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Posts Tagged ‘Earth’

A polar bear swimming

Climate change, by itself, is probably the most important megaforce that could directly impact all other environmental issues. According to KPMG; “Predictions of annual output losses from climate change range between 1 percent per year, if strong and early action is taken, to as much as 5 percent a year–if policymakers fail to act.”

Consider taking the test below to gage your awareness and understanding of global climate change:

Think you know the odd effects of global climate change? Take our quiz.

Climate change conjures images of long, hot summers, melting ice caps and stranded polar bears. But as the weather gets stranger, so too does its effects on the environment, sometimes in the oddest of ways. How well do you know the signs of change?

, Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor

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Southern Hemisphere of Earth (Lambert azimutha...

Written by Matt McGrath, Science reporter for BBC World Service, published November 1, 2012. The commission was considering proposals for marine reserves in two critical areas of the Ross Sea.

Governments meeting in Australia have failed to reach agreement on new marine protected areas for the Antarctic ocean. They have deferred a decision until July 2013 when all the relevant science will be considered. Environmental groups have expressed deep concern about the lack of consensus on how to develop a network of protected zones.

“This responsibility, and this failure, rests with all the members.” ~ Jim Barnes, Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition

They blame Russia, China and Ukraine for blocking agreement. For the past two weeks the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has been meeting in Tasmania.

What has the CCAMLR accomplished previously?

  • CCAMLR has established just one Marine Protected Area in the Antarctic so far.
  • They have designated 11 priority areas in the Southern Ocean from which most MPAs will be created.
  • Governments have set a goal of extending protected areas to ten percent of the world’s oceans

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Daniel Goldstein makes tools that help us imagine ourselves over time, so that we make smart choices for Future Us.

Today, we have many sources of information and knowledge. That is true for topics surrounding Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Business Transformation, etc. I have discovered some very good videos that are supported by the Creative Commons (CC) license and comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). For more information, please go to originating sites for more information (TED, YouTube, and other  web sites). We hope you enjoy these videos and share with your friends and colleagues.

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Since the counterculture Sixties, Stewart Brand has been a critical thinker and innovator who helped lay the foundations of our internetworked world.

Today, we have many sources of information and knowledge. That is true for topics surrounding Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Business Transformation, etc. I have discovered some very good videos that are supported by the Creative Commons (CC) license and comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). For more information, please go to originating sites for more information (TED, YouTube, and other  web sites). We hope you enjoy these videos and share with your friends and colleagues.

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As the world faces recession, climate change, inequity and more, Tim Jackson delivers a piercing challenge to established economic principles, explaining how we might stop feeding the crises and start investing in our future.

Today, we have many sources of information and knowledge. That is true for topics surrounding Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Business Transformation, etc. I have discovered some very good videos that are supported by the Creative Commons (CC) license and comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). For more information, please go to originating sites for more information (TED, YouTube, and other  web sites). We hope you enjoy these videos and share with your friends and colleagues.

 

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English:

English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”. True Sustainability does not rely on “the sky is falling”, rather it is based on information and data to give the existentialists a choice.  What does that mean? Each person, as a free and responsible agent, determines their own development through choices and decisions. What are we talking about? Understanding every decision we make can and often does impact our future.  Isolated choices for our needs often are not the best choices if we don’t consider its impact our planetary resources.

Mankind has avoided extinction, created by natural disasters, for over 2 million years. His fragile existence was almost eliminated during the last ice age, 50,000 years ago. However, more recently, the 20th century almost created an extinction scenario that would have permanently changed the complexion of our planet and perhaps ended mankind.

The 21st century will reveal whether our wisdom, understanding and leadership will preserve the existence of all life forms on this planet. Now, we are a population of 7 billion people. Demands for that population will continue to strain air, food, water and other resources in our lives.  We are living on a planet that has almost reached full capacity. By 2050, our planet will have a population of about10 billion people. Without recognizing planetary constraints, we may witness tragic declines or possible extinction of mankind within the next 100 years. The “tipping point” is indeed grave and it facing us today. What will our choices be?

20th Century Tragedy Avoided
In the 20th century we experienced three major events that were considered global in nature and involve the majority of the countries on this planet.  The first two events were called “world wars” and for logical reasons. These were global conflicts, pitting powerful alliances against each other. Both of these conflicts were significant and costly in terms of economic, environmental, and social aspects.

After the end of  World War II, the world was divided between Russia (and its “allies”) and the rest of the World. This third event, known as the Cold War, segmented along ideological lines and would exist for almost a half century. It was the confrontation of capitalism versus communism, West versus East, United States versus the Soviet Union (and Red China), and tested the mettle of diplomacy, military power, global intelligence, geopolitics, technology and the “wisdom” to know the difference.

The world almost ended with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Not since the Cold War, has humanity been faced with the possibility of human extinction. In the 1960s, aggressive Soviet diplomacy with the United States created an environment suitable for military conflict.  That event almost created a global catastrophe, a threshold for nuclear disaster, that would have completely changed the world as we know it today.

