Reposts from Earth Rainbow Network
What follows is the 121st Meditation Focus suggested for the next 4 (FOUR) weeks beginning Sunday, December 5, 2004.
CHANGING OUR CONSCIOUSNESS TO PREVENT CLIMATE CHANGE
2. Meditation times
3. More information related to this Meditation Focus
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN PASSING THIS ON TO OTHERS
Floods in Mozambique, Europe, Bangladesh, India and elsewhere. Forest fires in Indonesia, in the Amazon and in so many other places. Hurricanes in North and South America, in Japan, Haiti and in the Philippines where two storms last week have set off mudslides and floods that killed 640 people and left nearly 400 missing. Freak weather events like these are predicted to become more frequent because of climate change. It is one of the principle environmental challenges of the 21st century. Because of our use of coal, oil, and gas for energy, and the loss and degradation of our forests, our planet is warming faster than at any time in the last 10,000 years. The warming of the Earth's atmosphere is already adversely affecting fragile ecosystems and poor people's livelihoods. Yet global warming could also lead to a big chill in the North Atlantic because rising temperatures are causing a big melt of polar ice and therefore a freshwater flood into the salty North Atlantic wh!ich could change the flow of the balmy Gulf Stream and in just a few years, average temperatures may plummet, especially in Europe and North America, ushering in a deep freeze. Glaciers are melting faster everywhere, some Pacific and Indian Ocean islands will soon have to evacuate or build sea defences, storms are becoming ever more intense and insect and water-borne diseases are move into new areas as the world warms. All this comes on top of rising populations and spiralling demand for food, water and other resources. Experts say environmental degradation such as deforestation and pollution will likely magnify the impacts of climate change. In what could be a foretaste of the future, Japan was hit by a record 10 typhoons and tropical storms this year, while two-thirds of Bangladesh, parts of Nepal and large areas of northeastern India were flooded, affecting 50 million people, destroying livelihoods and making tens of thousands ill.
But for the moment, according to recent studies, the risk of scorching summers, similar to the heatwave of August 2003 in Europe linked to an excess of more than 27,000 deaths across the continent, has more than doubled due to the impact of human activity. Higher temperatures threaten dangerous consequences: drought, disease, floods, lost ecosystems. And from sweltering heat to rising seas, global warming's effects have already begun. But solutions are in sight. Nearly every country on Earth recognizes today the reality of this gathering threat and have signed the Kyoto Protocol, and even the Queen of England has recently become an active support of greater global efforts to combat global warming. The Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention on Climate Change will be meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina this month. Through the media, the public will receive the good news that the Kyoto Protocol has been approved in spite of the refusal of the world's main polluter -!- the US -- to ratify it. Most people will thus feel relieved, thinking that the climate crisis will now be averted. Unfortunately, the real situation is quite different. First, the emission reductions that the Kyoto Protocol has set for industrialized countries are only 5.2% below 1990 levels - which most scientists agree is completely inadequate to effectively address global warming. Second, even these inadequate targets are being evaded through schemes through which rights to emit extra carbon dioxide are earned by, for example, setting up monoculture tree plantations as "carbon sinks." If we turned off the smokestacks today the greenhouse gases already loaded into the atmosphere would take us to 1.3º celsius (2.3 fahrenheit). If global temperatures hit that barrier, it's bad news for all of us. It raises the likelihood of the complete meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet, and possible collapse of the Amazon rainforest ecosystem. Tens of millions of people could suddenl!y be hungry, hundreds of millions would find themselves threatened with malaria in places where malaria had never previously occurred, millions could have their homes flooded and billions could be without enough water.
Faced with such traumatic possibilities, most people prefer to avoid seriously considering the consequences of ignoring today the warning signals that have been echoing all over the world for years now. Most also feel powerless to address a problem of such huge proportions and like as many lemmings heading en masse for imminent death other the cliff, mindlessly continue to contribute everyday to the seemingly unstoppable destruction of our global environment. Only a massive change of consciousness could now lead to the real changes in lifestyles and energy consumption patterns that are urgently required to at least mitigate the worst consequences of today's largely un-addressed global warming crisis.
