Choosing the Pathway to Sustainability

John Liu

John Liu

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

COP17 Day 2

Hi All,

Day 2 in Durban has come to an end and what an exciting day it has been. The Team managed to catch the official shuttle to the ICC and has finally (albeit through much trial and error) gotten the hang of the transport options around Durban. Including the rather harrowing local “taxi-bus” ride of Day 1 which will not  be repeated in a hurry. But on to the important topics…

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What’s COP-ing in Durban?

COP17 kicked off with a humid, busy daze of mixed emotions and expectations. Day1 in a word was, overwhelming.

If you’re as confused as I was about what exactly goes down at these Conference of Parties (COP), OneClimate (www.oneclimate.net) has put together a short, concise and easy to understand video here. Confusion aside, I quickly learned I was but 1 of roughly 16, 000 ants trying to maneuver my way through an uncharted anthill, the International Convention Centre (ICC) Durban to spend the next two weeks delivering my climate change contribution to the mother climate colony…no small task! Nonetheless, we had arrived, spirit in our hearts and hope in our minds and while Day1 mayhem persisted, reassuring bursts of sanity and sunshine popped in along the way. Here are my personal picks for a high-light and low-light of the beginning of the COP17. Continue reading

Background on the Environment and Economic group of Initiatives of Change

This is a video interview with Tom Duncan, Co-Director of the Environment and Economy Group of Initiatives of Change. It was shot during the Caux Forum for Human Security, July 2011.

Tom explains the story of his own background in environmental activism and what drew him to Initiatives of Change. He also talks about the origins of the Environment and Economy working group during the 2009 Caux Forum for Human Security.

Should I trust or should I lead?

Posted by Aurelia Annino, part of IofC Team in Cancun and co-founder of SiKanda, a non-profit organization. http://www.si-kanda.org

My perception of the COP16 conference changed every single day.

I arrived 2 weeks ago at the conference and as my first experience with COP, I didn’t know what to expect from the organization of the conference nor from seeing all of the different governments together.

At the beginning I remember I was impressed with the quantity of youth attending the COP. It looked as if about 70% of the attendees were no older than 35. I was a little concerned, wondering if the COP had sufficient facility space, but at the same time was happy to see how many young people were interested in climate change, society, sustainable development and politics.  This awoke a feeling of hope for this new generation that I had lost some years ago.  It was refreshing seeing youth interested in societal issues, where I had previously observed this generation as more self-absorbed. Continue reading

Jai Ram in Mayan land

Guest post by Rishab Khanna from the Indian Youth Climate Action Network, and part of the IofC team in Cancun

Sitting here in the Space shuttle of the Cancun Messe, far away from the negotiations in the Moon Palace, I wanted to share my first impressions of my interaction with the Indian Environment Minster Jai Ram Ramesh.

Well here I am just started to type in some words, and being attacked by a giant butterfly :). Jai Ram did not waste any time in getting to the point, he said that in the last 15 months, India’s strategy with regards to climate change has been a function of three factors:

a) Indian Economic Interest
b) Domestic Environment agenda
c) Global diplomacy, repositioning India for the UN security council

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COP-16 Turtles and hopes

 

It has been already a week since the COP-16 started. Many people, including myself have been struggling to commute between the different venues that make it difficult to network.

A couple of days ago I attended the Agriculture and Rural Development day held at the resort area of Cancun. During one of the long breaks of the conference I put on my tennis shoes and decided to go for a run on the beach that is fully covered by five-star hotels and tourist infrastructure. Continue reading

COP16 – Where are the people?

I came to COP16 to learn and to convince myself whether the solution to such a complex problem could come from this sort of conferences and negotiations, and how they happen.

Also with basic questions such as how do people interact? And how can NGO’s participate? And most specially, how the people, all of us, can have a part in the conversations?

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Moving from ‘I’ to ‘We”

Today one of the biggest global campaigns in history launches a new phase – the 10/10/10 global work party. During 2009, in the run-up to the Copenhagen conference on climate change, COP15, the 350.org campaign organised the ‘most widespead day of political action’ on Saturday 24 October when 5,245 separate actions took place across 181 countries all calling for a commitment to a target of 350 parts per million (ppm) carbon dioxide (CO2) in the earth’s atmosphere. Present levels are above 385 ppm and rising. Continue reading

2010 – Year of the Climate Change Activist

by Mike Lowe

Well, COP 15 is over, and along with the turkey and Christmas pudding we’ve had time to digest what it all means.  This is my own take, having read a lot of different views. I have posted this on the IofC global website, along with a report from Jennifer Helgeson of her reflections from Copenhagen.

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