change. Climate change is affecting people and communities all over the world. Apart from being a major threat to humankind, climate change has far-reaching impacts on the entire ecosystem. For over a quarter of a century, activists and concerned citizens have been discussing climate change through public broadcasting. Back in the In the 80's, the main focus was on recognizing and discussing the potential threats. In the past 30 years, we have thoroughly examined the actual impacts and yet failed to effectively address global warming. We’re all aware that Global Warming is happening as a direct consequence of human activities. That’s why activists and concerned citizens like Solly Assa, are struggling to keep the American public informed.

    Over time the conversation has changed, but the problem has remained unsolved. Solly Assa calls everyone to become emotionally, practically, intellectually and politically and involved in this battle to save our planet. The effects of Climate Change are already with us and if we continue down this path, the planet that as we all know it, may be given a 10-year deadline. The actual impact has caused heat waves, droughts, ocean acidification, and floods. Global warming has also exacerbated poverty, hunger, and spread of diseases. The consequences of climate change are very real, and if we don’t take drastic changes, it can even lead to the worst consequence, which is leaving that planet

    As an individual, Mr. Assa has helped by taking action to reduce his personal carbon emissions and encourages more people to do the same. We all need to take responsibility and reduce Carbon Emissions now. Once we start dealing with the problem on an individual level, together we can get the support needed to build a community that can make a difference.  To fully address the threat of global warming, we need to seek action from our leaders who have the power to implement comprehensive solutions. In December 2015, world leaders agreed to limit Global Warming to 2°C, but since then we haven’t seen some life real action. For example, countries like Denmark have committed to 100 percent renewables, while China has increased their renewable energy consumption.

    Because of climate change, humans and wild animals face new challenges for survival. If we don't reduce greenhouse gas emissions drastically, then the results will be catastrophic for the climate. Education and information play important roles as facilitators of climate understanding. Nowadays there is a wide range of documentaries and other informational media that can help us get to the bottom of this issue. But in order to succeed, we all need to be a part of the solution. Together we have the power to limit the effects of climate change. We have all participated in the over-use of our planet, and now the time has come for us to unite and start fighting for our home.
  3. Like
    Simon reacted to Megan Bonetti for a blog entry, Climate Change Dialogues: Denialists and the Disadvantaged   
    Megan Bonetti | Australia: Brisbane

    Recently I had a conversation with a close friend on climate change. The discussion captivated me with the multilayered tensions of the global north and capitalist ideologies that doggedly influence the very present concern of global warming and relating social policy.

    Amongst a general catch-up I queried my friend’s thoughts on climate change issues. His stark and unexpected response, “we evolve, we move on.”
    …Excuse me?
    I admired the honesty. His was a real-world response of neo-liberal thought. It was brutal and it was heartless. At least he had the guts to say what many are thinking (Cook, 2014).

    The social worker in me petitioned him with the human impacts: African farmers encumbered by draught (Dube et al., 2013; Kurukulasuriya et al., 2006; Mayer, 2013), Pacific Islanders inundated by sea water (IPCC, 2014; PIANGO, 2014, Duvat, 2013), people leaving their homelands due to ever-increasing health and environmental dangers (National Geographic, 2015; UNHCR, 2011).

    Again, he fires back with “survival of the fittest” rhetoric.

    Unfortunately the climate movement has failed to gain the widespread appeal needed to pass significant climate policy and practical reform (Bullard & Müller, 2012). Industrial giants continue to produce and pollute and people like my friend; devalue the real catastrophe that is climate change (Amnesty International, 2014, 2015; Cook, 2015). While global aid organisations declare humanitarian catastrophe as a result of manmade pollution, industrial conservatives spin myths of global evolution and adaption (IPCC, 2014; Cook, 2014; UNFCCC, 2015).

    Local, national and global repetition of climate change catastrophe does not seem to be creating a civilizational wake up call. Moreover messages delivered in the language of fires, floods, droughts and extinction must not be blatant enough to be convincing (Klein, 2014; McKinnon, 2014). So if individuals, like my friend, and carbon emitters like, AGL energy aren’t listening, what can we do (CER, 2015, Garnaut, 2011)?