Please dedicate your prayers and meditations, as guided by Spirit, in the coming four weeks, and especially in synchronous attunement at the usual time this Sunday and the following Sundays, to contribute in fostering in everyone's mind and heart the courage to face the daunting consequences of humanity's disregard for the fragile balance of Life on Earth, and the inner resolve to help bring about the necessary changes to both correct as fast as possible the numerous related problems causing this global imbalance, and address the underlying values and misconceived beliefs that are at the source of the innumerable individual choices contributing to global climate change. May the sense of sacredness regarding all manifestations of Life, including our living planetary biosphere as a whole, become the guiding force behind a global awakening and change of consciousness that we will each strive to embody in our everyday actions and choices, for the Highest Good of All. parThis whole Meditation Focus has been archived for your convenience at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/MeditationFocus121.htm
PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE IN THE PARAGRAPH BELOW CONCERNING OUR RENEWED PLEA FOR ASSISTANCE FROM OUR SPACE FAMILY UNTIL SUCH A TIME WHEN A CRITICAL MASS OF ACCEPTANCE WILL BE ACHIEVED.
2. MEDITATION TIMES
i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes. Please dedicate the last few minutes of your Sunday meditation BOTH to the healing of the Earth as a whole and to reiterate our willingness and desire - if we so choose - to receive assistance from our space family in order to help set things on a path towards a new era of global peace, love and harmony for all. See the Earth as healthy and vibrant with life, and experience the healing of all relations as we awaken globally to the sacredness of all Life and to our underlying unity with All That Is.
ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.
These times below are currently corresponding to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:
Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage * 8:00 AM -- Los Angeles * 9:00 AM -- Mexico City, San Salvador & Denver * 10:00 AM -- Houston * & Chicago * 11:00 AM -- Santo Domingo, La Paz, Caracas, New York *, Toronto *. Montreal *, Asuncion & Santiago 12:00 AM -- Halifax *, Rio de Janeiro & Montevideo 1:00 PM -- Reykjavik & Casablanca 4 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, London *, Dublin * & Lisbon * 5:00 PM -- Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Geneva *, Rome *, Berlin *, Paris * & Madrid * 6:00 PM -- Ankara *, Athens *, Helsinki * & Istanbul * & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Baghdad *, Moscow * 8:00 PM -- Tehran * 8:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 PM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM! -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington +4:00 AM
+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time.
* means the place is observing daylight saving time (DST) at the moment.
You may also check at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?day=05&month=12&year=2004&hour=16&min=0&sec=0&p1=0 to find your corresponding local time for tomorrow if a nearby city is not listed above.
3. MORE INFORMATION RELATED TO THIS MEDITATION FOCUS
This complement of information may help you to better understand the various aspects pertaining to the summary description of the subject of this Meditation Focus. It is recommended to view this information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision we wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mind-set, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of peace and healing. This complementary information is provided so that a greater knowledge of what needs healing and peace-nurturing vibrations may assist us to have an in-depth understanding of what is at stake and thus achieve a greater collective effectiveness.
1. The illusion of the Kyoto Protocol
2. A CALL FOR PEOPLES' ACTION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
3. Asia Faces Living Nightmare From Climate Change
4. Brazil Amazon Deforestation Jumps, Data Show
5. Humans Raise Risk of Europe Heatwaves
6. Brazil Garbage Dump Could Be Climate Trailblazer
7. Bush Administration Want Arctic Meltdown
8. Logging Suspended in Philippines
Floods in Mozambique. Forest fires in Indonesia. Hurricanes in South America. Storms in the UK. Freak weather events like these are predicted to become more frequent because of climate change. What causes climate change? Climate change is caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide (C02) and other polluting greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Scientists say human activities, such as burning fossil fuels - coal, oil and gas - in power stations and vehicles are to blame. An unfair share Did you know? The UK with 1% of the world's population produces 2.3% of the world's C02. Rich countries, like the US and Australia don't want to take action to halt climate change. But it's the poorest people who are already suffering most and they can't afford to wait.
How Global Warming Can Lead to a Big Chill (Dec 3) http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20041203/sc_nm/science_warming_dc_1
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Global warming could lead to a big chill in the North Atlantic, at least if history is anything to go by, researchers reported on Friday. They published evidence to support a popular theory that rising temperatures caused a big melt of polar ice 8,200 years ago, causing a freshwater flood into the salty North Atlantic. This would have changed the flow of the balmy Gulf Stream and in just a few years, average temperatures plummeted, ushering in a deep freeze that lasted a century or more, researchers have proposed. Writing in the Dec. 11 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, Torbjorn Tornqvist, an assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says he has evidence that this happened. "Few would argue it's the most dramatic climate change in the last 10,000 years," Tornqvist said in a statement. "We're now able to show the first sea-level record that corresponds to that event."
