John D. Liu, Dec. 3, 2011 – Durban – Studying the Earth’s natural ecosystems helps to explain why we are experiencing financial upheaval, biodiversity loss, desertification, climate change, migration, poverty and disparity. Far from suggesting the widespread view that carbon disequilibrium alone is the cause of all our problems, the Earth’s systems are exhibiting systemic dysfunction on a planetary scale of which carbon disequilibrium in the atmosphere is a symptom. The worldwide discussion on climate change and sustainable development has strayed far from natural ecology toward politics and markets. These attempts often fail to inspire confidence because they are actually a continuation of the business as usual scenario. Allowing nature to participate in the discussion illuminates a pathway that leads to sustainability. This vision is far more compelling than recapitalizing those who have created many of the problems we currently face. Let’s take a moment to look at our problems from an ecological perspective. Continue reading
By Tom Duncan
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD) – is a new addition to the Kyoto Phase II/ Copenhagen Treaty, that aims to reduce deforestation. The problem is, that large timber companies, illegal loggers, palm oil plantations, aim to replace rainforest and orangutang habitat, with income producing plantations, threatening to undermine the REDD scheme. There is much concern from Indigenous communities that they already have very little control over their forests, and REDD potentially may put control of forests more in Government hands, and corporate plantations, which endanger indigenous communities survival and culture. More information updates after REDD sessions this evening.
Last night I went to the Danish Film Institute where Al Gore spoke and two new environmental films were screened. Al Gore started with a question and answer session. He was OK, if slightly disappointing (luckily I did not go with high expectations). However, his talk was enormously overshadowed by this film http://www.greenthefilm.com/. Please find time to sit down and watch it; it is an amazing, depressing and important film.
The negotiations here in Copenhagen are concerning. They are highly political and focus very heavily on carbon emissions. While accounting for around 15% of the world’s carbon emissions, what the politicians often fail to recognize is that deforestation creates the permanent loss of fragile and complex habitats; once the forests are gone they are gone.
This film not only reminds us that we can all do more, but also highlights the beauty and fragility of our forests. I met the filmmaker – he is a hero and has dedicated his life to this. This film was done on a budget of 10,000Euros – quite an achievement. Please pass it on to others.