    Upon hearing my friend’s response to climate change I felt the need to blame him and many like him for their self-righteous ideologies that have significantly impacted the global poor (Böhm, 2012). However, history shows that the human race is really good at pointing blame. Years earlier I too was reluctant to participate in the climate conversation. The debate seemed wonky with excessive jargon. Yet I was unwittingly converted from the influences of a conservative upbringing to that of a less traditional “tree-hugger.” So, how did this happen?

    There was no halogen light-bulb moment nor was I convinced by the volatile debate and environmental doom. For me, it was the slow unpacking of climate change in a tangible context. This was influenced through a community of people who impacted my values on sustainable living and more importantly did not guilt trip me if I put glad-wrap in the recycling bin.

    Studies have shown that many individuals and communities feel disempowered or ignorant when discussing climate change, so in response there is silence (Szarka, 2013). Researchers suggest that protecting the rights of those disadvantaged by climate change will only occur when a non-judgemental culture of education and awareness is fostered in the discussion (Sasser, 2014; Smith, 2011). Only when climate change becomes an accessible conversation rather than a heated debate will key stakeholder’s sit-up and listen (Head et al., 2014; Luers, 2013). A movement for positive change in the environment will spread only when people, like my friend, can drop their defences and feel empowered to enter the conversation (Abney-Korn et al., 2013).


    REFERENCES

    Abney-Korn, K., Cassiman, S., & Fleetham, D. (2013). While we were sleeping: From dystopia to global awakening. Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, 12(1-2), 80-97. doi:10.1163/15691497-12341244

    Amnesty International. (2014). Five Countries Vulnerable to Climate Change. Retrieved from http://www.amnesty.org.au/features/comments/35603/

    Amnesty International. (2015). Nigeria: Hundreds of Oil Spills continue to Blight Niger Delta. Retrieved from https://www.amnesty.org/en/articles/news/2015/03/hundreds-of-oil-spills-continue-to-blight-niger-delta/

    Australian Government. (2015). Clean Energy Regulator: National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting. Retrieved from http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/National-Greenhouse-and-Energy-Reporting/Pages/default.aspx

    Böhm, S., Misoczky, M. C., & Moog, S. (2012). Greening capitalism?: A marxist critique of carbon markets. Organization Studies, 33(11), 1617-1638. doi:10.1177/0170840612463326

    Bullard, N., & Müller, T. (2012). Beyond the green economy: System change, not climate change. Development, 55(1), 54-62. doi:10.1057/dev.2011.100

    Cook, J. (2015). Explaining Climate Change Science & Rebutting Global Misinformation. Retrieved from http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-little-ice-age-medieval-warm-period.htm

    Dube, S., Scholes, R. J., Nelson, G. C., Mason-D'Croz, D., & Palazzo, A. (2013). South African food security and climate change: Agriculture futures. Economics, 7(35), 0_1.

    Duvat, V. (2013). Coastal protection structures in Tarawa Atoll, Republic of Kiribati. Sustainability Science, 8(3), 363-369. Retrieved, April 29, from http://link.springer.com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/article/10.1007%2Fs11625-013-0205-9

    Garnaut, R. (2011). Garnaut Climate Change Review – update 2011: Australia in the Global Response to Climate Change. Retrieved from http://www.garnautreview.org.au/update-2011/update-papers/up6-carbon-pricing-and-reducing-australias-emissions.pdf

    Head, L., Adams, M., McGregor, H. V., & Toole, S. (2014). Climate change and Australia. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 5(2), 175-197. doi:10.1002/wcc.255

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2014). Summary for Policy makers- Climate Change 2014: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Retrieved, March 1, from http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/uploads/IPCC_WG2AR5_SPM_Approved.pdf

    Klein, N. (2014). This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. Climate Change. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

    Kurukulasuriya, P., Mendelsohn, R., Hassan, R., Benhin, J., Deressa, T., Diop, M., Dinar, A. (2006). Will african agriculture survive climate change? The World Bank Economic Review, 20(3), 367-388. doi:10.1093/wber/lhl004

    Luers, A. (2013). Rethinking US climate advocacy. Climatic Change, 120(1), 13-19. doi:10.1007/s10584-013-0797-1