Pentagon Report on Climate Change (October 2003) http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/fc/World/climate_change/related_web_sites/SIG=11t5eccjv/*http://www.ems.org/climate/exec_pentagon_climate_change.pdf
Climate change is one of the principle environmental challenges of the 21st century. Because of our use of coal, oil, and gas for energy, and the loss and degradation of our forests, our planet is warming faster than at any time in the last 10,000 years. The warming of the Earth's atmosphere is already adversely affecting fragile ecosystems and poor people's livelihoods. These trends are projected to accelerate over the coming decades, prompting governments to adopt the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for industrialized countries to collectively reduce emissions five percent below 1990 levels from 2008 to 2012.
Why heatwave threat has doubled (December 2, 2004)
The risk of scorching summers, similar to the heatwave of August 2003, has more than doubled due to the impact of human activity, according to a study released yesterday. The findings, reported in the journal Nature, provide further evidence of a link between emissions of greenhouse gases - caused by burning fossil fuels - and warming of the environment. Temperatures last year were probably the highest in Europe for over 500 years, the research by Peter Stott from the Met Office's Hadley Centre and Daith Stone and Myles Allen of the University of Oxford showed. The heat was linked to an excess of more than 27,000 deaths across the continent.
Cut the emissions: sign the petition (over 350,000 signatures so far!) http://iw.rtm.com/ed/undoit_petition_1.asp?sitecode=ov
Global warming is the #1 environmental issue facing the Earth. While the world is moving forward against climate change, the U.S. continues to sit out the fight. The best first step to change this inaction is the Climate Stewardship Act, the country's best legislative tool to cut heat-trapping emissions.
"An Arctic Alert on Global Warming," (November 9, 2004)
Global warming is heating the Arctic at a rapid pace - with impacts that could range from the disappearance of polar bears' summer habitat by the century's end to a damaging rise in sea levels worldwide. That assessment, released Monday by a group of international climate experts, amounts to one of the most urgent warnings on climate change to date, and could put new pressure on the US and other nations to curb fossil-fuel emissions.
Arctic Nations OK Climate Strategy (24 November 2004)
Measures encouraged, but not required, to curb warming. Reykjavik, Iceland - Eight Arctic countries on Wednesday agreed to encourage "effective measures" to curb a rapid melt of the region, but indigenous peoples accused the United States of having blocked mandatory action aimed at slowing global warming. The United States, Russia, Canada and the five Nordic states, which all have areas stretching into the Arctic, encouraged "effective measures" to adapt to climate change without spelling out exactly how. And governments noted "with concern" a report earlier this month by 250 scientists warning that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe. They would take the findings into account in policies on everything from research to aiding indigenous peoples.
Polar bears dream of a white Christmas If they go, London could be next (28 Nov 2004)
ICELAND/Rejkyavik An Arctic without ice. Polar bears extinct in the wild. Mass starvation of reindeer. And as a result of their snowy world melting, the possibility of a global sea-level rise of devastating proportions. It's the worst disaster film you've ever seen. Made real. A new report, "Impacts of a Warming Arctic: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment," is the result of four years of work by 300 scientists. And the results aren't pretty. They tell us that the Arctic is warming far more rapidly than anyone thought, and at nearly twice the rate as the rest of the world.
Praise for 'green Queen' (Nov 4)
The Queen earned unusual plaudits from Friends of the Earth yesterday after opening one of the most important and high-profile summits on climate change to be staged in Europe. The monarch met German and British teenagers in Berlin, watching as they showed the effects of global warming using a model of the Earth. "I'm hugely happy that the Queen is identifying herself with this issue," said Klaus Töpfer, the UN's environment programme chief. "She is showing that we have to act." The Queen's presence at the summit follows reports that she told Tony Blair of her grave concerns over the US's role in global warming. Last night environmental groups said her intervention in a debate that has split the US government from most of Europe was "significant". Tony Juniper, FoE's executive director, said. "Her participation will ... send a strong message around the world ... on the need for urgent action on global warming."
