Global environmental challenges
from India Insight:
There's nothing Indians like better than a good debate.
So when Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh announced last month that he would hold public debates to decide the commercial fate of genetically modified brinjal (eggplant), there were hopes these would provide a chance for all stakeholders to be heard.
But the debates, in seven cities including Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, were chaotic, nothing more than acrimonious shouting matches between environmental activists and scientists, who say they were not given a fair chance to voice their opinion.
One scientist said he had his hand raised for more than half an hour, but was not allowed to speak. Another said he was told he could make a presentation, but was again not allowed to. Others were not even permitted to enter the premises.
So are townhalls such as these the best way to discuss matters of serious scientific weight?
from Tales from the Trail:
OK, it's cold in Washington. It's really cold. And snowy. And blizzardy. It's hard to recall that long-ago moment -- what was it, six days ago? -- when you could go for a walk without cross-country skis and a flask of brandy. But just because it's winter doesn't mean global warming is a myth.
But the storms gave conservatives fresh fodder for mocking former Vice President Al Gore and his efforts on global climate change. Senator Jim DeMint tweeted "It's going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries 'uncle'," Politico reported.
Today travelers can rack up frequent flyer miles and trade them in for upgrades, tickets and other amenities.
How about perks not for zooming across thousands of miles in a fossil-fueled jet, but for zero emission miles? Consumers who collect miles for zero-emissions travel — say, bike riding — could swap them for a cool gadget, like an Apple iPhone, paid for by companies or other individuals who need or want to cut carbon emissions, for example.
– Kathy Nieland is U.S. Sustainability and Climate Change leader for global accounting and advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. She also serves on the independent, not-for-profit Carbon Disclosure Project. The views expressed are her own. –
If you think the Securities and Exchange Commission’s new interpretative guidance on disclosing the risks of climate change applies only to big polluters, think again.
John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own.
President Barack Obama read the last rites for national cap and trade in 2010 on Feb. 2, while senior Democrats in the House of Representatives prepared to put a stake through its heart to ensure the Environmental Protection Agency does not try to resurrect it unilaterally without congressional approval.
Obama finally bowed to the inevitable and admitted cap and trade might need to be separated from a more popular green jobs bill in the Senate, a shift that would effectively end prospects for cap and trade in 2010.
Just last month, Walmart announced that it would be moving to eliminate non-biodegradable plastic bags from stores across the United States to reduce their collection in landfills. While they’ve demonstrated positive green initiatives, this week there’s been accusations of hypocrisy because they’ve been passing off a harmful, manufactured textile as sustainable.
Environmental advocates had been applauding Walmart for their plastic bag reduction goals and the installation of more energy-efficient systems. For example, coolers that only light up when a shopper’s presence is detected. So this new accusation from the Federal Trade Commission comes at a bad time.
David Rockefeller, Jr., a philanthropist, is sponsoring a year-long sailing trip around the Americas looking at environmental impacts on the oceans — from melting ice to fish farms. Here are his thoughts after stepping aboard the voyage for two weeks around Cape Horn. The views expressed are his own.
For climbers, there is just one Everest. For sailors, there is just one Cape Horn – the southernmost piece of the American Continents, and often the windiest, most treacherous place in all the oceans.
from The Great Debate UK:
- Luuk van der Wielen is at BE-Basic and Delft University of Technology; Roger Wyse is Managing Director, Burrill & Company, San Francisco. The opinions expressed are their own.-
Today the global megatrends of food security, energy security, global climate change and sustainability command the attention of nations worldwide. Confronting these challenges will test political systems, drive policy and stress international relations.
from UK News:
If the scientific evidence for manmade global warming is so compelling, why do so many people still have their doubts?
Why do politicians and the media often discuss global warming with such certainty, ignoring the scientists' carefully worded caveats?
Chinese solar power companies have shone amid the downturn in the solar industry, converting their low cost advantage into bigger market share and profits.
Now, China’s Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd is making a play to raise its global profile. It’s taking its solar panels to the world’s biggest sporting event, the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and has signed up to help sponsor the event.