    Mayer, A. (2013). Climate change already challenging agriculture. Bioscience, 63(10), 781-787. doi:10.1525/bio.2013.63.10.2

    McKinnon, C. (2014). Climate change: Against despair. Ethics & the Environment, 19(1), 31-48. doi:10.2979/ethicsenviro.19.1.31

    National Geographic. (2015). Education: Climate Refugee. Retrieved from http://education.nationalgeographic.com.au/education/encyclopedia/climate-refugee/?ar_a=1

    Pacific Islander Association of Non-governmental Organisations. (2014). The Pacific Score on the Millennium Development Goals. Retrieved, April 29, from http://www.piango.org/Publications/publications.html

    Sasser, J. S. (2014). The wave of the future? youth advocacy at the nexus of population and climate change. The Geographical Journal, 180(2), 102-110. doi:10.1111/geoj.12023

    Seabright, M. (2010). The role of the affect heuristic in moral reactions to climate change. Journal of Global Ethics, 6(1), 5-15. doi:10.1080/17449621003701410

    Smith, B. (2011). Doom, gloom and empty tombs: Climate change and fear. Studies in Christian Ethics, 24(1), 77-91. doi:10.1177/0953946810389120

    Szarka, J. (2013). From climate advocacy to public engagement: An exploration of the roles of environmental non-governmental organisations. Climate, 1(1), 12-27. doi:10.3390/cli1010012
  4. Like
    Simon reacted to Mark Piazzalunga for a blog entry, California's on fire: exceptional drought gets worse   
    While here in Northern Italy there are 18º and a lot of rain, storms and a Autumn climate California is a little bit hotter. Here's a news for the people who believe climate change doesn't exist: California’s three-year drought just went from bad to dreadful. In the course of the last week, the crimson expanse of “exceptional drought” grew to engulf the northern part of the state.

    The following chart , showing the drought's progession since 2011, speaks for itself:



    All of California is in "severe drought" (shown in orange), and 82 percent is rated “extreme drought” (in red). The agency’s highest drought rating — “exceptional drought” (crimson) -- now covers 58 percent of the state, up from 36 percent a week ago. California is becoming Sahara. Cheer up, beautiful people, it’s not the worst drought California has ever seen: in 1977, the state’s water storage was at 41 percent of the historical average but conditions are still getting worse.

    California is famous for its agriculture sector, especially wine grapes which are located most in the Cental Valley, the heart of agriculture, that now is in a terrible crisis. To face this drought Governor Jerry Brown has called for a statewide voluntary reduction of water use by 20 percent, and residents now face fines of as much as $500 a day for wasting water. They should have think to that earlier but it's the nature of humans, thinking that prevention is useless and not effective.

    Let's here what NASA said about the drought (spoiler alert: they made a joke): “California is supposed to be the Golden State. Make that golden brown” sad but true “According to the US Dept. of Agriculture and NOAA, dry conditions have become extreme across more than 62% of California’s land area—and there is little relief in sight”. California produces 20% of U.S. GDP and this drought is effecting the economy of the state and the people, because of the situation thousands of farmers are losing their jobs.

    On January 18th 2014 Govern Jerry Brown declared the state of emergency and it was a winter month. Now it's Summer and with a further increase of temperatures the situation's getting worse. Any solutions? Not really, this problem is effecting California for decades but this time is the worst because of climate change. The best solution should have been prevention, too late for that. Preventing any waste of water, low the levels of CO2. Everybody keep saying that, let's hope this time things will change.

    References from Bloomberg.com and Nasa.gov
    Photo from BusinessInsider.com
  5. Like
    Simon reacted to Mark Piazzalunga for a blog entry, Earth Day; Today (and Tomorrow) Protect the Environment   
    Today, a month and two days after Spring Equinox, is the Earth Day. A few days ago we celebrated the Earth Hour and now we dedicate an entire day to environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970 and now it's organized by the Earth Day Network and takes place in more than 192 countries each year. Over the years milions of people all over the world take action to make the Earth greener and safer and today everybody can act to contribute the Earth Day.