The problem of climate change transcends national and community boundaries, and affects the whole environment. Using its global reach, WWF examines the effects of climate change and advocates solutions that will help protect beloved wildlife and wild places for future generations. If we fail to act now, many of the world's most important habitats and species will cease to exist. Although human-caused global warming is among the most pervasive threats to the web of life, its root cause can be addressed. The burning of fossil fuels - coal, oil and gas - releases carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. This carbon pollution blankets the earth, trapping in heat, and causing global warming. Reducing these emissions is the first step in stopping global warming. Smart energy choices made in one place can dramatically affect animals, people, air, land, and water around the world for years to come. WWF is a key advocate for major reductions in CO2 emissions and increases in the use of renewable energy resources and energy efficient technologies in the countries where the CO2 problem is worst. A slight rise in global temperatures threatens wild animals like polar bears that rely on disappearing sea ice to access their food supply. Help save polar bears and all life on Earth by taking steps to cut emissions of CO2.
Higher temperatures threaten dangerous consequences: drought, disease, floods, lost ecosystems. And from sweltering heat to rising seas, global warming's effects have already begun. But solutions are in sight. We know where most heat-trapping gases come from: power plants and vehicles. And we know how to curb their emissions: modern technologies and stronger laws. Natural Resources Defense Council is working to put these fixes in place. By shifting the perception of global warming from abstract threat to pressing reality, and promoting online activism. By pressing businesses to use less energy and build more efficient products. And by fighting for laws that will speed these advances.
"Satellites Record Weakening North Atlantic Current," NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center (April 15th, 2004)
Climate Change May Reverse Progress on Fighting Poverty (November 1st, 2004)
The Working Group on Climate Change and Development, a coalition of environmental and relief aid organizations, released a report last week stating that the onset of global warming threatens to undermine progress made in recent decades on lifting residents of many developing nations out of poverty.
Kyoto saved: not yet the planet (22 October 2004)
RUSSIAN FEDERATION/Moscow - The Russian Parliament voted to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in a body blow to George W Bush's opposition to action on climate change. Kyoto coming to force is a geopolitical ground shift. Russian ratification pushes this global climate protection agreement over the threshold required to become international law. You can feel the tectonic plates of global politics grating on one another as the rest of the world signs up to the Protocol and leaves the Bush administration and their largest single share of the globe's greenhouse gas emissions behind.We can only hope that the industrial revolution of the 20th century will be followed by an energy revolution of equal magnitude in the 21st. (...) They benchmark it at "2º celsius (3.6 fahrenheit) global average temperature increase above pre-industrial levels." If we turned off the smokestacks today the greenhouse gases already loaded into the atmosphere would take us to 1.3º celsius (2.3 fahrenh!eit). If global temperatures hit that barrier, it's bad news for all of us. It raises the likelihood of the complete meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet, and possible collapse of the Amazon rainforest ecosystem. Tens of millions of people could suddenly be hungry, hundreds of millions would find themselves threatened with malaria in places where malaria had never previously occurred, millions could have their homes flooded and billions could be without enough water. "Already we are witnessing increased storms at sea and floods in our cities," Chief UK Scientist David King said recently. "Global warming will increase the level and frequency at which we experience heightened weather patterns." Dr. King is also on record as saying climate change is a bigger threat than terrorism.
Event Locations of Interest as Global Warming Progresses (Oct 29, 2004) http://www.thegalileosyndrome.com/evloofin.html
Paleoclimatology research claims that for most of the last 4.5 billion years, the earth has been far warmer than now. It shows warming can take place rapidly, 10 degrees C in a couple of decades and that cooling appears slower: 5 degrees C cooling in the century to millennium scale. Add to that human forcing of the climate's facility to retain heat and one could conclude concerns on global warming are risk assessment and planning--rather than speculation. The reasons will be clear as you read on. As you will see in each of the following cases, an event causes an effect, which in turn leads to modifications in the local climate, or in some cases changes to the region. In each example the event is not speculation, just advice to you on which areas of our planet you may want to pay attention to over the next couple of decades. Each of the events cited below have a high likelihood of occurring. Which happens first and in what time frame remains debatable. In any case, the !following areas of the planet, in my opinion, are important sites, worth your attention, as global warming continues to become more pronounced due to human forcing.
Climate Change in the U.S.
The following is a brief synopsis of findings from the U.S. Climate Change office, NOAA, and others. More on this also at http://www.gcrio.org/NationalAssessment/
Observed Impacts of Global Climate Change in the U.S. (November 2004) http://www.pewclimate.org/global-warming-in-depth/all_reports/observedimpacts/index.cfm
One in Three Amphibian Species Nearing Extinction (October 26th, 2004)
A recent report summarizing the findings of 500 scientists from 60 countries confirms that the world's amphibian population is undergoing a die-off of unprecedented proportions, most likely as a result of a combination of human-caused environmental problems. According to researchers at the World Conservation Union, almost a third of the 5,743 known species of frogs, toads, newts and salamanders on Earth are facing extinction within the next few years.