This was a circumstance of competition for domination (totalitarianism versus democracy), players were clearly defined, consequences to actions were also understood, and leadership of the two major countries dominated the governance of any geopolitical conflict. In the worst-case scenario, hundreds of millions of people would die in the first missile volley; air, food and water would be contaminated for most of the survivors; much of existing civil infrastructures would be destroyed, martial law would probably be implemented in all countries to corral civil panic, and surviving governments and businesses would face a bleak future.
But why did they need to act then?

Frankly, survivability of such a radical exchange of weapons was truly unknown although atomic bomb testing provided data to make “best guess estimates” and create military scenarios. MAD strategies were just that: “mutually assured destruction”. In that type of war, there are no winners, but measured degrees which side was damaged less. Decades later, both sides admitted that a nuclear exchange was almost inevitable as a conclusion to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Political leadership from both camps recognized the fragility and sensitivity that could be created from a global conflict.  Major players clearly understood the consequences of their actions, possible scenarios, and the need to manage potential threats or conflicts.

Modern societies exist today because of prudent decisions fifty years ago.  Leadership acted effectively to preserve our planet.  Missiles were moved, forces were de-escalated, diplomatic understandings were made and actions were made to ensure better communication between capitals. To summarize, this man-made situation was based on many key variables:

  1. Scope: total Global impact (threat to entire biosphere)
  2. Business: Involvement was limited or nonexistent
  3. Government: Driven primarily by Soviet and American policies
  4. Stakeholders: Consensus and allegiance solidified the Soviet and American camps
  5. Mitigation: Diplomacy, treaties, government trade and economic policies
  6. Result: Cooler heads prevailed and avoided a military conflict. Processes were adopted, understandings created, and similar events were mitigated or avoided in direct talks.

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Onstage at TED2012, Peter Diamandis makes a case for optimism — that we’ll invent, innovate and create ways to solve the challenges that loom over us. “I’m not saying we don’t have our set of problems; we surely do. But ultimately, we knock them down.”

Today, we have many sources of information and knowledge. That is true for topics surrounding Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Business Transformation, etc. I have discovered some very good videos that are supported by the Creative Commons (CC) license and comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). For more information, please go to originating sites for more information (TED, YouTube, and other  web sites). We hope you enjoy these videos and share with your friends and colleagues.

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Those working at capacity, professionals most likely prepping to leave
by Neli Esipova and Julie Ray, Nearly 50 Million Worldwide Planning to Migrate Soon, Gallup, February 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C.

These findings, and others highlighted in the new report, “Gallup World Poll: The Many Faces of Global Migration,” are based on a rolling average of interviews with 401,490 adults in 146 countries between 2008 and 2010. The 146 countries represent more than 93% of the world’s adult population.

Potential migrants in the Middle East and North Africa were the most likely worldwide to say they plan to leave their countries permanently in the next 12 months. While more than one in five adults (21%) in the Middle East and North Africa overall said they would migrate permanently to another country if they had the chance, one in six of them said they were planning to do so in the near term.

Twelve percent of potential migrant adults in sub-Saharan Africa said they are planning to move to another country permanently in the next year, while 10% of potential migrant adults in the Americas said these were their plans. In all other major regions, the percentage planning to move is in the single digits.

The Most Educated, Those Working at Capacity, and Professionals Prepping to Leave
The people countries would most like to retain or attract — those with high levels of education, professional workers, and those already employed at capacity — are the most likely to say they are making preparations to migrate such as applying for visas or residency and purchasing tickets. This may partly reflect their greater likelihood of having the means to move, but still provides insight into who is motivated to take the necessary steps.

While education makes a significant difference among those preparing to leave, it makes little difference among those who say they are planning to migrate. Among those planning to migrate in the next 12 months, those in the most educated group are nearly twice as likely as those in other education groups to say they are actively preparing to leave.

Those who are employed at capacity are the most likely to say they are making the necessary preparations to move. Although the underemployed are often the most likely to say they would like to migrate permanently and say they are planning to go, they are actually the least likely to say they are taking steps to migrate.

Worldwide, those whose work falls under the “professional” category, which includes professions such as lawyers, doctors, managers, business owners, and office workers, are more likely to desire to migrate than those who are “not employed” or those whose work falls into a category other than “professional.” A majority (54%) of “professionals” who are planning to migrate in the next year say they are actively preparing to move.

Bottom Line
No one factor explains why some people only dream of migrating, while others go. Many factors can influence the situation. Potential migrants’ personal circumstances such as their finances, health, family situation, and their job status can keep them home or push them out the door. Migration policies — or lack thereof — can also create so many roadblocks to leaving or entering a country that potential migrants become discouraged. Yet Gallup’s surveys show millions are actively preparing to leave their homelands for good — and it is often the best and brightest that their homelands would like to see stay.

For complete data sets or custom research from the more than 150 countries Gallup continually surveys, please contact SocialandEconomicAnalysis@gallup.com or call 202.715.3030.

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Environmental concerns are flat since 2010, but down over past decade
March 28, 2011, Gallup, Retrieved: 31 Jan 2012
by Lydia Saad

PRINCETON, NJ–At least three in four Americans surveyed in Gallup’s 2011 Environment poll say they worry a great deal or a fair amount about contamination of soil and water by toxic waste, pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, pollution of drinking water, and the maintenance of the nation’s supply of fresh water for household needs.