    But what is the sense? Will something really change? Will climate change end today? Of course not but what we do today should be repeated every day of our lives. All these daily actions will make the difference. In the past years the word has been spread and a new green generation is ready to face and solve the problems made in the past years.

    Earth Day this year is dedicated to green cities. Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. As the urban population grows and the effects of climate change worsen, our cities have to evolve. According to the Earth Day Network we have to improve three aspects of our cities:

    Energy. Most of the world currently relies on outdated electric generation structures that are extremely inefficient and dirty. Renewable energy is the energy of this century.

    Green Buildings. Buildings account for nearly one third of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Through simple efficiency and design improvements to buildings we can reduce those emissions drastically.

    Transportation. The fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. We need to improve standards, increase public transportation options, invest in alternative transportation, and improve city walkability and bikeability.

    But what you can do today not to feel guilty and to help the environment? If you want to join this global movement there are two ways:

    Online activism. Lend your voice, spread the word from your computer.

    Local campaigns. More than 192 countries (almost all in the world) are celebrating Earth Day. Join the nearest campaign to you.

    One of the causes that brought to the first Earth Day was an oil spill in California and today we're still fighting against the same dirty and polluting kind of energy source. It sounds repetitive but change is necessary and change depends from the number of people involved, so let everybody know that today is the Earth Day.

    For more details on green cities and global campaigns go to earthday.org
  6. Like
    Simon reacted to Mark Piazzalunga for a blog entry, Climate Change is a Disaster; Meanwhile Oil Boom Continues   
    While the third IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report explains that fossil fuels use must end to avoid the dramatic consequences of climate change, 202 millions barrel of oil are stocked in Houston, Texas ready to entering the energy market.

    Let's proceed in order: IPCC is an international organization, part of UN and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Its reports are precise, accurate and sadly true. Refute the results of reports would be stupid and useless since I don't think the IPCC is part of a secret lobby with the only intent to destroy the dominance of fossil fuels.

    Directly from the report: "Since 2007, many renewable energy technologies have substantially advanced in terms of performance and cost and a growing number have achieved technical and economic maturity, making renewable energy a fast growing category in energy supply". UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon said we must act now to stop climate change and governments are starting intensive renewable energy politics.

    With one exception: 202 millions barrel of oil are ready to contribute to greenhouse gases emissions, that in the past decade doubled according to UN. All these millions barrel are decreasing the high prices of oil over America so everybody's happy. Or not? A few days ago geologists linked a serious of small earthquakes to gas drilling in the state of Ohio. The lives of many people are in constant danger because of unsafe carload transporting oil. An enormous and useless pipeline, Keystone XL, will (or could) be built. Many spills, few jobs, short-term usage and a lot of money. A short description of this pipeline.

    This miracolous oil boom won't make U.S. independent from Middle East since any instability in that area will increase oil prices. Oil is a temporary, pollutant and instable energy source, intended to end but in the meanwaile can damage our environment in an irreversable way. UN are from the side of the people and the planet, they are warning us for too many years. It's time to listen and to act. I hope that all that oil shipped in Houston won't be used and that all the people, the organizations, the companies and the governments will finally act for change.

    References: Bloomberg, The Guardian.
  7. Like
    Simon reacted to Earth Policy Institute for a blog entry, World Wind Power Poised to Bounce Back after Slowing in 2013   
    By J. Matthew Roney

    At the end of 2013, the wind farms installed in more than 85 countries had a combined generating capacity of 318,000 megawatts, which would be enough to meet the residential electricity needs of the European Union’s 506 million people. New data from the Global Wind Energy Council show that wind developers built 35,000 megawatts of new generating capacity worldwide in 2013. This was down from 45,000 megawatts installed in 2012—marking only the second time in 25 years that installed capacity increased by less than it did the year before.

    The principal reason for the decline in new capacity was a more than 90 percent drop in U.S. wind farm installations from a record 13,000 megawatts in 2012. Although the United States has the second-highest wind power capacity in the world—some 61,000 megawatts—a lack of long-term policy planning has led to several such boom-and-bust cycles.