TOO DARN HOT
Heat stress is probably the most obvious thing people think of when the idea of global warming comes up. A heat wave in Europe during the summer of 2003 killed more than 10,000 people in France alone. Many of the dead were elderly; the group most likely to live alone and most susceptible to heat-related health problems.
Global Warming to Worsen Heat Waves in American and European Cities (August 20, 2004)
Researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado released findings last week predicting that cities in the U.S. and Europe would likely suffer from more frequent and intense heat waves in years to come as a result of global warming. Cities tend to get hotter than surrounding countryside as a result of their paved surface areas, lack of shading tree canopy, and concentration of energy expenditure. Recent heat waves in Chicago and Paris killed thousands of people and caused billions of dollars in damage. While the NCAR study reports that heat waves in those cities will worsen, it also predicts that other areas less adapted to such temperatures could suffer the most due to lack of preparedness. The NCAR researchers are using a new computer model that takes into account growing levels of greenhouse gases when measuring for the likelihood of dangerous increases in localized temperatures. The comprehensive model also debunks a popular theory that other atmospheric pollutants like sulfur dioxide could reflect heat away from the planet and thus mitigate the warming effects of carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, Princeton University researchers have published a complementary study showing that Americans and Europeans can stave off heat waves and other negative effects of global warming by limiting their output of carbon dioxide. "If we decide to act, we will need to reduce carbon emissions across the whole global economy," says Princeton's Robert Socolow.
Asian Industrial Pollution Reaching New England Skies (August 17th 2004)
An international group comprised of the world's leading atmospheric scientists has found that airborne industrial pollution from Asia is lingering high over New England and the Atlantic Ocean this summer, raising concerns that improved American air quality in recent years may be jeopardized by the effects of increasing industrialization and weak regulation abroad.
Bush Administration Likely to Reject Ocean Reform Recommendations (November 30, 2004)
Marine conservation activists were dismayed to learn last week that the Bush administration is unlikely to institute recommended policy changes regarding the way it handles ocean pollution, coastal development, fisheries management and other marine environmental issues. The White House is mandated to officially "respond" by December 20 to recommendations set forth by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy last year. © Brian C. HowardAccording to Admiral James Watkins, the former Secretary of Energy who chaired the federally appointed commission, the White House response will probably consist of "a menu of all the wonderful things they are doing right now" in an effort to solve America's marine woes by applying existing policies with the current governmental oversight structure. Watkins' commission recommended, among other things, creating a President!ial assistant dedicated exclusively to oceans as well as a National Ocean Council comprised of Cabinet-level officials and federal agency heads. Before news of the probable White House rejection of the recommendations was known, many activists had already been complaining that even implementation of the commission's advice would not be enough to stem the tide of marine decline. Meanwhile, the advocacy-oriented Pew Oceans Commission had released an independent report calling for even more far-reaching changes to the way the federal government deals with ocean problems.
White House Poised to Increase Pacific Northwest Logging (November 30, 2004)
Environmentalists are bracing for stepped-up efforts by a re-elected Bush administration to dramatically increase logging of old-growth trees and other forestlands in the Pacific Northwest over the next four years. "It's going to be harder and harder for us to get the message out that these forests are importantfor many reasons, but we're going to work harder than ever," said Susan Ash of the Audubon Society of Portland. Local advocacy groups are marshalling legal, political and activist resources to prevent logging on still-pristine federal lands in the region, but they face an uphill battle. In lobbying the White House to ease logging restrictions in wildlife-friendly and fire-prone public lands in Washington and Oregon, timber industry representatives cite concerns that federally mandated forestry reform initiatives launched by the Clinton administration are inadequate to meet the economic and safety needs of local communities today. Analysts expect the Bush administration to institute several changes to the way the federal government manages Pacific Northwest forests, including the elimination of some "multiple-use" protections-whereby recreation and hunting, for instance, compete with resource extraction as viable land uses-in forests suitable for large timber harvests. Additionally, the White House is likely to roll back logging restrictions in areas thought to be key habitat for endangered species such as the northern spotted owl and the marbled murrelet. Administration officials have also hinted that they will work to reshape the U.S. Forest Service into a smaller agency more focused on specific goals such as thinning forests to stave off forest fires.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
Animal diseases are breaking the species barrier and crossing over to humans at an alarming rate. The new science of conservation medicine teaches us that one big factor in these new epidemics is our wholesale destruction of the environment, which is upsetting nature's balance.
