Global environmental challenges
If we can predict one thing about the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen it’s that no one will have all the answers.
But there will be plenty of questions.
To help cut through the tide, Reuters has gathered a panel of some of the world’s leading thinkers on climate change.
Throughout the conference, Reuters.com will publish questions relating to news as it breaks in Copenhagen as well as overarching solutions to global warming. Answers from the panelists will lead the discussion.
Our assembly of academics, scientists and politicians includes:
Dr. David Suzuki, award-winning geneticist and journalist
Dr. Raymond Pierrehumbert, Louis Block Professor in geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago
It was as I lay in a Singapore hospital bed — ablaze with dengue fever but shivering in a sweat that chilled my aching bones — that I began to understand why villagers in a remote part of Indonesia would trade their forest for decent health services.
Teluk Meranti is a tiny, 800-family fishing hamlet in Riau province of Sumatra island in Indonesia, where dengue is common but health services are poor and infrastructure is very basic.
from The Great Debate:
Energy efficiency will have to make the single most-important contribution if policymakers are serious about limiting greenhouse gas emissions and dampening growing demand for fossil fuels.
Energy efficiency will not remove the need to invest in large volumes of wind, solar and nuclear generation, or in technology for carbon capture and storage, but it does form the third leg of the triad.
A three-week tour from the Colorado Rockies to the Arctic Ocean, the tropics, Antarctica and then back again to the Arctic again can give a new perspective of the world.
“You get a feeling of how small the earth is,” said Pavel Romashkin, project manager for a scientific mission that just completed such a trek. “All of us are on a really small place, this little planet of ours.”
There will be a record number of side events at the United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Copenhagen next month, but one woman’s one-woman show could give the delegates, most of whom will be men, the incentive they really need to agree a new global warming treaty.
In “The Boycott“, Kathryn Blume plays Lyssa, First Lady of the United States and climate crusader. Loosely borrowing from a play from ancient Greece, Lyssa launches a nationwide sex strike to fight global warming. As the play unfolds, Lyssa is forced to take on her indifferent husband, a hostile press and a romantic rival who’s not only in bed with the President, but with the oil industry as well.
As hopes for reaching a binding agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the Copenhagen summit die, climate negotiators could learn useful lessons on how to structure the negotiations from the multiple rounds of trade talks within the GATT/WTO framework.
Climate negotiations are about limiting carbon dioxide emissions, but the negotiators are also hammering out a complex economic instrument that will define the distribution of production, energy use and income in the next few decades. It is the agreement’s profound economic effects that are making it so hard to reach a final deal.
The hatchback to be manufactured in Tennessee starting in late 2012 is no nerdy eco-friendly car, that’s for sure. And the prototype certainly was fun to drive. Nissan set up a test course in the Dodger Stadium parking lot and even this cautious driver couldn’t help but race down the straightaway. No emissions, no tailpipe, no noise — but lots of speed, right away.
Green is good and blue is better.
Keeping a business sustainable – or blue – goes beyond philanthropic nods to the environment. It needs to be a core business goal, says Adam Werbach, creator of Wal-Mart’s sustainability program and chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi S, the sustainability wing of the marketing and consultancy company.
from Chris Wickham:
The headline in the Gulf News English language daily reads 'UAE tops world on per capita carbon footprint'.
For a place so reliably bathed in sunlight, the Dubai property explosion seems to have generated enough construction noise to drown out the environmental debate raging elsewhere in the world.