Air pollution is nearly as high a concern for Americans, with 72% worried a great deal or a fair amount about it.

A little more than 6 in 10 worry about the related problems of extinction of plant and animal species and the loss of tropical rain forests. Slightly fewer worry about urban sprawl and loss of open spaces, while barely half, 51%, worry about global warming.

The poll was conducted March 3-6, prior to the emergence of an earthquake- and tsunami-generated nuclear crisis in Japan that has raised Americans’ own concerns about nuclear power.

The current levels of public concern about various environmental problems are essentially unchanged from 2010. However, Americans are less worried today than they were 10 years ago about all eight issues Gallup measured in 2001. The decline over the past decade spans a period when the public often expressed surging concern about terrorism, the Iraq war, gas prices, and the economy.

Bottom Line
Although the United States has experienced nothing like the mass drinking-water scare that is gripping Japan during its current nuclear crisis, Americans largely recognize the importance of clean water to their lives. All four environmental issues referring to “water” in this year’s Gallup Environment poll rank in the upper tier of environmental concerns, with air pollution a close fifth. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a slightly steeper drop-off in concern about several issues that aren’t directly related to daily survival, such as the loss of tropical rain forests and urban sprawl. What may surprise some, given the broad exposure the issue has received in recent years, is that global warming ranks lowest — consistent with other Gallup polling — with barely half of Americans concerned and 48% only a little or not at all concerned.

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Forty-seven percent prioritize energy production; 44%, environmental protection
by Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup, Americans Split on Energy vs. Environment Trade-Off, March 23, 2012, Retrieved: March 23, 2012

PRINCETON, NJ — Americans are about as likely to say production of energy supplies (47%) should be prioritized as to say environmental protection (44%) should be, a closer division than last year, when energy led by 50% to 41%. These views mark a shift compared with the early 2000s, when Americans consistently assigned a higher priority to environmental protection.

The greater preference for energy production over environmental protection in recent years likely results from the economic downturn, given that Americans have made economic matters their highest priority. There was a brief exception in the spring of 2010, however, after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill brought environmental issues back to the forefront.

Although Americans still view the economy as their No. 1 concern, they perceive the economy to be improving. In this context, the public is now about evenly divided on whether energy development or the environment should be given priority.

These results are based on Gallup’s annual Environment poll, conducted March 8-11. Rising gas prices, debate over government approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and President Obama’s current energy policy tour highlight the importance of the energy issue. The Keystone issue in particular has reminded Americans about the trade-offs between increased energy production and risks to the environment.

Democrats and Republicans take opposing sides on the issue, with Republicans favoring energy development by 68% to 24% and Democrats preferring environmental protection by 56% to 34%. Independents’ views are closer to those of Democrats, with 49% prioritizing the environment and 41% energy production.

Compared with 10 years ago, when Americans overall favored environmental protection by 12 percentage points (52% to 40%), all groups have moved in the direction of energy prioritization, though Republicans have shifted much more so than either independents or Democrats.

Public Assigns Higher Priority to Alternative Energy, Conservation Than Production
Americans favor more environmentally friendly energy solutions when they are presented with various choices for addressing the nation’s energy problems.

First, Americans are nearly twice as likely to say the United States should put greater emphasis on the development of alternative energy supplies such as wind and solar power (59%) as to say the U.S. should emphasize production of more oil, gas, and coal supplies (34%). This is the case even though Republicans are more likely to favor production of traditional energy sources over alternative energy.

Gallup found a 66% to 26% margin in favor of alternative energy among all Americans last year, the first time the question was asked.

Also, Americans continue to say the U.S. should emphasize energy conservation by consumers over increased production of oil, gas, and coal to address the nation’s energy problems. However, the 11-point gap in favor of conservation this year (51% to 40%) is much smaller than it was from 2001-2008, when it averaged just under 30 points.

The reduced gap in favor of conservation is due mostly to Republicans’ changing preferences. Republicans currently prefer energy production by 63% to 29%. In 2002, Republicans said conservation should be emphasized over production, by 53% to 35%.

Independents have shifted slightly away from conservation, while Democrats’ preferences are essentially the same as they were 10 years ago.

Implications
Americans now split about evenly when asked to choose between an emphasis on increased energy production and environmental protection. These preferences have varied in the past 11 years in response to changes in the health of the economy and to dramatic events such as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Politics have also played a part in Americans’ shifting preferences over the past decade, with Republicans increasingly coming down on the side of increased production of oil, gas, and coal. This likely reflects party leaders’ preference for increased oil exploration in U.S. coastal areas and on U.S. land, which was a key focus at the 2008 Republican National Convention and more recently in calls by Republican presidential candidates and congressional leaders for the government to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

But Americans as a whole show a proclivity for more environmentally friendly approaches to dealing with the energy situation, including a greater focus on energy conservation or developing alternative energy supplies, even though Republicans take the opposing view.

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