Study Links 200 or More Diseases to Pollution (November 23, 2004)
Doctors from the University of California and the Boston Medical Center have released findings linking common chemical pollutants to at least 200 different human diseases. The study, which compiled data from hundreds of previous studies, shows strong correlations between various common pollutants and a wide range of diseases, including asthma, testicular atrophy, cerebral palsy, kidney disease, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, dermatitis bronchitis, hyperactivity, deafness, sperm damage and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Pollutants also were linked to 37 different types of cancers. "The human body is in constant conversation with this chemical milieu and some substances have turned out to be important contributors to disease," says study co-author Ted Schletter of the Boston Medical Center. He points out, though, that pollution usually acts as a trigger on a person's genetic predisposition to developing a particular disease, and not usually as the cause of the disease itself. Blood tests conducted throughout the U.S. and Europe show that the vast majority of residents of industrialized nations are carrying several of these pollutants--such as mercury, dioxin, and PCBs--in their bloodstreams at any given time, making exposure virtually unavoidable. Health and environmental activists believe the study's findings warrant the release of information by manufacturers on the potential risks associated with use of their products. Meanwhile, the Bush administration is working hard to prevent such mandatory information disclosure, which it argues would have economic impacts.
Fishermen Idle as Seafood Stocks 'Fall Off Precipice' Across the Globe (July 23, 2004)
While researchers have been warning of the decline of many seafood fish stocks in oceans around the globe for years, idle commercial fishermen from every seaport and island community are finally feeling the bite, verifying the dire state of affairs. On southern Italy's Favignana Island, groups of "old salt" fishermen stand around the docks telling stories about the good old days when runs of bluefin tuna were plentiful enough to support the island's economy. The bluefin run has dwindled to almost nothing in recent years, leaving fishermen idle and the rest of the islanders wondering about their fate. The phenomenon is not localized, however. The same story is being played out in economically depressed seaport fishing towns all over the world, as fish stocks plummet, primarily as a result of technology-aided overfishing in all of the world's oceans. "!This is no sudden crash, but rather an extremely slow-speed fatal collision," laments Carl Safina of the nonprofit research and advocacy group Blue Ocean Institute. "For decades, the world has moved blindly toward a precipice. We have been confronted with signs and warnings and a clear view of the danger. And now we have fallen off." While several nations and the international community have put regulations limiting the catch of many prized seafood species, some fishermen ignore the limits, as there is little if any monitoring. Fearful of the crash, they are motivated to "get out the catch" as big as they can in an effort to maximize short-term profits, even if it represents the final blow for an already struggling species like Favignana's bluefin.
Impacts of Europe's changing climate
The impacts of climate change on Europe's environment and society are shown in this report. Past trends in the climate, its current state and possible future changes are presented using 22 selected indicators. For almost all of these a clear trend exists and impacts are already being observed. The report highlights the need to develop strategies at European, national, regional and local level for adapting to climate change.
Many more environmental news through
Full coverage by Yahoo on Climate Change
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Hundreds of links related to Climate Change
Date: 3 Dec 2004
From: Teresa Perez <email@example.com>
Subject: WORLD RAINFOREST MOVEMENT Bulletin 89
The illusion of the Kyoto Protocol
The Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention on Climate Change will be meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina this month. Through the media, the public will receive the good news that the Kyoto Protocol has been approved in spite of the refusal of the world's main polluter -- the US -- to ratify it. Most people will thus feel relieved, thinking that the climate crisis will now be averted.
Unfortunately, the real situation is quite different. First, the emission reductions that the Kyoto Protocol has set for industrialized countries are only 5.2% below 1990 levels - which most scientists agree is completely inadequate to effectively address global warming. Second, even these inadequate targets are being evaded through schemes through which rights to emit extra carbon dioxide are earned by, for example, setting up monoculture tree plantations as "carbon sinks."
Concern about this state of affairs -- which has resulted largely from the pressure of powerful corporations on the climate negotiations -- prompted representatives from organizations and peoples' movements from around the globe to come together in Durban, South Africa, in October 2004 to discuss more realistic avenues for addressing climate change. The group emerged from the meeting with a call for a global grassroots movement against climate change (see Durban Declaration at http://www.wrm.org.uy/actors/CCC/justice.html ).
