Al Gore – ‘We Can’t Wish Climate Change Away’

It would be an enormous relief if the recent attacks on the science of global warming actually indicated that we do not face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it.

Of course, we would still need to deal with the national security risks of our growing dependence on a global oil market dominated by dwindling reserves in the most unstable region of the world, and the economic risks of sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas in return for that oil. And we would still trail China in the race to develop smart grids, fast trains, solar power, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources of energy — the most important sources of new jobs in the 21st century.

But what a burden would be lifted! We would no longer have to worry that our grandchildren would one day look back on us as a criminal generation that had selfishly and blithely ignored clear warnings that their fate was in our hands. We could instead celebrate the naysayers who had doggedly persisted in proving that every major National Academy of Sciences report on climate change had simply made a huge mistake.

I, for one, genuinely wish that the climate crisis were an illusion. Continue reading

Earthlife Africa – Press Release: ‘NERSA’s Approval on Electricity Tariff Increase’

Earthlife Africa Johannesburg is not surprised by the Nersa decision to increase tariffs. Nersa has announced an increase in tariffs to 24.8% in 2010/2011, 25.8% in 2011/2012 and an increase of 25.4% in 2012/2013. The announcement allows for a “business as usual” perspective to climate change.

Nersa’s announcement can be viewed as an endorsement of increasing GHG emissions through coal-powered stations. As such Nersa has failed to look at the long term consequences of Eskom’s new build programme. Continue reading

‘Senate Climate Talks Intensify With New Carbon Pricing Draft Expected This Week’ – Darren Samuelsohn (The New York Times)

The Senate trio at the center of talks on a comprehensive climate and energy bill will present a draft proposal this week to their fence-sitting colleagues and high-profile interest groups amid warnings from Democratic leadership that the window for action is closing.

“It’s time,” said a Senate aide close to the process. “Game on.”

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) have been working for months behind closed doors on a plan that promotes domestic energy production while putting a first-ever price on greenhouse gas emissions. Aides say they have settled on a relatively short but detailed list of ideas that are ready to be turned into formal bill language, but first they want to get feedback from key blocs of Democratic and GOP senators with a stake in everything from coal to natural gas, manufacturing and transportation. Continue reading

Proposed expansion of the role of the IMF to provide ‘insurance for low-income countries against global volatility and other shocks—including from the effects of climate change

In his address at the Bretton Woods Committee Annual Meeting, Dominique Strauss-Kahn of the International Monetary Fund, highlighted three priorities namely crisis prevention, crisis response and the stability of the international monetary system. With regard to crisis response he raised the issue of whether the IMF should expand its role ‘as a provider of insurance for low-income countries against global volatility and other shocks—including from the effects of climate change’.  

Strauss-Kahn stated further ‘I mentioned climate change. At first sight, this may seem not to fall within the IMF’s core “mandate.” Continue reading

‘Animal lawyer hauls angler into court for big catch’

Lawyer Antoine Goetschel feels uncomfortable talking about one of his recent clients. And it isn’t just because he lost the case. “Fish don’t get much sympathy,” he explains.

That’s doubly true for the unnamed dead pike whose cause Goetschel took up earlier this month, much to the amusement of Swiss anglers who couldn’t understand why one of their own was being hauled into court for landing a big catch – because the battle between man and beast took about 10 minutes.

Goetschel is Europe’s only animal lawyer and the figurehead for a movement that wants to expand Zurich’s pioneering legal system across Switzerland. Continue reading

Vision 2050: The New Agenda for Business (WBCSD)

Under the Vision 2050 Project of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), 29 WBCSD member companies developed a vision of a world well on the way to sustainability by 2050, and a pathway leading to that world – a pathway that will require fundamental changes in governance structures, economic frameworks, business and human behavior. It emerged that these changes are necessary, feasible and offer tremendous business opportunities for companies that turn sustainability into strategy.

This report addresses three questions: What does a sustainable world look like? How can we realize it? What are the roles business can play in ensuring more rapid progress toward that world? Continue reading

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