    Despite the dearth of new capacity, there were many bright spots for U.S. wind power in 2013. Wind accounted for at least 12 percent of the electricity generated in nine states, including Iowa (27 percent) and South Dakota (26 percent). Iowa will get another boost from a $1.9 billion deal announced in December 2013: Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Company purchased Siemens turbines totaling more than 1,000 megawatts, all destined for Iowa wind projects. When complete in 2015, these wind farms will likely bring the wind share of electricity in Iowa to at least 33 percent.

    Wind’s contribution to the grid is also growing in Texas, the U.S. wind capacity leader with 12,400 megawatts. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas reports that wind farms produced nearly 10 percent of the electricity delivered to its 24 million customers in 2013. And with the early-2014 completion of state-funded transmission projects linking windy West Texas and the Panhandle to population centers to the east, Texas can accommodate even more clean electricity on the grid. The state has 7,000 megawatts of new wind power capacity under construction, more than half of the 12,000 megawatts currently being built nationwide.

    China has led the world in installed capacity since surpassing the United States in 2010. In contrast to the drop in U.S. installations in 2013, China’s wind construction accelerated—adding 16,000 megawatts to reach a total 91,000 megawatts. Wind further solidified its role as the number three electricity source in China (behind coal and hydropower), out-generating nuclear power by an impressive 22 percent. The National Energy Administration aims to make wind-generated electricity cost-competitive with coal by 2020. (See data.)

    As in Texas and many other places around the world, some of China’s best wind resources are found far from major cities where electricity demand is high. High-voltage transmission lines now under construction will connect wind-rich provinces in the north and west with more populous ones in the central and eastern provinces. For example, one project linking remote Xinjiang province to the 4 million people in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, was completed in early 2014. Infrastructure projects such as this one will be critical in reaching the official Chinese goal of 200,000 megawatts of grid-connected wind capacity by 2020.

    India, the country with the fifth-highest amount of installed capacity, added 1,700 megawatts in 2013 to cross the 20,000 megawatt threshold. Although this was 25 percent less new capacity than in 2012, India is poised to grow its wind power base dramatically in the coming years. In January 2014, the government announced a National Wind Energy Mission—in the spirit of the country’s National Solar Mission—to be launched mid-year. By beefing up the grid and using incentives to attract investment to wind hotspots, the program aims to hit 100,000 megawatts of wind within eight years.

    Development is picking up elsewhere in Asia as well. In Pakistan, wind power capacity doubled to 100 megawatts in 2013 and will double again when two 50-megawatt projects go online in 2014. Thailand also doubled its wind capacity in 2013, reaching 220 megawatts. And the Philippines has seven projects due for completion in 2014 that will expand wind capacity there 13-fold to 450 megawatts.

    Before China’s recent surge, Europe was the leading wind power region. Germany, which added 3,200 megawatts in 2013, ranks third worldwide in total capacity, with 34,000 megawatts. Four of its northern states regularly get half or more of their electricity from wind farms.

    When it comes to wind’s contribution to national electricity needs, European countries top the leaderboard. Denmark gets one third of its electricity from wind, well on its way to a target of 50 percent by 2020. Portugal, Lithuania, Spain, and Ireland come in at around 20 percent each. In fact, wind came within a percentage point of beating nuclear power for the title of Spain’s number one electricity source in 2013. And Germany, Europe’s largest economy, obtained 8 percent of its electricity from wind farms.
    While some of the larger European wind power markets, including Spain, Italy, and France, have slowed down, smaller players are speeding up. Poland and Romania each expanded their wind power capacity by 36 percent in 2013, to 3,400 and 2,600 megawatts, respectively. And in Turkey, even though the approval process for projects is slow, wind capacity grew by 28 percent to nearly 3,000 megawatts.

    One region with enormous wind potential but little development so far is Latin America. Brazil, best known for getting 80 percent of its electricity from large hydropower, hosts the most wind power capacity in the region—now close to 3,500 megawatts after a 950-megawatt addition in 2013. At government auctions, wind companies have won more than half of all contracts to sell electricity since 2011, according to Bloomberg data. Some 10,000 megawatts of wind may be installed in Brazil between 2014 and 2019. Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay also added wind power in 2013.