Participants concluded that Kyoto's attempt to give carbon a price "will not prove to be any more effective, democratic, or conducive to human welfare, than giving genes, forests, biodiversity or clean rivers a price."
At the same time, the Durban Group reaffirmed "that drastic reductions in emissions from fossil fuel use are a pre-requisite" for addressing the climate crisis and affirmed its "responsibility to coming generations to seek real solutions that are viable and truly sustainable and that do not sacrifice marginalized communities."
The Group further committed itself "to help build a global grassroots movement for climate justice, mobilize communities around the world and pledge our solidarity with people opposing carbon trading on the ground."
Participants also agreed to declare December 10 (Human Rights Day) as "International Climate Action Day" as a means of stressing that a liveable climate constitutes a basic human right and that this right is being violated by those same governments that pretend to be addressing the climate crisis.
WRM fully supports these viewpoints. Its campaigning activities against monoculture plantations have long stressed that planting trees is not only not going to slow climate change, but will also create new problems for people living in the areas to be occupied by so-called carbon sink plantations.
It is ordinary and vulnerable people who will suffer most from government inaction and corporate greed unless something more is done -- and fast -- to deal with the environmental destruction and human suffering which will be wrought by climate change. In consequence, WRM firmly believes that, for crisis to be headed off, the peoples of the world need to take the climate issue back into their own hands. It is not Kyoto, but people, who will save the climate.
This article and much more will soon be archived at http://www.wrm.org.uy
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CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW!
A CALL FOR PEOPLES' ACTION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
Representatives from organizations and peoples' movements from around the globe came together in Durban, South Africa October 4-7, 2004 to discuss realistic avenues for addressing climate change. The group emerged from the meeting with this call for a global grassroots movement against climate change.
Twelve years ago governments took serious note of and agreed to address the issue of global warming. They signed and ratified the Convention on Climate Change. Five years later, they agreed on the Kyoto Protocol, which was to establish concrete commitments to reduce fossil fuel emissions from Northern countries. This Protocol has yet to come into effect. (The Kyoto Protocol is expected to enter i!nto effect later this year).
The emission reductions that the Kyoto Protocol established for industrialized countries were only 5.2% below 1990 levels-which most scientists agree is completely inadequate to effectively address global warming. Even these inadequate targets are being evaded through schemes such as carbon trading including the establishment of carbon "sinks" like monoculture tree plantations-mainly in the Global South. These schemes are being embraced by the very entities that are destroying the Earth. Meanwhile destruction of true carbon reservoirs like native forests continues unabated, leading to yet more releases of greenhouse gases.
For this reason, the Durban Group calls on grassroots activists and organizations around the world to stand up for real action on climate change.
Communities disproportionately impacted by climate change and the false "solutions" put forward by the Kyoto Protocol (including carbon sink projects and! continued fossil fuel exploration, extraction and burning) include small island states, whose very existence is threatened, as well as indigenous peoples, the poor and the marginalized, particularly women, children and the elderly around the world.
The refusal of governments and international financial institutions like the World Bank to force corporations to phase out use of fossil fuels, and which in fact encourage accelerated use of increasingly limited fossil fuel stocks, is causing more and more military conflicts around the world, magnifying social and environmental injustice.
Just as peoples' movements are rising up around the world against the privatization of water and biodiversity, so must we rise up against the privatization of the air, which is being promoted through the establishment of a massive "carbon market."
If we are to avert a climate crisis, drastic reductions in fossil fuel investment and use are inescapable, as is the protection of remaining native forests. The current flawed approach of international negotiations must be met by the active participation of a global movement of Northern and Southern peoples to take the climate back into their hands.
We therefore call on activists, organizations and communities to sign on to the statement that emerged from the Durban meeting and join this growing global movement.
To sign on to the Climate Justice Now! statement please send an email to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.sinkswatch.org
The Earth Rainbow Network, founded in February 1997, has an extensive list of more than 2,800 people in approximately 50 countries sharing information, visions and feedbacks on a broad range of subjects as a way to expand and deepen global awareness and the sense of forming a global spiritual community gradually empowering itself to contribute in shaping the future of this world. Subscription to the list is free: email@example.com
Burning Ice Main Room & Index
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Music Credit: eRa, 10,Era