    In all of Africa, just one project added capacity in 2013. The final 90 megawatts of Ethiopia’s 120-megawatt Ashegoda Wind Farm went into operation, more than doubling the country’s wind capacity to 170 megawatts. South Africa has 2,100 megawatts of wind power in the pipeline, including 750 megawatts to be added in 2014 alone.

    Offshore projects account for just over 2 percent of the wind capacity installed worldwide. Having hit a seventh straight annual installation record in 2013, however, offshore wind is growing fast. More than half of the 7,100 megawatts of offshore capacity belongs to the United Kingdom, which installed 730 megawatts in its waters in 2013. Denmark, Germany, and Belgium each added at least 190 megawatts to their totals, while China added 39 megawatts. Both Vietnam and Spain added offshore wind capacity for the first time, as did the United States, although the U.S. project was one very small demonstration turbine off the coast of Maine.

    Offshore wind is still one of the more expensive electricity generating technologies, but onshore wind is often highly competitive with coal, natural gas, and nuclear power in areas with strong wind resources. And costs continue to fall as wind manufacturers steadily improve turbine efficiency, harnessing more wind per machine. In the United States, the average price of wind-generated electricity has dropped 40 percent since 2009.

    After a slower year in 2013, world wind installations will bounce back in 2014, perhaps to a new record—the Global Wind Energy Council sees the potential for 47,000 megawatts. Roughly half of the total will be built in China and the United States (around three times more in the former than in the latter). This is good news for the wind business, for electricity consumers, and for people who value cleaner air and water. But increasingly dire scientific warnings about the consequences of climate change mean that the world will need to accelerate the shift to carbon-free, renewable sources of energy even more so in the years to come.

    Copyright © 2014 Earth Policy Institute
  8. Like
    Simon got a reaction from Mark Piazzalunga for a blog entry, Klimatkrisen och Sveriges massarbetslöshet   
    Vi står inför en global klimatkris som kräver ofattbart stora investeringar för att vi ska kunna ställa om till ett mer hållbart samhälle som samtidigt klarar av påfrestningarna som kommer att komma av ett förändrat klimat. Samtidigt är arbetslösheten i Sverige fortfarande alldeles för stor, det finns alltså hundratusentals människor som saknar ett jobb. Enligt statistiska centralbyrån ligger arbetslösheten i Sverige idag på 8,5 procent - och fortsätter att stiga.

    Trots klimatförändringarna och alla varningar från forskarvärlden gör vi inga omfattande samhällsinvesteringar. Sverige är ett rikt land. Vi har råd att ställa om, och det blir billigare om vi börjar redan nu istället för att vänta tills vi är mitt uppe i krisen. Vi har länge haft vetskapen om vad som behöver göras. Och vi har verktygen som krävs. Vi har dessutom arbetskraften som kan åstadkomma detta nödvändiga arbete. Men på grund av att den politiska viljan saknas – och till viss del också en stark folkopinion – så sitter vi här med massarbetslöshet, helt oförberedda på klimatkrisen.

    Miljöpolitiska partier i Sverige och runtom i Europa och övriga världen pratar om att det behövs en ”new green deal”. Den nya gröna given är, precis som det låter, en idé som har sitt ursprung från det sociala och ekonomiska reformpaket som USA:s dåvarande president Franklin D. Roosevelt lanserade i kölvattnet av Wall Street-kraschen 1929 och den stora depressionen. En av de viktigaste delarna i reformpaketet var igångsättandet av offentliga arbeten. Alltså där staten satte igång olika arbeten. Staten började exempelvis bygga vägar, fabriker och dammar (man anställde även konstnärer och andra yrkesgrupper). Allt gjordes för att sätta folk i arbeten och på så sätt förbättra landets ekonomi och dess motståndskraft mot framtida (ekonomiska och mänskliga) katastrofer.

    Det har gjorts liknande samhällsinvesteringar i Sverige genom tiderna för att råda bukt på olika kriser. Från 1950-talet och framåt rådde det en akut bostadsbrist i Sverige. Lösningen blev det så kallade miljonprogrammet som lanserades 1965. Miljonprogrammet må vara kontroversiellt i dag. Men under en kort tid lyckades vi bygga en miljon bostäder samtidigt som bostadsstandarden för miljoner människor förbättrades. Sedan dess har investeringarna sinat och dessa miljonprogramsområden har idag blivit närmast isolerade bostadsområden som kännetecknas av ett stort utanförskap, hög arbetslöshet och stora sociala problem.

    Det har gjorts en hel del investeringar i dessa stadsdelar från nationellt håll. Stadsdelarna har, framförallt med hjälp av finansiering från Blomman- och Storstadssatsningen, sett flera sociala insatser och bebyggelseinriktade åtgärder för att öka sysselsättningsgraden, tryggheten och attraktionskraften i stadsdelarna. Man kan diskutera hur stora och effektiva de egentligen har varit. Men investeringar har gjorts, och några av dem har dessutom haft ett miljöfokus.

    Gårdsten, Hjällbo och Bergsjön är tre stadsdelar i Göteborg som har haft ett tämligen stort fokus på att skapa både en social och ekologisk hållbar utveckling. I Bergsjön, under Blommansatsningen, öppnades 1999 det numera nerlagda Agenda 21-kontoret. Avsikten var att kontoret skulle fungera som en fysisk mötesplats, främja en hållbar utveckling och samordna de trygghetsskapande insatserna i Bergsjön. I Gårdsten mellan 1998-2003 genomfördes projekt Solhusen som var omfattande ombyggnationer med ett speciellt fokus på energieffektiviseringar och förnybar energi. Solhus 1 ingick i Europakommissionens 17:e energiprogram ”Sun and Shine” och Solhus 2 i EU-projektet ”Regen-Link”. Exempelvis förseddes loftgångshusens tak med solfångare som nu förser kvarteren med varmvatten. På Gårdstensberget uppfördes 2009 ett vindkraftverk som förser närliggande Gårdstensbostäder med fastighetsel. I Hjällbo invigdes 2011 en av Sveriges största solcellsanläggningar. Anläggningen består av 347 solpaneler och förser de närliggande höghusen med fastighetsel.

    Allt detta gjordes för flera år sedan. Tänk bara vad som kan åstadkommas med dagens kunskap och teknik. Vi behöver rusta upp och energieffektivisera våra bostäder och se till att deras och vårat ekologiska fotavtryck blir så litet som möjligt. Vi behöver fabriker som massproducerar vindkraftverk, solpaneler, tågvagnar och mycket annat. Vi behöver bygga nya järnvägar där nya höghastighetståg kan transportera oss snabbt och billigt mellan storstäder, hem och arbetsplatser. Vi behöver bygga om så att våra samhällen, byggnader och infrastruktur klarar av ett nytt och tuffare väderklimat.

    Låt ingen säga att vi inte har råd eller att detta inte går att genomföra. Vi har kunskapen, vi har tekniken, vi har pengarna och vi har arbetskraften. Det enda som fattas är vilja.

    Så vad väntar vi egentligen på?

    Fotot visar ett miljonprogramsområde i Helsingborg, Sverige.
  9. Like
    Simon reacted to alvarokab for a blog entry, Keep Australia Beautiful wants helium balloons banned in QLD   
    Keep Australia Beautiful is committed to the development of activities and targeted campaigns to educate different sectors of the community to create sustainable communities adopting a wide range of strategies and plans to promote the waste minimization.
    We have set up an on-line petition calling for the prohibition of the helium balloons in the state of Queensland because of the threat to wildlife and source of litter forced in waterways.

    Helium is considered a non-renewable gas that is used mostly in hospitals.It is used in MRI scanners and is usually mixed with oxygen to make breathing easier for sick patients and can save newborn babies lives.
    Helium is extracted from the earth's crust and there is a currently global shortage of this gas.The scarcity of Helium is a really serious issue and once it is realized in the atmosphere it is gone forever.
    Also, balloons are a common source of litter found in waterways being a serious threat to marine and wildlife. When deflated balloons are floating in waterways they can be ingested by marine life such as turtles, fish and dolphins.
    Despite of being made from biodegradable latex, Balloons floating in the ocean can take up to 12 month to degrade.
    To get this important purpose, we need the support of our community to gather the most possible signatures in our E-Petition:
    http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/e-petition?PetNum=2128

    Thanks for your attention and collaboration.
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